LPR can cause hoarseness, coughing, burning and mucus in the throat, difficulty swallowing, brief spasm of the vocal cords, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth upon waking.
Because LPR does not always have the well-known traditional symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it is called “silent reflux” and may go undiagnosed. If left untreated, LPR can lead to frequent throat and sinus infections, chronic voice and throat inflammation, and vocal cord lesions.
Although common, it is less well known than gastroesophageal reflux disease.
It is estimated that 10 percent A percentage of people who visit a throat specialist have LPR.
In people with this condition, acids and digestive enzymes flow back up through the esophagus and into the larynx and pharynx (the cavity between the nose and mouth). In contrast, in gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach contents move to: Lower esophagus instead. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease often experience heartburn, indigestion, and pain in the upper abdomen or chest. The symptoms of the two conditions may overlap, but not always.
Both are treated with acid blockers, a low-acid diet, and lifestyle changes. (See list of dietary and lifestyle changes below.)
in the investigation, found LPR is associated with asthma, pneumonia, and bronchiectasis, which causes the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs to widen and loosen. One of the more troubling but rare effects of LPR is its effect on audio.
“If your voice is very hoarse, it can affect you.” [the patient’s] Claudio Milstein, director of the Speech Center at the Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute, said he typically recommends voice therapy for patients with hoarseness. Frequent coughing can also be a “nuisance” for LPR patients and those around them.
Milstein said one of the most frightening symptoms of LPR is laryngospasm, when a drop of acid enters the throat and the throat closes in response.
“Patients can’t breathe and it’s really scary. … Usually for a short period of time, but patients feel like it lasts for hours and panic,” says Cleveland Clinic Lerner and Case Western Reserve. says Milstein, who is also a professor of otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the university’s medical school. He said he sees symptomatic patients three to four times a month. Milstein treats LPR with behavioral changes, diet and medications, and said patients usually improve within a few months.
Why diagnosis is difficult
Symptoms of LPR can be similar to other diseases, making diagnosis difficult. If you suspect an infection, please consult your primary care physician or otolaryngologist.
Gastroenterologists and otolaryngologists typically diagnose LPR based on symptoms. Otolaryngologists also use laryngoscopy (a process in which a thin tube with a camera is inserted through the nose to view the larynx or voice box), primarily to rule out polyps, tumors, and voice boxes. often. Vocal cord paralysis.
Oral salivary pepsin tests, which measure the amount of the digestive enzyme pepsin in saliva, can help diagnose LPR, but are not yet widely available. Additionally, pH monitoring can measure the amount of acid that enters the esophagus, which can help diagnose both GERD and LPR.
doctors are still looking Reliable LPR diagnostic test.
Lee Axt, associate professor of otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said he believes reflux disease is overdiagnosed.
“I think the mistake our field has made is relying on reflux as a magic diagnosis to explain all throat symptoms,” he says.
Alto’s doctor prescribed a strict low-acid diet, as well as Prilosec twice a day and natural alginate products. He also suggested nasal irrigation with saline mixed with a mild steroid. About two months after making the change, her reflux symptoms were almost gone.
“Most of his recommendations were to stop eating and drinking almost everything I care about. You’d be surprised at things that have acid in them, like coffee, wine, tomatoes, berries,” says Ort, 59. said.
Megha Ramani, a personal finance lawyer and student of Hindustani classical music, made a major lifestyle change after being diagnosed by a doctor in London. Although her medication helped, Ramani, 39, still suffered from hoarseness. “She literally almost lost her voice,” she said.
She consulted an Ayurvedic doctor who suggested limiting sour and spicy foods for a while, eating seasonal, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, and taking herbal remedies. Book”acid watcher dietA book written by New York ear, nose and throat surgeon Jonathan Aviv was also helpful, and she found support: International Digestive Disease Foundation.
She also started walking, as well as yoga, Pilates, and breathing exercises, which helped her lose weight. “She removed a lot of processed foods from her diet and exercised regularly. And because her voice was being affected, she was recommended to undergo speech therapy,” Ramani said. Told. She said: “She was told that she wasn’t breathing correctly and she was shown how to breathe.”
Ruth E. Saylor-Carter, a St. Louis freelance writer and editor, cut back on her husband’s favorite foods: chili, spaghetti sauce, pizza, and citrus fruits. She also lost about 40 pounds of her weight and used a special pillow to raise her head at night. As a frequent speaker, she needed to deal with a persistent cough and hoarseness.
One thing she couldn’t completely give up was coffee and chocolate. But she fools herself into thinking she’s drinking the same amount of coffee as before, switching to a smaller coffee pot as a way to chop up chocolate to avoid eating a whole candy bar, and finding ways to cut down on coffee. I found.
“I think it’s a combination of creativity and some self-control,” said Saylor, 70. “LPR was impacting my sleep and overall comfort, so anything I could do to improve it was worth doing, even if it meant having trouble sleeping.” A little sacrifice. ”
Recommended dietary and lifestyle changes
LPR is often treated with acid blockers, a low-acid diet, and lifestyle changes such as:
- Quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Lose weight and increase exercise.
- Avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime.
- Elevate the head of the bed or use sloping pillows.
- Doctors also recommend taking gaviscon, an alginate derived from brown algae, and sometimes the muscle relaxant baclofen.
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