GERD Causes and Complications: Esophagitis, Asthma, Cancer, and More

GERD Causes and Complications: Esophagitis, Asthma, Cancer, and More

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acids back up into the esophagus, is increasingly diagnosed in children. One study based on insurance-claims data found that GERD diagnoses in infants more than tripled between 2000 and 2005 (from 3.4 to 12.3 percent). In addition to heartburn and chest pain, GERD has been implicated in cough, wheezing and pneumonia.

GERD symptoms also may be related to eating specific foods or, rarely, even to food allergies. Some experts believe that asthma also may trigger GERD, when breathing difficulties or certain asthma medications cause the esophageal sphincter muscle to relax and allow stomach contents to reflux – completing a troublesome, potential vicious cycle. The most common silent reflux symptoms are hoarseness, chronic cough, throat-clearing, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, snoring, sleep apnea, bad breath, tooth decay, asthma, and COPD. Unfortunately, your doctor is probably unaware that these symptoms may be caused by silent reflux and that it could be controlled with the proper diagnosis and treatment. Often overlooked and misdiagnosed, silent reflux affects over 50 million Americans.

However, the consequence of mutation in the CFTR gene is still not fully understood at a molecular level. The gene codes for a transporter of chloride ions yet the main physiological consequence is an inability to move sodium with the end result of abnormally thickened secretions. CF is a multi-system disease and, since the majority of patients present with respiratory complications, it was naturally assumed that the abnormalities in the mucus within the respiratory tract caused this component of the disease. However, a number of lines of evidence point to this being incorrect.

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A person’s breath is likely to return to normal once their anxiety eases. GERD can also lead to chronic hoarseness, sleep disturbance, laryngitis, halitosis (bad breath), growths on the vocal cords, a feeling as if there is a lump in your throat, earaches, and dental problems. Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus, is a complication of GERD. If GERD is left untreated, esophagitis can cause bleeding, ulcers, and chronic scarring.

Almost 10% of adults experience GERD weekly or daily. Not just adults, even infants and children can have GERD. [Figure 1] demonstrates the gastric acid reflux into the esophagus and trachea. “We never realized his before.

However, most children who have reflux are healthy and do not have these problems related to the reflux. Most infants do not require any special treatment and usually outgrow reflux by one year of age, but in some children it can last longer. Acid reflux is one of those medical concerns that may not be apparent for some. For them, acid reflux may not result in the usual burning sensations it causes in the stomach, chest, or throat, or the sour or acidic taste in the mouth after a meal. For them, the only indication they have acid reflux may be a problem with swallowing, a dry nagging cough, the development of asthma, or the repeated loss of one’s voice (laryngitis).

GER can likely induce inflammation in the lungs and seems to have a different inflammatory profile than asthma. Measurements of bile acids in BAL samples consistently show that elevated levels of bile acids are a bad prognostic factor for rejection rates in LTx patients, development of bronchiolitis obliterans, and survival [26, 32]. There seems even to be a clear correlation between the time to onset of bronchiolitis obliterans and levels of bile acids in BAL. In a study by Blondeau et al., nocturnal GER was found to be a stronger risk factor for bile acid aspiration in LTx patients than GER in general, suggesting that nocturnal GER represents a worse form of GER [26, 28-32]. A study on interleukins (IL) and 8-isoprostane in the sputum of GER and asthma patients showed that IL-4 is similarly elevated in asthmatics, with or without GER.

Everyday Health Digestive Health GERD

Cancer-associated direct or indirect vagal neuropathy diminishes control of the LOS. Alternatively reflux may be precipitated by the anxiety associated with the diagnosis. It is clear that not all respiratory patients suffer from reflux disease. Thus, no one would deny the well-established condition of childhood atopic asthma associated with allergy to cats, dogs and house dust mites, and due to a familial hyper-responsiveness to aero allergens.

This creates a tight band. This strengthens the LES and greatly decreases reflux. GERD is a more serious and long-lasting form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Like many sleep disorders, acid reflux may be a hidden problem. What makes it even more complicated is its overall prevalence.

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In both of these cases, tube feedings may be suggested. Formula or breastmilk is given through a tube that is placed in the nose. This is called a nasogastric tube. The tube is then put through the food pipe or esophagus, and into the stomach.

Symptoms of esophagitis include pain when swallowing and a burning sensation in the esophagus. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of esophageal cancer in conjunction with your acid reflux, talk to your gastroenterologist.

Another study found 8-isoprostane to be elevated in asthmatics, especially if they had comorbid GER, compared with healthy controls. This elevation was lowered significantly with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment among the asthmatics with GER, but not among the asthmatics without GER [12]. Two studies on pepsin in BAL samples from chronic cough patients showed conflicting results.

If breath and breathing plays a role in acid reflux risks and management, looking at ways to improve your breath can be life changing for acid reflux sufferers. While asthma is serious on its own, statistics show that if you have asthma, you are twice as likely to experience acid reflux compared to the general population. And research published in the Gastroenterology & Hepatology medical journal notes that up to 80% of people with asthma also have acid reflux. This may be because acid reflux irritates your throat and airways, which may trigger an asthma attack.

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