So this is Part II of my journey learning about the disease of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (Silent Reflux).
Have learned quite a bit after seeing an ENT that initially diagnosed me having this.
Silent reflux is a tricky disease that often times can get misdiagnosed because people who have it never know because of vague symptoms that often get confused with other problems. It is often referenced as an “old persons” disease but there is uptick trend in those that are in their 30s starting to get diagnosed with it. Possible and likely reason is due to what the FDA has been putting in our food source such as acids to maintain a products longer shelf life. I am in my late 30s but believe I have had these symptoms much much earlier in life when I look back on all the issues I was having. This disease really did not get classified until the early millennium from what I have gathered.
I am able to control my reflux through diet and by eating “clean” which can be rather bland. Meals need to be cut into smaller amounts and spread throughout the day to give the body time to digest. However my LPR can flare up and become uncomfortable when I make the wrong decision choice of food or too much of a good thing. It is basically when you aspirate acid and it gets up into your larynx (as well as other upper sinus cavities). This causes a sensation as if I am having asthma and can feel like oxygen is being cut off from me.
Another fact that has been brought up is that there is an enzyme in the stomach called PEPSIN. This enzyme basically breaks-down protein in the stomach for digestion to happen. When you reflux that content and it reaches the larynx, it can sit there for a long time until the next time you eat something acidic which activates it. When that happens it begins breaking down your tissue in a delicate area where it should not be happening. So hence “what your eating, is eating you” is true. One scary thing is that if this cannot get under control it can eventually become a cancerous condition.
It is a constant struggle for me but on the other side I am glad to not have the lump sensation anymore that a lot of people complain about. The hardest part of this lifestyle is when you relapse because you are often in either a “healing” or “maintenance” phase, as it can often take a week or longer to recover.
There are two parts to this disease which you need to control through diet –
- Do not eat foods that loosen the lower esophageal muscle (muscle that separates the stomach and non-acidic esophagus):
caffeine, coffee/tea, chocolate, alcohol, mint, onion (raw), garlic (raw), etc
- Stay away from known trigger foods that are acidic as soon as you ingest them:
sodas, citrus, tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, etc
- In addition these chemical preservatives should be avoided:
“ascorbic acid” and “citric acid”
Big rule of thumb is to have food with a pH of 5 and above.
Below are resources that I came across after doing my own research on this topic which could be helpful for others.
Author: Dr. Jonathan Aviv MD FACS
Author: Dr. Jamie Koufman MD
Author: Theresa Richard M.A. CCC-SLP, BCS-S
Swallow Your Pride Podcast
Theresa Richard M.A. CCC-SLP, BCS-S
The Brave Files
Vickery & Co
Additional Channels to Follow
Facebook User Group Support Pages
- The Acid Watcher Diet Support Group
- Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure
- The Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) and GERD Support Group!
- Getting Rid of LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux)
- Silent reflux, silent gerd, LPR Support and Chat
When I come across other resources I will likely edit this post to include them, should it help others out there researching this stuff!
[UPDATE: Also oddly enough I have come across within my site analytics and found visitors stumbling across these blog posts recovering from COVID-19. Have also noticed this in some Facebook discussion group posts as well. This disease inflames the GI and aerodigestive tract that I figured it was noteworthy to include here. Unknown what the link is with this and why?]