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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Having breathing problem due to reflux laryngitis. Can acid reflux cause pulmonary fibrosis?

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Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 600 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 16 Nov 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: can acid reflux cause can acid reflux cause pulmonary fibrosis I have reflux laryngitis since 5 yrs having breathing problem on mild exertion m worried abt pulmonary fibrosis as i read on net acid reflux can cause it, today i took x ray i hve attached report since 3 yrs i hve breathlessness on exertion echo ecg normal wt to do nw
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Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 27 minutes later
Brief Answer:
GERD has a relationship with Lung fibrosis

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. Yes, Acid reflux has been linked to Pulmonary fibrosis but the relationship is not very well established. The microspirations due to acid reflux probably go down the throat and may injure the lungs causing pulmonary fibrosis but it has not been proven substantially. However it is recommended that all Pulmonary fibrosis patient be given antacid medications. GERD(Acid reflux) is a common cause of chronic cough also.

2. Since you have breathlessness since 3 years, get your pulmonary function test done along with clinical evaluation by a Pulmonologist. Did you ever smoke?

3. The X-ray film should ideally be photographed on a view box however no apparent major abnormality seems on your chest X-ray.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 25 minutes later
i had a pft which was normal last year. so wt do i need to do now for breathlessness do you think i m at a risk for any lung disease wt do i hve to do now m worrying abt pulmonory fibrosis as i read a article. does this xray suggest anything wrong does x rays are reliable for diagonosis i smoked just a month before 10 yrs do i need any tests
doctor
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
CT thorax is final diagnostic tool.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for the follow up.

1.If you have persistent breathlessness, then other common causes like anemia, overweight etc. need to be ruled out first. Since your pft was normal no major abnormality seems to be present at this stage.

2. Chest xray can miss pulmonary fibrosis in early stage. Your Xray apparantly does not show any major abnormality. However for changes of early pulmonary fibrosis they need to be viewed mounted on a view box.

3. If the breathlessness is persistent then HRCT thorax may be done to rule out any lung involvement.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 17 minutes later
i dont hve anaemia i m not overweight just i hve always swelling in vocal cord coz of reflux do i need surgery for reflux can it damage my lungs in future m 30 nw suffering since 25 can this 5 yrs of time enough to do any damge my pulmonogist says nothing to worry
doctor
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
GERD is not a strong fibrotic cause.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for the follow up.
1. Remember GERD is not a proven causative agent in pulmonary fibrosis but it does have a casual relationship. You cannot predict if pulmonary fibrosis will develop or not and hence there is no such time frame.

2. GERD most of the times responds to medications. If your Pulmonologist has clinically evaluated you, then there is no need of worry. Your Xray, PFT are normal and that is a good sign. PFT does detect early changes of Fibrosis in the form of small airway involvement.

3. Just get a stress treatmill test done to rule out any underlying cardiac cause.

4. Be under regular follow up with your Pulmonologist.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer follow up queries if any.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Regards

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
MBBS MD DNB
Consultant Pulmonologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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