Living with LPR (or not so Silent Reflux)

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Dear all

I have read with great interest many posts over the past couple of months with regards to LPR / Silent Reflux and I hope you don't mind me sharing my story. Even if nobody responds or reads this post at the very least, for me personally, writing this has been very therapeutic.

My story begins around early December 2017. It was actually my wife that pointed out to me that I was constantly clearing my throat. At first I thought it was just a sore throat and as such started taking the usual cough sweets, throat spray etc but it didn't seem to go away and indeed it started to get a bit worse. Constant clearing of my throat and also a strain like pain in my throat whenever I was talking. Eventually after Christmas I decided to go and see the GP who examined my throat etc. She said it looked a bit inflamed. She also did some blood tests and asked me to come back in a week for the results. At this stage she said it sounds like reflux but let's wait for the results.

I went back to see here a week later and the blood test was fine apart from the liver result which was higher than normal. She then asked about my drinking and I said that I drank a couple of glasses of red wine in the evening after work. That confirmed it for her. She said, in her opinion, it was acid reflux and the drinking was partly to blame. She gave me some omeprazole, 20g, to be taken 1 per day, and told me to cut back on the alcohol. I actually gave up completely and to begin with the symptoms seemed to disappear. I hadn't changed my diet at all at this stage. I finished the 28 day course of omeprazole and carried on as before minus alcohol.

This brings me up to early April when I decided to go back to see the GP. My throat was really painful when I spoke and the throat clearing was back with a vengeance. It was really affecting my work as i need to speak quite a bit to clients. I saw a different GP this time and he also said it was reflux but let's do a stool test just to make sure there is no infection in the stomach. That came back clear. He said no need to see a specialist. Take some more omeprazole and change your diet. It was at this stage, frustrated with the advice and guidance I was getting from my GP, I decided to do my own research. I did what I'm sure all of you have done and googled the symptoms. Whoa!! Pretty scary what you find however I came across LPR and I thought that sounded exactly what I had. I read everything I could find on LPR and the general consensus seemed to be that a change in diet was absolutely essential. I found a good book online (Acid Watchers Diet) and decided to follow the eating plan. This was a massive change for me. It seemed as though just about everything I liked eating and drinking had to go. I started this diet on the 8th May 2018 and have now been on it for just over a month. The other thing that I read was that the most effective way to treat LPR was to suppress the acid as well as changing the diet therefore I have combined this with taking omeprazole for the last month. For sure there have been improvements. The throat clearing has almost gone and the pain when I speak, although still there, is not as bad and not there all the time. I feel as though it's moving in the right direction albeit very slowly. I do have some discomfort in my left ear. In fact the pain in my throat is on the left had side as well. I went back to see my GP last week as planned and she seemed pleased with progress. She did say it can take a while for the esophagus to heal. How long she didn't say. She has also suggested I see an ENT specialist just to be absolutely sure. That I am doing this week.

So here is what I have learnt over the last 6 months, in no particular order:-

- GP's are not experts on this. They seem to be quite happy to prescribe some PPI's and then send you on your way.

- There is so much conflicting information on the web. Eat this, don't eat this or eat that, no don't eat that. It was driving me crazy to an extent where I have basically stuck to some core foods over the past few weeks.

- The Acid Watcher Diet does seem to have benefited me. I have been eating a lot healthier. Plenty of fruit (non acidic of course), veg, lean meat and only drinking water. That's probably been the hardest part. No tea or coffee. I've also lost weight through a combination of no alcohol over last few months and the low acid diet over last month. 

- These forums are excellent. Hearing from others with similar symptoms just gives you some comfort that you are not alone. I know everyone is busy but it would be great if people posted updates more often. One thing I noticed when reading one of the forum posts was that there was an initial steady stream of 'conversation' which then seemed to suddenly stop.

- Everyone is different. What works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else. For example PPI's can work for some people and for others it can make the symptoms worse. Taking certain foods works for some and not for others.

- There definitely seems to be varying levels of suffering with LPR. Reading some of the stories on the forums makes me think my symptoms, although annoying and depressing for me, are not nearly as bad as other people. My heart goes out to everyone suffering with this.

- I haven't read anywhere online where someone has said they are completely cured. Hopefully there is and I've just missed it.

- I couldn't find anything online to advise on how long the esophagus takes to heal.

- I tried Gaviscon Advance and it didn't work for me.

