More problems with acid reflux, cough and 'lump in throat'

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I am wondering if anyone can offer advice.  I have acid reflux or silent reflux as I do not get heartburn, and I have had a sore throat and bloating for a bout a year with bad taste in mouth in the morning.  I could not tolerate PPIs they gave me awful side effects, so I take Ranitidine and Gaviscon advance at night as I have bad reflux then  Lately I have been getting a feeling of a lump in my throat ( comes and goes,) which is I am told , globus possibly caused by muscles performing incorrectly because of the reflux ( I am having a barium meal test to check this out,dont know when.  Also have developed over last few days a slight cough more a tickle but very irritating which may be the acid.  Can anybody advise I try not to eat too near bedtime and have slightly raised the bed, Do people find that diet really helps I am still drinking alcohol maybe half a glass a day but probably eating the wrong things although I dont eat huge amounts. I am on a mild anti depressant which has helped my ibs which preceded the acid reflux.  I was told the op  for acid reflux was probably not a good option for me, my specialist says that it often doesnt work for very long.  This is a long moan but its getting me down a bit also crashed my car last week and I think the stress of that is contributing.  Hope you all manage to have a good Christmas! 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Linda

    the only advice I can give you is what solved my problem and that is do not eat or drink anything 3 hours before going to bed

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    I've been suffering with breathlessness (on inhalation primarily) for 5 months, along with severe voice hoarsness and constant blocked/stuffy sinuses with occasional earache.  I also get a sensation of fast cold air on inhalation in the back of my throat.  I also find that my breathing when I'm lying down in bed becomes quite shallow, as when I wake up I need a few deep long breaths to feel remotely normal to get up, during which my windpipe and bronchus feel tight.  I purchased a reflux sleeping wedge 6 weeks ago; jury is still out on its usefulness.  I also had an 8 week persistent dry cough over August & September, and even now I still feel my throat is on the precipice of entering another coughing fit, it feels so tender.  Finally, I also have right sided chest pain (front pectoral area extending toward armpit, and right shoulder blade which can be severe, like a burning pain).  

    After 2 months of trial & error on asthma & antihistamine med's through my GP and a lot of sick leave from work, it was a trip to A&E with severe breathlessness that a Doctor first suggested that it may be acid reflux, or to be more specific as it's harming my airways - Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, which sounds like what you've got.  I also had bloods (thyroid, liver, kidney, anaemia), an ECG and chest X-ray done, all of which were OK. I've had paramedics at my work and another A&E visit ontop of this. I was put on omeprazole for 2 weeks by the A&E Doc, which was extended to 2 months following an ENT referral for a laryngoscopy (throat inflammation and granuloma on voice box found).  I was on 2 x 20mg per day, along with Gaviscon Advance 4 times a day per ENT's recommendation.  

    I've recently come off omeprazole having suffered bouts of sickness & diarrhoea which have taken my weight down from 15st to 13st in 5 weeks.  I'm 29, male, and 6' 2" and generally in good shape.  PPI's may work for a lot of people, but combined with Gaviscon Advance (which bungs you up), it was destroying me.  I also felt severely fatigued and spaced out for much of these 2 months on omeprazole.  Heartburn was never an issue (symptoms were always silent).  

    I've done the "Dropping Acid" Dr Kaufmann Indiction & Maintenance Diet. I also only drink alkaline water.  I haven't had caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, spicy/fried/fatty food, dairy, etc for 3 months now. Weight loss can be apportioned to my diet change, but not 2st in 5 weeks and certainly not the bouts of illness which only commenced once I was on omeprazole.  I'm now on Ranitidine 2 x 150mg.

