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Asthma, GERD and Antacids
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Asthma, GERD and Antacids

I'm 24 years old. I have been athletic all my life, competing in high school and college athletics. I grew up with asthma, but was able to keep it under control.

About 3 years ago, a new wrinkle developed in my asthma, and rescue inhalers no longer gave me relief from symptoms. The symptoms of my asthma, which had always been a wheeze or some tightness, evolved into a constant need to cough and a feeling that I could never fill my lungs sufficiently. I tried everything. However, every time I was given a spirometry test or a peak flow, I was told that my lung functions were fine. I had tests on my vocal chords--they turned out fine. I had an echocardiogram--that turned out fine.

Over the last year, I discovered some relief on my own after doing some research online. I found that antacids gave me some relief from the asthma-like symptoms i experienced (which are always brought on by exercise, but sometimes come out of nowhere also). I went to see a doctor again and gave her this information. I had a Barium Swallow, and reflux was found, but no hiatal hernia was found. She prescribed Prevacid, which I have been taking for several months now, and said I should take a Pepcid AC before exercise.

This method has been working much better than anything tried before. But I feel like I am completely dependent on the Pepcid for relief (as it gives me far more relief than my rescue inhaler). I'm not sure how much is too much of the Pepcid. Also, while it makes the symptoms better, they are not COMPLETELY gone. Are there any ways to get rid of this condition, so I can return to a normal lifestyle without constantly worrying about difficulty breathing?

I am taking 100/50 Advair once daily (believe me, every doc I've seen has told me to take a higher dose, and every time it does nothing), 10mg Singulair once a day, the Prevacid 30mg twice a day, and Pepcid as I need it. The symptoms become worse after meals or exercise. They are worse in the early morning or late night.

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242588_tn?1224275300
Greetings.  There is a strong association between asthma and the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  The effective treatment of GERD can often result in more effective asthma control.  While cough can be a symptom of asthma, your description of your illness really does suggest that GERD is the common factor for both your asthma and directly for your cough.  The response of your cough to Prevacid® (lansoprazole) provides support for your interpretation of cause and effect, but as you imply, you cannot be expected to take Prevacid® (lansoprazole) or similar medicines all your life.

One approach to refractory GERD is surgery – the Nissan Plication – but before even considering surgery, you should consult with a gastroenterologist with a special interest in esophageal disease and esophageal motility.  There are a number of non-surgical approaches and you would do well to engage a GI specialist in a discussion of these, before you resort to surgery or more medicine.

Good luck.
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
very similar to you, except older, also athletic and have recently begun to develop these asthma symptoms, also have small hiatal hernia, could be culprit.  advair very minor relief for me, also take antacids often to attempt basing out some of the foods i eat.  currently staying away from coffee(love it) and going with herbal tea (nasty) avoiding sugars and trying more betacarotene, vit a and e, omega 3's and some others i read about on internet.(apples, oranges, bananas, almonds,fish oil etc.)  have same symtoms (symptoms) of not able to fill lungs with air just as you described, also clear throat often, hoping diet change will bring relief as nothing else seems to work. I Take nexium for acid and also take singular every day with maybe some minor relief there. Peak flow tests also normal for me??? Wish I could tell you more but also searching for answers . good luck and keep the faith!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am very pleased to hear of the success some of you have had with Prevacid in the use of asthma control. I have an 11-year-old son who was diagnosed with asthma and it is "out of control" we could never find a reason for the onset of an attack and finally we consulted a pulmonary specialist. The Dr. prescribed prevacid and I am hoping that he has the success you have had.  I only wish we had known this sooner.
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