- My symptoms seemed to get a bit worse whenever I had some wholemeal bread or even wholemeal pasta. My GP now wants to do another blood test to rule out wheat intolerance.

- This is a global problem. I live in the UK however have read many, many posts from fellow sufferers in the US and beyond.

- LPR is horrible and I want all of us to be rid of this awful affliction NOW!!

I'm sure there are many more learnings and I could probably ramble on here all day however I better do some work. I am going to keep this post / blog whatever you want to call it updated as much as I can. If it helps even 1 person then it will be worth it. 

Would be great to hear from other people. Please feel free to post or ask any questions. If I can help in any way I am happy to do so.

Best wishes to all

  

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  • Posted

    Hi there I'm from the UK to have you every had a camera put down to see what's happening  or a barium meal done ? I've had this done three times and they always say it's all ok no cancer I just have acid reflux for me the symptoms are throat clearing and heartburn hurendace heartburm I'm on PPI medication 30mg a day It doesn't help that much I did purchase the acid watchers diet but have  yet to try it , is it easy to do I notest some of the ingredients are American can you buy them here in the U.K. I really want to cut down the PPI  medication because it's making me lack in vitamin D3 and Calcium so now I'm getting Joint  pain and thinning  bones I can't take the calcium tablets that really upset my stomach I've had this for the last 5 years 

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing. I had series of reflux and burps around age 25 when I had fried foods. I was diagnosed with gastritis. Intially PPI was helping. Then it did not work. Then .I start getting pain on right side rib whenever I eat fried foods, did hida scan and found my gallbladder not working and age 37 did ultrasound and found multiple gallstones and I also got barrets esophagus without dysplasia now. All these years I was suffering with lot of burping and bloating. Not sure if gallbladder or gastritis is the root cause . So haven't removed gallbladder yet.

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  • Posted

    According to Dr. Jamie Koufman it can take up to a year for everything to completely heal. Diet is very important to recovery. I am following her "Dropping Acid" diet though I am giving it four weeks rather than just the two for the induction diet that she advises. You are so right about the conflicting information to be found on line. Even the 'experts' don't always agree on what foods should be avoided. Then I read a study out of 'Stanford University' that claims diet makes no difference for acid reflux. What a load of nonsense that was! 

    Unfortunately GPs know very little about reflux. I asked my doctor about this and she said that they aren't taught in medical school about LPR. Any type of reflux is considered to be an acid problem that you then throw H2s and PPIs at. My doctor agreed that there were some serious side-effects to using the PPIs but didn't seem to think it was a problem. Dr Kaufman is one of several ENTs in the US who have either stopped using PPIs or will only prescribe them for 2 to 3 weeks maximum. 

    I have an appointment next month with an ENT but I'm not too hopeful that much will be accomplished with the appointment. I would like to have the nasal endoscopy done but I have a feeling that this is probably only available in the US, and not in Canada where I live. 

    Please, do keep us up-to-date with how you are progressing. Often times, once people start getting better we never hear from them again.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gillian

    i am going to see the ENT specialist on Thursday. I have to say that since being on the low acid diet now for 5 weeks combined with omeprazole my symptoms have definitely improved. Not 100% by any means but seem to be getting better. Yes the acid watcher diet is quite American however the key for me was the ph values of the food. I’ve stuck to it pretty religiously. I seem to be living off salad, potatoes, chicken, turkey, salmon, spinach, bananas, mango, papaya, parmesan, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, sprouts, almond milk, oatibix, kefir milk and only drinking water. I want to stick to this combination of low acid diet and omeprazole for 3 months and then stop the omeprazole.

    If you haven’t done so please join the silent reflux Facebook group. It’s a great forum and lots of advice and support from like minded people.

    keep well

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  • Posted

    Hi Anne

    Thanks for sharing. I will definitely let you know how it goes tomorrow with my ENT consultant. You should join our Facebook group:-

    silent reflux, silent GERD, LPR support and chat

    best wishes

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the FB address. I joined a FB group last week but will check out this group also. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about LPR. 

