A recent prospective study (A M-L Ong et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018; 16: 407-16) of 36 patients (median age 45) showed that diaphragmatic breathing was helpful for PPI-refractory GERD symptoms/belching. Patients enrolled all had “troublesome belching” for 6 months and GERD. Patients underwent high resolution manometry and pH-impedance study.
- 9 of 15 (60%) in the diaphragmatic treatment group reduced their belching visual analog score by ≥50%, whereas none of the control group achieved the primary outcome
- Treatment also resulted in lower GERD symptoms based on reflux disease questionnaire score -decrease of 12.2 vs 3.1 in the control group (P=.01)
- Treatment improved QOL scores, based on Reflux-Qual Short form (15.7 increase for treatment group compared to 2.4 decrease in control group)
- Treatment effects were sustained at 4 months after treatment
My take: Diaphragmatic breathing can be a useful adjunct in GERD, particularly in patients with belching.
Related blog post: Treatment for rumination and belching