Doctors say all is fine, but throat pain won't stop
I am posting for my mother. She is 63 and has been dealing with acid reflux for 3 years. Recently, she had a flare up that has put her on the coach for the past week in extreme pain. She has seen all the doctors (gastro, ENT, and ER docs) and they all say everything is fine. If it was fine, she wouldn't be in any pain. Her pain is severe and concentrated in one spot in her throat (which the drs looked at and found nothing). If she lifts anything heavy (including her 12 pound grandbaby), swallows without looking forward, coughs or suddenly jerks her head, the pain is greatly intensified. If anyone can offer any suggestions at all, we'd appreciate it.
Medical history (condensed...): In 2008, my mom had her first serious episode where the acid burned her vocal cords. Took 3 months to heal using valium and ibuprofen. Continued pain and several flares up since then. In May 2010, had an esophagus spasm and was admitted to the hospital for testing, which included bloodwork, an EGD, MRI, CT scan, throat and chest x-rays, throat/stomach/esophagus biopsies and laryngoscopy. All tests came back normal and the doctors said they have no idea why she’s in pain. She now takes the following daily medication: citalopram 10mg (for stress) and omeprazole 80mg (for acid reflux), as well as other medications not related to acid reflux. She also takes valium and hydrocodon/acetaminophen as needed. Prior to 2008, my mom had regular episodes of heartburn and acid regurgitations, particularly from bread, pastries and twizzlers.
In addition to the medications, my mom has made all of the obvious lifestyles changes to reduce acid reflux (no acid "trigger" foods, sleeps with head of bed elevated, etc.). With the recent flare up, I've done hours of research and here's what she is now trying:
Gluten free diet (and finally gave up chocolate, which is an acid “trigger” food)
Currently on liquid diet (including boost, etc), until pain subsides
Taking probiotic every morning
Eating (devouring?) honey to coat and soothe the pain in her throat (tried molasses, but serious vomiting concerns)
Drinking chamomile tea with honey every night
Once she gets back to eating solid foods, she plans to drink aloe juice before every meal to help coat her throat and aid in digestion.
The new regime was only started in the past few days. The honey has greatly reduced her pain level, but it’s too early to tell if anything else has worked. If anyone has had something similar and can offer solutions, please do! She’s open to anything.