One of the dangerous diseases of the respiratory system is bronchial asthma. It is characterized by periodic attacks of suffocation, due to which the patient is forced to constantly use special drugs. If, during an exacerbation of the disease, the patient does not receive help, he may die.
In some cases, asthmatics, describing their condition, indicate not only AD symptoms. Sometimes the clinical picture can be supplemented by disorders in the gastrointestinal tract. This is called gastric asthma. Let’s find out its main features.
The connection between the bronchi and the stomach
The digestive and respiratory systems have anatomical similarities. They are closely spaced, and their communication with the external environment is carried out through the oral cavity and pharynx. The innervation of the bronchi and lungs is carried out by the same nerve as the esophagus. Therefore, the same patient may have asthma and abnormalities in the stomach caused by problems with the functioning of the vagus nerve.
Gastrointestinal pathologies do not always lead to the development of AD. But with increased sensitivity of the respiratory system, this risk increases. If such a patient develops stomach diseases, then after a while the appearance of symptoms of bronchial asthma may be recorded.
Causes of gastroesophageal asthma
This pathology is usually caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is the name of a disturbance in the work of the digestive system, in which there is a reverse throw of gastric contents into the esophagus. To digest food, the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid, which irritates the lining of the esophagus.
Even a small amount of it can lead to adverse effects. If, under the influence of acidic contents, the mucous membrane of the esophagus is damaged, then they talk about the development of GERD. With this diagnosis, a variety of respiratory disorders often occur, including asthma attacks.
The mechanism of development of bronchospasm, which is the main feature of AD, in patients with GERD is due to microaspiration of hydrochloric acid into the respiratory system. The principle is similar to that observed when foreign particles enter the bronchi (for example, while eating), which causes an attack of severe coughing. Since the esophagus and trachea are located next to each other, small particles of acid can enter the respiratory system. This leads to difficulty breathing.
Another cause of bronchospasm is associated with a protective reflex. When hydrochloric acid enters the esophagus, its walls are irritated. This signal is sent to the brain, which seeks to regulate the activity of the organ and stimulates muscle contraction.
Since the respiratory and digestive organs are innervated by the vagus nerve, reflex muscle contraction can occur not only in the esophagus, but also in the bronchi. This leads to bouts of coughing and choking.
If such cases become systematic, then the patient is diagnosed with reflux-induced bronchial asthma.
The ingestion of hydrochloric acid into the respiratory system can be caused by the following factors:
- congenital diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- disturbances in the structure and work of the gastric valve;
- chronic stomach diseases;
- excessive physical activity;
- spasms of the diaphragm;
- eating food that irritates the gastrointestinal mucosa;
- severe stress leading to panic attacks.
All these circumstances can provoke a reverse reflux of contents from the stomach into the esophagus, causing symptoms that affect the digestive and respiratory systems. This means that these factors can cause gastric asthma.
Stomach asthma symptoms
It is very important to know what clinical signs this disease is characterized by. Thanks to this, the patient can go to the doctor to prescribe the necessary diagnostic procedures and the correct treatment.
When diagnosing gastric asthma, the main difficulty lies in the fact that asthmatic manifestations are more pronounced. Because of this, the symptoms of gastric pathologies are often ignored. This creates problems with the correct diagnosis. Therefore, the patient needs to carefully monitor his health and talk about all the unpleasant features, even if they are not related to an asthma attack.
The symptoms of this disease can be roughly divided into 2 parts. The first includes the actual asthmatic manifestations. These include:
- labored breathing;
- pallor of the skin;
- bluish lip tint;
- swollen veins in the neck;
- increased heart rate;
- coughing fits (both dry and wet);
Another part of the pathological manifestations is associated with gastrointestinal diseases. It:
- pain in the sternum and epigastrium ;
- increased salivation during sleep;
- dyspepsia accompanied by cough;
- shortness of breath, which usually occurs when eating foods that are irritating to the mucous membrane;
- belching with air, which produces a sour taste in the mouth.
Patients with gastric asthma are more likely to develop nocturnal attacks, especially after a heavy dinner.
It is advisable for patients with suspected asthma to undergo an examination of the gastrointestinal tract to find out if there are any problems in this area. But doctors do not always prescribe them. Therefore, if the patient has noticed that asthma attacks of asthma are accompanied by such signs as heartburn, belching and pain in the stomach, he should inform the specialist about them.
The doctor may suspect this diagnosis based on the symptoms described by the patient. Therefore, the patient needs to characterize his condition as accurately as possible. You can confirm the assumptions after examining the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. For this, an X-ray of the esophagus and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy of the gastric mucosa are performed .
Based on the features found, it is determined whether there are violations in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Asthma is diagnosed with spirometry. In addition to it, allergic tests are prescribed. Additional procedures may also be required, which are prescribed on an individual basis.
Treating gastric asthma
Treatment of this type of asthma involves the use of measures aimed at combating both asthmatic manifestations and disorders in the gastrointestinal tract.
Basic therapy for asthma is focused on the prevention and elimination of bronchospasm, since it is they that pose the greatest danger. For this, bronchodilators are used in the form of inhalers. For severe disease, corticosteroids are recommended.
The main goal of asthma treatment is to prevent its further development. This is possible by neutralizing the traumatic factor that provokes seizures.
In the case of gastric asthma, such a factor is disturbances in the functioning of the stomach and intestines. Therefore, some of the measures are aimed at neutralizing these violations.
Features of GERD therapy depend on its causes and the most pronounced symptoms. Patients are recommended to take antisecretory drugs, which reduce the intensity of the harmful effects of hydrochloric acid on the esophageal membrane. Eliminate the unpleasant symptoms help antacid agents.
The schedule for taking medications and their dosage are determined by the attending physician based on the clinical picture and characteristics of the organism. It is impossible to increase or decrease the dose on your own, and you should not stop taking medications or replace some funds with others. If the medication does not give the expected result or causes side effects, it is recommended to consult your doctor and ask for a change in the prescription.
Features of the diet
With gastric asthma, you need to be very careful about your diet. Patients are advised to avoid eating irritating mucous membranes. They need to reduce the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, to give up fatty, sour and smoked foods. It is also advisable to exclude confectionery products, especially those containing a large amount of preservatives.
Carbonated drinks and alcohol are prohibited. Portions should be small to avoid overeating. The last meal of the day should be taken at least 2 hours before bedtime. Immediately after eating, you should not take a horizontal position for an hour, so as not to interfere with the functioning of peristalsis.
To alleviate the course of the disease, preventive measures must be followed. They suggest reducing the number of stressful situations. In some cases, sedatives are prescribed to patients. Also, the patient is shown the performance of therapeutic exercises.
In order to make timely adjustments to the treatment, the patient should attend routine examinations with a specialist and undergo examinations. Analyzes are supposed to be taken every six months. This will allow the clinician to assess the patient’s condition and optimize therapy for changes.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can affect the functioning of the respiratory system. When acidic gastric contents enter the bronchi, bronchospasm develops, which are accompanied by coughing and suffocation.
Therefore, one of the causes of bronchial asthma can be gastrointestinal tract pathologies. Patients with this type of asthma should be monitored by a doctor and follow all his recommendations.