Acid Reflux, Gastric Ulcers and Asthma = help me please

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/24/2011 2:57 AM (GMT -6)   
  I have a long story I will try to make short. Smoked for 20 yrs quit then started chewing for 19 yrs now. My work recently changed cleaning  product that triggered allergy and asthma problem. 10 minutes in the building I lose my voice and start having breathing problems. Goes on for weeks after they change product. I go to 3 Drs. in a week, who all say lungs clear but no air moving. Appt w/ ENT she says the asthma set off by allergy causing vocal chords to spasm. Pulmonologist puts me in hospital for shortness of breath and the lump some of you talk about in your throat. Oh yes and the chest pain. Cardiac normal, xrays good they are stumped cuz' I still can't breath. Pulmonary function test slightly abnormal no volume to speak of. Diagnosis: Exposure to chemical triggered acid reflux at the top of my lungs because my vocal chords are spasming so bad it's like breathing through a stir stick when normal people breath through straw. Triggering my gastric ulcers from very stressful job over many years. Recommendation: Stop chewing cold turkey, take protonix 40 mg 1/2 hour before brkfst and supper and 300 mg of zantac at bedtime. ENT says my vocal chords and esophagus are sitting in the acid causing damage. PROBLEM= I have cut way down on chewing and am learning how to spit instead of swallow. Eating nothing brown as instructed, no pops, acids, spices. Today my stomach hurts so bad from gas pains I can't stand it. How do I eat any better, stop chewing (while supposed to be cutting out stress) I walk 1.5 miles a day am heavy but not obese. Please give me some ideas. I have read about the surgery which they said is the next step for me and am considering doing the 2 weeks clear liquid and then 2 weeks liquids OR doing nothing but protein. Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 12/24/2011 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
If you are considering dietary tactics I would have a look at Sunbeam's thread on the Koufman diet (low fat and low pH foods).

Acid reflux can cause a lot of problems to asthmatics - and in addition asthma medication can contribute to acid reflux. Long acting beta-agonists (like the long acting version of Ventolin e.g. serovent) can actually relax the LES, so it's hard to get on top of things with all the interactions going on.

Have you got the head of the bed raised?

Did anyone talk to you about Nicotene patches - wouldn't they help you taper down and withdraw, whilst not directly irritating your airway or stomach??

I'm sure others will be along with some suggestions too, but do have a read up on the Koufman diet.

New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 12/24/2011 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
One thing that stood out to me from reading your post is that both Protonix and Zantac have been prescribed at the same time. There are conflicting views on this, I'm sure, but usually H2 blockers are used FIRST, then PPIs as a pharmaceutical "last line of defense". One or the other, not both at the same time. There are some studies that show that the H2 blockers can inhibit the action of PPIs.

Are you not eating several hours before bed, and sleeping on an incline? You didn't mention any upper GI tests in your post. Seems like an EGD and pH study are in order, instead of just throwing meds at you without a clear diagnosis. Find out exactly what you're dealing with!


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 12/24/2011 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi emt57,
As a fellow asthma sufferer, I feel your pain.  As far as the meds go, I also was on that exact routine before my Nissen surgery, so I'd say you're on the right track there.
Keep in mind that if your lungs/upper GI have been irritated/burned, it will take a LONG time for them to heal.  I speak from experience here.  You'll need to be very, very patient, and follow a very strict diet as things heal. 
I was also hospitalized with my asthma that was exacerbated by reflux, so I understand.  I'm sure in the hospital they put you on high doses of IV steroids to try to calm things down.  Your stomach couldn't have tolerated that treatment right now.
Are your vocal chords spasming continually, or is it intermittent?  While I didn't have that problem, at one point my asthma doc thought I might, and gave me a document describing how to practice relaxed breathing for when those (non-existent in my case) spasms occured.
Here's a link with some information regarding the exercises.  You can search the net for more (Google "Vocal Chord Dysfunction Exercises")
It's extremely important that you follow your doctor's advice to the T, as the healing will take all that and more.  It will get better, but get'll take time.
Good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/24/2011 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey experts, I did get a large wedge to put under my mattress on my side of the bed. I am to eat by 6 and stay upright for 3 hours after that. The dr told me that he didn't want me to use patches, he wants me off nicotine immediately. I am cutting way back and will get my mind ready and be done by the 1st for sure. Pulmonology said that I may have to go to speech therapy to learn how to relax my chords. I am a singer so I do use some of those warmup exercises. They wanted my off work for a month to not talk, not be exposed etc. Not possible. In the middle of all this I start a new job on jan. 5th. They are using the zantac for gastric ulcers, they said it works better over night. The Protonix, they say is only useful taken before a meal. I will look at the webpages that you gave and try some of those. I am off all steroids now and only use my rescue inhaler when needed. Time will be my friend it sounds like. I appreciate you all taking the time to help. Sandy

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 12/24/2011 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandy --

I was a professional singer before GERD/LPR took my voice away...

Just a suggestion -- three hours is not really enough to empty your stomach before bed. Since I can't take PPIs because of side-effects, I take this to an extreme (10-12 hours). If you can do it, try 4-5 hours.

Also, the recommended 6" elevation isn't really enough, either. Don't know how much elevation you're at, but 12-14" measured from the top of the mattress to your neck is better.  I guess since you put the wedge under your mattress this measurement is a little different.  Measure from the top of the box spring to the bottom of the mattress at the head of the bed.


Post Edited (bcfromfl) : 12/24/2011 1:34:28 PM (GMT-7)

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