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Thread: Does Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Ever Go Away???

  1. #16
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    Kefir is a no-no since doctor told her no dairy. Also, April, since most of the probiotics you'll find in stores are dairy-based, find a non-dairy-based one. I know for sure that Natren makes a few of them. I'm not familiar with the one NBrazil mentioned.

  2. #17
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    Oppsie - I missed that. Sorry.

  3. #18
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    Can I join your club? :)

    Hello all-

    I was just officially diagnosed last week...but have dealt with what I thought was gerd for a couple years. I am ordinarily against prescription drugs so when I had an episode I would try to treat the symptoms with natural methods...but nothing really ever brought me great relief. And then it would just dissapear and I would let out a sigh of relief and think to myself...it's gone!! But...as you all know it came back again & again. Thanks to you guys I found out about it being episodic...which explains alot...my doctor didn't even mention it to me. Anyway I've been takin 40mg of omeprazole before bed every night...digestive enzymes with each meal and pro-biotics and I have to say...I see a slight improvement...very slight. I have mostly sinus symptoms...plugged ears and ear pain...sore throat...stuffy nose. Along with a bunch of other random symptoms...they seem to be different day to day. I have to say that I just glanced at this page yesterday after google-ing LPR and just burst inot tears at my desk at work...I thought 28 is just too young for all of this. But I do feel a little better knowing I am not alone. AprilJoy that throat closing thing has got me really freaked out right now. I hope that improves for you...I hope we all improve! Here's a question...has anyone ever tried Reglan...it is a med that strengthens...or closes (?) the sphincter...it worked great...but then a neurologist told me to NEVER take it again and then soon after I saw a class action lawsuit commercial about it saying it causes irreversible neurological damage. Thank God I did not experience any of that...but my only saving grace is off limits now...but my question is that if the reglan worked for me does anyone think I would have success with the surgery...since the surgery would do the samething the reglan did...right? Also just wanted to mention I have found slippery elm to be quite soothing. When my throat is feeling sore I pop 2 of the lozenges and feel immediate relief from the pain...it may come back later but it works for the time being...I also use the slippery elm loose tea...I steep it in really hot water, add some raw honey and then let it sit until it's luke warm (can't tolerate that kind of heat in my throat)...it's incredibly soothing.
    I see some of you are in Atlanta as I am...I thought it would be great if there was a support group that could get together and share stories and remedies and helpful hints and tips...anyone know of anything like that??
    Sorry I've written a novel...I never met anyone else who's had these problems...so I spilled my guts! Thank you all for sharing your stories and tips.

  4. #19
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    Rooibos Tea, Slippery Elm, and Marshmallow Root

    Hi Mrs G...
    Every day, I drink Rooibos Tea (also called African Red Bush Tea or just Red Tea) which is very helpful...but lately I've also taken to adding into the tea two capsules of slippery elm bark and two capsules of marshmallow root (I open the capsules and empty the powder into the cup and add the hot water). Like you, I also let it get a bit less hot before I drink it. It's delicious and it is very helpful to my GERD and LPR. I was drinking it later in the day, too, but I find that if I drink any hot beverage after dinner, I pee all night. But if you don't have that problem, it's quite soothing and helpful.
    -NYer

  5. #20
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    Right now, I'm running about 10 miles per day and every so evening drinking about 4 Pabst Blue Ribbon. The PBR seems to sooth my throat and the running helps keep the stress level down. 38 year old Male. Weigh about 140 lbs. Have pain in the right side of throat off and on for about 2+ years. When I feel like it, I take 20mg omeprazole twice daily which seem to help. Pain has seemed to move up my throat to where it's connected to the right ear. I've noticed that the right ear doesn't seem to drain right and feels clogged up with fluid when I'm into my 9th or 10th mile of a run. Wonder if it's related. Feel good in that I haven't had any heartburn episodes in a long time. Never had heartburn when diagnosed with LPR but started getting them 1+ year into this craziness. Wonder if pain in the neck is being caused by sleeping on a bigger than normal pillow? How did I get into this mess?

