Hi guys - I'm on a bit of a hiatus from the forum, but I wanted to come back to post an update about my suspected silent reflux.
Back in February, I went to an ENT because of a long-term sore throat, swollen glands, constant burping, bad allergies and weak, hoarse voice. He did a laryngoscope and said one of my vocal cords was sluggish (aaah!) and that he saw a lot of inflammation... he suspected LPR (silent acid reflux) and post-nasal drip, though he wasn't sure if the reflux was causing the drip or just plain allergies.
It felt wrong - I almost never had heartburn - but I did what he asked. I started taking Prilosec OTC twice a day; I used a nasal antibiotic for a month and I went on an elimination diet, cutting out tomatoes, sausage, citrus fruits, chocolate, peanuts, mint and coffee (I kept drinking tea in the morning), and I cut down on wine, vinegar and garlic.
Three months later, the nasal antibiotic had magically fixed my allergies - I didn't have post nasal drip anymore! I didn't think the diet / antacids were working, but I stuck with the program because a few people on the forum said it had taken 6+ months to fix their reflux. Well, they were right.
As of two months ago, my vocal cord was finally back to normal and my voice has stopped feeling weak at the end of the day. I can talk loudly in loud rooms and not go hoarse! I'm not clearing my throat at the end of meals and I don't feel phlegmy after meals. My throat isn't sore and my allergies seem much better.
Three nights ago, I totally broke all the rules and had a mammoth dinner full of tomatoes, meatballs, garlic and wine. I went to bed stuffed and hiccuping, and I woke up feeling like I used to 6 months ago - my voice was crackly and phlegmy, my mouth tasted sour and my tongue felt like it had been burned. It was a bad idea, but it proved that everything the doc had prescribed was working.
I'm posting this in case any of you are experiencing any of these things. My ENT said that 60% of the population suffers from silent reflux, but they don't realize it because they don't feel actual heartburn. Only actors, singers and "sensitive people" (i.e. me) come in for treatment. It takes a LONG time to recover... I'm still recovering, and I probably set myself back a few months with that stupid dinner, but now at least I know it's working. I hate taking medication, but I have to admit that I feel much better these days.