top of page

Chronic Cough and GERD

GERD and Chronic Cough often seem to go hand-in-hand. GERD stands-for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition when stomach acid or non-acidic stomach contents flow backwards into the esophagus and irritate the lining. This can result in feelings of heartburn or indigestion. We all experience indigestion or heartburn from time to time. But if this happens more than occasionally, it may be a sign of GERD. Some people suffer from both chronic cough and GERD, but it can be hard to know if there is a cause and effect.

GERD can be associated with a persistent cough that just won’t go away.

Chronic Cough associated with GERD can be difficult to diagnose because a classic symptom, like heartburn, may not be present. Since both are very common medical problems among American adults, it can be difficult to know if both just happen to be present at the same time or if it’s more than a coincidence.

If your doctor has evaluated the reason for your chronic cough and has determined that GERD is playing a role, then consider trying these simple diet and lifestyle changes. The goal here is to keep your stomach contents where they belong – in your stomach. Avoiding certain foods and/or other behaviors will keep the lid (lower esophageal sphincter) between your stomach and esophagus closed, preventing your esophagus, the virtual one way highway, from becoming a two-way highway. Avoid the following foods:

- Caffeine
- Chocolate
- Alcohol
- Peppermint
- Fatty Foods

Other helpful lifestyle hints to improve a chronic cough that is associated with GERD are:
- No eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
- Eat frequent, smaller meals
- Raise your bed frame 4 to 6 inches, rather than just using pillows
- Wear clothing that is loose-fitting around the stomach

Learn more at:

Did you find this blog post helpful? Please “Like” Center for Cough on facebook and sign-up on the Center for Cough web site to receive updates.

bottom of page