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Does a hernia trigger asthmatic attacks?

Q: I was recently diagnosed with hernia. I also have asthma but my lungs are clear. I used to get a choking sensation in my throat. Initially, the doctors gave me nebulizations as SOS and deriphylline etc. All sorts of anti-asthmatics were given but then I used to get pain in my abdomen and acidity too. Hence, an endoscopy was done. My doctor says that I need to get the hernia operated to eradicate the trigger for asthma as I get oesophaegal spasm because of the hernia. What is your opinion and what should I do? I also have a kidney stone.

A:It is possible that patients with hiatus hernia get symptoms of asthma. This is because the sphincter at the junction of the food pipe with the stomach becomes incompetent thus allowing the stomach acid to regurgitate back into the gullet and from there in to the respiratory tract. There are several tests which are available which would show whether you have this reflux. In case reflux is proved you have a choice of first trying out good medical treatment for 3-6 months. If it does not work, the problem can be dealt with by minimally invasive surgery. There are endoscopic procedures for dealing with this but by and large they are not that effective. Your renal calculus has no bearing on treatment of this condition. I suggest you consult a good gastroenterologist in your town.

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