The Moment I Found My Voice Again: Overcoming Silent Reflux (LPR)

Print

Hannah began losing her voice and was subsequently diagnosed with LPR. By eliminating irritating foods and finding a diet that worked for her, she brought her voice back!

When I lost my voice, suddenly my livelihood was at risk.

As a fitness instructor and vocalist, I use my voice for everything that I do. So when I started to regularly lose my upper vocal register and sometimes my whole voice altogether, I became very concerned. I was also experiencing a post-nasal drip and the irritating feeling of having to clear my throat constantly. My mother had had the same experience, and was diagnosed with LPR. When I finally saw an ENT and had my vocal chords scoped, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that I shared a diagnosis with my mom. This type of reflux often goes undiagnosed because most people don’t have associated heartburn to go with it – the acid “silently” splashes up from the stomach into the back of the throat and scars your voice box (larynx). In my case, it was making me sound like Harvey Fierstein – not cute for a petite fitness instructor!

I said no to drugs:

The ENT immediately tried to prescribe acid blockers to prevent the symptoms. In the past, I had tried the acid-blockers as per my mother’s suggestion, and they didn’t help at all. Plus they gave me digestive problems. Also, as a health coach, I knew that the only real way to heal was through food and lifestyle changes.

My Low-Acid Diet:

The recommendation was an extremely low-acid diet, as well as not eating 4 hours before bed or directly before exercising. I eliminated vinegars, garlic, onion, any strong spicy foods, citrus, chocolate, tomatoes, any caffeine (even decaf), and alcohol. I would have eliminated meat and dairy as well, but they were not a part of the vegan diet I already followed.

I cut those foods out for six weeks, and it was really challenging. I love going out and having a glass of wine, and I used to be a huge coffee drinker. I also love spicy food, not to mention, garlic, onion, and citrus are in everything.

Finding foods that healed:

I had to find things that comforted me– foods that were delicious and nourishing. I started cooking with foods like miso because I was missing out on the flavor of garlic and onion. I love fruits, so I integrated apples, bananas, and berries regularly. Avocados, grain, and beans, continued to be my vegan staples. I drank decaf teas, and barley tea, to satisfy my coffee cravings. After following this program for about six weeks, my voice was back and I finally felt like myself again. Now that I’ve healed LPR and let it rest by following a strict diet, I have added some of those foods back in again. I just need to be mindful of them. I don’t really use garlic and onion because I still find them irritating, so instead I will use the powders because they’re less irritating.

Living with LPR: It’s up to you!

The journey has been difficult, and I still struggle with staying strict enough on the program to maintain ultimate vocal health. Resting, mindful breath, and slowing down have been important to keeping my symptoms at bay. I also sleep with a humidifier which helps a lot– hydration is key! Also, if I’m in a pinch, slippery elm cough drops or extract are really helpful for lubricating the chords and soothing my symptoms.

I think a lot of people have this condition and live with it, falsely assuming that there is nothing they can do, but I don’t think that is the answer.  I think it’s very important to do whatever you can to heal yourself without the help of medications because it makes a difference in your confidence. You have the power. It’s totally doable and up to you. And hey, I am not perfect– sometimes I indulge in foods and practices that I know will impact my voice negatively. However, I now know I have the knowledge and tools that I need to make better choices on a daily basis, and I make decisions that allow me to stay healthy and still enjoy my life!

Check out some of my favorite healing recipes!

Easy Kale, Mushroom and Quinoa Soup

Plant Power Packed Smoothie Bowl with Chlorella

 

Scoop, mix, go further.

 

Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

20 thoughts on “The Moment I Found My Voice Again: Overcoming Silent Reflux (LPR)

  1. John

    ENT thinks I may have LPR but didnt have any other common symptoms of it apart from mucus. Question is how do you know when its flared up ? i.e testing certain food types how do you know something is a trigger if there is no heartburn symptoms?

    I also have a dry mouth but suspect that its the antihystimine tablet side effect as I need to take them daily due to ETD.

    I went cold turkey with diet immediately cutting out 99% of known or suspected triggers for a month but saw no real difference. ENT said I should just take Gaviscon after meals which actually makes the mucus worse tbh.

    Reply
  2. Jean Maclay

    I’m a vegan with Gerd. I have Globus sensation which I think is now being called silent reflux. I want my symptoms to go away and I would like to get off my meds. I also have high blood pressure and I am salt sensitive . My Gastroenterologist gave me a book to read called “dropping acid”. The book says I’m not allowed to have any berries except for raspberries. I’m not allowed to have cherries either. Are usually like to make a healthy smoothie every day and now I don’t know if that’s possible. The Gerd diet seems to restrict all kinds of healthy necessary foods that have tons of antioxidants . I feel like even though my reflux me feel better, my Health won’t be as good because I cannot eat a lot of fruits that are necessary for good health. Garlic, onions, tomatoes, and lemons are so healthy and yet I’m not supposed to eat them. What am I supposed to use for salad dressing? I’m not supposed to have oil, vinegar or lemon juice. Do you have any suggestions for a salad dressing that is low acid?

