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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Now I finally understand that the coughing and tons of mucus I produce after catching a cold is always almost entirely LPR.

I was diagnosed with LPR about 15 years ago. At the time, I took Aciphex for several months, and the problem went away. Except I didn't realize -- [B]it has never really gone away. It is always waiting in the wings. I don't think anyone is ever really cured of this. [/B]

Almost every time I get sick with a cold, it results in a chronic cough and tons of mucus. It feels like the mucus is coming from my sinuses (because I blow tons of clear sticky thick mucus from my nose), but it's really not. It's in my throat. I'm clearing my throat all the time, too and doing this "back of the throat snorting thing" that is really gross.

Of course, in the past, I had been treated for sinus infections (sometimes real, sometimes not), bronchitis, allergies, the gamut. I have even been on steroids (which stopped the coughing immediately, but messed up my liver enzymes and my thyroid for a while).

In October 2015 I got sick (and did actually get a sinus infection) while visiting Peru. Looking back, I now totally understand why this happened: dry thin air at high altitude, many rich dinners, overeating, and alcohol. A perfect storm for LPR to rear its head again.

I was sick for two months after that trip with a cough that just wouldn't stop. Not realizing that it was LPR (thinking it was bronchitis) my doctor gave me a dose of steroids, tapering for two weeks. That stopped the cough in its tracks and I was "cured." But no.......

I caught another cold a few months later, and BAM, the cough came right back, just as bad as it had been before taking the steroids! That's when I remembered the LPR diagnosis from 15 years ago. I started taking Prilosec twice a day, and it got much better (but it took time; almost two months). I wasn't really watching my diet or doing any of the things that you're supposed to do with LPR because I went on another trip to France! How can you be on a bland low fat diet with no wine in France?!

I saw my ENT doctor, and she talked to me about LPR. She also suggested that I resume allergy shots because my sinuses did seem a little inflamed. I was on the Prilosec for about a month and a half. Then after coming home from France, I switched to Zantac and then to Gaviscon. Then nothing. And I was fine. Resumed my normal diet, which included chocolate and mint gum. (I don't smoke, rarely drink alcohol, and only drink herbal tea which has no acid).

I got over that episode and was doing great. I am now getting allergy shots and am almost up to the maintenance dose.

But, two weeks ago, my adult daughter came back from an overseas trip sick with a cold. As hard as tried to avoid her and practice excellent hygiene, I still caught the freaking cold. And yup, the LPR has come back in spades. Within a week I was coughing again with tons of mucus. As they say, it was "Deja Vu all over again" LOL.

I will tell you what I think really brought it back. Not getting sick, but trying to treat it. I noticed that within a day of spraying decongestant into my nose (and feeling it drip down the back of my throat) I began coughing again. [B]I think that the nasal spray irritated my larynx and started the cycle all over again, aided by the Sambocol I was taking, which is definitely acidic.[/B]

This time, the moment I began coughing, I began taking Zantac. That didn't seem to work very well, so I switched to Prilosec twice a day, and saw my ENT. She looked in my nose and ears and listened to my lungs and said, Yup, no infections, it's LPR. Go see my Gastro doctor and get an upper endoscopy.

That's where I am today.

When I started taking the Prilosec and avoiding acidic foods, I noticed that the thick sticky clear phlegm began to feel lighter and more foamy in my throat.

I still have a a LOT of phlegm in my throat and I'm still blowing it out of my nose and doing the gross "back of the throat snorting thing" to clear it away. I'm trying not to cough, so as not to irritate my throat any further.

I hate having to take a PPI drug. 15 years ago, it almost totally depleted my body of B-12! Fortunately, I now understand this and I take an excellent B-12 supplement several times per week. I always get my B-12 level checked when I do my twice-annual blood test (to keep an eye on my thyroid disease).

Besides avoiding acidic foods, chocolate, mint, alcohol -- is there anything else I can do? How about Apple Cider Vinegar? Does that help? Digestive enzymes? (I have some good ones, should I take them?) This is just SO UNCOMFORTABLE and I feel like I have no appetite right now because I always have this heavy mucusy feeling in the back of my throat.

I'm seeing my GI doctor some time soon and will definitely get an upper endoscopy in the near future. I really hope that I don't need get surgery!

I appreciate any advice you can give. I know that you guys have been in the trenches with this.

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