Hi, All. I am new to this forum and thought that I would use this as a way to document my journey with LPR and the treatments I am trying. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. I will try to update this every week with new information on my progress and/or setbacks.
History: I was diagnosed with LPR last October following some stressful family drama. I went to my ENT with the common lump in the throat feeling. She scoped me and diagnosed me with LPR because of my red and inflamed vocal chords and voice box. She put me on 40mg of Omeprazole and handed me a brochure on the do's and don'ts of the disease and sent me on my way. Three months later, I wasn't following any of the recommended dietary changes and the lump still hadn't gone away. I went back and she upped my dose to 80mg per day. She said that if i didn't improve within a couple of months on the higher dose that I would need to see a gastroenterologist to get an endoscopy done. I am a HUGE baby when it comes to medical procedures so I never went back to her even though I wasn't improving.
A few months ago, I decided enough was enough and I needed to do something to improve my condition. I ordered Dr. Koufman's Dropping Acid Cookbook and Cure and started perusing it, but I didn't like what it said. I'm Italian, so garlic runs through my blood. Tomato sauce is served at every Sunday meal along with heaps of crushed red pepper. Cheese is my best friend and I love my red wine. Needless to say, the book went right where it belonged... on the bookshelf never to be opened again - until last month. My symptoms kept getting worse and new ones were popping up. I started getting horrific post nasal drip, I was always clearing my throat, I developed a minor cough and I started getting a disgusting taste in my mouth that wouldn't go away. So a few weeks ago, I pulled the book down from the shelf, dusted it off and started to follow the recommendations.
For the last three weeks, I haven't eaten anything under a Ph 5. She recommends doing this for 2 weeks and then adding in foods that are Ph 4 and higher. I want to give my throat a chance to heal before I do this. I have cheated twice - i've had two martinis. I can't give up EVERYTHING just yet. I am also a smoker (I know, i know - boo hiss) but I have cut down to between 6 and 7 cigarettes a day. Once I get this diet thing down, I will quit smoking. I am hoping late August or early September.... baby steps.
Along with the low acid diet, I am doing the following:
- 40mg of Omeprazole 2x day
- DGL Licorice with every meal - sometimes I take it before my meal, sometimes after. It tastes DISGUSTING and leaves a film in your mouth for a while after you eat it. So if I take it before, sometimes it ruins the taste of the already bland food.
- Digestive Enzymes with every meal
- Probiotics twice a day
- I am only drinking Evamor water (Ph 8.8) and chamomile tea
- I have ordered Gaviscon Advance from the UK and am waiting for it to come in
- I have cut down on my salt intake
So far, I have had good days and bad. I definitely notice that there is a decrease in the mucus in my throat and the post nasal drip. The lump hasn't gone away completely but most days it is just a tightness in my throat. On the days that I still feel the lump, that's when I get the awful taste in my mouth. So, I would say I *think* I'm improving but only time will tell.
I want to try to get off the PPIs in September. I am going to try to taper down slowly. If anyone has suggestions on how to do that, please share them with me :)
Here are the reasons why I think my LPR started:
1. I smoke
2. Up until a few weeks ago, I used to eat a LOT of salt. When I say a lot, i don't mean a sprinkle here and there on food... I mean A LOT of salt. My blood pressure has always been really low (90/60) so i think I craved salt so much so my BP didn't dip down below that to really dangerous levels. I have read that salt doesn't cause acid reflux in people who already have it, but that you are more likely to develop reflux if you had/have a high sodium diet. It really doesn't make sense to me, but I've cut down on my salt nevertheless.
3. My third addiction was spicy foods. The hotter it was, the better. And if it was coated in a layer of salt, even better still!
4. At the beginning of last year, I started to sleep on my stomach a lot. I had never done that in the past, but for some reason that's the only sleeping position I could get comfortable in. I don't know if there is a connection but now I'm trying to only sleep on my back or side.
Well, that's it for now. Like I said, I will try to update my progress (or lack thereof) weekly. Please post if you have any suggestions on what I should be adding in or taking out of my diet.... Or if you have any questions... or a good joke to share... or for whatever reason at all ;-)