Does Acid Reflux Make You Cough?
Acid reflux also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition where stomach acid or bile flows back into the esophagus causing a variety of symptoms. While heartburn is the most well-known symptom of acid reflux it is also possible for the condition to cause a persistent cough.
How Does Acid Reflux Cause Coughing?
When acid or bile refluxes into the esophagus it can irritate the lining of the throat trigger coughing. This is known as acid reflux-induced cough it often occurs at night or after eating. The cough may be dry or accompanied by phlegm can be persistent bothersome.
Other Acid Reflux Symptoms
In addition to coughing acid reflux can cause a range of other symptoms. These include:
- Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest often after eating or when lying down.
- Regurgitation: The feeling of stomach acid or food coming back up into the throat or mouth.
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia): A sensation of food getting stuck in the throat or chest.
- Chest pain: Sometimes mistaken for a heart attack acid reflux can cause chest discomfort.
- Hoarseness or sore throat: The acid irritating the throat can lead to voice changes.
The treatment of acid reflux-induced coughing involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding trigger foods (e.g. spicy or fatty foods) eating smaller meals not lying down immediately after eating can help reduce symptoms. Elevating the head of the bed can also help prevent acid reflux during sleep.
In more severe cases or when lifestyle changes are not sufficient medication may be prescribed. These can include antacids H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors that help decrease acid production in the stomach. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis guidance in managing acid reflux-related coughing.
To prevent acid reflux from causing or worsening coughing consider the following:
- Avoid trigger foods drinks.
- Eat smaller more frequent meals instead of large meals.
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating.
- Avoid eating late at night.
- Quit smoking if you are a smoker.
- Manage stress as it can worsen symptoms.
While acid reflux is commonly associated with heartburn it can also cause coughing. Acid reflux-induced coughing occurs when stomach acid or bile flow back into the esophagus irritating the throat. Fortunately lifestyle changes appropriate medication can help manage the condition alleviate symptoms. If you’re experiencing persistent coughing or other symptoms of acid reflux it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis proper treatment plan.