There's My "Eating Cough" Again
Both of my college-aged sons were home on Saturday, so we decided to take them out to breakfast. After breakfast, my middle son said, "There goes my eating cough again." I just stared at him for a moment, trying to take in what he said. Seeing the look on my face, he said, "After I eat, I always start coughing." He also said it gets really bad when he lays down at night.
What is GERD?
Ahhhhh... I knew what was going on with him. I'm not a doctor, but I realized my son was probably having acid reflux. For those of you not familiar with acid reflux, it's when the stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat and stomach).
A more severe form of acid reflux is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The symptoms for that can be:
- Sour liquid at the back of your mouth
- Regurgitation of food
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Coughing after eating
Asthma and GERD
So why am I writing about this on an asthma website? Well, did you know that over 75% of asthma patients also have GERD?1 If you treat your GERD, you may be able to relieve some of your asthma symptoms.2
There are many medications on the market that are used to treat GERD, such as antacids, short term acid blockers, or proton pump inhibitors.
Cleveland Clinic also recommends:1
- Raising the head of the bed by about 6"
- Eating 3-4 hours before bedtime (and no bedtime snacks!)
- Eating smaller meals
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Limiting fatty foods, colas, coffee, tea, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, citrus and tomatoes
- Quitting smoking
- Wearing loose clothing
Have an after eating cough?
It's important to talk to your doctor and make sure you are treating your GERD with the right medicine. If not treated correctly, GERD may lead to lung damage, ulcers in the esophagus, and in some cases, Barrett's esophagus (which can lead to esophageal cancer.)3
So, if you have an "eating cough" or start having asthma symptoms when you go to bed, talk to your doctor about acid reflux, GERD, and your asthma. Decide together what's best for you.
Do you experience an after eating cough?
Have you experienced a collapsed lung?