    Despite all of this, I'm still breathless, with a blocked sinuses, and now an out of tune digestive system.  I can only describe the breathless feeling as being akin to when you've mistakingly inhaled smoke (from a BBQ or passive smoke, etc), and there's a lingering feeling of rawness in the windpipe and lungs.  My opinion of GP's is that this condition is poorly understood and the symptoms are rarely taken seriously, and there is a general reluctance to provide a referral to a GI/ENT/pulmonary specialist because they'd rather prescribe PPI medication.  The breathlessness is incredibly debilitating. I do have asthma, but my peak flow readings are 600+ (in other words, healthy) and as I say it's on inhalation that I feel the tightness and raw feeling.  I have been taking a steroid inhaler (Seretide 100), but I can't say for certain if this has helped.  I've observed that for no apparent reason - and at any time of the day or night - I have considerable bouts of breathlessness which I can't relieve using inhalers or actual tablet-based steroids (the latter which my GP gave me as a contingency).  

    I've got a chest referral coming up in early January where I'll be pushing for a CT scan to see exactly what's going on, as my ENT follow up concluded that, after 2 months on omeprazole and Gaviscon Advance, my throat has healed from inflammation and granulomas, although I'm still hoarse and sore in this region, and I'm still breathless which is my main concern.  Although my GP has anecdotally given me a diagnosis from the laryngoscopy results, I'm not convinced as I'd not long stopped coughing prior to the laryngoscopy, so in my ignorant opinion I wasn't surprised that damage was found.  Following the Chest specialist outcome, next stop will be a GI. 

    In my experience, having done all self-help measures to the extreme for nigh on 3 months now (diet, sleeping wedge, alkaline water, not eating 3 hours before bed, etc etc), I feel as bad as I did at the start, and that's with strictly adhering to Kaufmann diet.  It probably depends on the severity of each persons symptoms and their ability to handle the meds, but the diet is worth a try. 

    You can also search YouTube for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux and select the first video (Beaumont Medical, 15:43 minutes) for some more useful information. 

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. 

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    • Posted

      What an absolutely brilliant post! You obviously have an excellent health diary. One really despairs that armed with all that info western medicine cant help you? It is a sorry state of affairs and so many of us are in the same place. You dont mention exercise? I feel this helps enormously as it releases the feel good hormone seratonin and others. Even a basic exercise bike helps but you need to use it a couple of times a day. How about giving DGL a whirl as Jamie does mention it?

      have a good Xmas

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    • Posted

      Hi rex,

      Thanks!  Regards exercise, I purchased an exercise bike about 1 month into my symptoms to gee up my energy levels before a holiday to NYC.  I did 10km a day for a few weeks, with no real problems but unfortunately no discernible benefit to breathing.  I agree it's good to have & use though, and keep going when I can.  It must have been the unseasonal 90% humidity exacerbating things, but trying to walk anywhere in NYC - and just breath normally outside - nearly killed me.  

      On the DGL piece, again I've read up about it & how it's the safer option re. licorice which has hypertension issues etc.  It's another option, but I'm wary of spending a small fortune (or more than I've already spent) on all these things through an iterative approach.  It's exactly as you say, I'd have hoped that medical science along with Doctor experience would help us out more than it does. 

      Merry Christmas to all!

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    • Posted

      Hi - my DGL is about 7 cents a pill and most of us only take 6 a day so in my view I reckon they work out cheaper than any PPI dont you reckon? Hang in on the exercise bike. A few years back I had to hobble  up the stairs or I became breathless. Now I can climb up at a brisk rate. Took about 6 months. Its so darn hard to keep focused and moving forward. On doctors I have it in writing from my gastro  "you definitely dont have silent reflux". WOW! Asked about diet all he could suggest was "you could try milk"! The insurance was $250 gap on the endo plus $180 for his useless summing up after the procedure. Our insurance in Australia is $500 a month and seems to go up every 6 months. We also pay the government $250 a year as a Medicare levee. Have to laugh when you Americans reckon we have a wonderfull system here! Our doctor costs seem to be much lower. On the pension scripts reduce to $6.50. When you use $900 worth you reach the "safety net" and you get all future scripts for free for the rest of the year. As I mentioned I reached that last year which is totally disgusting and why I did a brain snap and woke up to what was happening to an almost healthy body. I truly feel 1000% better after shedding all these meds. I got ZERO support from my GP - she actually wanted to put me on more to get off some of the other rubbish. Blood work has improved out of sight. Give it a bash as you can only improve. I take the Ipad to all consultations and have all the questions I need answers toooooooo. Amazingly they never all get answered. A wonderfull trick I have learned with specialists is if you have one really good guy then ask him who he would go to for gastro help and then go to that guy. So is all this stuff you are on prescribed by a heart specialist?

