How I Cured My Silent Reflux

In this post we will cover the following topics:

Silent Reflux Disease

As the name suggests there are some differences between silent reflux, acid reflux, and GERD. Namely, silent reflux does not typically cause heartburn. Symptoms commonly include:

  • Hoarseness, inflammation of the throat and vocal chords
  • Excessive throat clearing and coughing
  • Mucus production and post nasal drip

As indicated in the Annals of Clinical Case Reports silent reflux has many synonyms including:
1. Extraesophageal Reflux
2. Supraesophageal Reflux
3. Gastropharyngeal Reflux
4. Atypical Reflux
5. Pharyngoesophageal Reflux
6. GERD Cough
7. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)

That said, Silent reflux is most commonly referred to as LPR.

Silent Reflux Symptoms

In addition to the more common symptoms listed above, the following complications can manifest in cases of extended silent reflux.

  1. Hoarseness / Pain When Speaking – A hoarse voice is often one of the first symptoms that LPR sufferers experience. This, as the larynx (voice box) is very close to the esophagus and consequently has higher exposure to potential reflux.
  2. Bad Breath / Bitter Taste In Back of Throat – Iron, bitter or sour taste in the mouth is due to stomach contents re fluxing into the airways and mouth.
  3. Stress – Stress, like anxiety are both side effects of social pressures and reflux medications.
  4. Burning / Dry throat – Throat pain is one of the earliest warning signs of reflux as the vocal chords and the larynx (throat) are the closest organs to the stomach.
  5. Excessive Belching – Copious burping goes hand in hand with silent reflux, as frequent exposure stomach gases is the cause of the vocal chord damage and burning sensations in the esophagus and mouth.
  6. Breathing disorders – Such as apnea, noisy breathing, pauses in breathing, or Choking Episodes (especially at night).
  7. Asthma-Like Symptoms – Asthma is a common initial misdiagnosis, this is because stomach contents aspirate into the airways, prompting an immune response that mimics asthma
  8. Ear infections – The ear, nose, and throat are all connected so inflammation, bacteria, and mucous responses can express through any of the three organs.
  9. Chronic Cough and Throat Clearing – Often times this can be a non-productive cough. LPR can irritate your mucus membranes which can also stimulate coughing and throat clearing. Quite often, silent reflux sufferers are mis-diagnosed as having another respiratory disease like asthma or sleep apnea.
  10. Globus Syndrome – This is that all too familiar sensation of something stuck in your throat. This is due to inflammation and swelling of your membranes.
  11. Difficulties swallowing (dysphagia) – Many LPR sufferers experience trouble swallowing due to throat inflammation.
  12. Post Nasal Drip – Post nasal drip and mucous production is your body’s natural response to protect sensitive tissues in your nasal cavity and esophagus (throat) from acid and acid vapors. This can result in excessive mucus in your throat and airways.
  13. Nausea or vomitting – This can be a side effect of throat stimulation or digestive issues, which ultimately may be the source of your reflux issues.
  14. Frequent Infections – As acid reflux is most often a symptom of poor digestive health and low stomach acidity. In a low acid environment, pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) are able to thrive.
  15. Anxiety – Anxiety is often two fold 1. social stigmas from bad breath or hoarse / muted voice and 2. a side effect of vitamin B12 deficiency, a common side effect of long term acid reflux medication usage.

Take The Silent Reflux Quiz

To Heal, You Need To Address The Cause Of Your Reflux

Endless guidance and advice exists on the internet to help you eliminate your acid reflux, ranging from jaw exercise routines to diet plans. While some are helpful, most including prescription medications, focus on managing or reducing the discomfort caused by your symptoms. They do little-to-nothing to resolve reflux because they fail to address the actual root causes of the disease.

To put this in context, Americans spend more on their annual subscription to prescription acid reflux medications than they do on some video streaming services ($10 Billion on Proton Pump Inhibitors vs $2 Billion on Hulu Streaming Services). Yet, while the symptoms are somewhat alleviated, the disease remains. In fact, the disease tends to escalate in severity and frequency over time. This is because, at best, these medications only treat the symptom not the cause.

This is a topic that I am quite passionate about because I suffered with reflux for more than 15 years. Over that time I contributed to the $10 Billion as I estimate spending over $6,000 on prescriptions, over the counter medications, and antacids. Like you, I became increasingly dissatisfied with medical advice. However, with my hiatal hernia I was resigned to the fact that I would suffer the disease for life. Furthermore, my doctor essentially said my options were a lifetime prescription or throat cancer, as surgical technology still does not offer a long time solution.

However, for me everything changed when my symptoms suddenly took a turn for the worst. After eating a handful of candy at work I added several new and excruciating symptoms (persistent burning / sour mucus, post nasal drip, constant burning in the roof of my mouth and lips) that would plague me for the next 6 months, and that motivated me to understand address the root causes of my reflux and eliminate it for good.

The amazing thing is remedies such as the one described in this article are relatively simple, fast, and inexpensive. Sadly, however they are little known because the concepts are partially based on science that is only twenty years old, are somewhat counterintuitive, and contradict millennia of cultural understanding on this topic.

For thousands of years, a home remedy for indigestion involved chewing chalks and food grade charcoals. In modern day, these naturally occurring compounds (such as calcium carbonate) are the active ingredient in popular antacids such as Tums, Alka Seltzer and Pepto Bismol.

