Acid reflux is experienced by most of the adults. While most people experience reflux occasionally, some people got affected very seriously. They may develop acid reflux disease or GERD. We call the acid reflux a disease, when the reflux is happen more than twice a week. Most of the GERD effected people have daily symptoms, which leads to more serious complications over time. The typical symptoms of GERD is heartburn and burning sensations in the lower chest and middle abdomen. In some cases, do you know? Some adults will not experience heartburn, but they may experience more severe and instating problems like chronic cough (i.e. cough doesn’t improve within eight weeks), difficulty swallowing and asthma. The cough cause by acid reflux is called acid reflux cough.
Understanding Esophagus and Stomach Mechanism
Our stomach and mouth is connected by a tube (esophagus). When we eat anything, our food passes down to the stomach by the esophagus. Then the stomach lining cells produce acid and other fluids which digest food. Stomach cells also produce mucus (a thick liquid), which protect the cells from acid. The lining cells of the esophagus is different form stomach cells and less protective from acid.
There is a ring shape muscle or a sphincter at the junction between the esophagus and stomach. That is called lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES works as a valve. It relax when we take food to allow food down and then tighten up. That helps the food to remain in the stomach. If the LES is closed food or acid cannot leak up to the esophagus. When the LES in not closed properly, you complaint about acid reflux or heartburn. Some people show the symptoms of acid reflux cough.
Acid Reflux Cough Is It Common With GERD?
Patient who have chronic acid reflux cough more often don’t tell about other typical symptoms (e.g. heartburn). GERD is most common causes of persistent cough. Researchers estimate that around 25 percent or more of all chronic cough is caused by acid reflux disease. Chronic cough is cause by acid reflux most of the time, in some rare cases it causes by non-acidic stomach contents.
The mechanism is not completely clear why coughing happen, but likely the esophagus and trachea (windpipe) are from same embryonic structure and are linked through a common neuronal reflex arc. That means, an irritation in your esophagus can cause a reflex through your nervous system and your brain will perceive this as an irritation in the trachea. As a result, it will cause dry, nagging cough. According to researchers, another theory is very small amounts of refluxes are aspirated from esophagus direct to trachea and causes irritation of stomach acid.
Acid Reflux Cough and Its Symptoms
The most common way to detect if the cough is because of GERD or not. Treat your GERD and see the improvement of the coughing. If the cough is not cured then it is not GERD. You need other treatment. Here is some detection process of chronic cough caused by GERD:
- Dry cough. Most of the time nonproductive and mostly occurs during the day. When you are in upright position.
- If you don’t have other complications such as asthma or post nasal drip or when an X-ray of the chest found normal.
- If you don’t smoke or taking medications in which cough is a side effect. Still dry cough and it may a side effect of GERD.
Acid Reflux Cough at Night
Coughing can happen at night due to acid reflux, because you are lying down at night. Acid reflux cough can ruin your night sleep. To reduce your night time coughing life up your head. Use a large pillow, which will life your head at least 6 inch. Also go to bed after 3.4 hours of eating.
Acid Reflux Cough and Sore Throat
You may feel sore throat or hoarseness due to acid reflux. Know foods that triggers your acid reflux cough. Maintain some life style change and food habits to get rid of acid reflux cough.
- Eating large meals. Try small and frequent eating.
- Stop eating quickly.
- Chew food thoroughly before eating.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Avoid fatty foods.
- Deep fried foods.
- Citrus fruits and their juice (e.g. orange juice).
- Stop smoking.
- Stop alcohol. Especially after evening.
- Caffeine drinks (e.g. tea, coffee). Green or herbal tea is not risk factor. Moreover, they are healthy.
- Spicy foods.
Acid reflux cough Treatment
Rare symptoms like cough make GERD more difficult to diagnosis and often misleading. Chorionic coughing due to reflux is treated with antacids at the beginning. This is because chronic cough can be happen due to many reason. Often the GERD is not detected by the non-invasive radiologic test (e.g. Barium swallow). This is the most common test used for GERD, patients who don’t show typical symptoms.
To treat acid reflux cough patients are suggested to go on proton pump inhibitors (PPLs) for a period of three months to see the disease condition improved or not. Proton pump inhibitors (PPLs) process include medications like omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec and prevacid etc.
The best test suggested by doctors for GERD patients with chronic cough is the 24 hours pH probe. This test monitors esophageal pH. Another test is called Mll-pH and able to detect non acidic reflux as well. However, this two tests are more expensive. And not as available as barium swallow.
Acid reflux cough Home Remedies
Suppose you have wake up at the middle of the night due to chronic cough. Or you are doing a work no time to go to the doctor right now. Then our home remedies are suggested only for you to get rid of acid reflux cough.
Garlic: Some says raw garlic can trigger your acid reflux, but we say it varies from person to person. Your stomach may not react to the same food what I consume. In general, Garlic is very useful to treat every problem related to digestive system and flu. Its healing enzymes can help you to get rid of a bad cough. Make a garlic cough syrup and take it. How to prepare? Chew up few garlic cloves. And then add honey to it. Keep it in an air tight in your refrigerator for 24 hours and as long as you marinate you will get better results. Try it at the morning when the acid reflux condition is worse. Even throughout the day with tea spoon. You can also add some hot water with it and drink like tea.
Ginger root: Ginger root is also very helpful in case of acid reflux cough relief and best natural remedy for acid reflux. Make a ginger root tea or you can take it raw. You can buy whole ginger root, dry ginger or ginger powder from market. Best use is to take whole ginger root or make ginger slice and add it to herbal tea.
Turmeric: Most people suggest to take turmeric with warm milk to get rid of acid reflux cough and any other cough such as caused by flue.
Basil Leaves: Also make an herbal tea with the basil leaves. Add some honey and also you can add ginger to it.