Very often, people who suffer from a persistent cough contribute it to chest ailments due to smoking, overweight or a cold. Recent studies have shown that these people may have acid reflux/heartburn or GERD (gastroesophogal reflux disease). So, how do we know that if you have this sort of symptons relating to acid reflux? Or is it something else?
A few years ago, researchers assumed that coughing and asthmatic wheezing induced acid reflux. In fact, studies recently clearly showed that while in some small instances, coughing can cause a bout of acid reflux, it is indeed the reverse that is true. The opening up of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter to be more precise, and the resultant stomach acids rising in the throat can and does contribute to asthmatic wheezing and coughing.
One study clearly indicate the correlation between coughing and acid reflux is not coincidental. Even the previously held assumption regarding the reversal cause and effect is not true either. Hence, in this study, researchers monitored gastrointestinal activity and coughing in order to ascertain which came first. Over half of all the respondents either coughed or wheezed in that time frame, and the researchers measured the gastrointestinal activity at the same time as the coughing or wheezing bout.
More than half of the cases, the acid reflux episode occurred prior to the coughing, leading the researchers to conclude that previous assumptions regarding acid reflux were not true, and that the connection between asthma and acid reflux were stronger than had been previously believed. As an asthmatic patient, I can share with you that is a true fact. I did not have heartburn or acid reflux until my asthma got worse and resulting asthma cough started. Soon, I knew that I got heartburn acid reflux symptoms like burping, bloated stomach with gas and not able to take my spicy foods. However, I overcame all these by simply changing my diet and started my own holistic approach to resolve it. Todate, I do not have any heartburn acid reflux symptoms and my asthma condition is under control.
Two years ago, there was an article that makes similar claims based on the scientific research i.e. GERD is cited as being the second highest in terms of causal factors for chronic coughing. The study indicated that between 40-70% of all cases of chronic coughing, GERD was the major causal factor.
These findings resulted in their recommendation that those who suffer from chronic cough would benefit from seeking natural remedies for GERD in addition to looking into other factors. Particularly, they suggest that in cases in which the reasons for the coughing are not ever-present, or remain a mystery to you or your physician.
So, what shall we do? Well, we just have to fix it. We need to find the root of the cause and resolve it. For heartburn acid reflux or GERD sufferers or those who think they may have GERD, adopting an acid reflux friendly diet may just put an end to the persistent coughing.
Or, you may just consult your doctor for advice.