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:
but I found the solution to my hoarseness before I was able to implement these plans....here 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.]
Last edited by egoadvocate; 01-08-2011 at 07:24 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to egoadvocate For This Useful Post: JanaJ (11-15-2011)
Thanks, gargling with baking soda and salt, I haven't really kept up with gargling that much thinking it might not work been depressed living with LPR for a few months. I heard gargling too much can dry the throat out. I wasn't so sure, but will try.
Sounds greatd! I have this LPR for over 2 years. My voice gets hoarse from time to time. I tried many things but nothing seems effective for it. I started trying this gargling remedy right after reading Egoadvocate's post. The first gargling changed the sweet and sour taste in my mouth to a salty and bitter taste at the moment. This change of mouth taste may imply that the alkaline tap water reacts with the acidic salive in some sense of neutralization. I will for sure continue the gargling and wish for a good result.
I really don't think that water ph is the reason for your relief. If it were true you could just drink the water instead. The reason why I think this is working for you is because of the position of the head and tongue during the gargle process. This position is actually working out your upper esophogus sphincter which has become weak, causing the reflux. Gargling is becoming a workout routine for you. You may find even better results is you take a look online at the Dr. Shaker exercise for swallowing problems. It will probably be easier for you than gargling all day long.
If strengthening the upper esophageal sphincter solves one problem, doesn't it create another one? Since the lower sphincter will still be weak, won't the acid, now blocked from the larynx area, stay in the esophagus and cause GERD? I hate this hoarseness, but I certainly don't want heartburn.