Can Acid Reflux Trigger an Asthma Attack?
The short answer to the question posed immediately above is that no one is sure. Many health experts, however, have observed that acid reflux, and particularly severe cases of acid reflux, can exacerbate already existing asthma symptoms. In addition, it has been observed that many medicines that are designed to alleviate acid reflux symptoms, such as the proton pump inhibitors Prilosec and Nexium, for example, can reduce the severity of asthma-specific symptoms. When taken together, these two observations strongly suggest, but do not definitively prove, that there is a credible connection between acid reflux disease and asthma.
Any conclusive proof that acid reflux can induce or exacerbate asthma symptoms will have to be demonstrated through further scientific research, which, due largely to the frequent incidence of acid reflux disease and asthma in humans, is being conducted by many different research groups throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. In one particularly relevant and promising finding, one scientific team has shown in mice that presence of even a small amount of acid in the esophagus is sufficient to trigger changes in the immune system. This is interesting because it has long been known that events that occur in the immune system give rise to asthma attacks.
This article is only meant to provide some basic background information regarding acid reflux disease and asthma, and, in particular, it is only meant to provide basic information regarding the question "Can acid reflux trigger an asthma attack". This article in no way is meant to replace the good advice of your doctor.