In addition to the long history in our culture around the concepts of acid suppression, the prevalence of acid blocking medications, the power of the pharmaceutical advertising machine, and the institutionalization of these medications easily crowd out more modern, targeted, and effective approaches to dealing with the disease.

If You Have Reflux, Here Is Why

There are two principle root causes for acid reflux. The first is a microbial imbalance in the digestive tract. The second is low acidity. In this section we will touch on both. Be sure to read to the end, however as we will also cover common risk factors that may have led to the onset of these root causes as well as the many strange side effects and symptoms of long term acid reflux that you may not have attributed to the disease.

Microbial Imbalance In the Digestive Tract

Have you ever had a feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you were doing something new, risky, or scary? That is because the gut and brain communicate with each other and are intricately connected. In fact, over the last twenty years a whole new field of medical science has emerged around this topic, called the gut-brain axis. Astonishingly, the gut which is often referred to as the second brain, has more than 500 million neurons. As you may know, the neuron is the fundamental unit of the brain and is responsible for interpreting sensory input and sending motor commands to the body.

What we have since learned is a third and equally important component of this connection called the microbiome. Your microbiome is the 5 pounds (2.3 kilos) of microorganisms and genes that live in your body and are essential to your survival. In fact, this expanded field of study which is now referred to the gut-brain-microbiome axis reveals that the number of cells in your microbiome outnumber the human cells in your body by a factor of 10-1. In fact, there are more than 100 trillion microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa in a healthy human body.

We know the most about the 1000 species, and 7-9000 strains of bacteria because many of them can be cultured and studied in a laboratory environment. Much like the numerous examples we see in nature (Egyptian Plover removes rotting flesh from the open mouth of a Crocodile, Clownfish provides nutrients and the Sea Anemone provides protection) of co-operative organisms, they symbiotic bond with their host. Even more surprising, similar to the recently discovered co-operation and communication between trees via fungal networks, the gut, brain, and microbiome share three way communication.

We are only beginning to understand the depths of connection between this triumvirate. But, through study of mice and application in humans via Functional Medicine we know that a balanced microbiome is key to a healthy immune system, digestion, production and absorption of vitamins and nutrients, production of hormones such as dopamine (essential for brain and nervous system function), serotonin (mood and wellbeing), melatonin (sleep), adrenaline, and more. Full coverage on this and other topics are beyond the scope of this article. That said, I have expanded on it in my recently released book:

For a comprehensive / easy to follow plan, additional rationale, and the steps I took to resolve my reflux, get my #1 best-selling book 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux | The Counterintuitive Path to Healing Acid Reflux, GERD, and Silent Reflux (LPR).' Also available in audiobook!

Needless to say, I could easily start a series by authoring second title devoted to this topic. The key thing you need to know is an imbalance in the microbes that colonize your intestinal tract can be catastrophic to not only your digestion, but your mood, nervous system function, immune system, nutrition, brain health, and more. There are many risk factors that can lead to this imbalance, that we will explore later in the article. For now, we will explore a few of the more significant side effects of this this bacterial imbalance, also known as dysbiosis.

Indigestion

I start with indigestion because it is perhaps the earliest and most direct impact of dysbiosis. Your gut microbiome is considered ‘unbalanced’ when the proportion of beneficial microbes is outnumbered by their harmful counterparts. When in low numbers, these microbes are often harmless and can even be beneficial (more than 50% of people, in fact, have H Pylori). In fact, recent studies such as this one by Harvard Health indicate that H Pylori, often attributed for the development of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may actually play an important role in regulating stomach acid.

That said, the wrong bacteria such as H Pylori or Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff.) can grow out of proportion in your stomach. For some of these bacteria, the process of decomposing food leads to fermentation and excess gas production which causes bloating (a common reflux symptom). Normally, this fermentation process should occur in the colon where it can be expressed through the anus. However, under the wrong conditions bacteria that normally colonize the colon are allowed to proliferate in the gut.

Additionally, as we have discussed, your body depends on the symbiotic relationship with your microbiome for digestion. When unbalanced, food contents sit on your stomach for extended periods, leading to indigestion (another common reflux symptom). As this occurs more often, this creates a cycle that supports further colonization of the offending bacteria, which in turn leads to higher frequency and severity of indigestion.

Optionally, test your gut and receive actionable recommendations on how to optimize your digestive health with the BIOHM Gut Report.

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Impaired Immune Function

Another important function of your microbiome is to improve immune function. Amazingly 70-80% of your immune cells are found in your gut. This might seem surprising at first, but think of it this way: We like to think the only portion of our body that is exposed to the outside world is our skin. But there is no dividing line between your skin, down through your mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, and colon; it’s all connected!

Additionally, your skin has an estimated surface area of 2 square meters which pales in comparison to the estimated 30 square meters of your digestive tract. By surface area, your digestive tract is WAY more exposed. Understanding this, the foods and drinks that you put into your body pose a more significant threat as compared to viruses and bacteria that are exposed to your skin.

One way your microbiome aids your body’s immune system is by helping to efficiently digest foods and prepare them for movement down the digestive tract. Foods that sit on the stomach too long or that are poorly digested can lead to inflammation, which can compromise the stomachs mucosal lining. In fact, when the body is unable to process a food it is tagged as an invader and attacked by the immune system, which triggers an inflammatory response. Inflammation allows the body to trap the offending agents so the immune system can consolidate an attack.

