Posted 1/31/2014 3:20 PM (GMT -6)
Sorry to hear your asthma is kicking up! As a fellow asthmatic, I know how hard that is. You said you were tested for GERD...what tests did you have, and what were the results?
I have always had the experience that when my stomach is bothering me, I get increased reflux, and my asthma kicks up. My GI doc did 24hr PH monitor on me and got a score/DeMeester score of 4, and he told me with certainty that my reflux was not causing my asthma to be worse.
That was certainly not my experience. My PCP and asthma docs were certain it was. I just give you that information because it is likely similar to your experience...the test score did not demonstrate what was really going on.
My asthma doc says that most GI docs have no idea how a very little amount of reflux can dramatically affect the lungs. Eventually, at the constant insistence of my PCP who was trying to keep me breathing, I had additional tests, and got a DeMeester score of just over 14. 14 is considered the top of the "normal" range.
After constant prodding from my PCP, the GI doc FINALLY sent me to a surgeon, and three weeks later I had the Nissen fundoplication surgery. After about 2-3 months, my lungs healed and I'm doing great. I'm 5 years post op, and while I do get allergic issues/sinus issues that can affect my lungs, it's NOTHING like it was prior to surgery.
I'm not saying you need surgery. I suffered with HORRIBLE out of control lung issues--using my nebulizer several times a day/taking high doses of steroid inhalers and sometimes Prednosone, for about 6 years. What you're experiencing is much less severe. Still, don't assume that if the GI doc assures you that you're not having reflux, it doesn't mean you're not having enough reflux to cause your increased asthma symptoms.
As MMM says, be sure to take your PPI consistently. For many years (probably 15 or so) the PPIs did the trick, and my lungs were basically fine, as long as I didn't take an antibiotic and get my stomach percolating acid, which always, always, always, caused my asthma to go off the charts. Once I was even hospitalized because of it.
I have a very sensitive stomach, and LOVE Carafate suspension. It has been a lifesaver...especially when I have a flare/gastritis, and before my surgery, it helped greatly with esophagitis pain. While anyone can be allergic to anything, I've never had a moment of trouble with it. I still keep it on hand at all times, because my stomach is reactive, and every so often it starts complaining. The Carafate really protects it and makes it feel better.
I don't know if this response helps at all, but if you have any questions, ask away!