Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive condition characterized by the repeated reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. This can lead to several symptoms, including a persistent cough. A GERD cough can be both frustrating and distressing, but there are effective treatments available. In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of a GERD cough and the different treatments that can help.
Symptoms of GERD Cough
Chronic cough: A persistent cough that lasts for several weeks or months is a common symptom of GERD. This cough is often more noticeable in the evening or after eating.
Chest pain: Some people with GERD experience chest pain that feels like burning, pressure, or fullness. This pain may be relieved by antacids.
Heartburn: Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that is often caused by acid reflux. This can be a common symptom of GERD, especially when the cough is accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth.
Regurgitation: GERD can cause food and stomach acid to regurgitate back into the throat, leading to a sour or bitter taste in the mouth.
Hoarseness: Reflux of stomach acid into the throat can irritate the voice box, leading to hoarseness, especially in the morning.
Treatment for GERD Cough
Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your lifestyle can help reduce the symptoms of GERD. This may include avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, quitting smoking, reducing stress, and losing weight if necessary.
Medications: Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums and Rolaids, can help neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. Prescription medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can also be effective for treating GERD.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat GERD. This can include a procedure known as fundoplication, which strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent acid reflux.
Behavior changes: Changing your eating habits and habits before bedtime can also help reduce the symptoms of GERD. Eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding eating late at night, and elevating the head of your bed can all help reduce acid reflux.
In conclusion, GERD cough is a persistent and sometimes distressing symptom of acid reflux disease. However, there are several effective treatments available, including lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, and behavior modifications. If you have a persistent cough or other symptoms of GERD, speak to your doctor to discuss your treatment options. With the right combination of treatments, you can find relief from your symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.