Phlegm and GERD?

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supa_pokute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 1/5/2013 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
 
I have posted on the Asthma forums in the past, but wanted to ask something about GERD:
 
For the last four years in a row, I cough up yellow phlegm out of my system through out the day. It never seems to go away and for most of that time my doctors kept telling me it was allergies even though I have stayed away from everything that I've been allergic to. I do have asthma and the other major thing I have is GERD/acid reflux. I have seen a gastro specialist and have been told I have GERD, as the acid frequently comes up to my mouth since I have to swallow down food again sometimes. I have tried changing my diet and while that does help it doesn't eleminate the acid reflux issues.
 
Anyway onto the question:
is it possible to get yellow phlegm from GERD issues? Has anyone ever heard of this? I do have post nasal drip but I get confusing answers because I've been told by the Gastro doctor that you can't, yet my pulmanary doctor and regular physician thinks you can. I'm more concerned if I have chronic bronchitis but everyone seems to think I don't since I never smoked and my tests come out fine, but I did read one of the signs can be yellow phlegm when you arent sick.
 
Thanks for any feedback, I would really appreciate it! I'm 27 right now and it's so frustrating trying to stop the issues with the phlegm and acid reflux.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/6/2013 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
hi supa-pokute,
Welcome to the GERD corner of Healing Well!  You're DEFINITELY in the right place.  Like you, I have asthma and allergies, and like you I was told by my allergy/asthma doc that reflux can cause the problems I had and the GI doc said no.  The true answer is YES!
 
My asthma doc told me that a GI doc who understands how reflux can create havoc with the upper respiratory system is rare.  I suffered with coughing up huge amounts of mucous from my lungs for years, and all that time my GI doc was telling me that it couldn't be caused by my reflux (when tested it was low), while my asthma/allergy and PCP were certain that it was.
 
I was using my nebulizer daily and taking high doses of steroid inhaler, and was coughing out gobs of mucous all the time.  Finally, my PCP got fed up and referred me to a surgeon himself.  The surgeon did some tests and an endoscopy and told me I'd be a good candidate for surgery.  (He respected my PCP and trusted his judgement).  I went back to my GI doc (mind you, this was after struggling for about 5 years and seeing 2 GI docs) and he finally listened to my PCP and referred me to a surgeon. Even then he wasn't thrilled with the idea.  The rest is history.
 
After surgery and about two and a half months recovery, my lungs cleared and they've been great ever since.  Sure, I have allergies/asthma and I can get into some problems during allergy season, but it's controllable.  Finally, I have healthy lungs! 
 
From your description it sounds as if your reflux is much worse than mine, and it amazes me that your GI doc doesn't realize how much reflux can cause havoc to the lungs.  An asthmatic is even more reactive to reflux, which is actually a good thing I think...it gets you to react sooner and avoid permanent lung damage.
 
I was very fearful of surgery.  If I'd been insistent and pushed for it, I'm pretty sure my GI doc would have gone along.  He was "protecting" me, I'm sure.  GI docs  worry that the surgery won't stop whatever symptoms we're having, so they drag their feet. My PCP was so frustrated as he watched my lungs deteriorate, and watched me coughing constantly. Looking back, I just wish I'd had the surgery sooner and had been more assertive myself. 
 
Here's the link to my early recovery journal, so you can get an idea as to what the recovery is like.  Early recovery is the toughest part. 
 
Stick around and ask as many questions as you think of.  We're here to offer support and whatever info we can!
Good luck!
Denise
 
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

supa_pokute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 1/6/2013 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info! I am glad you made a recovery!
 
Yea it really puzzles me what they are thinking sometimes. Like I mentioned before, I know my acid reflux is bad beacuse it does come up to my throat often, regardless of what I eat (I've tried a low acidic diet, only eaten fresh oatmeal, bananas, things that shouldn't cause it, but it still happens). So I did have the PH acid study done where they put the tube intot he stomach for 24 hours. I followed all the instructions and could feel it was really bad because they had me stop taking omeperazole for the test. When it was over and I got my results back, my gastro specialist said it looked normal and I had 'very little acid coming up'. >_<
 
However I was told I can be a canidate for the Nissan surgery since my upper edno looked good as well. I have been contimplating it for the last yaer, but nobody could tell me if this phlegm and my breathing would get better because of it. I'm just hoping by the time I figure this out my lungs aren't permantly damaged by acid reflux / broncitis or whatever it may be.
 
 

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/6/2013 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   
What does your asthma doc say?  Can he/she intervene?  Believe me, if you're struggling with constant mucous and coughing, the surgery would be a lifesaver.  There's never any guarantee, but even if the chances of improving are 70-80%, those are mighty good odds.  I figured I had to rule reflux out with the surgery...I didn't really have any other options...
Good luck!
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

supa_pokute
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 1/8/2013 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
My pulm doc says he believes it's just allergies, but like I said I've gone out of my way to live in a clean apartment by myself, no cats dogs and a dust free enviorment. He wants me to try singulair twice a day, although i have told him that I've already used it for 5 years prior and it never did anything.

It's just frustrating because it feels like I'm getting worse and worse and nobody seems to take it seriously. I honestly would travel to another part of the country if someone recommended a decent specialist to me that could help me. >_<

Horse Girl
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/17/2018 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Did you ever find out what was going on? I have had morning yellow phlegm for what seems to be 2 Years now. I also clear my throat often through out the day as well as it can interrupt my voice. I did however smoke for 9 years, but have quit for 5 months now. My gp doesn’t believe it’s chronic bronchitis as I’m only 30 and my pulmonary function test was normal. She ordered an allergy test. Haven’t heard back so assuming no news is good news. I am now waiting in an ENT appointment. Hopefully that can enlighten me, I just always read if your phlegm is yellow it’s either viral, bacterial or it’s chrinic bronchitis sad

SharonZ
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1367
   Posted 1/18/2018 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Horse Girl:

You are responding to a post that is 5 years old, and the OP hasn't been on the Forums in a few years. You might want to start your own topic, as you may get more responses.
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