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  • Posted

    Hello!  Great post, and I certainly appreciate your committment to checking back in from time to time with updates.  I plan to keep this post open on my computer and refresh it to see the comments over the next month or so.  I'm in the US and started dealing with LPR around the holidays.  It began as a cough that wouldn't go away, and then I began to realize it was likely connected to the throat clearing, spitting, and sinus problems I'd been having for many, many years.  I then started getting a burning in the tummy and gurgling in my throat, so I knew something was wrong.  Google led me to LPR so I saw an ENT who told me there were no structural problems in my throat, but that it was definitely irritated and that LPR sounded like a reasonable diagnosis.  Prescribed PPIs (of course), which I didn't take.  I saw my GP who found H Pylori and put me on the triple therapy which did knock it out, but did not heal me.  I started on Koufman's diet and did the 2-week "induction" (or whatever) phase, which absolutely helped heal my throat (the cough went away in  just a couple days), but did nothing for my other symptoms (burning, rumbling, and the throat gurgling), all of which only got worse.  I then stumbled upon another diet that I've been committed to for 3 months and it seems to be helping.  It's basically a low carb diet from a microbiologist who believes that one major reason for GERD is hard to digest carbs causing gas in the intestines, which is turn pushes up on the stomach and causes reflux.  Made sense to me, so I'm going with it.  The diet is "Fast Tract" by Norm Robillard and there's a pretty big FB group as well.  I'm not totally healed, but as you've read I think LPR takes a very long time!  There are just so many possible causes.  I'm also 100% convinced that stress and anxiety play a HUGE role in this condition.  I didn't believe I was over-stressed prior to this, but as I've reflected on that the past several weeks I've come to find that I truly am very stressed and carry around a lot of burdens unnecessarily.  My spiritual faith is helping me deal with that, and I really believe my symptoms are improving even more because of it.  Best of luck to everyone!

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  • Posted

    Thanks for posting Nick. Totally agree with your comments.

    I had my ENT consultation on Thursday. He put the camera thingy down my nose and was pleased to report nothing sinister down there therefore recommended I continue on the low acid diet combined with omeprazole for another 6 weeks and then go back and see him. I must say over the last couple of days my symptoms have improved a lot. I know it’s a long road but feel the sacrifices could be paying off.

    sending positive thoughts to everyone for a symptom free day

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    • Posted

      Yes one thing forget to mention 

      I took alot of stress and anxiety and this is all about i think too much about my medical condition and google made me crazy sad

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  • Posted

    Hello Everyone

    I'm from UK and in mid march i start facing hungry feeling in upper stomach and after having a food feeling start getting mild and sometimes feel absolutely fine but after couple of weeks start feeling pain at the same place went to GP 

    he advised to start omeprazol for 4 weeks 40 mg twice which helps and i stop using after 2 weeks.

    3 weeks ago i had start bad soar throat spend week with gurgle and other home remedies but no cure then GP ask to do the course of antiobiotics for 10 days which helps but mild pain was still there.

    I been to GP again 2 days ago and she says it looks like acid reflux so please start using omperazol again 40mg once a day for 4 weeks. sometime i also feel mild pain/hungry feeling in the upper stomach.

    So Tcb9 ( sorry dont know your name) what do you think whether low acid diet help me as well? sometimes mild burning but no other symtoms. thanks

    Your response would be appreciated. Cheers

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    • Posted

      Hi Jarral

      if I were you I would try the low acid diet. There is a good book called the Acid Watchers Diet which I bought and found very helpful. Combined with the omeprazole it has improved my symptoms. I’m not 100% however better than before I started the diet.

      hope this helps Jarral

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  • Posted

    Hi Tom

    Thanks for your advise.

    I already got the book and start diet since yesterday. but my anxiety and stress on peak and i belive this causes pain in stomach , indigestion , burning etc.

    I always thinking about acid reflux and this thing isnt come out of my mind sad

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  • Posted

    I purchased a booklet recently 30 - 30 days to heal your GERD. it says to eliminate all grains rice breads pastas because ultimately they sit in your stomach where it's warm and moist. then because there's not enough acid they ferment create a buildup of gas which then forces the esophagus sphincter to open and pushes the acid that is in your stomach up.

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  • Posted

    so far the effects have been by removing grains and sugar, much less bloating and I dropped a bunch of weight. I noticed some longer times with no acid reflux But ultimately it has not gone away
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    • Posted

      I've followed pretty much the same plan for about 3.5 months now: very low card, including sugars and grains.  I've also lost a LOT of weight, but I feel much better.  I'm dealing with LPR rather than classic "heartburn"/GERD, and I started noticing the biggest differences in the past few weeks.  I agree it takes longer than we'd think or like for this stuff to heal though, so patience and getting the worry and anxiety under control is a necessity! 

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