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Chronic Kidney Disease and Asthma

written by: Lisa Mason • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 4/23/2011

Chronic kidney disease and asthma could be linked by stomach acid. Excessive stomach acid could lead to kidney problems and also could make existing asthma worse.

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    The relationships between the different systems in the body are often convoluted and confusing. It can be difficult for the average person to understand how some conditions are related. That is the case with chronic kidney disease and asthma. One condition that can cause both of these chronic conditions is thought to be stomach acid. Is it possible? Are the two linked by stomach acid? First we must understand what each of these conditions is and then we can determine the answer to that question.

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    Asthma

    Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. This can cause what are known as asthma attacks, where the inflamed airways into the lungs react to inhaled substances and the muscles around them tighten causing the airways to grow even smaller. These attacks and the symptoms of asthma such as a great deal of mucus and coughing, even wheezing and gasping for breath are what asthma sufferers face every day.

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    Chronic Kidney Disease

    Chronic kidney disease is a condition that as it worsens will decrease kidney function. Decreased kidney function will allow bodily wastes to reach dangerously high levels and cause other complications within the body including high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones and blood vessel disease. As kidney disease progresses dialysis or kidney transplant may be required in order to live.

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    Stomach Acid

    There is one main thing which has been shown to cause or trigger both chronic kidney disease and asthma, stomach acid. How is it that stomach acid can cause problems with the respiratory system and the body’s waste management when they are such separate parts of the body? Stomach acid is often splashed upward into the esophagus which can cause irritation and inflammation which in turn can cause asthma attacks because it affects the breathing process. Stomach acid also affects the kidneys by throwing off the balance of the good and bad bacteria in the body and creating acidic irritation of many of the digestive and waste organs of the body.

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    Conclusion

    While stomach acid can affect and trigger reactions from both of these conditions, it is not necessarily a cause of the two conditions. If you suffer from stomach acid reflux or GERD you may want to have your physician keep an eye on your kidney function and always be prepared for an asthma attack. Chronic kidney disease and asthma are not necessarily linked by stomach acid in that there are people who have one of these chronic conditions aggravated by stomach acid, while not suffering from the other condition. So just because your stomach acid triggers asthma attacks that doesn’t mean that you will have chronic kidney disease as well.