Coughing is not a symptom you would normally associate with the condition acid reflux. When we think acid reflux it is the symptoms of heartburn and chest pains that come to mind. We also tend to associate coughing with other causes including the common cold or lung infections such as bronchitis. But the fact of the matter is acid reflux cough is a common and much overlooked symptom.
In fact acid reflux is considered to be one of the main causes of coughing only second to bronchitis and sinusitis.
Initially it can be quite hard to link the two together however, the following explanation will help to clear up a few things for you:
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to give its official medical description, occurs when stomach acid floats up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the food pipe that extends from the back of your throat and the entrance to your stomach.
The lining of the esophagus is fragile and the erosive power of your stomach acid can cause irritation and inflammation. When this happens a number of symptoms can occur as follows:
- heart burn – the burning sensation in and around your chest area
- sore throat
- difficulty swallowing
- trapped air
- chronic coughing
A number of these symptoms including acid reflux cough can intensify during the night while sleeping. As you are lying in a horizontal position it is easier for the stomach acid to leak into your esophagus.
What Exactly Causes Acid Reflux Cough?
There are number of ways this can happen. As the acid flows up into the esophagus a spasm reaction occurs as the walls of the esophagus tighten and contract. It is this spasm reaction that can cause coughing and a shortness of breath. Coughing can also occur when the stomach acid irritates the nerve endings that are connected to the lungs. For this reason acid reflux disease can cause chronic coughing without it ever affecting the throat.
However, this does not mean your stomach acid will never enter your throat because it can. If the acid reaches your throat this area can become inflamed and begin to swell. This can cause a sore throat and also increase the occurrence of coughing.
In more serious cases your stomach acid can leak into your lungs. This can happen when the acid passes your larynx
(voice box) causing coughing and even choking. In medical terms this occurrence is often referred to as an aspiration. If this happens on a regular basis it can lead to more serious health complications. One complication is called fibrosis which results in the lining of the lungs becoming scarred. Other complications can include lung infections such as pneumonia.
Why Acid Reflux Cough Prevention Drugs Aren’t Effective
As pointed out earlier a cough can be linked to a number of causes and not just acid reflux. So, how do you find out if your cough is related to acid reflux or not? If your cough is caused by a cold, allergies or an infection then, a cough syrup should relieve the symptoms. If the cough is related to acid reflux the cough syrup will have no effect.
If the cough is related to acid reflux then the treatment needs to focus on the cause (acid reflux) and not the symptom (the cough).The most common option people use are a variety of medications to alleviate their symptoms. These medications include antacids(Pepto-Bismol) and H2 blockers (Zantac). These work by either reducing or neutralizing the acid in your stomach.
However, there is a big problem with these two types of medications. Actually, reducing the amount of acid can lead to even more digestive health issues. With less acid in the stomach food can remain undigested in the gut. This can be the starting point to a whole host of problems including asthma, food allergies, dermatitis, eczema, diabetes and even stomach cancer.
Undigested food irritates the lining of the stomach and by doing so - actually stimulates the production of more acid. This is simply the result of the digestive system trying to re-balance after the effects of drugs and medications.
How To Treat Your Acid Reflux Cough For A Better Nights Sleep
Rather than take pills it is far better to take a natural approach to alleviating the problem of acid reflux cough. This may mean a few lifestyle changes that will involve adapting your diet gradually, taking more exercise and ensuring you are feeding your body with the right balance of nutrients and vitamins.
With acid reflux there are certain foods that you need to avoid. These include fried foods, chocolate, alcohol,
citrus fruits, spicy foods and foods that are processed. You want to replace these with a diet that is high in natural fibre. Fruit, vegetables, lentils and beans are great sources of fibre.
Prebiotics and phenolic compounds are health promoting substances that help toimprove your digestive health. Prebiotics enable the probiotics (friendly bacteria) to grow and thrive within your gut and the phenolic compounds ensure the bad bacteria are kept under control.
While enabling the good guys to thrive and keeping the bad guys in check, prebiotics and phenolic compounds create the optimal environment for a healthy and balanced digestion.
These health promoting substances are found within the skin of the kiwifruit. The only problem with the skin is the taste is not taste very appetizing. However, there is a quality supplement made from 100% New Zealand kiwifruit that contains all the health promoting qualities of the skin plus its digestive enzymes that are vital for efficient digestion.
The supplement is called MX Kiwi Biotic and is produced by the New Zealand based company MaxaLife. This premium product also contains high levels of soluble fibre which is essential for rapid excretion of waste and improved bowel movements.
Using MX Kiwi Biotic in conjunction with a new healthy lifestyle is a natural way to help you alleviate your acid reflux cough. Why not check out MX Kiwi Biotic today and start to get your life back.