  6. #21
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    MrsG I know exactly how you feel.

    When this whole mess (of symptoms) started, my physician couldn't figure it out and concluded it was all in my head (no pun intended) and put me on Zoloft and Trazadone!!!!!! Bad move, and I fired him and dropped it quickly. I tried an allergist who found "asthma" and we tried treating that. Yowwwwww (see my description of the mechanism for LPR and you'll know why).

    Finally, I gave up and started an internet search of my symptoms (please do not take this as an affirmation of internet self-diagnosis, that is a dangerous path that many have gone down and one should use a LOT of discernment!) and was fortunate to find a one-to-one symptom correspondence that led me to making the connection of seeing an ENT (at Emory). Yep, LPR... I cried too over the relief, a relief which was short-lived because of the life-changing elements of this condition.

    But that is how I relate. Hey, with three Atlantans we really do have the potential of a face-to-face support group, LOL. Something to think about.

  7. #22
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    ...and, regarding the subject of this thread

    An awful coincidence. The LPR (which has been 90% or better controlled) has flared up in my case, reintroducing old symptoms (bitter/salty taste, major PND, burning tongue and throat spasms). Fortunately the barking has not returned, but coughing and throat clearing frequency has stepped up significantly.

    All of this flat out of nowhere (no major changes in lifestyle or medications).

    The only things that have changed is I've been more lax in my diet and have gained a few pounds (time for discipline), and I've finished tapering off of a benzo medication (this may be significant, after all).

    Not a happy camper, it has been years since I've had these symptoms and since there are no other options with the medications, I just have to wait it out and hope that by losing the weight again it'll get back under control (sheesh, its only 10 pounds).

  8. #23
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    NBrazil -I went to Emory too!

    We probably have the same doctor!

    Sorry to hear that you have had a "relapse". I get those too. Some days, I feel like I can eat normally. (I even treated myself to a carbonated beverage last weekend. Whooo ...Sprite. It burned a little going down but I think that is what it is supposed to do. In any case, it was a refreshing change from water.)

    But this week is tough. Mainly my voice. The raspyness, clearing my throat, etc..

    This healing process is like taking two steps forward and one step back.

    I haven't eaten this morning and i'm contemplating fasting. If there is nothing in my stomach, how could acid be a problem? Well, my hunger pains tell me that the acid is there regardless of food or not. I"m feeling kind of defeated.

  9. #24
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    Your body produces digestive fluids (including acid) when you THINK about food or are simply hungry. So fasting doesn't make acid production stop.

  10. #25
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    This healing process is like taking two steps forward and one step back.
    Zigactely! Been there!

    Nah, Emory was where I got diagnosed, but I found another doctor who I like a lot better.

  11. #26
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    Totally Frustrated!

    Short version.....after 5 mos. of constant coughing, throat clearing, was diagnosed with LPR by ENT. It's been 2 mos. of treatment so far, and I am not seeing any change at all. Reading everything I can about this frustrating ailment, seems like every doctor says to do something different. Mine says...no caffeine, except 1 or 2 before noon, no alcohol, no chocolate, no peppermint and raise the head of your bed 6 inches. I've done/am doing all that. He says it doesn't matter what else you eat, other than not to eat or drink at least 3 hrs before bed. I'm on 2 omneprazole/day, plus 2 zantac at night. It seems to me that I can get through the night pretty much without coughing except a little in the beginning, but when I wake up, it starts. The cough is what is literally driving me crazy. You cough and cough and then start gagging, then dry heaving for hours in the am. I know that I make myself hyperventilate, because you start panicking because of these cough spasms. Why isn't there something to stop the cough? Would a muscle relaxer help, or an anti-anxiety med? My ENT wants next to put needles in my neck around my larynx to hit my muscle trigger points. Has anyone had this? I really don't think I can handle that, but if I thought it would help, I might. I'm going back this Thursday, so I'll have to decide by then. I am just getting so down having this crap. I try to be positive, but it's almost impossible and no one else can possibly understand the total frustration that you feel 24/7. Someone please tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.....

