Sometimes when you’re sick, it’s really easy to figure out what is wrong with you. Certain illnesses present with very identifiable symptoms, but there are others that can be persistent and difficult to figure out. People suffering from silent reflux often fall into the latter category.
Many people understand typical reflux that presents with heartburn and regurgitation. Silent reflux has the same root cause, but often shows less obvious symptoms. Patients who are experiencing silent reflux can have symptoms affecting the vocal cords, like hoarseness, chronic cough, chest pain, the feeling of a lump in the throat, constant need to clear the throat, or worsening conditions like asthma. Other issues may include heartburn, nausea, trouble swallowing, and postnasal drip. Reflux, including silent reflux, is caused when contents of the stomach, including stomach acid and enzymes, flows back through the esophagus and sometimes even up to the mouth and throat.
Reflux isn’t typically considered a dangerous condition, but it can cause great discomfort. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to treat in most cases. As with many health conditions, maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can help improve the issues. It also helps to avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, spicy food, high fat diets, and smoking. People experiencing silent reflux should also avoid eating late at night. Over the counter acid reducing medications are also available, although they don’t treat the actual condition, just the symptoms. Acid reducers suppress the acid production in the stomach, making the reflux less painful due to the absence of acid. It is important to discuss options with your doctor, including over the counter medications, to make sure that your course of treatment is appropriate for your individual case. If you have any concerns, you can make an appointment with one of the doctors at GI Associates here.