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Monday, March 27, 2017

Silent Reflux Disease or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)

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    In my last post, Sinusitis and Shortness of BreathI discussed my problems with shortness of breath, sinusitis and asthma.  In my update I explained that I had Silent Reflux or Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which is similar to GERD.  I have had GERD and been treated for it for about 10 years or so and have had none of the symptoms since I have been on medication.   The symptoms of GERD that I have had included frequent and sometimes severe heartburn.  Since I have been taking Omeprazole for GERD I have not experienced any heartburn.  After a long and severe sinus infection that brought about asthma symptoms I began experiencing shortness of breath, air hunger, a dry cough, constant yawning, constant  throat clearing with a feeling of a lump in my throat and frequent loss of voice.  This I learned, after visiting my ENT, was Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) or Silent Reflux. Since returning from my ENT I began to research Silent Reflux online.  Since returning from my ENT I began to research Silent Reflux online.    


     I   found that other than the acid from the stomach being regurgitated from the stomach into the lower esophagus, the acid can also go further up into the laryngopharynx where the mucosal lining of the larynx, pharynx, nasal passages and even the sinuses can become inflamed and damaged,  causing shortness of breath, asthma, cough, clearing of the throat and loss of voice. Apparently proton pump inhibitors, such as Omeprazole, don't help because it is not only the stomach acid that is the culprit, but the stomach enzyme, Pepsin, which causes the problem. Pepsin, in the presence of gastric acids cause inflammation and erosion of the tissue lining the upper respiratory tract and sinuses. I did learn that Pepsin is deactivated at a higher pH and will do no damage, if there is no acidic environment.  The  solution is to raise the pH of the throat. It is recommended that cutting down on acidic foods, and drinking alkaline liquids, such as coconut water and alkaline water after eating will help raise the pH of the throat and surrounding tissues. I also learned that taking Gaviscon Advance, which unfortunately is not available in North America, will help reduce the effects of Pepsin.  I ordered some of this online from the UK to give it a try in hopes that it will help.

    I learned that changing the diet could help in reducing the severity of symptoms of Silent Reflux.  This diet suggests that no caffeine, no spicy foods, no chocolate, no processed food and no fried or oily foods be taken. This would be worse than death for me as I love chocolate, spicy food and fried food!  Fortunately many studies suggest that just cutting back some and using Gaviscon Advance and alkaline drinks can help the laryngopharyngeal tissue to heal and reduce the symptoms of LTR.  

   I have been using coconut water after eating and see a very little difference so far.  Soon I will start taking the Gaviscon Advance along with the coconut water and alkaline water to see what happens.  Hopefully I can report back some good news in a few months.

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