NUTRITIONSYMPTOMS

Silent Reflux: Causes, Symptoms and More

Overview

If you’ve ever gorged yourself with beer and pizza and a few beers, you might be familiar with the pain caused by acid reflux. Chest pain, stomach cramps, and nausea are the hallmarks of acid reflux.

The signs are obvious. However, for certain people who suffer from reflux, the signs aren’t always apparent. In reality, they’re not noticeable.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) is sometimes referred to as silent reflux. LPR doesn’t trigger any symptoms. The stomach contents can recirculate into your esophagus and your voice box and throat and into your nasal passages and you won’t even know until severe symptoms start to manifest due to the damages caused by acid in your stomach.

Symptoms

The name suggests that silent reflux is not accompanied by any symptoms. The majority of people who suffer from silent reflux don’t experience heartburn. In contrast to silent reflux, gastroesophageal disease (GERD) has some symptoms.

Understanding the distinction between the two types of acid reflux and their symptoms can help you determine the type of reflux you’re experiencing.

Causes

As you eat food, the food particles travel from your mouth, into the esophagus, and then into your stomach. Then, your digestive system starts breaking down food in order to extract nutrients and generate waste.

Sometimes stomach acid can escape back to your esophagus. Your body is made to stop this from happening. Elastic-like rings (sphincters) on the sides and the bottom of your esophagus reduce to stop empty stomach contents from flowing into your throat and esophagus. Reflux sufferers may have a sphincter that will not completely close.

Risk factors

All people of all ages and gender can experience silent reflux. Certain people are more likely to get it.

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The risk factors for silent reflux are:

  • Lifestyle factors such as eating habits, excessive drinking, alcohol or tobacco use
  • physical cause, such as an esophageal sphincter, slow draining from the stomach, or excess weight.
  • pregnancy

Infants and children can have more frequent episodes of reflux due to the fact that their lower and upper esophageal sphincter muscles don’t have the strength enough to shut. The condition may get better as they grow older.

Diagnosis

If you suspect that you may have any of the kinds, schedule an appointment with the doctor. The issue of heartburn is to be investigated, particularly when you’ve been experiencing symptoms more often than once per week for a long period of time.

In order to determine if you are suffering from a condition, the doctor conducts a thorough examination. This could include asking about the history of your symptoms, the treatment options you’ve tried, as well as the likelihood that symptoms will develop.

Your primary physician may be able to diagnose your condition. If they believe you could require an additional opinion, they could recommend you to a gastroenterologist. The specialist in this field is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of ailments that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, if you experience unresolved reflux, scarring, or damage caused by it Your doctor might recommend you to an Otolaryngologist. This kind of physician is referred to as an ear nose and throat specialist. They treat damages caused by reflux.

To determine the extent to which the injury is severe, doctors may need an endoscopy. In this procedure, the tube illuminated that has a camera will be inserted through your mouth, and then into the esophagus and throat. This allows your doctor to assess the extent of damage and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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Treatment

When your physician suspects that you have silent reflux, they could prescribe a reflux medication. If the medication relieves your symptoms, you might be allowed to continue taking the medication. It will also end any harm the reflux may be causing. However, it won’t reverse the condition.

The most commonly used medications to treat silent reflux are:

  • antacids
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Blockers of H2

These medications either decrease the acid in your stomach or prevent your stomach from producing enough stomach acid.

Alongside medicine, Your doctor might also suggest various lifestyle changes. These lifestyle modifications are intended to decrease the risk factors that can increase your risk of having reflux. The lifestyle changes you make comprise:

  • Stop drinking and eating at least three hours prior to the time you plan to go to bed.
  • Lift your head higher while you sleep.
  • Find and eliminate the trigger food items. These are typically chocolate, spicy food like citrus, fried foods, citrus as well as tomato-based food.
  • Smoke, you must stop. Your physician can help to find a program for quitting smoking.

Sometimes, surgery is not required. Your doctor might suggest surgery to improve your esophageal muscle.

Complications

The thin, delicate tissue that lines your esophagus is abrasive, and stomach acid can be irritating. It may cause burns and damage to the tissues in your esophagus throat, throat, and voice box. In adults, the top prevalent symptoms of silent reflux are chronic irritation, scarring of the tissue ulcers, and an increased risk of developing certain cancers.

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If the condition is not properly addressed for infants and children, silent reflux could be the cause of:

  • breathing issues
  • frequent coughing
  • wheezing
  • hoarseness
  • difficulties in swallowing
  • frequent spitting up
  • breathing disorders, like breathing apnea or pauses in breathing

In rare instances, silent reflux may cause growth problems. If you suspect that your child is suffering from LDR or has been diagnosed the most important thing is to treat them to avoid complications.

Outlook

Rectifying and treating reflux is essential to preventing the onset of symptoms and avoiding damage to your esophagus throat, lungs, or the voice box. The diagnosis can be effortless and simple.

The treatment may be more painful. The majority of people take regular medication and will make lifestyle adjustments. As you make these lifestyle changes it is possible that you will find your medication is no longer needed.

Prevention

The same treatments for a lifestyle that doctors prescribe to treat reflux could also help prevent experiencing the symptoms of silent reflux. Lifestyle and diet changes that can help prevent silent reflux are:

  • Beware of foods that can cause acid reflux, and keep your food diary in order to find the food triggers.
  • losing weight if you’re overweight
  • quitting smoking
  • Reduce or cut down on the quantity of alcohol you drink.
  • Take your last meal or snack at least 3 hours prior to when you get to go to bed
  • Sleeping with your head raised
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I am a practising physician and medical expert also a blogger and content creator

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