  12. #27
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    It seems to me that if you are on two PPI's and two H2 Blockers per day for two months with no positive results, then you are not on the right medications/treatment plan.

    I'm puzzled as to why he hasn't at least tried to switch you to a different PPI. Personally, I cannot tolerate any of those drugs, though.

    And I have never heard of having trigger point injections for that purpose (in your neck to ease coughing). I have had them to relieve neck and back muscle stiffness and pain. I'm not saying that won't help - but I've never heard of them used for that purpose. I don't see why he wants to address the symptom without addressing the cause more enthusiastically.

    You might want to get a second opinion.

    In the meantime, what might be soothing to your esophagus and throat and help you with the coughing is chewing two DGL tablets (over the counter) 15 minutes prior to each meal and sucking on slippery elm lozenges or drinking slippery elm bark tea (available in health food stores and some pharmacies, over the counter).

    I have a long thread here explaining what I do for GERD and LPR and it has helped immensely - without drugs. Maybe you'll get some other good ideas from that:
    [url]http://forums.heartburn-help.com/showthread.php?t=7527&highlight=natural[/url]

  13. #28
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    Welcome McBarbie

    Sorry to hear about your coughing. I used to make myself hyperventilate too -and gag. Fortunately, that has stopped because I don't eat several hours before bedtime. But it's a careful balance because my digestive juices become a problem when I get hungry too...

    After two months of Prilosec, I saw a little improvement. But not much. I am now taking a new time released drug that begins with a "K" (in one of my earlier posts) I have also taken myself off vitamin supplements. (I was taking prenatal vitamins in hopes to get pregnant)

    Have you tried eliminating dairy?

    I have significantly changed my diet by eliminating dairy. I think that has made a difference. I was having a "good day" last Thursday, so on date night with my hubby and tried lobster bisque and had a three sips of his orange pilsner beer. That was a big no no. I cleared my throat the rest of the night. I had a sensation as if I was drowning in my throat. The raspy, cut-off voice, immediately returned before we even left the restaurant.

    I want to believe that I'm still in the healing phase. But I get angry. I'm angry at my body for betraying me. I'm not over weight, I don't smoke, I exercise regularly so there is no reason for my system to retaliate so cruelly.

    Personally, I have a theory (because as you may have found the treatment of this.."thing" is based on theories -even by doctors.) My theory is this: Our digestive systems have not yet evolved to consume the vast amounts of processed foods that we do. Our consumption of food and the way it is prepared has greatly changed in the past 50 years. That's why we have health issues like diabetes and whatever the heck this LPR crap is.

    It is believed that we are all lactose intolerant. My mom pointed out to me that I was allergic to milk when I was a baby. She had to feed me soy formula. Perhaps my system never really got adjusted to dairy and I've been enjoying cheese almost every day for all these years.

    I don't know. Its just a theory. Maybe I am desperately seeking a reason for this hideous, debilitating condition. I am one step away from seeking a holistic, voodoo doctor. Anyone know of a shaman healer in town? Acupuncture? I'm open for ideas...

  14. #29
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    By they way..

