Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)

Do you clear your throat or a cough often? Is the coughing robust enough to irritate you or the person next to you on a long flight? If you do, it may not be your fault. You may be suffering from laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR. LPR occurs when acids from your stomach back up all the way up to your throat. Ordinarily, if you suffer from acid reflux, you feel a burning sensation in your chest. In the case of LPR, the sensation is not similar and therefore it is also known as the silent reflux. You have it; you might not understand you do from the symptoms.

If you were fortunate enough to be diagnosed, a Proton Pump Inhibitor or PPI might have been prescribed for you. PPI’s are a group of drugs whose main aim is to induce a long-lasting reduction in the production of gastric or stomach acids. Your stomach acids are what breaks down the food you eat into nutrition and energy for your body to function. Therefore, on the whole, you do not want to be inhibiting the production of stomach acids. It is this acid that helps you cope with the cheeseburger, french fries and the cola that you so willingly gulped down only a while back. Without the acids, you would be very sick. Evidence seems to show that people who are on PPI’s also appear to have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. You are best served by addressing the cause.

In a study done researchers found that it was possible to reduce the symptoms of LPR by making the patients switch to a Mediterranean Diet. In addition to the diet, the patients were asked to drink alkaline water and take precautions to inhibit the onset of LPR. The outcomes measured showed that the diet was just as effective as the medication in reducing the effects of the acid reflux.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.