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  • allergies?? or silent reflux???

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    Old 08-13-2006, 07:24 AM   #1
    flemmy
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    allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Hi group:

    I'm new here and looking for a diagnosis after suffering from chronic phlegm and throat clearing for as long as I can remember (decades!). I was thinking that it's probably allergies or candida or(?) I've given up many foods over the years: wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, sweets, tomatoes, etc.. My diet is becoming extremely limited and I STILL have phlegm problems..mainly in the morning, but it can happen anytime. Someone suggested it could be reflux (LPR). But since I never get heartburn, I have doubted this. In fact, my digestion shows signs of being WEAK, so I take enzymes and betaine HCL with meals. Nothing seems to help.

    I 've not tried vinegar yet. And I've not seen an allergist yet. I don't seem to have the "classic" allergy symptoms either. Just lung and throat clearing, no itchy eyes etc.

    I've also suspected that it could be dust and mold allergies. Or, maybe I have both allergies AND reflux??

    What's the easiest (and cheapest, as I have no insurance) way to figure this out? A trial of Nexium?

    I should probably also mention that I have some other weird symptoms that might suggest endocrine problems, like low body temp., possible adrenal symproms, etc.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

    -m

     
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    Old 08-13-2006, 08:24 AM   #2
    Sun Flower
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Actually about half the people who have LPR never have any heartburn at all. This is because the material that refluxes does not stay in the esophagus for very long. In other words, the acid does not have enough time to irritate the esophagus and cause heartburn.

    Some of the symptoms that of LPR that I know of are similar to the symptoms you desribed like: Chronic hoarseness, throat clearing, and cough, as well as a feeling of a lump in the throat or difficulty swallowing, may be signs that you have LPR. Some people have hoarseness that comes and goes, and others have a problem with too much nose and throat drainage, that is, too much mucus or phlegm.

    Sometimes with just a simple throat exam a doctor can suspect LPR especially if this area looks swollen and/or red. But, your doctor may order some further tests to confirm the diagnosis.



    Sun Flower

     
    Old 08-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #3
    backslide05
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    flemmy--\
    I too, could have that nickname, and have had digestive, and mucousy problems my whole Life, the last year the reflux hit me bad, and I diagnosed myself and was confirmed by doctor to have LPR.

    Interesting about the low body temp, mine is too, 97 usually and low blood pressure, don't know if there's a connection..

    I don't have health insurance either right now and am off all meds (they didn't help me). It's pretty easy to get samples of most drugs, doctors get them from the pharm reps, but then if you decide that you want to continue you will need a prescription and they are not cheap..so it's a very frustrating thing the way this is all structured.

    I drink DILUTED apple cidar vinegar, and take aloe vera and lots of other supplements and eat Very Carefully, through trial and error I pretty much know what to avoid, and am doing ok pretty much of the time, but this is challenging to live with.

    I hope you can get it figured out and do what helps you to get some relief-take care

     
    Old 08-13-2006, 09:59 AM   #4
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Sometimes the symptoms you describe can be the same symptoms for multiple things. I knew I had allergies, but up until this last year, I didn't know that reflux could also be a cause. After I tried multiple allergy approaches that helped, but didn't get rid of the symptoms, I had a flare up and was sent to a GI specialist. I had some testing done and was confirmed with reflux--I have never had any heartburn. I have been on two PPI per day since April. There are some breakthrough symptoms, but I have been doing much better the last couple months. If you have had your symptoms for so many years, you may be like me and willing to try anything. For me Prevacid 2x per day has really made a difference.

    By the way, for me it is a delicate balance to keep my allergies, asthma and reflux all under control together so I don't have symptoms. We will see what the next year brings.

    Good Luck.

     
    Old 08-13-2006, 03:42 PM   #5
    suelynn
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Flemmy sure could describe alot of us! Welcome, I am new too..I thought, no everyone else thought I had allergies..so I got tested..the arm things..and alas..no allergies..thats when I decided to investigat the symtons and found a gastro Dr...who confirms that it is gerd, but I have since found out about LPR, and believe i really have that, as no heartburn but coough, clearing throat etc..I am on Aciphex, 20 mg a day, but after what, I have read nedd to talk to Dr aboout 2 x a day..and yes they are expensive, I have ins, and it still costs $50.00 a month..All you could do is try the otc, but those are pricey too. Good luck

     
    Old 08-13-2006, 04:42 PM   #6
    flemmy
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Thanks to all of you above who replied. I really appreciate hearing your stories. I'm determined to figure this out...once and for all. I bought some apple cider vinegar today and took a Tbsp in water before dinner. I may take another shot before bed. If it helps, I'll know I'm on the right track.

    But I still think I also have some allergies. And my adrenal symptoms still may be tied in to all this. I may have some other endocrine problems, possibly caused by mercury from a lot of fillings (removed 12 years ago). I've been chelating for the past year, but the damage (if it's there) could be permanent (so I've read).

    Anyway thanks again, and good luck to all....
    -m

     
    Old 08-14-2006, 04:16 AM   #7
    aswaer
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Flemmy,

    As the previous poster said, you need 2 doses of a maxiumum-strength Proton Pump Inhibitor each day to clear up LPR. You can't cure it, but it can be effectviely managed.

    Prilosec OTC is the only non-prescription PPI, but it is offered at the weakened strength (20 mg) and it has a very bad reputation for helping with LPR on this board (seems to help more with classic GERD/heartburn).

    Your next cheapest choice is to buy prescription-grade generic Omeprazole, which is the generic form of prescription-grade Prilosec. You would need 2 doses of 40 mg Omeprazole capsules each day, for a total take of 80 mg.

    Your other prescription choices are all brand names: (They are all PPIs):
    Nexium
    Aciphex
    Prevacid
    Protonix
    Zegerid

     
    Old 08-16-2006, 08:20 AM   #8
    patfield
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    It seems that when my allergies are bad, i.e. hayfever, my GERD gets worse as well. I have been taking Nexium 40 mg a day for about a year and I still have post-nasal drip and GERD symptoms. Lately, I have tried getting off the Nexium and trying something more natural, like honey and apple cider vinegar. I am not sure yet if this is helping or not. I am hopeful but have still been getting the symptoms. I need to experiment with how much of each to take and how often.

     
    Old 08-16-2006, 12:26 PM   #9
    aswaer
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    Re: allergies?? or silent reflux???

    Patfield,

    I spent months going to allergist after allergist, convinced that I had horrible allergies, when I actually had undiagnosed LPR. It turns out that the reflux mimicked allergies in a terrible way. Once I began treatment for the LPR (Nexium 40 mg 2x per day, taken together), the allergy-like symptoms just dissappeared. Apparently they are the result of erosions in your nasal passages and sinuses caused by the mucous in your throat/sinuses mixing with the acid that escapes into your throat.

    I see that you are taking 1 dose of Nexium per day, but to manage LPR, you really need 2 doses of a PPI per day. 1 dose is for heartburn refluxers - but LPR requires more aggressive treatment. Since you have the Nexium in your possession, just try taking 2 doses at a time for a few days and see if your symtpoms improve.

    I've been taking 80mg a day for 4 years, and luckily, have had no side effects to date from doing so.

     
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