    McBarbie, the needles sounds a bit freaky. I've heard of doctors injecting silicone in the throat, but I say: give it more time. Personally, I think that should be a last resort.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbarbie View Post
    Short version.....after 5 mos. of constant coughing, throat clearing, was diagnosed with LPR by ENT. It's been 2 mos. of treatment so far, and I am not seeing any change at all. Reading everything I can about this frustrating ailment, seems like every doctor says to do something different. Mine says...no caffeine, except 1 or 2 before noon, no alcohol, no chocolate, no peppermint and raise the head of your bed 6 inches. I've done/am doing all that. He says it doesn't matter what else you eat, other than not to eat or drink at least 3 hrs before bed. I'm on 2 omneprazole/day, plus 2 zantac at night. It seems to me that I can get through the night pretty much without coughing except a little in the beginning, but when I wake up, it starts. The cough is what is literally driving me crazy. You cough and cough and then start gagging, then dry heaving for hours in the am. I know that I make myself hyperventilate, because you start panicking because of these cough spasms. Why isn't there something to stop the cough? Would a muscle relaxer help, or an anti-anxiety med? My ENT wants next to put needles in my neck around my larynx to hit my muscle trigger points. Has anyone had this? I really don't think I can handle that, but if I thought it would help, I might. I'm going back this Thursday, so I'll have to decide by then. I am just getting so down having this crap. I try to be positive, but it's almost impossible and no one else can possibly understand the total frustration that you feel 24/7. Someone please tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.....
    Well there definitely IS a light at the end of the tunnel for most people, that is people who can tolerate and respond to PPI therapy. The problem is that the average amount of time before one feels any subjective improvement during this therapy is 6 MONTHS. What this means is that it took years of exposure and damage to reach where you are now so it will take a lot of time to heal. The reason for this is that the Pharynx has ZERO tolerance for acid, and even the best pharmaceutical therapy cannot remove 100% of the acid (close, but not quite). Think of a wound that is scabbed over, and how much longer it would take to heal if the scab was constantly scrapped off.

    That is a poor metaphor, but it just illustrates that the massive reduction of acid enables healing to occur, but that the presence of the minute amount of acid that still remains irritates and slows the healing.

    Now, with that much being said, it should be possible for your ENT to see physical improvement BEFORE you can feel it. That is one of the things that kept me going, because in my case it took 9 months before I had significant symptomatic improvement. And believe you me, I was very frustrated! No social life and exhaustion from the constant coughing and barking. At work they put me away in my own office (a good thing). But eventually I got better.

    Recently I've gotten worse, but no where NEAR what I was. I went from 95% control of symptoms to about 65% controlled, and I'm crawling back from that.

    Okay... I'll tell you some of my "tricks," things that helped me... a little. But a little here, a little there and it adds up.

    1) Digestive enzymes (which also helps me tolerate Nexium)

    2) MSM and vitamin C (the latter helps the former). MSM increases cellular regeneration dramatically, but still takes time.

    3) A product called GES-5... essentially an organic, not aluminum containing form of Gaviscon, which forms a temporary floating barrier on top of the contents in one's stomach.

    4) Neti pot (helps to wash the nasal passages)

    Now I'm going to address the anti-anxiety med angle very, very carefully - because you must learn from my mistakes! Yes, some anti-anxiety medications will knock out the symptoms (as in mask them), but the cost is too high - TRUST ME, I SAY THIS FROM EXPERIENCE! I used them as a mask during the healing phase. When my ENT told me my throat looked normal I tried to stop them and guess what, you can't! And the withdrawal process is more painful and difficult than the LPR was in the first place so it is not an option! NOT AN OPTION! In fact I've recently learned that there can be a rebound of LPR symptoms when one stops them (and that is probably the reason for my current situation). Do not consider this, these drugs are for short term use only... if one must use them longer than 2 weeks they risk great harm to themselves.

    Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned them working because I remember how desperate I was (and I expect you are too), but I do not believe in withholding information or facts... and the fact is you would rue the day you went down that path at some point. It could be in a week or in a year, but you will have wished you just had suffered the LPR stuff. I hope I make myself clear. Do not fall for the siren song as I did! Stick with the simple things and wait, it will get better.

    Finally, as already has been suggested, there are OTHER PPIs to try. As I said, an ENT can monitor improvement even if you can't feel it yourself. If they cannot SEE improvement in 2 or 3 months, they ought to switch your medication to another (double dose) PPI and possibly another H2 inhibitor.

    I will reiterate, in nearly all cases it gets better with time (certainly within a year), one merely has to be patient (I know how hard that is, I really, REALLY do).

    Hang in there, you'll see!

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