Blog / Is Covid The Cause Of My Reflux Symptoms
The relationship between Covid and reflux
In 2020 we published a page on our website in respect of the relationship between Covid and reflux symptoms.
This was quite a technical analysis and can be read in full here.
We saw a large number of patients in 2020 and 2021 who described the onset of reflux symptoms after testing positive for Covid. It caused us to look in more detail at what the relationship might be.
In summary, we drew a link between the way that Covid attacks the nervous system and how this could result in reflux symptoms, especially when those symptoms are experienced in the upper airways (often referred to as laryngo-pharyngeal reflux).
We also considered whether the link to reflux may instead be prompted by the medication used to treat Covid rather than Covid itself.
It was certainly the case that many more patients were treated with antibiotics and PPI medication during this period and both are known to lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in some patients. The symptoms of SIBO are similar to those for LPR - gas bloat, belching and pain in the abdomen for example. So, perhaps the issue in a number of instances was SIBO brought on by medication rather than Covid itself.
We found in a recent study that up to 60% of reflux patients also test positive for SIBO, based on a hydrogen and methane breath test. For this reason, in many patients we now exclude SIBO before embarking on reflux treatment.
Equally, if you have experienced reflux symptoms for some time and you are finding that the treatment you are receiving is not working, you may decide to consult one of our specialists for a consultation.
You can read about our consultants here and use the links to arrange a consultation.