This inflammation is fine in isolated events, but the persistent presence of poorly digested foods leads to chronic inflammation and long term damage of the single cell thick lining of the stomach. This occurs more often as bacteria are further out of balance as more and more foods cause and inflammatory (or triggering response using acid reflux terminology). Ultimately damage to the stomach lining (known as leaky gut) can allow for food particles, and harmful pathogens to enter the blood stream. This leads to inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the brain, which leads to brain fog, memory issues, anxiety, etc.. As you will see in the risk factors section, this can contribute to the downward spiral and ever escalating situation that characterizes acid reflux.

Malnutrition

Lastly, I’ll cover malnutrition. As with any symbiotic relationship, neither party is altruistic! We humans get a needed boost to literally every body function, as proper digestion leads to the extraction of energy in the form of amino acids, simple sugars, fatty acids, etc. These ultimately form the building blocks that make us, us! The microbiota get the nutrients that fuel their incredibly short, yet productive lives.

Amazingly, a healthy gut, brain, and microbiome are in constant communication and coordination with regards to the production of building blocks for healing, immune function, proper cell function, development and conversion of hormones, etc. For instance, the human body alone is incapable of regulating estrogen levels, an essential hormone for women’s health. In fact, it is your microbiota that create the beta-glucuronidase that converts estrogen into its active forms.

As you can imagine, when these biota are imbalanced it can lead to a number of physical and neurological disorders. The brain, for instance is primarily composed of fat. Absent the abundance of critical building block our minds are quite literally limited. This can manifest due to malabsorption but also because certain bacteria are highly efficient at leeching certain nutrients for themselves.

Low Stomach Acid

Paradoxically, the other leading root cause of acid reflux is low stomach acid. You read that correctly, it is not high, but LOW stomach acid that often leads to acid reflux. There are many reasons for this. The first, and perhaps most obvious is the fact that reduced stomach acid impairs digestive efficiency which leads to indigestion. High stomach acid is required to efficiently dissolve your foods and prepare them for further digestion as it passes along the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally, stomach acid is required as a signaling mechanism for the body to perform certain digestive and anti-reflux functions. In fact, the body is designed with five anti-reflux mechanisms that are controlled through the gut-brain-microbiome axis via the vagal nerve, which serves as a communication super highway. This nerve is the longest in the human body and a pillar of the autonomic nervous system. It alone conveys 80-90% of the body’s sensory information concerning the state of the body’s organs.

The first three anti-reflux / digestive mechanisms are the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), diaphragmatic sphincter and pyloric sphincter. Sphincters are a common design pattern in the body and exist as a ring shaped muscle that controls the passage of solids, liquids, and gases. Some are under voluntary control such as the anal sphincter (allows you to poop), the upper esophageal sphincter (allows you to swallow / burp), and the urethral sphincter (allows you to pee). In contrast, the LES, diaphragmatic and pyloric sphincters (pictured below) are signaled to open / close through your vagus nerve as a response to acidity.

The pyloric sphincter is responsible for emptying stomach contents into the lower intestines once sufficiently digested. If acidity is too low, signaling to the brain is weak or poorly timed, which leads to delayed digestion (indigestion) and bloating. The LES and diaphragmatic sphincters are responsible for keeping stomach contents out of the throat. If acidity is too low, these muscles do not contract with sufficient pressure and will allow stomach contents to flow backward into the throat.

The other two anti-reflux mechanisms are a bicarbonate (antacid solution) that is produced in your throat and saliva. This occurs automatically as well as a response to acid and levels of natural antacid can actually increase as much as 32 fold. This is the body’s last line of defense however and the low grade antacid are in sufficient to handle the high levels of stomach acidity that enter the throat and mouth due to poor sphincter function and indigestion.

Lastly, on the topic of low stomach acid I want to mention the fact that the stomach is designed as a highly acidic environment. In fact, as a measure of acidity from 1-14pH, with the highest levels expressed in low numbers, stomach acid is naturally in the range of 1-3 pH. This is slightly less potent than battery acid! Normally, the stomach, its mucosal lining, and your anti-reflux barriers are more than a match for this highly corrosive environment. It is necessary for digestion, to kill harmful pathogens in support of your immune system, and to support healthy balance of gut bacteria. For this reason, it is quite often that Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often accompany low stomach acid.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

How I Cured My Silent Reflux

Many people who contact me come armed with a dozen or more things that they’ve tried in attempts to eliminate their reflux. The problem is very few of these supposed solutions can be correlated back to a root cause issue that they help resolve. Some do help to mitigate symptoms, but they do not offer healing. Sadly others like Gaviscon worsen symptoms because they reinforce the root causes by lowering acidity. Many are surprised by this as they were only aware of the highly advertised foam barrier that it purports. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word Gaviscon from one of you I could easily cover the cost of maintaining this website!

Sadly, people are lulled into believing these medicines are helping them because they neutralize the uncomfortable / painful acids that escape into the throat. Consequently they decide to take them longer than the recommended 6-8 weeks, and because doctors do not have a better alternative they suggest buying over the counter or renew the prescriptions.

That said, I want to cover some of the more serious effects of long term acid reflux medication usage. It is well documented that long term use leads to several vitamin deficiencies, namely vitamin b12, magnesium, and calcium. Below is a list of the most common side effects. If have bolded several that I personally dealt with for years, not realizing they were associated with reflux. If you have experienced any of the below, you may be deficient in one or more of these vitamins.

  • Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Nerve problems like numbness, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
  • Muscle Problems (aches, cramps, spasms, numbness, tingling in hands, arms, feet, legs and around the mouth)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nail and skin symptoms (itch, inflammation, psoriasis)
  • Osteopenia and osteoporosis (low bone density)
  • Painful PMS
  • Dental problems
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety

Now, with your understanding of the root causes and long term side effects of reflux, I hope you are in a better position to judge the potential efficacy of the potential treatments that you try, before you spend time and money on them. As reflux is a multi-pronged issue, including digestion issues, microbial imbalance, malabsorption, and low acidity the solution needs to be one that addresses all of these issues. An effective approach should provide short term relief sufficient to enable a transition away from existing medications as well as a long term foundation for continued healing.

As such, I have summarized an approach that I used to successfully transition off of my acid reflux medications and ultimately to eliminate my reflux entirely.

Revise Phase I (2 weeks): Create a stable digestive environment to enable a smooth transition

  • Continue taking reflux medications (if you are taking them)
  • Eat plainly and avoid and identify trigger foods
  • Add naturally fermented foods to your diet (for probiotics)
  • Add high fiber foods to your diet (prebiotics) to rebalance your gut
  • Take b12 and magnesium supplements (if you are deficient)

Restore Phase II (4-6 weeks): Supplement digestion & transition off reflux medications

  • Take apple cider vinegar capsules (not liquid as it is corrosive) for prebiotics and to kill harmful pathogens
  • Use digestive enzymes with meals to improve digestion
  • Take betaine hydrochloride with pepsins with meals to restore acidity and sphincter function
  • Stop taking reflux medications

Renew Phase III (2+ weeks): Reintroduce foods

  • Slowly Reintroduce foods
  • Avoid risk factors to avoid re-entering the reflux cycle

For a comprehensive / easy to follow plan, additional rationale, and the steps I took to resolve my reflux, get my #1 best-selling book 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux | The Counterintuitive Path to Healing Acid Reflux, GERD, and Silent Reflux (LPR).' Also available in audiobook!

Alternatively, if you’re a do it yourselfer, I have put together a quick three page checklist that covers the three phase plan. You can get that here:

Risk Factors

Lastly, I want to briefly cover the three categories of risk factors that you should be aware of. This may help you correlate the onset of your symptoms to a lifestyle, disease, or medical event. This is important so that you are able to avoid falling back into the reflux cycle after you may have healed:

  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, Alcohol, Caffeine, Pregnancy, Stress, Obesity, Eating Late, Over Eating, Poor Diet, Lack of Exercise
  • Disease Factors: Hiatal Hernia, Peptic Ulcers, Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Medical Factors: Surgery, Low Acidity, Medications (Asthma, Blood Pressure, Depression Medications, Sedatives, Antidepressants, Narcotics, Tranquilizers, …)

These are by no means an exhaustive list, and I go into more detail on these topics in my book, as well as ways each can affect the body’s ability to keep stomach contents contained, efficiently digest, and affect movement of food contents along the digestive tract.

For instance, I’m sure you know that exercise positively affects metabolism, but did you know It also directly effects digestive health and efficiency? This is achieved through a process called peristalsis, which moves food along the digestive tract through a series of involuntary yet coordinated muscle movements.

Also, the content of your diet has a direct effect on digestive health. The more narrow, processed, and high in sugar your food choices are, the more your digestive system is skewed to process these foods. This leads to harmful imbalances and side effects that negatively affect digestive efficiency.

Summary

In this article, we have covered silent reflux, its symptoms, and root causes as well as the treatment protocol that I applied to eliminate my reflux. I hope sincerely that this information will help you greatly on your personal journey to eliminate this terrible disease!

Lastly, I am on a mission to positively impact 100,000 people this year. If I have inspired, helped, informed or otherwise assisted you in anyway, let me know by giving me a follow on any of the below platforms or join my mailing list. If I have yet to do so, then take advantage of the daily tips available on these sites!

 

 

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Don was an acid reflux sufferer for more than 15 years. With several family members with the disease, and a medically diagnosed Hiatal Hernia he resigned to the fact that he would take acid blockers for the rest of his life. Dissatisfied with medical advice, he researched the root causes of acid reflux and by solving them was able to eliminate his acid reflux for good!

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Laura
Laura
12 days ago

I want to report that this solution WORKS. I have been having all the silent reflux symptoms for several months – no heartburn yet cough, lump in throat/hard to swallow, post nasal drip & congestion, and especially tons of saliva that kept accumulating in my mouth. I had to swallow every 5 seconds. Well, I thought it was saliva. I guess it was the mucus! After $2,000 and 3 ENT’s, who gave me the PPI’s which didn’t work, I tried the ACV and Betain supplements before eating. At first, I only took one of the ACV tablets but after a… Read more »

Tamera
Tamera
4 months ago

I just knew that I was going to get the bottom of this article and find that you were selling something instead of offering tangible, informative and useful information. I don’t quite have the words to express how grateful I am for your willingness to share this information. I have been battling with LRP for roughly two years and entirely without medication because I refused it. What I have had is bits and pieces of information to assist but never a real concrete plan for healing. You have no idea the amount of hope you just offered me. I’m only… Read more »

Francine
Francine
8 months ago

Don, I just wanted to thank you for putting this information out here for all of us! I took my 17 year old son to see his ENT for the same cough that he gets consistently. Luckily, I already knew walking into his office, that it was from acid reflux. Doc did the scope and confirmed, yep, totally acid reflux and prescribed the drugs. Really? He’s 17! I was not going to start him on a drug that he would have to take on and off for the rest of his life. I started my son on the supplements and… Read more »

Karen
Karen
1 month ago

Hi Don! After not getting proper sleep for the past two months (drainage and coughing at night, which I assumed was allergy related) I made an appointment with my ENT. He asked a few questions and checked with an endoscope, discovered that I have LPR. Started on Pantoprazole 40mg 11 days ago, but decided that I needed to do more research and found you!! I couldn’t wait for your book to arrive from Amazon, so I got the audio version and took notes! Wow! I am so grateful to you! I have a follow up appointment with the ENT in… Read more »

Karen
Karen
1 month ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thanks Don! Really, I can’t thank you enough for your help!

