Laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR is a condition wherein acid travels from the stomach up to the throat. When pepsin, which is a protein in the stomach, is carried with the reflux acid until the throat, LPR is developed. Normally, this does not happen as the lower esophageal sphincter located between the esophagus and the stomach is tightly closed except when swallowing food.
Symptoms may vary but may include sore throat, hoarseness of voice, chronic cough, frequent throat clearing, and swallowing difficulty. Most symptoms in the throat are caused when pepsin is activated due to the acidity of the reflex and the ingestion of acidic food and drinks.
Other probable causes of LPR other than malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter include, abnormality of the wave-like motion of the esophagus or peristalsis, stomach motility issues, and pyloric sphincter obstruction. LPR can be diagnosed through a swallowing study, endoscope to the esophagus and stomach, and esophageal pH test. When LPR is established, medical care may not be needed but will be advised with the following DIY solutions.
Stick to a Bland Diet
Because ingestion of some kinds of food can activate the pepsin carried by the reflux acid up to the throat, you will be experiencing most of the symptoms in the area of the throat. You should avoid acidic foods and drinks. You should also scrap spicy and fatty foods in your diet as they can also trigger symptoms.
When you are obese, you are more likely to develop LPR. This is because excess weight can increase the pressure in the abdominal area, causing backflow or leakage of stomach acid into the esophagus.
If you developed LPR, it is advised that you eat frequently but in small amounts. You should not eat until you are full to keep stomach acid in place.
Avoid Alcohol, Tobacco and Caffeine
Nicotine in the tobacco that you smoke or chew can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Alcohol is an acidic drink while caffeine can cause heartburn. All these can cause LPR, so you should avoid them as much as possible when you have an LPR to deal with.
Skip Food Two Hours Before Bedtime
Always give time for the food to be digested before climbing up to bed. When in bed, you are in horizontal position which means the food inside your stomach may trigger stomach acid to easily escape to the esophagus. You should also be using higher pillows in bed.
Indeed, LPR can be managed with lifestyle changes. Undoubtedly, you will be able to overcome LPR when you are committed with those lifestyle changes that you have to.