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My father is 54 and he was recently diagnosed with gerd, but he also has asthma. Before the diagnosis, he was constantly complaining about tightness in his chest. I would like to know more about this gerd. What is it?

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Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD is a very common condition. Around 65% of adults have suffered heartburn and 24% have had symptoms for more than 10 years. The chest discomfort and pain produced by it can be very severe and mimic a heart attack. This requires immediate emergency evaluation and treatment. 1/3 of patients with asthma may have GERD as a trigger for their breathing problems, in addition to other triggers such as viral infections, sinusitis, allergies, weather changes and exercise. It is still not entirely known the way GERD triggers asthmatic attacks. However, there are two interesting possibilities. When reflux occurs, stomach acid moves backward into the esophagus instead of helping to digest food and move forward into the intestines. Also, the acid may trigger nerves around the esophagus, and nervous impulses then reach the lungs to cause airway narrowing. This also causes shortness of breath, pain and tightness, just like in your father’s case. I am sure that he will be ok as long as he is under supervision of his doctor.
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