Hello, fellow GERD and LPR-sufferers. I thought I might see if anyone could recommend anything, or share a similar experience, as the one that I experience on a daily basis. Long-story-short, I'm a GERD and LPR sufferer, and have been for the past 10 years. After seeing numerous doctors and ENT's, I finally had the Nissin Fundoplication surgery in 2006. I'm a voiceover artist and my surgeon really felt that I was a good candidate.
Since then, I had been off of Prevacid, but within the last year, symptoms started to occur again. I don't get heartburn, but whatever the effects of the LPR are, they radically get in the way of me doing my job, which is speaking for a living. My voice is relatively strong in the morning, but it weakens throughout the day. By afternoon, I am straining (I've been diagnosed with muscle-tension dysphonia) and struggling to have a normal conversation, much less read a promo for a client. I should also say that I've been through several rounds of voice-therapy over the years in a variety of places. I'm an asthma sufferer, too. I take Pulmicort respules and Singulair.(inhaled steroids like Advair rob me of my voice) I use Nasacort. I also get allergy shots once a month. And, I take Zantac at bedtime. We also raised our bed 6 inches again.
Back in May, I had rotator cuff surgery. The anesthesiologist "nicked" my vocal folds during intubation because I had longer than normal problems speaking afterwards. My family doctor told me that this is "normal". But, it seemed like a long time. He told me to wait a few weeks. But, it didn't go away. I was having a lot of trouble "projecting". So I went to another ENT, who also is affiliated with a voice-center. He scoped me, then did a videostrobe. He continued to see redness and irritation from LPR, but he doubted that the anesthesiologist did any permanent damage. His suggestion was to do a radical experiment with "diet", a 3-month experiment. No coffee, no chocolate, no mint, no red wine, no citrus, no alcohol, nothing spicy, etc. (same things other doctors had been telling me for years, but I was on Prevacid AND had had the Nissin surgery.) Well, I am a beer connoisseur! I LIVE for hand-crafted ales! But, I agreed.
After one month, I didn't really see any progress. (and I was dying for a wonderfully hoppy pale ale!) I went to another voice center. They did a scope and a 'strobe...and also said that it didn't look like any permanent damage. They suggested following a strict regiment, and they put me back on Prevacid.
But, I still have issues. I did completely quit caffeine. (that was TOUGH...and boy do I miss Starbucks!) I've had no chocolate, mint, citrus, SALSA (which I love!). I have had beer. But I haven't had any again this week because i've been feeling a "burn" in my throat again. I am CONSTANTLY clearing my throat. It seems that there is gunk on my vocal cords ALWAYS! My job is NOT fun to do anymore. (I find it hard to believe that a couple of carbonated adult beverages would wreak so much havoc when I've stopped all these other things that I love, but maybe it's so.) I'm also thinking of losing more weight. (I'm about 25 pounds overweight)
I would have thought that symptoms would stop with 2 x Prevacid-a-day AND having had the Nissin surgery. Perhaps I need to let the "diet changes" take their toll. Also, my family doctor has also switched me over to twice-a-day Nexium.
Anyone have any similar experiences? I go through all kinds of rituals: drink Throat Coat tea in the afternoon, do a portable humidifier, etc, but it just seems like my throat is never "clear". I'm considering a new occupation, but I don't know how to do anything else. I've been a radio broadcaster for 21 years.
And…has anyone STRICTLY observed the LPR diet and experienced positive results? I’d love to hear about it!
Last edited by moderator2; 05-26-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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Hi Matt! I am right there with ya! Yes I suffer from the same thing. I have it REAL bad right now. I have tons of mucus in my throat. I have to keep clearing my throat. My chest feels tight. It feels like I have a touch of asthma almost. It makes me apprehensive and panicky. I have been down this road before. Not I have to radically change my diet once again! No caffeine, no coke, no chocolate, spicy or fatty foods. All the yummy stuff is out the window. It's going to take days to straighten myself out again. Lots of water and plain food. I need to lose 25 pounds myself. I think that would help me alot too.
I love salsa and Starbucks too! I am so sad that these things are just no no's with reflux trouble.
Have you had any pH testing or Endoscopy since your symptoms returned? Has your wrap come undone? Would you be a candidate for re-doing the Nissen or one of the other procedures that tightens the LES. Have you gained weight since your Nissen?
I had my Nissen 8 months ago. My GI doc wouldn't let me go off of the PPI's, still at twice a day, or my diet, still mostly eating anti-reflux plus no dairy and no raw fruits and veggies. I worry about the Nissen coming undone though. My LPR was so bad that I had constant coughing and bad asthma attacks triggered by the acid irritating my lungs. (Nexium was horrible for me, of all the PPI's Prevacid Solutabs work best for me.)
I can't say the diet really helped much pre-surgery, yet I still try to follow it. I'm really tired of years of drinking mostly just water and soy milk. I found that Beer and Wine are some of the worst offenders for me.
Right with you on the rotator cuff surgery too. I had surgery on my rotator cuff about 5 months prior to my Nissen last year.
It is tough that this is hurting your livelihood and something you have loved doing at that. It sounds like you have done most of the things you already could. It also sounds like you know a few other things you can try. Not sure they will be your answer, but it certainly couldn't hurt.
Have you considered seeing a Naturopathic doctor (MD) and/or an Accupuncturist? I've done some research in those directions and see promising things, but don't have the money to pursue those areas. I really wonder if they might provide insight that the other specialists haven't.
I hope you come across something that helps make your life better. As we all know, it can be a really long road with this.