Silent Reflux is a condition in which stomach acid causes throat discomfort, primarily in the breastbone in the middle of the trunk. While it does not always cause heartburn, it can cause significant damage to the throat and vocal cords if left untreated. The condition is usually known as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) in the medical community, and occurs when stomach acid makes contact with the food pipe and vocal cords; this can cause irritation, burning and severe discomfort.
Common symptoms in adults can include hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, difficulty swallowing and swelling and irritation of the vocal cords. You may also have trouble with breathing and feel like something is stuck in your throat.
Changing your diet to accommodate the condition is often seen as one of the most effective ways to aid LPR treatment. Eating small meals every three to four hours is seen as ideal, as well as cutting down on large meals and substituting them for smaller, more frequent meals. In light of this, we’ve decided to give you a helping hand and list the five best foods to aid your treatment.
1. Fill your diet with more fibre. Filling your diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will almost definitely help your body fight against LPR. A number of studies in previous years have found that fibre helps to protect against reflux and also promotes regularity of bowel movements, improving digestive health. Men should aim to consume 38 grams of fibre a day, with women striving for around 25 grams.
2. Mediterranean Food. This diet consists of lots of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, quality fats and proteins, and an occasional glass of wine. Due to there being a plethora of evidence supporting this kind of food helping reduce inflammation and overall disease risk, it is definitely a good idea to eat lots of it. Good examples of Mediterranean food include lamb, pork, cheese and olive oil.
3. Chewing gum containing sodium bicarbonate. Chewing gum is a very effective method of reducing inflammation in your throat and of soothing the oesophagus. This is down to the fact that chewing gum can cause your saliva to become more alkaline, assisting in the process of neutralising acid levels in your stomach. Bicarbonate has been proven to have these neutralising effects, and chewing gum containing it will aid your treatment.
4. Bananas and Melons. While citrus fruits have been shown to aggravate the symptoms of LPR, fruits like bananas and melons have been shown to have a very good effect. This is because they have a neutral pH level and are easy to eat, therefore helping to ease symptoms and aiding your treatment.
5. Ginger. A surprise final entry, perhaps, and not everyone’s cup of tea. However, when used in moderation, ginger has been shown to be great at easing painful stomach symptoms and can prevent acid reflux developing into anything serious. This will help to aid your treatment of LPR greatly.