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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/30/2009 3:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to the board.
I was diagnosed with gerd many years ago but I am in the process of being reevaluated, which brought me here.

I have been trying to figure out if I actually have COPD, as one alergist diagnosed me with, or if I am having new symptoms related to gerd.
Based on what I have read on this board so far, it seems that It may well be gerd related, despite the "Chronic Bronchitis" diagnosis.

My symptoms have always included:
Phlegm in my throat.
Periodic Hoarse voice.

Lately I have had feelings like it's difficult for me to breath, and like phlegm is stuck in my throat;
as a result, I quite smoking, quit coffee and quit chocolate, switched medications, and still haven't had any improvement.

Hopefully I'll find answers to the confusion here, I have seen some good info already,
any additional input is greatly appreciated :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/30/2009 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to our humble little place. I can't say for sure that your symptoms are GERD related, but it sure sounds like it to me. I have never had the breathing issues that many suffer from with this disease. I believe it goes under diagnosed because it is so difficult to determine if it is causing the breathing issues or some thing else is.
I am sure some of he members who have gone through your ordeal or who are going through it now will be along shortly to help out. You will find we love to help and cheer everyone on. This isn't one of those forums where you have to be "somebody" to get support. We only care about helping everyone as best we can. I wish I could be of more help tp you about the breathing issues. I didn't even know it went past voice issues, which I have had to deal with, until I came here and bean to learn so much. There are some very knowledgeable people here.
Hang around and I know this will get rolling soon. The weekends can be a bit slow here if the weather is nice any way. Again, Welcome amd I hope you find some answers and stick around for a long time.

Take care,

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/30/2009 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
You've almost got my symtoms! My regurgitation isn't much unless I have a full stomach and bend over. My heartburn is mild.
My asthma doc sent me to my GI I have now. I have a constant cough that she couldn't cure. Turns out my LES is half open and acid is all the way up to my epigolitis and spills over into my lungs.
There's many test the doc will do as you're being evaluated. Some you may have had.
Barium swallow
Stomach emptying

The only one I didn't care for was the manometry. UGH! But it's a mind over matter thing.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 8/30/2009 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Paja, and welcome! I was diagnosed with COPD as well as pulmonary hypertension, asthma, chronic bronchitis. I had periodic problems with increasingly difficult time breathing, at times, I remember, I couldn't walk 10 feet without being completely spent. I was always losing my voice, always clearing my throat..on and on and on. I had GERD, but it was always felt to be minor, specifically because I didn't have the common symptoms.

Eventually my allergist/asthma dr. suspected that the diagnosis were wrong and suspected vocal chord dysfunction; unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the pulmonary specialists here were to inept to diagnose. Ultimately I was sent to National Jewish hospital in Denver; it is the number 1 respiratory hospital in the country and it is definitely worth your time and expense to go there if you have a serious respiratory issue. It was there that they found I had significant reflux and I was aspirating the acid; it was this that was causing my lung damage and was making me a pulmonary cripple. They also diagnosed vocal chord dysfunction and set me up with various things and sent me home.

Once home, my Dr.'s took over and about a year later I had a Nissen performed at Cleveland Clinic. Since the surgery I am almost completely cured of my respiratory ailment... I no longer use spiriva, advair, singulair, rescue inhalers. The alveoli in my lungs are fibrotic, and that is the only permanent damage to my lungs; it does cause some issues, but not enough to slow me down.

It was only with the combination of highly specialized respiratory tests as well as the tests that Joy mentions above that we were able to get the real picture. My Dr. at NJ is Dr. Gary Cott..if you ever get to the point where you feel you need a live Dr. House (but a very nice, not a son-of-a-gun), get yourself referred to NJ. If you decide to go there, I can fill you in some things, but for me, it was a life saver.

Good luck, and let us know how you're doing.