Karen

Sandra Williams
Sandra Williams
1 month ago

My Doctor said I have LPR Reflux. In February I had a full thyroidectomy due to the fact that I had an enlarged goiter and problems with nodules. I am taking Dexilant for the LPR Reflux due to the fact that I have the mucus in the throat, sometimes it’s hard to swallow certain foods and medication. I am taking vitamin D3 and getting a B12 shot must months, but still having these problems. This is so frustrating – what were the supplements you recommend. I trying the wipeout diet, but look like LPR still problem.

Reena Fernandes
Reena Fernandes
2 months ago

Hi Don, further to my 1 comment, I have breathing issues mostly at night which are on & off, I’m not able to get sleep at night coz of this I feel really weak.

Reena Fernandes
Reena Fernandes
2 months ago

Hi Don, last month I had a course of antibiotics for ear infection. Ever since I started taking them, I experienced diarrhoea, throat burning, chest pain, back pain, felt like I’m choking at times, throat pain. I’ve taken gaviscon a couple of times. It did not help. I got my blood tested. I have hypothyroidism and also vitamin d deficiency. I’m currently taking thyroid medication and vitamin d3 capsules. I also take probiotics. I still experience throat burn, constant throat clearing, ringing in my ears, and now since yesterday my nose got blocked. I feel terrible. I recently consulted an… Read more »

Reena
Reena
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Hi Don, thanks for the valuable information. I take acidophilus plus 2 billion currently just started taking them few days back. Feeling better with digestive issues. But have a burning throat that bothering me since a month now.

Mary
Mary
2 months ago

Hi there! I’ve struggled with coughing after laughing sometimes severe. Could I have this condition?

Mary
Mary
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Throat clearing and a sense of mucous build up. No heartburn that I know of. Sometimes short of breath

Ally
Ally
3 months ago

Hi Don – as the road to recovery begins, I presume how my throat/voice recovers and how my digestive tract and acidity levels recover – are two different recovery speeds? In using the supplements you suggest, I feel my digestive tract has improved already. I have Silent Reflux, so don’t really suffer from heartburn. But I have had a sore throat/coarse voice and trouble swallowing for 5 months. Does it take time for the throat and voice to revert back to normal? I am sitting with a prescription of PPI’s from the doc. But I am reluctant to start them… Read more »

Sophie
Sophie
3 months ago

Hi Don, I have been trying some eliminations for the past 3-4 months (no caffeine, chocolate, citrus, high-fat, citrus, onion/garlic etc) alongside other restrictions such as the Acid Watcher diet, low histamine etc, but have had no improvements in my symptoms which I believe to be LPR (post nasal drip, sinus headaches, hoarseness and heartburn) – do you think it is unusual to not see any relief from removing these normal triggers? I am wondering if I need to still continue a similar protocol whilst taking your suggested supplements, even though it does not seem to affect my symptoms. I… Read more »

Sophie
Sophie
2 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thank you Don, I do already take probiotics (have been for around 2 months) but it does not seem to be helping any of my symptoms. Have you got any good tips for ensuring 35-50g of fibre intake per day?? It is feeling extremely hard to achieve whilst trying to eat small portions so as to not over fill the stomach!

Jodi
Jodi
3 months ago

Hi Don, do you recommend any particular brands of the supplements that you suggest? And do you recommend the HCL test to find the right dose?

Cris
Cris
4 months ago

Hi Don, Thank you for your dedication and for shining light and hope on this misunderstood, and often misdiagnosed, disease. I’ve been chasing answers, and have been misdiagnosed, for over 15 years. I’ve finally come to realize what my doctors and I have thought was adult onset asthma is in fact silent reflux. I have ALL the symptoms, and for the past 2-1/2 years excessive hoarseness and fluid in my lungs has become debilitating. In my research I have encountered alternative accounts as to the source of silent reflux. One of them maintains that it is the digestive enzyme Pepsin,… Read more »

ANdrea
ANdrea
4 months ago

Excellent job of explaining!

