Children with continuing recurrence of cough and croup could probably be suffering from stomach acid reflux problems.

Croup or ‘Kali Khansi’, as it is called in local parlance, is recognized by a loud cough that often sounds like the barking of a seal. It can cause rapid or difficult breathing, and sometimes wheezing. Croup is believed to be caused by a virus, but reflux acidity has been suggested as a possible trigger.

In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acid causes swelling and inflammation of the larynx, thus narrowing the airway. It can incite more swelling with any viral or respiratory infection.

It is important to identify children with GERD in order to help treat and improve recurring croup. It is unusual that a child would have three or more bouts of croup over a short period of time. These children need to be evaluated.

The same is true for adults also. Patients with non-responding asthma should be investigated for underlying acidity as the cause of acute asthma.