(WFLA) — If your allergy meds aren’t working you might actually be suffering from a mystery gut condition that can have the same symptoms of allergies.
If you have a chronic cough, a constant sore throat, a constant need to clear your throat, a raspy voice, a sour taste in your mouth, and the feeling of a lump in your throat, it could be a condition called LPR or Laryngopharyngeal reflux.
“Another name for LPR is actually silent reflux and part of the reason for that is that people with LPR don’t typically get the regular symptoms of acid reflux, and I think that’s what makes it a little bit tricky to diagnose sometimes,” said Dr. Joseph Salhab, a local Gastroenterologist.
Dr. Salhab has also been called one of the top health influencers on social media going by the name The Stomach Doc — with more than a million followers on Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook.
Dr. Salhab uses social media to post quick and informative videos educating people on a wide range of digestive conditions like LPR, gut health, and bloating.
Dr. Salhab said with acid reflux, stomach acid affects the lowest part of the esophagus. With LPR, stomach acid travels higher up into the voice box, which can cause chronic throat irritation, inflammation, and even cancer.
“The voice box is something that’s very, very sensitive, and when you have something corrosive like stomach acid going up there and irritating the voice box, it could cause very severe symptoms like that,” said Dr. Salhab.
Treatment of LPR is similar to acid reflux and includes adjusting the types of foods you’re eating.
Dr. Salhab recommends eliminating dietary triggers such as fatty foods, spicy and acidic foods, chocolate, carbonated beverages, and drinks high in caffeine like coffee. He also said it’s important to reduce alcohol consumption.
You’ll also need to change your eating habits.
“So for example don’t eat at night, don’t eat 3 to 4 hours before bed, avoid midnight snacks and try not to eat beyond fullness. If those things don’t work, then you can get on medications,” said Dr. Salhab.
Salhab said walking after eating can also help digestion, and chewing gum after eating to help clear acid from your esophagus.
He also recommends the supplement Psyllium Husk to help naturally treat reflux, and get more fiber in your diet.