hoarseness and cough due to silent reflux or LPR
Saturday, July 20, 2013
After more than a month of terrible throat problems, I had to go to an ENT. He diagnosed acid reflux and prescriped generic prilosec. I have done so much research on this and found a good resource for a diet and explanations of my problem in the book Dropping Acid, The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure. . It is LPR or laryngopharyngeal reflux. People with this do not have heartburn and indigestion. (That's what I had in my 50's before I lost weight.) I thought I would let you know what I have found out. Feel free to skip over most of this if you have never experienced any of my symptoms. I will have to change so many of my habits, at least for some time. I have been so miserable for so long, I don't think it will be too hard.
The symptoms for me were hoarseness, the sensation of a lump in the throat, chronic throat clearing, shortness of breath, and cough. For some people they also have post-nasal drip and chest pain. The doctor did not tell me any more than saying I had reflux. Patients with reflux-related chronic cough often see a number of physicians without receiving proper diagnosis and treatment. Reflux-related esophageal cancer (most common in white males) is one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S. Many people who get cancer of the lungs have never smoked or been around second hand smoke!
First, they recommend that you limit acidic foods and beverages. Then they recommend limiting foods that relax the stomach valve: chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, high fat foods, red meat, fried foods. Third, they recommend limiting foods that increase pressure inside the stomach: carbonated beverages and beer.
The doctor said not to eat 2 hours before bed, but the book recommends 3. Finally, they recommend elevating the head of the bed if you're a nighttime refluxer; that is, if you have symptoms of hoarseness, sore throat and/or cough in the morning. I haven't had the sore throat, but I have the hoarseness and cough.
It also limits artificial sweeteners to a tsp/day! It encourages using fresh ginger, peeled and grated fine. Also, fresh aloe vera(skin removed and diced). I have never had that or seen it in the store. So I will get a plant of my own if I can find one. It has a whole list of red(bad) foods and green(good) foods and several recipes. My love of salsa is also a no no! Red skinned apples are OK, not the green skinned ones. Nectarines and peaches are not good either, and I just bought some. No peppermint. One glass of wine is all and not good unless it's 3 hours before bedtime. So that means I can go to the wine tastings, but probably shouldn't keep much wine at home. I need to avoid salty foods before bed and to avoid high fat nuts(peanut butter). These are all things I was indulging in recently. (Not the peppermint, but chewing sugarless spearmint gum.)
I want to get off the prilosec because it might affect my osteopenia.
None of the anti-reflux medications turn off acid completely. While I am better, I now realize the cure isn't just taking the pills. I'm glad the book contains some recipes to explore.
If anyone has had this happen to them, please let me know.