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda,

    I find I have had to give up all the known triggers for reflux - and that includes alcohol. I also am on ranitidine - which doesn't help your digestive system one little bit! In fact I would say it causes IBS - I've never had so many problems! But's thats another story! It's trial and error finding out what works - but as a rule I don't eat after 7pm or drink after 8.30pm - usually go to be about 10.30pm (always up early!). I try to eat as much variety as I can. Not so keen to take on a alkaline diet - as I have read up - and it can cause as many problems as it solves. Have you had an endoscopy or any other tests? Sometimes when you have a clearer picture of what you are dealing with , you can look at more options. 

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  • Posted

    Thanaks for all your replies- I forgot to mention that I also have problems with feeling out of breath and constant clearring of throat. But I  have had severe fatigue and breathlessness for quite a while and it was helped somewhat by anti depressant so  I put it down to depression which I also had. I watched that video from Beaumont US and it was very clear and helpful.  One thing I noticed was that the dr in the video said that LPR only happens in daytime not at night well thats not true for me as I have acid taste in mouth when I wake up. Anxiety definitely makes things worse for me anyway and just henerally dwelling on things when I am on my own which I am a lot of the time.
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      It will be difficult for you going through this when you are on your own. I have very similar symptoms to you - but I know I have a 3cm hiatus hernia and this is causing a lot of acid reflux - which is much worse at night - and tends to give me a lot of sore throats, bitter taste in mouth, sore chest. I only get regurgitation if I have chocolate or alcohol - so I avoid them - but if I do have this I wake up gasping for breath - it's awful - feels like you are drowning! I too take ranitidine 300mg twice a day - with gaviscon advance as a top up if I'm having a really bad day. I can't tolerate PPI's either! I am waiting now for 270 degree fundoplication operation - as after manometry & 24ph test - surgeon I saw says I have a massive amount of reflux - although I rarely taste acid. It makes me sneeze, cough, retch, belch. I'd see what your barium test reveals. My hernia was diagnosed by endoscopy. It's a horrible thing to have - but worry can make it worse - and until you know what's going on you will worry! Hope you find some answers soon.

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  • Posted

    I seem to have really similar problems to you Linda. Have you found anything at all to help with your throat? I don't have the cough or excess mucus but suffer terribly with my throat.
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  • Posted

    Julie

    With ref sore throat I am afraid that nothing seems to help much my sore throat is not terrible and I think I have almost got used to it- I am finding the irritation which makes me want to cough is worse than the sore throat.  I thought I Might try dgl as licorice is supposed to help with reflux but it seems tobe trying different things and seeing if anything works.  Non sugar, non mint chewing gum is also suggested as a way of creating more saliva, but I found I couldnt stand this after a while and its very antisocial!  Although I donot follow this advice much myself distraction seems to be the best option I do find if I go for a walk that I dont  notice my throat much at all. The suggestion by one respondent of not checking things on computer all the time also good advice, I fo through spells of not looking on pc and I probalby feel less anxious. 

    I have by the way had all the tests, endoscopy, blood ct scan etc when I was having terrible stomach pains and constant nausea and ibs was diagnosed now I dont have those symptoms just the ones from reflux.

    I agree with comments about drs including specialists not really knowing what to do to alleviate problems caused by reflux,  ppis are the go to solution but I cant take them so?  

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