Nana Monster
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 968
   Posted 8/30/2009 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone tried Essiac Tea to cure and heal the acid reflux?  I know some people who have used it and
swear by it. It's an old Indian recipe of burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm and indian (turkey) rhubarb.
Renee Cassie has patented this recipe. Comes in tea, tincture or capsule.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 8/30/2009 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Paja,
I'm another one who had severe breathing issues due to GERD. My asthma doc says I'm the only patient he's every hospitalized where GERD was the cause of the uncontrolled asthma. My family doc doubts that...thinks other patients were probably GERD sufferers without being diagnosed.

Anyway, after about 4 years of messing around with hospitalizations, tests, 2 GI docs--one very unsupportive and negative towards the Nissen Fundoplication surgery, the other more positive, but not feeling I was a good candidate, I finally had the surgery. I wish I'd had it years ago. What a difference! My asthma is 100% better, and I've decreased my medications significantly. Unlike Janice, I'm still taking some inhaled medications because I also have allergic asthma. It's totally under control, now--unlike when I was having GERD, before the surgery.

Whether or not your symptoms are resolved by it, it's smart to quit smoking, and stop chocolate and coffee. If you're not finding relief, consider getting a second opinion. I had to switch GI docs, and have a family doc and asthma doc who persisted in advocating for me and encouraging me to have the surgery. I dragged my feet partially because of my first GI doc, and partly because of things I'd read on the internet.

Oh well, better late than never.
Good luck getting to the bottom of your problems.
Keep posting your experiences and questions here, and we'll do the best we can to help you out.
Take care,

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/30/2009 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for the input.
Tomorrow I have an apt with the pulmonary doctor. hopefully I'll be able to at least rule some things out.
I had an initial apt the other day with a new GI doc, and when I mentioned my problems breathing, she said that that didn't make sense because the acid comes from below, and when you breath in, your getting air from the outside. confused

In alot of ways, I really wanted to get ahead of the doctors, and I think you all are helping me do that, but this has been going on too long now, and I feel like a solution is going to be difficult to come by, partly based on what many of you have said, and partly because of my experience so far with doctors.

The allergist put me on an atrovent inhaler for the "Chronic Bronchitis",
Is atrovent helpful for people with these kind of symptoms, when they are actually caused by gerd and not copd?
LdyJane said...
I had periodic problems with increasingly difficult time breathing, at times, I remember, I couldn't walk 10 feet without being completely spent. I was always losing my voice, always clearing my throat..on and on and on.

All sounds very similar, except that I actually feel better when I'm up and walking around, then I do If I sit down for any length of time; sitting seems to make me worse.

dencha said...
Whether or not your symptoms are resolved by it, it's smart to quit smoking, and stop chocolate and coffee.
The smoking... oh yeah you are right, but as for the coffee and chocolate cry .... not an easy thing to do without rolleyes

Nana Monster said...
Has anyone tried Essiac Tea to cure and heal the acid reflux?
Where do you get the Tea? it sounds interesting and could be worth a try

Post Edited (Paja) : 8/30/2009 10:25:55 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 8/31/2009 12:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Paja welcome to the board. The people here are the best crowd I have ever had the pleasure of meeting on the internet. Verry helpfull and experienced crew.

I had all your symptems as well as bloating which made it difficult to breath at times. I didnt have symptems of asthma like others have. I felt restrictive pressure around my lungs. I atributed that to the Hiatal Hernia and my inflamed esophogus.

I learned a lot from the people on this forum and when I saw the surgeon I was prepared with questions and concerns. Its funny but some times you have to suggest to the doctors how to do their job because every one is different and some times they forget that. Push your doctors to find what is wrong. If one doctor is stumped and tries to cure your problem with just medication and its not working go find another doctor. They tried to treat my Hiatal Hernia and acid reflux with medication for 8 months untill I saw a suregeon who questioned why they would try to treat a physical problem with medication.

Dont give up and keep pushing forward.


Nana Monster
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 968
   Posted 8/31/2009 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
  I know you can order it online, just type in "essiac tea". My man's sister in law used the tea form and my man
used capsules. It cured both of them. My man has been off for over a year and just recently started burping
up acid again. When I take my next trip up to the herbal shop I'm going to get some. On the web-site it says
it also helps to fight cancer. Check it out.
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