Pia
Pia
5 months ago

Hi, Don ..1st of all, thank you so much for write it all down. Oh I am so happy to found this post on Pinterest, as I did a lottttt of browsing about what happening & how to get rid of this weirdness in my stomach (if I haven’t eaten or after I am ate😂). I am 43 yo, I had my 1st flare up and did went to ER around 7 years ago (because I thought it was heart attack). And until now, I already went to ER for 3 times and only got a medicine from them (the… Read more »

Linda Phillips
6 months ago

Don, thank you for this information. After experiencing most of the symptoms you listed for years, I visited a gastroenterologist and I was diagnosed with acid reflux and hiatal hernia. That was about 5 years ago. I was put on Protonix and followed their guidelines as far as diet went. I stopped taking the medication after six months due to the long term side effects you mention. I never got rid of the throat clearing, but figured I would have to live with it. My symptoms got much worse last spring and I started the round of specialists appointments (… Read more »

Georgie
Georgie
6 months ago

hi Don, a few years ago I hurt my back at work and to keep working and get through the pain I began taking ibuprofen. And I started having heart burn immediately and did for the next few months while I took the ibuprofen.I thought it was safe.. Next thing I know the doctor tells me I may have GERD. I had an upper GI and a colonoscopy. Doc says I also have chronic gastritis…So I have been taking omeprazole since then and changed my diet , but recently I have have too much burping it can go on for… Read more »

Georgie
Georgie
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Don, I stopped taking the ibuprofen about six months after my injury , when I found out about the harm they do. But it seemed too late.that now I had GERD. Before taking the Advil I had never experienced heartburn my entire life. I haven’t been the same since. My gastro doctor was of no help, after my results came back from upper GI and colonoscopy I had to ask him” so do I have GERD?”and all he said was “probably”and gave me a prescription. He hasn’t helped me at all. Now I have all these other symptoms… ones you… Read more »

Teresa
Teresa
7 months ago

Hi Don, I’m happy to have come across your website. I am 30 years old and I have been taking acid reflux tablets on and off since 2007. It got worse last year and I became deficient in vitamins as my stomach is not able to absorb the vital vitamins. I have had a lot of the symptoms you have described. Recently stinging in fingers, constantly clearing my throat and constantly feeling of chest pain. I have started on the supplements you have mentioned but it has not being completely helpful. Especially when I ate sugary food or drinks. Did… Read more »

Wayne Jones
Wayne Jones
7 months ago

Hi Don, My symptoms started this past February at work after eating some dark chocolate at lunch with carbonated mineral water – over the proceeding months things continued to get worse where now every time I eat I have to clear my throat of mucus/cough up mucus/blow my nose. I switched from drinking pop/milk/other beverages with meals to solely water about two years ago and drink pretty much only tap water throughout the day. I went to a naturopath who recommended decolorized aloe vera and that helped after meals, but I tried tapering off after noticing it only worked a… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Wayne Jones
Jay Ace
Jay Ace
7 months ago

Apologies for posting another comment, I have additional questions that I didn’t think of in my original one: Is it ok to take HCL with Gentian Root bitters? While I’m waiting for my Amazon order of supplements to come, I went to see what my local natural food store had – either an HCL with a very low dose compared to what you recommend, or one with Gentian bitters. And for a fairly superficial question: Are you able to have coffee and caffeinated now that your acidity has balanced out, without it provoking reflux issues? I haven’t been able to… Read more »

Jay Ace
Jay Ace
7 months ago

Thank you so much for this helpful guide. Trying to get off PPIs for the third time, and having symptoms come back as usual, I was willing to try anything. I was skeptical because it seemed like when I had vinegar in foods (e.g. salad dressings), my reflux would get worse. But I figured why not give it a try at a low dose (2tsp) VERY diluted in water – and to my shock it helped! I just got some ACV pills so that I don’t have to use the liquid, as you recommend, so I can give my esophagus… Read more »

Amy
Amy
7 months ago

I have severe silent reflux. I also take low dose steroids for an autoimmune disease I have. I see that the HCI shouldn’t be mixed with steroids. Will I be able to get off the ppi meds
and heal my silent reflux with just taking the digestive enzyme and apple cider vinegar pills? Or is there something I could substitute for the HCI that would have the same results since I can’t take it because I’m on the steroid?

Annette Schexnayder
Annette Schexnayder
7 months ago

Help Doctors don’t know what I have. They thought I have acid reflux but endoscope found no erosion or cancer and ENt did CT Sinus/facial bones without Contrast and showed no abnormalities I have a metallic taste in my mouth and excess amount of phlegm which drives me crazy. Everything I eat sticks to my teeth. Everthing I drink or eat I have to spit up all this phlegm. (even when I brush my teeth) When I get up in the morning I do the Neti pot and I usually spit up phlegm for an hour or hour and half.… Read more »

Eliza
Eliza
7 months ago

Hi Don!
I read your article and I was wondering if you recommend these products for singers?
Because I am currently taking silent reflux medication and sometimes it seems like it helps and then the next day, my throat hurts again.

Eliza
Eliza
5 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

I have had this problem for over 2 years, I eat pretty healthy I would say. No excessive fast food, I’ve tried to stay away from gluten and dairy, but sometimes I’m not successful. I’m not sure what could be contributing to my sore throat, I’ve had my tonsils out and my deviated septum fixed. I’ve taken medication for silent reflux and the normal acid reflux and it didn’t work. I’ve also stopped wearing my retainer, but my voice is still sore, hoarse and other things.

Eliza
Eliza
4 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

In addition to your suggestions, should I also take the supplements that you’ve talked about and recommend in your article?

Eliza
Eliza
4 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Okay! But in addition to the yogurt and other things, should I also try the supplements you have suggested in the article?

Marilyn
Marilyn
7 months ago

I’m so glad I stumbled upon your website. I have literally lost 10 lbs in a week from severe acid reflux. I cannot eat anything! I’m on Mylanta and Tagamet and will meet with gastro virtually this week. When would be a good time to start supplementation? Should I wait to be fully healed or diagnosed officially? I’m miserable right now. After 7 days I finally ate my first meal tonight.

