A study published in Chest (April 2003) reported that children with chronic asthma and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) were able to reduce their asthma medicine by 50% following aggressive treatment of their digestive problem. In the study, researchers examined 46 asthma patients, ages 5 to 10, who had no other risk factors for asthma?such as allergies or a parent who smoked?and discovered that 27 showed GERD symptoms.
After being monitored for 6 months, participants were offered GERD treatments. Of the 27, the parents of 18 chose a combination therapy, involving changes in habits and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs); the parents of 9 chose surgery. During the next year, the 27 children used 50% less asthma medicine than before the GERD treatment began, and many of them no longer needed PPIs.