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Digestive Disorders

Acid reflux and hiccups

06/05/2008

Question:

I find my brother with hiccups lately. Then he coughs and says he has acid reflux and he coughs so much and he says that sometimes dark stuff comes up. He says it`s the acid in his stomach, but I worry. What can this be!!!

Answer:

How old is your brother? Acid reflux is unfortunately very common and can arise at any age. With more and more Americans being overweight, reflux is being seen earlier. It sounds very much like you brother has severe GERD symptoms. I would advise him to see his PCP or a Gastroenterologist who may start him in a course of PPIs (Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix or Nexium). The first 2 are over the counter medications, which he may choose to try to see if he feels better.

However, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that he sees a doctor soon to discuss these symptoms in more detail.

Long term sequelae of persistent reflux can damage the voice box, the lungs and can cause Esophageal cancer.

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Response by:

Prakash  Gatta, MD Prakash Gatta, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati