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


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



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.



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

  1. Gem

    Thank you for posting this. I have to say, I’m a bit baffled as to why your your diet worked (assuming the idea was to cut out acidic foods?) because you ate apples (and berries) which are highly acidic..! Or maybe I missed something.. I have tried every diet under the sun, no change. I have noticed when I feel under pressure, that I get immediately more acidy. So working on relaxing my nervous system 🙂

  2. Greg Montero

    When the lpr symptoms flare up i chew on a very small bit of cinnamon stick. It helps with the symptoms flare up.

  3. Claire Merlino

    Great article – Any houghts on marshmallow root infusion for soothing throat and esophagus? Tx!

  4. Leah

    Hannah I am so glad I saw your post!! I have a musical in less than 6 weeks so I doubt I can pull it together in time but my ent did exactly same for me this week. Lots of inflammation due to either allergies or lpr. I think it’s LPR. I’ve been diagnosed with gerd in the past. I am not vegan, so this will be very hard as I’m already on a low salt no caffeine diet for Ménière’s Dosease. Do you take any gut cleansing saccryomyces or anything like that or did you just do food? Thank you!!!

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Kathy: Thanks for reaching out. LPR can be very challenging to deal with. A lot of times, it’s just a matter of trial and error with your diet-if possible, it can be easier to work with a nutritionist or holistic doctor who can help you examine your diet and even add in some supplements. You might also find this article helpful. Good Luck!

  5. Pauline

    Hi, thanks for sharing your experience! I am going through the same thing following a persistent cough, throat clearing and windpipe pain upon deep breathing. I have also said no to medication and am following a similar diet as you did. During the 6 weeks though, was recovery a linear thing or did you have ups and downs along the way? I started getting better but it isn’t without bumps (only been a week) and so I’m worried it is not working… Would love to hear your experience!

  6. Kevin O

    I was diagnosed with silent reflux in February, following continual bouts of coughing. It was always joked about as my winter cough. My consultant and speech therapist recommended a month on what was an Alkaline diet. So I followed it rigidly. Not a problem as we have a very healthy diet anyway, going from vegan to fish, but not a lot of red meat. Esomeprazole and Gaviscon were also prescribed. I lost a stone that I didn’t have to lose. The cough went and with some laryngeal massage my voice got better. I even managed a few singing lessons. (I have piano & singing lessons for leisure). 2 months in and suddenly the coughing returned. No warning or other symptoms, just sporadic bouts of violent coughing, so much so I’ve strained rhomboid muscles! I’ll continue with the Alkaline diet as we quite like it. The Mushroom & Quinoa soup looks delicious so will be trying that. Diet is so important, but for me there is something else causing coughing issues. Gotta look at other environmental possibilities?

  7. Sanjay

    My trouble started a little over a year ago, when I suddenly awoke with a choking sensation and coughing. This continued for a couple of days, until I went to see a physician. I was diagnosed with acid reflux and subsequently placed on a PPI. It helped me for a while and I was able to continue with a normal diet. However, a few months ago the problem came back and the PPI stop working. I suspected LPR versus the normal GERD and was placed on one of the strongest PPIs available, Dexilant. Although this helped a little bit my symptoms persisted. I eventually went to a G.I. specialist and had four tests done, the last test was pH monitoring test (I had drastically changed my diet and stopped all alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, caffeine, spicy foods, etc). All tests were negative and I was thankful that they found no other problems, like cancer. I was told everything looked normal. My symptoms remained unabated and so asked my GP to refer me to an ENT. He was able to look at my throat through scope and told me he couldn’t find anything wrong. I was dumbfounded as I knew I had symptoms every day of a raw burning throat; it felt like sandpaper. He thought I had LPR, with the pepsin enzyme adhering to my throat so that when I eat and the food comes in contact with it, it starts not only digesting the food but also my throat tissue. He told me to add Famatodine (Pepcid) to my daily intake of Dexilant. All throughout this, I had purchased a book published by a renowned doctor, Jonathan Avir, Acid Watcher Diet. I tried to follow the diet, however, was not that assiduous about it. A few days ago I became so tired of my symptoms that I decided to follow the recipes in the book to a ‘T’ (the additional medication doesn’t seem to help). It has now been three days since I have followed the recipes religiously. My symptoms have improved a little bit and I hope they continue to improve, however, I’m not so sure (as I mentioned I had stopped a log of the normal irritating foods months ago). My symptoms are the worst in the morning when I rise from sleep (I sleep on a mechanical bed that I can incline). In addition to the throat problems, my tongue is starting to bother me (it seems the pepsin enzymes are getting lodged there too.) Do you think if I stick to this diet, my symptoms will markedly improve? The medications seem useless.