Tara K
Tara K
8 months ago

Don, I have been through the wringer the past 6 months. I’ve lost 50lbs in a short period of time. I’ve cut out everything – gluten, dairy, spicy, coffee, chocolate, anything acidic – and I have no relief. I’ve had endoscopies, ultrasounds, and saw a naturalist doctor who put me on tons of supplements. I even had my gallbladder removed last week after a gallstone attack! I’ve never had the typical reflux symptoms. Based on my own research, I assume I have LPR but I’ve never had the cough and I don’t really have mucus. It started with a lump… Read more »

Tara
Tara
6 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

I ended up seeing my GI doctor, and I mentioned your regimen. She didn’t believe digestive enzymes were necessary since my pancreatic function labs were OK, and she seemed to have never heard of taking HCl. She never even heard of LPR. I was shocked because she is younger (late 30s?) so I thought she’d be more progressive. She told me to try Pepcid AC, which I did and quickly stopped. She told me to try ACV as well, since she knew of studies that showed it works. I bought the brand you suggested and I felt burning in my… Read more »

Caterina
Caterina
8 months ago

Hi Mr Daniels my name is Caterina and I’m just giving you an update on my acid problem I’ve tried taking the Betaine HCI Chlorhydrate . I took them for about a week but unfortunately I started to experience side effects,they were making me very itchy so I had to stop taking them I’m at my wits end,any more suggestions?

Ann Marie
Ann Marie
8 months ago

Hi..I don’t even know where to start..been suffering with GERD for more than five years..the medication from the doctor help for a while until I stopped taking them..it’s the worst I’ve felt since I’ve been diagnosed..I read your article and ordered the three bottles of pills..got them yesterday and started taking them..felt a little burning and wondered if it’s normal..I took them twice per day with meals..how long do you think I’ll be seeing results..thanks for sharing your journey..I live in Jamaica so I really enjoy spicy food which I can’t eat now because I really want to get better..I… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
9 months ago

Hi Don, I have downloaded the guide and I am very excited to try this. I was wondering about the digestive enzymes and ACV, I don’t see any points on when/how often to take these supplements. Should I take one with every meal with the HCI? Or once in the morning? Would love to know how they react with each other. Thank you!

Sarah
Sarah
9 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thank you so much for your quick response! It’s very much appreciated.

Anastasija
Anastasija
9 months ago

Hi Don! Thank you for the article! I have sliding hiatal hernia and have symptoms like yours! However, doctors are treating me for high stomach acidity and of course, medications doesnt help! How did you found out you have low stomach acidity? I am feeling i might have it too but doctors say they are sure its high. How to find out its low? Did you also do exercises to treat hiatal hernia? Thanks for the answer! Searching the web for supplements you wrote about!

annette
annette
9 months ago

Hello. When I start this regimen do I immediately stop taking my acid reflux pills? I’m scared to stop them and get bad chest pains/burning in my chest from severe reflux. I’ve been taking magnesium and B12 for 2 years now so can I continue to take them while on this regimen? Thank You and pray to god that I am able to finally get rid of my GERD that I’ve had since 03′.

Yvonne Driscoll
Yvonne Driscoll
9 months ago

Hi Don! I am so excited to have found this article exclamation since March, I have been having a lot of throat clearing, postnasal drip, etc. and it seems to be in relation to eating. Allergy medications and H2 blockers have not worked. I’m so excited to try this supplement regimen. Did you have asthma-like symptoms? That is the worst for me. You mentioned the ACV, Betaine, and the digestive enzymes, then you said OR are you going to try B vitamins and magnesium. Should it be one or the other, or do you take all five? Which type of… Read more »

Heather
9 months ago

I feel I have had Silent Reflux. Your article has brought to light what I need to do. Thank you so much for sharing!

Caterina
Caterina
9 months ago

I see that you suggest apple cider vinegar supplements but this vinegar makes my phlegm act up so what do I do? I would really appreciate an answer

Caterina
Caterina
9 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thank you so much for your reply actually that’s exactly my problem the sphincter doesn’t close so I will buy the supplement you recommended and see what happens thank you again I really appreciate it

Carolyn
Carolyn
7 months ago
Reply to  Caterina

I’m curious if you found improvement with the HcL?

Beth
Beth
10 months ago

Wow, thank you for the thorough and well presented resource on LPR!! Iʻve felt “short of breath” constricted in my throat since March 2020, but the pandemic has made me reticent to talk about these symptoms and unable to get to a doctor. I have had my thyroid tested now and my sinuses scoped, but Iʻm certain the culprit is LPR. It is the worst and the tightness in the throat and airways can get very scary!! I am really stoked to try your recommendations. Since I am just now figuring out that this is LPR, I have a prescription… Read more »

Cherie
Cherie
11 months ago

Hi Don, I am not completely sure if I have just the condition, Post Nasal Drip or Silent Reflux, I have had colds on and off for the past 6 months. I have been to the doctors a number of times, he thought it maybe acid reflux. He gave me a prescription for Somac, I didn’t really stay on it long because I wanted to find out what my problem is. I have never been the type of person to take any medication, I always prefer a natural way to go. My doctor in the end said its a bit… Read more »

