Acute LPR or GERDS?

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Hello all smile

I would really like to explain what has been happening to me and get the community's advice and knowledge. So thank you in advance for taking the time to read this!

To start, I am a 35 year-old male who has never smoked or drunk alcohol. This past December, I was working a lot of hours at work due to the holidays and also doing A LOT of shoveling snow at home (huge driveway) and I began to feel a bit under the weather. Nothing serious, but rather only a slight cough (even though my lungs were clear according to the doctor), occasional headaches, a bit of pressure near or behind my ears, and a slightly scratchy throat. I had a vacation coming up on January 8th so I did not take any sick days as I was not truly feeling that bad.

Jan. 8th came around and I began my vacation. However, I was taking a shower and I felt a small bump on the back of my neck, below the hairline. It was not large but I had never felt it before. So I went to the local walk-in clinic and saw a doctor who told me it was a lymph node and that I was indeed sick. I had a temperature of 100, my throat was slightly swollen and my ears were also slightly inflamed. He proscribed some Doxycycline and sent me home.

Within two days of taking the Doxy, my symptoms EXPLODED. I was hit with the worst exhaustion and fatigue I had ever experienced in my life. I am a very active/athletic guy who plays sports/lifts weights ... and I could barely walk up stairs. Holding a cup to my lips made my bicep feel as though I had just done 20 curls. In addition to this, my throat was assaulted with feelings of thickness, inflammation, the most horrific thudding and popping feelings when swallowing, tightness in various parts of the throat, as well as hoarseness when talking and seemingly constant throat clearing.

After a few days I visited the same doctor at the walk-in and he said I had developed a very bad case of post-nasal-drip, in addition to whatever else I was fighting. He proscribed Dymista and salt-water gargling and using a humidifier in my room.

So after finishing the 10 days of Doxycyline, I started to feel better. My energy and strength slowly returned. Within 2 weeks of this all starting, I was working my full shifts at work + overtime and back to lifting weights. However ... what did not improve at all was my throat. I was still experiencing sensations of tightness and thickness and extremely uncomfortable swallowing. Sometimes the tightness would be under my jaw, or instead around my larynx, or sometimes in the part of the throat right above the collarbone, which I guess is more like the upper esophagus. I was having no pain at all in the typical "sore throat" sense. Swallowing was uncomfortable, not painful.

I returned to the same doctor and he checked my throat again and said he could not see or feel anything strange and also felt my thyroid and found nothing of concern. He said that clearly I had been quite ill and this all was likely a result of that. He told me to give it time and see how I did.

So 4 weeks after January 8th, my symptoms were the same and I got an appointment with another doctor who is now my Primary Care Physician. He also looked at my throat and felt around and could not find anything out of place. He proscribed Sudafed and put me on 1,800mg of Ibuprofin a day. He thought my post-nasal-drip was still causing havoc and inflammation in my throat.

Another two weeks past and still NOTHING changed. If anything, things seemed to be worsening. In addition the tightness, thickness, excess mucus, and swallowing discomfort, I also developed a terrible "thudding" feeling when I swallowed on the left side of my upper throat, above and slightly to the left of the Adam's Apple and below the jaw. I could feel something catching or popping or thudding in that exact area. People standing next to me could even hear it if they listened closely. It did not hurt, except in the sense that after 30+ times the whole area would become tender. It was at this time that I also noticed how that area would bulge slightly more than the other side when I swallowed. It was not like a bull-frog or anything that extreme, but it was becoming more and more obvious. So my doctor decided to send me to an ENT.

So I have been waiting weeks for my ENT appointment, which is next week. During this time, my symptoms have continued. I wake up every morning to the thudding feeling when I swallow, in addition to random attacks of tightness. I have also noticed that when I lay down on my back with my head on a single pillow for reading, I sometimes feel a tightness or pinching sensation in my lower throat (upper esophagus?) in the area right above the collarbone. If I don't change positions, it sends me into a coughing spell. Even if I am standing up, if I put my chin to my chest, the same choking/tight feeling triggers. In addition to this, I am having feelings of heaviness on my chest when I lay down simultaneously with the choking feeling. When I sit up, the chest heaviness goes away. This seems especially true if I lay down after eating. Yes, for many many years I have been a late-night eater and have often slept soon after eating.

Needless to say, it has been nearly 2 months since this all started and I am getting worried about what is actually happening. Does it sound like I have GERDS or LPR?

Symptoms I have had:

Throat tightness (especially in the area below the larynx/above the collarbone), excessive mucus, hoarseness, post-nasal-drip, throat clearing, coughing, occasional ear pain, feelings of "thudding" or "crunching" when swallowing, uncomfortable swallowing, muscle tightness on side and back of neck, chest heaviness when laying down (especially after eating).

Symptoms I have not had:

Typical Soar throat, trouble eating or drinking or breathing, weight loss, vomiting, nausea, heartburn.

Before I became very ill on January 8th, literally NONE of these symptoms were affecting me as far as I could tell. But since then, it has been every day/all day. Does this sound like LPR/GERDS? And can LPR/GERDS be so acute?

I know this was long. My apologies. Thank you again for reading!

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  • Posted

    Hey NC10 - you sound like exactly what I have/had. Back at the end of January I got a really bad virus/cold and they thought it was the flu that’s how bad it was, but tests were negative. Fast forward to a month or so later and I had that lump feeling in my throat just assumed it was the virus and would go away, but nope. My primary care is great I can get same day appointments all the time and at first she thought it was post nasal drip related told me to take Flonase for a few weeks that started to burn my nose so I took saline spray. Didn’t seem to help and she’s like let me send you to the ENT in the hospital where she’s located. Was able to get an appointment like 2 days later. 

    Scopes me up nose down throat and she’s like all looks fine except I see mucus stuck on your vocal chords thick white mucus. She’s like that must be what’s making the Globus sensation and she’s like I do see post nasal drip happening too not sure if that’s contributing to it. She’s like sounds like you have silent reflux (this was all in 15 mins) so I don’t really know if I have silent reflux hoping I don’t. She put me Omerprazole 20mg twice a day and said if the throat feeling goes away drop to once per day and come see me in 8 weeks. After 2/3 days on the medicine I felt the throat thing pretty much gone. So after 3 weeks dropped to once per day in the morning. All was doing well seemed ok. Had chest pain but they made me do a chest X-ray and a stress test and those came back great. 

    Yesterday I decided to start cutting back the Omerprazole and not take it so I can just do every other day and within a few hours the feeling in my throat came back a little, but nothing like it was before. I think also I’m thinking about it more and my wife’s about to have a baby our first and I could be stressed even though I don’t realize it. I am not sure if I should continue the every other day or go back to once per day in the Omerprazole. I see my ENT again next week as of right now. 

    Also, I can eat and drink no issue and it actually feels better when I do and the feeling in my throat seems to go away. Also, when I sleep and when I wake up it’s fine and usually comes back mid morning. I’ve been trying to stay busy and it’s easier since it’s nicer out and warmer now a days. 

    Not really sure what my next steps are, but I’m kind of angry I went on this Omerprazole even though I’ll only be on it for 2 months. 

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  • Posted

    Those antibiotics are the worsed one got coursing acid reflux never take them I was prescribed them twice and I've never been right since I've been on PPI medication for 5 years 

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