10 Silent Acid Reflux Causes
Silent acid reflux causes trouble for foodies, pregnant women, and aspiring singers alike! Do you have daily habits that could cause reflux?
Which of the causes are you guilty of? Continue reading to find out.
In this article:
- What Is Silent Acid Reflux?
- What Causes Silent Acid Reflux?
- What Are the Complications of Silent Acid Reflux?
Silent Acid Reflux Causes You May Be Guilty Of
What Is Silent Acid Reflux?
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or silent acid reflux is a condition where stomach acids climb up your throat (pharynx and larynx).
Your esophagus has a sphincter at the end, which makes sure that your throat remains a one-way street. Food comes in, but nothing comes out.
But sometimes, stomachic acid might slip past the sphincter and climb up your throat. This is what you call silent acid reflux.
- sore throat
- excessive phlegm
- throat clearing
- choking spells
- a lump in your throat
If you're a singer, you might also notice that you need a longer prep time to warm your voice up. And even then, your voice may sound sluggish. You may even feel like there's a layer over your vocal cords.
True to its name, it's quite difficult to catch and diagnose accurately. It's important to know that LPR is not the same as gastroesophageal reflux disease or burning throat syndrome. You may not experience symptoms like heartburn or regurgitation.
So the best way to prevent a disease with silent symptoms is to understand what causes them. Changing unhelpful and potentially harmful habits could help protect your throat and keep you singing like a nightingale.
What Causes Silent Acid Reflux?
1. Excess Weight
Does your waistline mirror Santa's? Are you heavier around your midsection? It may be time to cut back on the calories and get on a treadmill.
One study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology says that there's a connection between obesity and acid reflux. And this isn't limited to LPR.
Obesity may impact lower esophageal sphincter pressure—the very thing that blocks things from coming up from your stomach.
2. Clothes That Cinch Your Waist
Physical disruptions may also push the contents of your stomach upwards.
Clothes that are too tight around your stomach and waist might force your food to come up. If you have to suck in your stomach to secure your trousers, it might not be good for your stomach.
Choose clothes that give you and your stomach some breathing room. If you do have clothes that hug your waist, stick to ones that stretch or have a little give.
You may think that fashion requires sacrifice, but there's nothing pretty about reflux.
3. Citrusy Foods and Drinks
The citrus in your drinks and fruity dessert might irritate the lining of your throat. Unfortunately, this is one case where your healthful vitamin C might do more harm than good.
Until your doctor gives you the go signal, avoid fruits. Ask your physician which fruits you're free to enjoy and which ones you're better off without for now.
Chocolate is known to weaken the sphincter in your throat. This could lead to acid reflux or LPR.
While you're getting over your reflux, stick to chocolate-free desserts.
5. Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated beverages could make you burp and potentially lead to laryngopharyngeal reflux.
Here's another good reason to curb your habit.
Alcohol is also infamous for weakening your sphincter, potentially allowing food enzymes and stomach acid to go up to your throat.
If you want a beverage to pair with your steak, water might be your best alternative.
Gulping down water might also help clear the acid collecting at the bottom of your throat.
Like chocolate and alcohol, this vice may also weaken your throat sphincter. It could bring down lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, contributing to acid reflux.
Smoking could also cause similar conditions like:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
It may also cause or worsen serious diseases, including:
- liver disease
- Chron's disease
- colon cancer
- heart disease
- lung disease
Smoking comes with many damaging health effects. Silent acid reflux or not, it may be time to ditch the habit.
8. Oral Medication with Irritating Ingredients
Ironically, some soothing ingredients might end up irritating your throat instead.
Eucalyptus oil and menthol, while used to soothe you, could irritate your throat instead.
Foods and medication that might irritate the lining of your throat include:
- breath fresheners
- cough drops
If you're experiencing some unusual symptoms and they don't go away for a long time, it's time to visit your doctor.
Your sore throat might be caused by the same lozenges you're taking them for.
9. Lying Down Immediately after Eating
As tempting as it is to lie down after downing a heavy and savory meal, staying upright might be the best way to keep your food down.
Bending down and working out immediately after a meal might also apply too much pressure on your stomach, forcing your food up.
Stay upright after eating. If you're in a private place, loosen your belt and give your tummy space to digest.
It might also help to enjoy smaller meals over large ones.
Even your little one might cause some trouble in your belly.
Your baby may press on your stomach, causing your silent acid reflux.
In fact, pregnant women commonly experience laryngopharyngeal reflux and other related symptoms.
It may help to wear loose clothing that doesn't cinch your waist. This could add even more pressure than carrying your precious one in your belly.
Try doing some diaphragmatic breathing techniques. Also called belly breathing, studies show that it could help ease symptoms of GERD and reflux.
What Are the Complications of Silent Acid Reflux?
Silent acid reflux causes some serious complications if you don't address it early on.
If left untreated, it might develop to:
- chronic cough
- bronchopulmonary disorders
- chronic or recurrent laryngitis
- oral cavity disorders
It could also lead to throat cancer.
Listen to your body and keep an eye out for unusual symptoms.
Prevention is better than cure, especially when this disease is tough to spot.
Even if your doctor accurately diagnoses you with LPR, it may take some time to cure. And the treatment includes plenty of lifestyle changes, including a temporary ban of your favorite foods!
Simple dietary adjustments could prevent silent acid reflux. And good post-meal practices following those dietary adjustments could ease the load on your throat.
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have other tips to share to relieve or prevent acid reflux? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
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