Asthma and GERD

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dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/24/2009 7:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mark,
If you're out there...I got an email letting me know that you have questions regarding GERD related asthma.  We might as well talk here, so others can benefit from our coversation.  I struggled with GERD/asthma for a long time.  Hopefully I can share what I've learned.
I'll await your post!
Denise

miness3
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/27/2009 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I have both asthma and GERD and for the last 10 months went from having asthma I could manage to out of control asthma. I constantly am SOB, wheezing, coughing, and generally feeling awful. In and out of the hospital too. I just want to get back to the place where my asthma doesn't control my life to the extent it does now, and I have a feeling my GERD is involved. Any info you could share, Denise I would really appreciate. Thanks. =)

Hara
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 5/28/2009 4:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I also have Asthma and Gerd, but the two really don't bother me together. Only when I really stressed out my stomach starts to bubble up and then there's trouble with my Gerd only. When I have a cold or sinus stuff that's when my Asthma likes to rear it's ugly head and cause trouble. But the two never cause trouble together. Thank goodness.
 
HARA

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/29/2009 3:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Miness3,
For years my asthma was well controlled with inhaled steroids, and the only times it would flare up would be viral respiratory infections or sinus infections. Over time, my GERD got worse, and probably between 15 and 20 years ago I began taking PPI's for my reflux. My doctor suspected that my GERD was adding to my asthma symptoms, and my asthma/allergy doc concurred.

My GERD was pretty well maintained that way for quite a while, and my asthma remained in the normal range. about four years ago, however, my GERD got much worse. In fact, after a flare-up brought on by an antibiotic I didn't tolerate well, I ended up hospitalized for a week because my asthma was out of control, and because of my stomach problems, I couldn't take oral steroids. I was in the hospital of high doses of IV steroids, and even with that, my asthma didn't respond well because of the uncontrolled gastritis and GERD I was experiencing.

For about four years my asthma has been horrible. In fact, I was taking such high doses of Flovent (and intermittent courses of prednosone), I have had adrenal insufficiency symptoms...the skin on my arms have thinned badly, I get skin tears and bruise very easily. Both my asthma and family docs suggested that I consider having GERD surgery (laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication) to get my reflux under control, because it was making my asthma impossible to control. I was using a nebulizer 2-3 times daily for about a year. I was constantly coughing up tons of mucous, too.

They did all they could, but it was impossible to get my lungs cleared. My family doctor (especially) kept telling me that I needed to consider the surgery. He said that the reflux was "life threatening" because it kept my lungs in a constant state of inflammation.

Finally, after years of suffering with horrible asthma, I decided to try the surgical option. It wasn't an easy decision, but it helped to find the Heartburn/GERD forum here. There were lots of people there who had had the surgery, and provided me with lots of support and information. on February 27th I had the surgery, and I am so glad I did. My lungs are finally better! It is amazing.

Now keep in mind that I still get asthma from other things...I got the flu, and had a flare up since the surgery, and now I'm dealing with tree pollens. However that being said, even when I'm having a flare-up from another cause, it's still nothing like what I had pre-surgery. At the moment, although I'm still in allergy season, my lungs are nearly PERFECT! It is amazing.

I hope this information helps. I'll be glad to answer any questions, and I suggest you go to the Heartburn/GERD forum and go back to my posts in February and March. You can read about my experience making the decision to have surgery, and my recovery process.

Good luck with your asthma. I feel your pain!
Hope things get better for you soon.
Denise

miness3
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/6/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Denise! Your asthma & GERD sounds very much to be what I've been going through for the last year.  As you said, when I get the flu my asthma flares up, but for more than a decade is what pretty manageable.   Last June I had stomach ulcers that bled out and within a month I began to experience daily SOB, choughing, & wheezing.  In this year alone I've made 7 trips to the hospital and I've been admitted 2 of those times.  Breathing is a DAILY struggle.  My health insurance is pending and not having coverage makes things very difficult. 
Can you please tell me more about the surgery you had? Someday the info may come in handy.  Thanks, Vanessa

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 6/6/2009 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Vanessa,

The surgical procedure is called Nissen Fundopliction.  It is a laproscopic surgery, so it's much easier to recover from than an open surgery.  The surgeon takes the top of the stomach and wraps it around the esophagus--creating a valve (the surgeon actually said it's more of a one-way flap--to keep the food and acid in the stomach where it belongs.

If you go to the Heartburn/GERD forum at Healing Well, you can look up my old posts, which describe my recovery.  Be careful searching online.  There are a lot of people who had bad surgeons and poor results.  Those people scared me into waiting four years for the surgery.   The recovery is not at all as bad as I was expecting, but it is challenging, since it takes time for the new valve to reduce swelling/inflammation, etc. 

I can just say that the surgery recovery wasn't as bad as all the GERD/asthma episodes I had before the surgery.

Good luck in making your decision.  If you consider surgery, be sure to post at the Heartburn/GERD forum.  There are many supportive and knowledgable people there, who will be glad to talk to you about it.  It's a very active forum.  Good luck getting insurance!

Take care and I hope your asthma is doing better. 

Denise


norfolks40
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/12/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I had the same symptoms and found an air purifier that relieves all allergy symptoms. I could not believe the difference.

Paul

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 6/12/2009 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Paul,
I wish it was that simple for me. I've used an air purifier for probably 20 years, and although it helps, it just doesn't do it. I've got really severe allergies to the point of having to stay indoors most of the time with windows closed until the tree and grass pollen subside.

I'm glad the air purifier works for you. It probably works for most--wish it did for me!

Denise
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