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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Just wanted to add my story of diagnosed-as-LPR-but-not-LPR in case anyone out there finds it useful.

The TL;DR version is that I thought I had LPR for 4 months, turns out I simply wasn't drinking nearly enough water and had a dry/phlegmy throat. :dizzy:

Now for the details: I had many standard LPR symptoms that started suddenly from no obvious single source (i.e. not after a long night of boozing or a URI). I didn't have all the LPR symptoms but the worst by far was a constant, painful burning in my throat.

Other symptoms I had was the feeling of a lump in my throat, hoarseness, weak/cracking voice, too much mucus, funny taste in mouth, throat clearing, and some coughing. I definitely had no heartburn and no regurgitation but I should add that I mostly experienced 'globus' after coffee and/or alcohol, which I only indulged in for experimentation during those 4 months, good times.

My doctor immediately thought it was acid reflux and put me on omeprazole which actually made things worse and gave me heartburn. I feel ridiculous writing that but I have only EVER experienced daily, chronic heartburn while on omeprazole. I wish I would have realized that it was the omeprazole causing the heartburn at this point rather than just my sore throat problems showing their true colors.

I stuck with the omeprazole and had the dosage doubled when I told my doctor that my problems persisted, this improved the heartburn for a bit. I also got an endoscopy which showed mild irritation consistent with GERD, not too surprising since I was definitely feeling the heartburn at least once a day.

I was feeling really depressed at this point since there was no relief from the powerful double dose of PPIs I was taking, and I could see no correlation between what I was eating and how bad my throat felt. In fact my list of "safe" foods kept changing and it seemed crazy that eating an apple on an empty stomach caused heartburn problems today when it didn't yesterday. I know the stomach is a mysterious beast and maybe there was a cumulative effect going on but I decided to quit the PPIs cold turkey, even though I've read that's frowned upon. To my relief the heartburn disappeared immediately but the throat problems persisted...

Finally I booked an appointment with an ENT (had only seen a general practitioner and gastoenterologist prior to this) and he asked me how much water I was drinking a day as a standard list of questions. I said 2 glasses of water a day and he said that wasn't enough. Then in the nasopharyngoscopy he said my throat looked a bit dry and there was a small amount of thick mucus there and they didn't see any obvious signs of reflux.

I was going to go for the ph monitoring after this, rather than another round of PPIs-as-diagnosis, but the ENT also suggested a 3rd conservative option where I could drink more water for a week and see how I felt, which is exactly what I did.

I am completely embarrassed for wasting so much time, money, and energy, when in the end the treatment was both free and painless. I know that this won't help most people on this board, but I would agree that LPR shares a lot of symptoms with other things and I wish my doctor had not been so quick to prescribe PPIs.

Before this I never suspected that my water drinking habits were a problem since they did not change at all prior to my sore throat symptoms. I also have never been diagnosed with any allergies, nor did I ever feel dehydrated or thirsty. It took about 1.5 weeks of pounding water (and subsequently dislodging plenty of phlegm that was apparently there!) before I really felt back to normal. To be fair though, I think I was actually drinking far less water than your average person.

Best of luck to all,

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