    Reply
  3. Jeannie Gee

    After a lot of anguish and medical visits, I was finally diagnosed about 2 months ago. Two types of acid blockers made no difference – I would have chronic coughing fits during the day to the point where I would be dry-retching – awful for me and also those around! And, wwhilst I’m getting on a bit now, I actually thought it was going to be premature end to my acting career – which was very depressing. I just thought other readers might be interested to know that I went to Naturopath about two weeks ago – he made up a ‘bitter’s formula, which I take before meals… and then, I take a teaspoon of slippery elm power in water 10 minutes after eating. The powder isn’t the easiest to take but, I’ve found a fabulous ‘shaker’ that mixes it really well (i.e. no lumps) and this has made quite easy and palatable to take. Importantly, within 48 hours of taking these two, I noticed a marked improvement – and now, I’d say it’s about 80% improved. Too early tell if this will be a permanent regime… but, even if it is, it’s easy, cheap and it works!!!! Even if doesn’t work for everyone, it certainly won’t hurt, so definitely worth a try

    Reply
  4. Lisa Marsh

    Any good recipes you can share? Or any cookbooks that you found to help? Thanks for suggestions!
    Lisa

    Reply
  5. Heather White

    Hi there. I have been hoarse for over three months now which is very agonizing. I have seen ENT twice and of course they suggest Ppis which I did use but read enough negativity that I now take a probiotic and use digestive enzymes plus really watch m diet. I drink 2 cups of low acid coffee in morning as I am a waitress. Nobody where I live has heard of this but a couple. I would really appreciate some tips for eating. I do not drink pop now and would only have a beer once a week. Miss having a sip of wine. Always considered that I ate healthy and was shocked to realize what I have.

    Reply
  6. Kim-Hue

    Hello,
    Thanks for this info. It do find miso soup helps. But I am a little confused about alkaline diet vs eliminate acidic foods like citrus fruits. But alkaline diet would allow citrus fruits like lemon which is acidic but becomes alkaline in the stomach. I assume you would want to eliminate acidic foods.

    I tried apple cider vinegar and not sure if this is helping.

    Reply
  7. Chrissy

    I know how you feel, I have been fighting LPR voice loss for 7yrs and gerd symptoms Pryor. I have had two surgeries and have been prescribed tons of medication. I quit smoking 8 yes ago, and I deprive myself of lots of the good stuff (coffee, alcohol, chocolate, chicken wings, many spices, garlic, onions, citrus, all sweets, fats, fried food & dairy). When I get home late, I usually skip dinner because I can’t wait up all night for my food to fullly digest, and I sleep sitting up in a chair so I never lay down. I practically live on fish, beans, toss salad, veggies and water, and I still lose my voice and cough up blood several times a year. I have even acquired sinus problems. Doctors then increase my medications and put me on antibiotics and prednisone. That regiment fixes it for a while, but I have yet to be cured. I would do anything to find a cure.

    Reply
  8. Courtney Oman

    Thank you for writing this! Yesterday I read a ton of depressing articles and was feeling down on my self. After reading your story I am positive I can over come this as I did Fibromyalgia. 😊

    Reply
  9. Joni

    Hi. Just yesterday I was diagnosed with LPR. It was both a relief and a shock as I had never heard of this condition before yesterday. After months of feeling like I had a bubble in the back of my throat along with losing my voice it’s nice to find other people going through the same thing and that relief is possible. My ENT Dr. did prescribe 300mg of Zantac (H2-Blocker) to be taken nightly before bed. He also recommended no dairy products apart from eggs and no alcohol. But that’s all so thank you for suggesting a humidifier and for the yummy recipes. I am a runner and try to eat healthy for the most part. But now I see that some of the things I thought were healthy (like a fruit smoothie with vanilla whey protein) were actually irritating my condition and making it worse. I am wondering if there is an online LPR forum where we could ask questions and seek advice? The support would also be appreciated. Good luck and thank you!

    Reply
  10. Shannon Torrence

    Thank you so much for this encouraging article. I’m a voice actor and have been struggling with silent reflux related vocal loss for 2 years now and in the past few months I can hardly work, which is very stressful and discouraging. My ENT ALSO told me to take TUMS and while my voice IS so much better when I take 3 TUMS just before bed (and sleep on a wedge pillow), I know that acid reflux is actually caused by LOW stomach acid so this is only a Band-Aid that actually makes the issue worse in the long run. I have started to make dietary changes but just realized garlic and vinegar that’s not ACV are two things I eat a lot of. I also have green tea every morning and know I need to stop doing that. It just feels like there’s nothing left but bland food I have to choke down. I am improving slowly but finding that I’ve lost a LOT of range – can no longer do soft contemplative reads at all – and my voice now only has enough stamina for 2-3 hours, whereas I used to work 8-9 hours a day auditioning and recording jobs. My income is suffering and it’s very nerve wracking, wondering if everything I worked for might be lost, but your words are so hopeful!

    Reply
  11. Mark sykes

    This is so reassuring as I’m finding it very difficult to stay on top of this condition. It feels that all the food that I really like is now off the list !i suppose I just need to find different foods that are equally as enjoyable!!

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    So good! I got these symptoms last year when I went vegan. I couldn’t figure out why so I dropped it. I’m back vegan again and it came back. It may explain that certain types of food come into the diet more once you fully eliminate dairy. I could find nothing on these symptoms as I kept just seeing GERD. So thank you! I found the foods you mention definitely irritate the symptoms. I’m glad you wrote this and I can better understand and have tools moving on. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Regina

    Hi, I’m. Personal trainer & i’m having a lot of trouble training people & working out myself because of the lpr. I try to workout on an empty stomach but I still have reflux. Do you have any suggestions as to how you have dealt with this issue? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

Feel Amazing Everyday

with Further Collagen

  • Lose weight
  • Reverse aging
  • Strenghten bones and joints

Buy Now

Send this to friend