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Asthma

Asthma and silent GERD

07/07/2009

Question:

A friend suggested Silent GERD as a cause of asthma symptoms. Other symptoms: chronic epigastric pain with pressure or deep inhalation only. Is it possible that asthma and epigastric pain could be caused by silent GERD?

Answer:

A recent large clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that silent GERD did not impact asthma. Of course, every person is different and this does not mean that no one can have their asthma worsened by silent GERD but it is not a likely factor. If you are experiencing worsening asthma symptoms, then discuss this with your asthma specialist to determine if there are other factors that could be playing a role. Chronic epigastric pain can be caused by multiple things, but silent GERD does not have any symptoms associated with it so that is not likely the cause of the pain. Acid reflux can cause bloating and abdominal pain but so can a variety of other problems and you should discuss this first with your primary care provider and possibly with a gastroenterologist if that is felt to be warranted.

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Response by:

John G Mastronarde, MD John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University