Is it GERD or LPR?
Who hasn't had the occasional sore throat? The resulting discomfort can range from a mild irritation to almost too sore to swallow. This common ailment can be caused by allergies, bacteria or a virus. However, did you know that acid reflux is also another reason for recurring sore throats? That's right! Even more surprising, the patient with a sore throat due to acid reflux is often completely unaware of the cause since they may not be experiencing heartburn.
Not everyone is aware that Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be present without the accompanying symptoms of heartburn. The sore throats from this ailment are different. Acid from the stomach can literally injure the throat, typically resulting in a chronic sore throat rather than a more sudden onset of sore throat from infections. The throat irritation and ‘burn' from acid reflux is called LPR or LaryngoPharyngeal Reflux. Once a doctor has been able to pinpoint that acid reflux is causing the throat problems, treatment is important.
What is LPR?People who suffer from LPR have common complaints. The back of the throat may have a bitter taste. There may also be a persistent feeling that something is stuck in the throat. A burning sensation may be experienced. Some patients might even have difficulty swallowing. Constant clearing of the throat or postnasal drip are possible additional symptoms. Hoarseness could occur and even breathing problems. Yet, may patients with LPR do not have heartburn.
Anyone can develop GERD or LPR that includes women, men, and children. Even babies can suffer from these diseases. The cause could be organic or from a particular lifestyle. Patients may suffer from only one or from a combination of both GERD and LPR.
It is encouraging to know that most people with GERD or LPR get better over time with proper medication and lifestyle changes. Losing weight and avoiding possible trigger foods like alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, and fatty food as well as quitting smoking are recommended. Proper medication and a comprehensive treatment plan are important steps to managing the symptoms and leading a more comfortable life.
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