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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

I have been hoarse on-and-off from LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease), also called Reflux Laryngitis, and also called Silent Reflux for about 14 months. My longest bout was 60 straight days of hoarseness. It played havoc on my marriage and work-life, and my self-esteem. It threw me into a near depression, but I have come out the other side. Also, LPR caused my voice to be very weak, my voice had no endurance and no power, I could not sing, talk loudly or for any length of time, or even read to my child.

Technically, my Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor did not diagnose LPR, she said that acid reflux was causing my hoarseness and prescribed me Prilosec. The symptom list, though, for LPR matched almost exactly what I was experiencing. I was unsatisfied taking Prilosec for the rest of my life and was committed to find a solution.

Here is a list of the things I tried to get rid of LPR caused hoarseness:
- Juicing celery and cabbage
- Chewing gum (also gum containing baking soda)
- gargling baking soda solution (made me sick to my stomach)
- started eating low-fat vegan
- eating a low-Ph diet (no tomatoes, citrus, colas)
- do not eat when I have a full stomach
- chew food thoroughly
- finish eating before 6pm
- lose weight
- use a pillow to elevate head while sleeping
- drinking apple cider vinegar
- eating red apples (not green)
- eating almonds

(I still do many of these things.)

All of these things helped somewhat, but my voice was still hoarse. I was about to try the following:

- DGL licorice
- Thayers lozenges (cherry flavor)
- buy a wedge pillow

but I found the solution to my hoarseness before I was able to implement these it is!!!!

My cure for hoarseness caused by LPR is frequently gargling pure, cold, tap water.

Here is my technique:
- wake up in the morning
- use the bathroom, gargle with pure tap water 3 times
- take a shower, gargle 5 times using shower water
- eat breakfast, brush teeth, gargle 5 times
- go to work, use bathroom, gargle 5 times
- eat lunch, gargle 5 times afterward
- use bathroom, gargle 5 times
- eat dinner, afterwards gargle 10 times
- brush teeth before going to bed, gargle 10 times
- wake up to pee in the middle of the night, gargle 5 times

(Essentially, I gargle a few times every time I have a chance, especially after every meal, after I brush my teeth, and after I use the bathroom.)

Total number of gargles during the day, easily over 50 times a day. When I gargle I try to gargle deep into the back of my throat every time.

I found that positive results showed-up after just 24-hours (very slight improvement), after 48-hours the improvement was more dramatic. My normal voice returned after just three days. And now, after one week, my voice power has returned. I can now speak normally, like any normal person while driving in a car (a loud environment), talking on the phone, and talking with friends without thinking.

Now, I still regurgitate the contents of my stomach occasionally at night and sometimes during the day. I make sure to gargle again after this happens (if I can detect it happening).

My theory about why this works is that water has a Ph of 7, and the pepsin on my vocal cords is activated by the stomach contents I regurgitate, these stomach contents have a Ph of between 2 and 6. Gargling with tap water essentially dilutes the acids on my vocal cords by diluting the nasal and back-of-the-throat juices that lie _between_ my vocal cords and mouth (gargling does not dilute the acids on my vocal cords directly). The reason I have to gargle so much is because Ph is a logarithmic scale, and it takes LOTS of dilution to bring my vocal cord fluid coatings from a Ph of 4, say, down to a Ph of 7.

[Note that gargling with baking soda and salt once or twice a day DID NOT WORK to relieve my hoarse voice. In fact, I started feeling sick to my stomach after about three days of gargling with baking soda and water twice a day.]

Happy gargling.

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