Duke Studies Asthma, Acid Reflux Link in Kids
The two occur together often enough that doctors want to know if there is some connection that they should address in their care.Posted — Updated
Duke researchers, along with a national study, are looking for the link.
Tameka Bullock said she can't remember when her 7-year-old son, Chris, hasn’t had problems breathing.
“You could just tell that he wasn't getting enough air, just as a small baby,” she said.
His problems often pop up at play time.
“I start coughing and I have to stop running,” Chris said.
He is now part of a national trial at Duke because he has had another problem: acid reflux or GERD – when acid leaves the stomach and irritates the lining of the esophagus. It can even causing vomiting.
The reflux-and-asthma combination is common enough that doctors want to know if there's a connection.
“(We want to know) whether we need to worry about GERD as a trigger for asthma, whether we need to treat GERD and which kids we ought to treat,” said Dr. Larry Williams, a Duke pediatrician.
Some kids get a study drug to neutralize stomach acid. Others get a placebo. They all keep daily diaries and other homework to track their asthma symptoms.
What researchers learn may lead to better control of asthma symptoms for kids. Chris' parents say they're for anything that might help him and others with asthma lead more normal and active lives.
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