The connection between acid reflux and asthma symptoms is real but often overlooked.
Think about it. As an asthmatic, you’re constantly dealing with the effects of dust, pollution and other allergens making your symptoms worse. Now imagine what something as corrosive and irritating as stomach acid can do to your throat, esophagus and airways?
It doesn’t take much to make that happen. Eat a little bit too much, have a little bit of acid reflux, and boom—asthma symptoms. But you might not have made the connection between the two before.
And it’s an easy thing to overlook. The symptoms of acid reflux and asthma are very similar—pressure or tightness behind the breast plate, an irritated throat and shallow breathing. But when you actually have asthma, the symptoms are so much worse. But besides avoiding foods that trigger you, what can you do about it?
How Acid Reflux And Asthma Works
It all starts when our esophageal sphincter, a little valve that keeps food in our stomachs and out of our throats, gets weak. This can happen because of old age, smoking or even due to many asthma medications.
When this happens, food that would normally stay in the stomach creeps up into the esophagus along with the stomach acid that’s supposed to break it down. This is what causes that burning acidic sensation in the back of your throat or symptoms of asthma after a heavy meal.
Thankfully there is a growing body of research on this issue. In fact, many believe that one of the reasons the esophageal sphincter opens up like this is due to too little stomach acid. The esophageal sphincter needs a certain amount of acidity in the stomach to get the signal that it needs to stay closed.
What To Do About Acid Reflux And Asthma
I’m definitely someone who suffers from this connection between stomach acid and asthma, as I’ve mentioned before on my blog. What I’ve found that helps me tremendously I learned from Dr. Berg’s Youtube channel—apple cider vinegar.
Two to three times per day, before each meal, I have a glass of water mixed with 2 teaspoons of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar mixed with a splash of lemon juice. What this does is add a bit of acidity to my stomach with my meal so that it gets the message to stay closed and keep my food where it belongs. I also drink a glass of this any time of day I feel a bit of acid reflux coming on and it works wonders.
I recommend watching Dr. Berg’s video as he goes into more detail about exactly how stomach acid, or really too little stomach acid, affects our whole immune system including asthma.
Protip: Use a straw, or at least rinse your mouth with water after drinking so you don’t wear away the enamel of your teeth.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about the best diet for asthma (which should help with reflux, too), see here. I also explore diet and asthma in much more detail in Chapter 6 of my ebook.
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