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Can GERD cause shortness of breath?

There are times when people experience difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath. Shortness of breath or also termed as dyspnea is a feeling where you have to exert effort in breathing which can stress muscles in the chest, cramps on the chest are experienced and contraction of the chest. At times it can be severe and frequent. This shortness of breath is associated with different illnesses such as hypothyroidism, obesity, chronic anxiety disorder and chest deformities. GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease can also cause shortness of breath.  

can gerd cause shortness of breath
GERD is closely connected to reflux. Acid reflux is the condition wherein you can feel that the stomach acid is flowing back to the esophagus. This often goes with having the taste of sour liquid and burning feeling in the chest. Once the reflux is already severe, it will develop to GERD where the acid will already be in contact with the esophagus.  

There are two ways in which reflux can cause the shortness of breath. The first is when the acid coming from the stomach will flow back to the esophagus extending to the tiny airways which will cause them to narrow. As a result, the person will have shortness of breath. The second way is when the acidity from the stomach goes back to the esophagus and will excite the nerve endings found in the lower area of the esophagus. While the nerve endings are being stimulated, there will be tightening of the muscle of the esophagus making the airway to narrow as well. So as a direct answer to the question, yes, it can cause shortness of breath. 

A valve, esophageal sphincter found at the bottom of the esophagus can stop the flow of acid and contents of the stomach back to the esophagus. However, if this valve malfunctions, the acid will be able to go up to the lower area of the esophagus resulting to heartburn or burning sensation. If GERD is not taken seriously or not properly treated by the sufferer, there is a possibility that it will result to ulcer in the esophagus, damage in the lings or worst, esophageal cancer. 

Acid reflux sufferers have nothing to worry provided they have the proper medications for the illness. Yes, it is possible to treat this disease. There are different treatments attainable such as natural remedies, medications and even surgery. However, it is recommended to sufferers to go for natural remedies first before taking any other treatments. 

To help you overcome acid reflux symptoms you have to lose weight if you are obese as it can greatly help lessening the problem. Another is practice an elevated position when you sleep. Use pillows or any other material that can help keep your head elevated at a certain height that you are comfortable to avoid the flowing back of the acid. This way can also decrease the occurrence of dyspnea, coughing or hacking. Avoid eating foods or drinks that can trigger GERD. Some of these are chocolates, fried foods, fatty foods, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol and sodas.  

There are also medications or antacids that can be bought in the pharmacies which some of them may need the doctor’s prescription or you may avail over-the-counter drugs. In order to prevent the occurrence of shortness of breath, it is necessary for the patient to give the details of his or her history which most likely will contain information such as asthma, digestions problems, chest pain occurrence, injuries or surgeries experienced, allergic conditions and some more to the physician to help him figure out what is the best treatment for the patient.