Silent reflux?

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Hi everyone. I'm brand new here. I have recently self-diagnosed myself with LPR and below is why.

My full-time job went out of business is September and therefore I lost my health insurance coverage. I have secured a new job (along with new insurance coverage) however I do not start until November 14. Hence why my condition is self-diagnosed.

Over the past few years I have dealt with bouts of heartburn/acid reflux but it was always fleeting. I'd feel a slight twinge or burning and then it would go away. On the worst days, I'd pop a few Tums and head to bed and then in the morning my symptoms were gone. Once in 2014 I had a particularly bad occurrence where I had a lump in my throat for just a couple days. The first day was awful and my manager actually had to bring me home from work. I wasn't sure what was wrong, but I knew I was having trouble breathing and couldn't swallow. I don't recall how long that symptom lasted but I don't think it was very long.

Fast forward to last week. On or about Wednesday the lump returned. I figured it would be as usual...go to bed, wake up, problem solved. But not this time. Here I am a week and a day later and the lump has not gone away.

I will shamefully admit that I am quite overweight. Obese, even. This is not news to me and I understand this will probably be the #1 cure to my problems. But I need something more immediate. A quicker fix that will allow for me to feel up to working out. A resolution for my "lump" so I feel capable of eating the right foods (as it is I haven't eaten anything in more than 24 hours because I'm afraid I'll feel like I'm choking).

In addition to the lump in my throat I have been having the feeling of post-nasal drip. It came on at about the same time as the lump and I initially thought I was getting sick so I started taking Tussin. I haven't been taking that regularly though because I don't think that's my issue. I have been having dry throat on and off, but after some research I started chewing cinnamon flavored gum and that seems to help with the dryness. Lastly, I have been burping a lot more than normal and haven't drank anything other than water in over a week.

I've tried multiple medicines over the last week. Of course Tums, but also Gaviscon extra strength, generic Mylanta, Ranitidine (generic Zantac) tablets, and Lansoprazole (generic Prevacid) 14-day course of treatment -- I'm currently on day 7.

I spoke to a few people about my situation, one in particular who has experienced it before. In addition to acknowledging that I need to lose weight, the general consensus is that the sudden onset of severe symptoms may be stress-induced. In addition to having lost my job last month, I also suffered the loss of my cat who I had since I was 9 years old. She lived to be 18 and prior to her death she was very ill. She died on September 30.

One thing that is very strange is that my symptoms seems to subside when I'm not actively thinking about them. For example, if I'm engaged in conversation about something else I completely forget about the lump in my throat. For that reason, I wonder how much if it is psychological. I do tend to be obsessive when it comes to these types of things so I'm sure my anxiety is not helping.

Please...any relief or advice you can provide. Please bear in my mind I'm currently in between jobs therefore no insurance to see a doctor about this. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I have had the lump in my throat sensantion for going on about 6 months now. I am only on the heavy side of a healthy weight and losing just 6 pounds has helped. I am hope to lose another 10 or so and feel that this will help greatly. I have read many posts here and so many people suffer with this. It is very frustrating. Doctor do not seem to help anyone with the lump sensation. It might be partly stress, but it's very real. I feel better after a glass of wine in the evening, but losing the weight as helped the most. 

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  • Posted

    Your symptoms do indeed sound like extra-oesophageal reflux (commonly referred to as LPR) - see attached graphic.

    However there are no quick fixes (apart from surgery) .

    You need to control the reflux rather than the acid. Apart from making the reflux less damaging, anyacids and acid suppressants will do nothing to help.

    Go to the free book / website www DownWithAcid org uk and look at the chapter on extra-oesophageal reflux.

    To manage reflux, as you say, weight is the main thing. Also avoid over-filling your stomach by eating smaller portions but more frequently: 5 half-sized meals is better than three large portions. Avoid exercise after food - do it before you eat. Leave at least 3 hours between your last meal and going to bed. Raise the head of your bed by 6 to 8 inches on blocks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    Sounds like you've done a lot of your research, and doing well.

    I had no idea what was wrong with me. Mine started 6 months ago.

    Had every test you can have for gastric roux (gerd)

    Usually there's a few medical conditions that cause this;

    Gall bladder stones

    h-pylori

    Or more of life style choices.

    Mine was ife style. I'm am in fact the opposite to most, and can not gain weight.

    My diet consists of a lot of carbs and protein and coffee.

    I've stopped coffee and cut out on high carbs and have more vegetables and other healthier alternatives

    I feel fantastic, no more lump in my throat. I was getting terrible asthma like symptoms. This has calmed down.

    Cut out the coffee firstly...

    All the best.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah

    There are many of us out there with similar symptons to yourself, I have had various symptoms and have been prescribed a variety of medications and although they help for part of the problem I have not found any real relief for the "Lump in the Throat" feeling. Some days it is really painful, some days only slight but this has been with me for about 18 months now. I get really down on bad days and this makes it even worse, I am trying to be very careful in what I eat and also doing my best to keep as calm as I can about everything in life. It would appear that this is the only way forward. Luckily I do not worry that this could be something more serious as others on this site do as that would only make it worse.

    all the best to you

    Robin

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah, I have suffered with your symptoms for a few years. Being in the UK and having free medical care, I had a gasoscapy and a camera up my nose ...which hurt. Also a swallowing test. They said I had a hiatus hernia and I was put on Es Omeprazol. Eventually it eased but I still have the post nasal drip and the burning from time to time. I take a muscle relaxant every night to relax the hiatus. There doesn't seem to be a total cure for this although losing weight seems to be the answer. I am also overweight but having MS, exersise is not an option. 

    I jope you you can get some relief. It horrible. 

    Best wishes.

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