Gastric acid reflux (GERD) is a condition when acidic fluid in the stomach moves up into the esophagus. People who experience this disease often feel a sensation of heat in the chest and an unbearable feeling of heartburn. But too often coughing can also be a sign of this health disorder. How could that be? Here's the explanation.
Often coughing, it could be because stomach acid rises
Reporting from Medical News Today, people who suddenly become often coughed can be caused by soaring stomach acid levels. This condition is also called chronic cough, which is a cough that lasts for eight weeks or more and does not heal.
According to researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as many as 25 percent of the incidence of chronic cough is caused by GERD. In fact, as many as 75 percent of them do not experience symptoms of stomach acid at all. This is why, not many realize that a cough that does not heal turns out to be due to an increase in stomach acid.
However, not all cases of chronic cough are caused by stomach acid. Because, chronic cough can also be caused by other health problems, such as asthma, respiratory infections (ARI), acute bronchitis, or smoking habits.
So why do I often cough when stomach acid rises?
Until now it is not known exactly why a person coughs more when his stomach acid rises. However, this is thought to be due to two causes, namely the form of reflex when stomach acid rises into the esophagus and the condition of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a form of body reflex when stomach acid falls into the voice box or throat. When stomach acid rises, the body releases a specific response to protect the throat from rising stomach acid. That is why you cough when stomach acid rises.
LPR is also called silent reflux or hidden gastric acid reflux. The reason is that the symptoms are similar to those of stomach acid, but tend not to cause heartburn or heartburn and throat.
When stomach acid succeeds in touching the vocal cords and throat, it triggers a number of symptoms such as coughing more, hoarseness, itchy throat and stiffness like someone is stuck. No matter how small the amount of stomach acid that rises into the esophagus, the lining of the throat and your voice box can be easily irritated. Therefore, you need to be aware of the symptoms.
How do I know if cough symptoms are caused by an increase in stomach acid?
Now, to ascertain whether your chronic cough is caused by an increase in stomach acid or not, you can see it from some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Frequent coughing at night or after eating
- Often cough when lying down
- Cough constantly even if you don't smoke or take certain medications
- Cough without asthma or postnasal drip (excess mucus in the nose and throat)
- Frequently cough even though the chest x-ray results show normal results
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, immediately consult a doctor. The doctor may perform a number of examinations, including the upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or monitoring of the esophageal pH to assess the acidity.
In addition, doctors may prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) which are often used as gastric acid drugs. If the symptoms of coughing tend to disappear after using the drug, then the chances of the cough you experience is caused by GERD or stomach acid disease.
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