  8. Celine Bonnetain

    Did you have out of breath feeling? Did toothpaste or mouthwash ever irritate your throat? thank you

  9. Richard mcgurk

    How the hell didn’t you get caffeine withdrawal . I stopped 3 weeks all foods etc . But got awful caffeine withdrawal and had too drink tea in the end

  10. jesse

    Did you have trouble with stomach pain or discomfort at all? I’m pretty sure i have LPR with everything you mentioned above.

  11. Del

    Have tried prescription meds, UK Gaviscon, low acid diet, alkaline water, not eating four to five hours before bed, and sleeping on a wedge for several months. I still have a red irritated throat. What am I missing? Have seen a family physician and an ENT. Gastroenterologist must be next. I fear surgery

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Dee: Thanks for reaching out. We’re glad that you were able to read the articles on Further Food about LPR. It sounds like you’ve tried a lot of different approaches that unfortunately still haven’t worked. We recommend that you visit a specialist such as a gastroenterologist who can give you personalized medical care. We wish you good luck.

  12. Danielle

    My layrnx and trachea feel irritated and every now and then I have to clear my throat and I cough a little phlegm. I have been eating acid free for 2 weeks now. I have elevated the head of my bed and I dont lay down for 3 or 4 hours after eating. I have had this throat/trachea irritation for almost 2 months now. going to the doctor Wednesday but this is all making me very anxious. I feel like it will never stop. Do these sound like common symptoms of lpr?

  13. Colleen Courtenay

    Thank you this is exactly what I have been looking for
    We are what we eat . The recipes g I’m doubly grateful for . May I ask if nuts are on your ok list?

  14. Carol Brown

    Love this article. I have had LPR for almost 2 years. I am tapering myself off Omeprazole. I have gotten worse on this medication. You have encouraged me.

  15. Kim

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and suggestions. It has not been easy for me living with LPR. I have adjusted my diet in a similar fashion to how you did, and it has made a difference, but I seem to have a way to go still.

  16. Irene

    I’m one of those people who likes to try her hand at making/baking things that my LPR husband can have. I have organic whole wheat flour on hand and am wondering if yeast/baking powder are OK. I can leave out the oil or substitute unsweetened apple sauce.

  17. Maria

    No one here has mentioned burning throat and severe ear pain. I think I have something malignant. Any comments?? Appreciate them I am very nervous.

  18. Brian Posey

    Did the lump in your throat feeling completely go away? When you started feeling normal again and then decided to bring old foods back into your diet did they cause any of your LPR symptoms to rebound? If so how long did it take for them to go away a second time? I have been told it can take 1-3 months of medication/diet/lifestyle changes before recovery is full. Do you have to go through that each time the rebound effect occurs? Any advice would help as this has started to take over my life.

  19. Tonya Dobis

    Thank you for this article and the recipes. I’ve been losing my voice for 2 months now and had a thyroid ultrasound, as well as scope to view my voice box.

    The ENT quickly suggested LPR as I was walking out of the room, like it was an afterthought. He then gave me a paper on it.

    In doing my own personal research I came across your article. I miss my voice. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  22. JOLIE

    Thank you for this. I feel so discouraged. I have tried so many natural things. Now I finally understand that diet is the key. Would you be willing to share more specific items that you are during your healing? I would be so grateful. I am trying, but I don’t know all the right choices, don’t eat enough, then that worsens the acid. Thank you for hope. JOLIE

  23. Estela

    What are your do and don’t for fruits? I was diagnosed in December and have been improving with a strict diet. I’m also anti meds. Are coconuts okay? How about watermelons?

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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

  27. Lisa Marsh

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

  28. 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.

  29. Kim-Hue

    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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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. 😊

  32. 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!

  33. 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!

  34. Zita Hourihan

    I have been seeing doctors for 15 months with absolutely no luck – diet changes, PPI treatment, allergy medication, antibiotics … Finally, after seeing my ENT specialist last week and leaving totally discouraged after being informed it may simply take time. Fifteen months of continuous throat clearing is enough time spent trying everything that was presented to me with no relief. I decided to try something I read about on a web site. I started taking a health food supplement called Fenugreek. I take one 610 mg capsule in the morning and one at supper time. I have been on them for 5 days and my condition has almost disappeared. I plan to stop taking 2 capsules after 10 days and only take one for another week at which time I will see what happens when I discontinue the treatment. 6 grams (6000mg) is the maximum recommended daily dose. I am taking 1.2 g. I am on no others medications so am not at risk for negative interaction of Fenugreek and other medications. Please do your own research before you try this hopeful remedy for LPR disease.

  35. 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!!

  36. 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!

  37. 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.


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