Paige
Paige
11 months ago

Hi Don, I feel like I needed to find this article so bad! I’ve been suffering from the feeling of lump in my throat feeling like I can’t swallow, hoarseness, inflamed larynx, burping, anxiety, chest tightness feeling like I can’t get a deep breath. EVERYTHING! I’ve been to all the “ologists” . I got the flu back in December then started having all of these symptoms. I got tons of bloodwork where they said I have an under active thyroid and was told I had to start medication for that. I was having dizzy spells heart palpitations, and started having… Read more »

James Koch
James Koch
5 months ago
Reply to  Paige

You sound like me! I have almost the exact same symptoms

Roselle
Roselle
11 months ago

Hi Don, Doctor diagnosed me with GERD last March. It went off for a good three months until end of June. This time, I didn’t have bloating or excessive burping but more of the throat symptoms such as a lump sensation on the throat, and sometimes it feels like there’s something poking my throat and I will occasionally get upper back pain too. I’m suspecting that this could be LPR? I just went to the doctor last weekend and he prescribed a 2weeks dose of PPI (rabeprazole). In 3 days of taking the medicines, I am not really seeing any… Read more »

Maria
Maria
1 year ago

How long did it take you to heal using the supplements? Thank you for all of this information. It has been awful and I am looking to heal. It has been a long journey and I was on PPI’s for three months and had terrible side effects. I have been off of them for almost two months.

Maria
Maria
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thank you so much Don. I am hopeful that I can heal from this. The silent reflux is terrifying. Just grateful there are wonderful people out there like you trying to help others heal.

Kathleen
Kathleen
1 year ago

Hi Don! So happy I found you, hope I can heal myself with these tips. I was diagnosed, simply, as having acid reflux by my GO and we did a couple of rounds of Prilosec and another. My naturopath, however, advised against it and told me to take DGL instead. Helped for periodic episodes. I have allergies and have had post nasal drip for some time, not sure if it is due to allergies or reflux. Over the past year I have woken with some pretty severe sore throats, thought I might have snored during the night. I did figure… Read more »

Anj
Anj
1 year ago

LPR- hello Don, how are you? I hope you are well, I messaged in your Instagram account. I believe I may have LPR and have had acid reflux in the past. I’ve beeb going through it for the last 3 months. I’m lost on what to do and don’t want to take PPIs. I’ve got wheeziness, hoarsness – agony when I talk, throat pain that’s constantly there, coughing clearing throat, stomach/body pain as if I can feel the acid literally burnt I feel my body I wake up in the night or in agony, it goes to my right ear… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Anj
Victor
Victor
10 months ago
Reply to  Anj

Have your symptoms gotten better? I am in the exact situation as you and it is horrible. I am in the process of seeing a therapist to deal with my anxiety, while dealing with acid reflux. It really is a stressful situation, but I am optimistic that I can get better!

I’m hoping Don Daniels gets back to me with his guide. I really want to try this the natural way and avoid the medication because I do not want to depend on it for the rest of my life.

Victor
Victor
10 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

That’s great to hear!!!! I’m currently on medication, and I have not bought the supplements yet. How would I transition from not taking the medication to taking the supplements? Also, is it possible for you to send me your guide? I know you said it is important to take the right dosage of HCI, I want to make sure I do it correctly.

Victor
Victor
10 months ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Thank you so much! I’m about to purchase all three supplements. Nothing but good reviews, so I’m confident in myself and in the supplements that they will help me. So glad I found you!!! I just started the medications about 7 weeks ago, and like you doctors told me to take this for 6-8 weeks. I’m close to being done with the medication, however, they just told me to continue to take them for an additional 6-8 weeks, and although they have helped a bit (not entirely) I know that I do not want to to continue taking these medications… Read more »

Leah
Leah
1 year ago

I am so grateful to have found you. You have no idea. I have been suffering severely with acid reflux/GERD for over 12 years and all the symptoms you explained in the article happened to me slowly but surely. I never stopped to address it, so recently within the last six weeks I had a horrible experience and I am healing from it now. Because of the pandemic all the doctors wanted to do was test me and give me allergy medicine and none of it worked! I got doctor bills for no reason. Not one of them diagnosed it… Read more »

Gina
Gina
1 year ago

Hi Don…thank you for so much insightful information. I have all of the symptoms of awful digestion and reflux. It is making my life completely miserable cause I really cannot eat much. The dr has me on a strong ppi which I realize I need to get off. I really don’t believe it is helping much at all. I am taking a digestive enzyme but the idea of taking an acv supplement and the hcl terrifies me. The worst symptom is shortness of breath and all of the typical lpr symptoms. If I were to take these supplements, would it… Read more »

Rosio
Rosio
1 year ago

Hello, I think/believe silent reflux and it sucks. All the medication I’ve been taking hasn’t helped. I’m constantly burbling, I feel like I have something stuck in my throat and starting to experience anxiety cuz of all of it. I truly need your help to get better.

Jess
Jess
1 year ago

What foods are you able to eat now ?

Stephon B
Stephon B
1 year ago

How is your acid reflux to this very day?

Anthony G
Anthony G
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Daniels

Don had a question regarding the source natural essential enzymes, hcl betain both which I started 3 days ago, in the morning I tend to have a muffin, banana, and chamomile tea, I am noticing the past 2 days that I get stomach cramps/hot feeling with them in the morning. Could this be that I am taking to small of a breakfast for the enzymes, should i stop? Additionally, for 2 bigger meals the betaine hcl made me feel better on 2 pills, yesterday during lunch the 1 enzyme pill and 2 bcl pills caused me some bloating for most… Read more »

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