I didn’t know Laryngo-pharyngeal Reflux (Silent Acid Reflux) is mostly caused by an enzyme called pepsin. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins in the stomach.
Silent acid reflux is when pepsin backs up into your throat (pharynx) or voice box (larynx). If the backflow of acid happens often, it can damage tissues in your throat and voice box.
For many people with it, LPR may be silent because it happens at night during sleep without waking them.
Signs of LPR may include:
• Voice changes (a hoarse or raspy voice)
• Problems swallowing or choking
• Chronic cough, throat clearing
• A feeling of “something in my throat”
• Extra throat mucus or postnasal drip
• Bad or bitter taste in your mouth
• Heartburn or indigestion
Silent acid reflux (LPR) is similar to Gastro-esophageal Reflux (GERD), but it is not the same condition. With GERD, heartburn is very common. With LPR, you may or may not have heartburn. (source)
You May Not Really Have Asthma – It May Be Silent Acid Reflux!
Shortness of breath and the inability to take a deep breath (common asthma symptoms) are often caused by acid reflux.
In her New York practice, most of Dr. Jamie Koufman’s patients with a diagnosis of “asthma” didn’t really have it, and their asthma treatments did nothing for them. These patients had “pseudo-asthma”. Koufman estimates we spend $65 BILLION a year in the US treating reflux-caused pseudo-asthma.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Should Have Black-box Warnings
When you have acid reflux symptoms, the first thing your doctor will likely prescribe you is PPIs (proton pump inhibitors).
There have been numerous petitions for a black box warning for Nexium, Prilosec, etc. due to increased risk of bone fractures, kidney disease, and magnesium deficiency leading to heart problems. And if you try to “get off” the PPIs, your will most likely get severe ‘acid rebound’ that can force users to become dependent on them, so you are WORSE off than when you started. (source)(source)
But there is a far safer and more effective way to address the issue.
Alkaline Water To the Rescue
If you have acid reflux of any kind, alkaline water is a great help because it neutralizes bad guy pepsin (if the pH of the water is high enough) and lowers the pH level of more acidic foods / drinks.
You may also use alkaline water to rule out whether you really have asthma or silent reflux instead.
Dr. Jamie Koufman discusses the basics of alkaline water and acid reflux.
Alkaline is the opposite of acid. It is sometimes also called “basic.” The way we measure acid is by the pH scale. pH 7 is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.
Acids are below pH 7 (the lower the number, the more acidic), and bases are above pH 7 (the higher the number, the more alkaline).
A pH of 2 is ten times more acidic than pH 3 and a pH of 2 is 100 times more acidic than pH 4. So these numbers are pretty significant.
The commonly available alkaline waters that have the most benefit for refluxers have pH values of 8.0-10.5.
A reader’s functional medicine doc gave the following recipe to her for her acid reflux – which it quickly cured! (This is an excellent example of how a functional med doc will usually help you without drugs!)
Recipe to Make Alkaline Water:
(if this is too small, see the print below)
Homemade Alkaline Water
- Pour a half-gallon of the distilled or filtered water into the gallon jug with a lid.
- Add 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. sea salt (optional: 1 tsp. coral calcium powder) to the container.
- Add the juice of 1 lemon.
- Secure the container lid and shake vigorously.
- Add another half-gallon of distilled water or filtered water to the container.
- Close the container tightly and give it a good few shakes to mix all the water.
- Sip 16-32 ounces or more of water from morning till bedtime.
NOTE: Using the pH strips, test the mixture. Ideally, you will have a pH level of 8 or 9. If that is not the case, add another ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to the mix and test again. Keep adding the baking soda in small quantities until the proper pH is reached. Be sure to note how much you used for the next batch of alkaline water you make.
Silent Acid Reflux Diet Overview:
Eliminate common LPR triggers
- Acidic foods
- Spicy foods
- Oily foods
Find your ideal LPR diet
- Start with a low-acid Paleo diet
If symptoms do not improve, consider:
Modify dietary habits
- Avoid lying down after eating
- Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
- Eat slowly and in moderation
Add supplements as needed
- Probiotics with bifidobacterium to support a healthy gut and digestive system
- TRS zeolites detox heavy metals, chemicals and toxins. TRS is known to lessen, then eliminate, acid reflux. The whole body functions much better when it’s no longer inflamed by toxins.
- Fulvic acid (also known as “mineral pitch” or “shilajit”) boosts immunity in situations that suppress Th1 cytokines, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and cancer: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23750745/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215318/
- Melatonin, l-tryptophan, prokinetic herbs (such as ginger) to reduce stomach acid
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