You wouldn't think there'd be a link between the stomach and asthma, yet even as far back as the 1970s asthma experts noticed a connection between asthma and gastrointestinal reflux (GERD).
What is GERD?
GERD is a condition where acid from the stomach works its way back up the esophagus. If this condition is left untreated long term, it can eventually lead to esophageal ulcers, esophageal cancer and even lung damage that can cause asthma.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ( AAAAI.org ), a sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus remains closed while food is being digested to prevent backwash. "However, sometimes it relaxes on the job, allowing stomach acid to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus."
Studies, the AAAAI notes, show that as many as 70 percent of asthmatics have GERD, the same percentage of asthmatics estimated to have allergies. This is a significant percentage, especially when...
Children with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are at
risk for developing dental problems. During a reflux episode, stomach acid may
enter the esophagus and mouth (also called backwashing) exposing the teeth to
stomach acid. Over time, the stomach
acid can wear out the outer layer of the tooth (called enamel), especially in
the back of the mouth and the inside surfaces near the tongue.
Dental Problems associated with GERD include:
Tooth Enamel Erosion: When the protective layer of enamel is
worn away, the teeth may be sensitive to foods and temperatures. Sensitivity
can make tooth brushing uncomfortable.
Cavities: The dentist may notice a pattern of cavities on
the back teeth (molars) and inside surfaces of the teeth in the back of the
Bad Breath: The backwashing of acid and stomach contents
into the mouth (also called regurgitation) may lead to bad breath.
My daughter had a new
cavity at each dental check up during the years when her reflux was at its
Heartburn, also known as gastric reflux or indigestion, happens after you eat and food is in your stomach. In the stomach, food is broken down by acids. Usually these acids stay in your stomach because a valve blocks the acids from going up the esophagus. Sometimes this valve doesn't work properly because the muscle weakens. When this happens, gastric acids can travel up the esophagus and cause a burning sensation -- this is heartburn. When these acids travel up into the mouth and then down into the lungs, they can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Symptoms of heartburn and GERD include:
irritating burning sensation in the chest or throat
middle back pain
bitter, acidic taste in the mouth
an increase in the burning sensation while lying down
Breast cancer treatments that can cause heartburn and GERD are:
Tykerb (chemical name: lapatinib), a targeted therapy
Bisphosphonates, medicines that are used to protect bones during breast cancer treat...
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