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Robert asks…

Young vocalist suffering from non-acidic reflux?

I am young vocalist and I just finished my first year of college as a voice major. About two weeks after I started college, I started having a sensation of a lump in my throat, and then started waking up with a sore throat and had a “clicking” sensation in my throat every time I swallowed. I went to an ENT, and he told me I had acid reflux, even though I had no heartburn at all or any other symptoms of reflux. So I went on a combination of prescription and OTC PPI’s (I’ve tried Kapidex and Nexium, and Prilosec and Prevacid OTC), stayed away from what I was told were trigger foods, elevated the head of my bed, stopped eating at night, and everything else they tell you to do, and it has not helped. No matter what I do, the symptoms persist. All that happened was weight loss from the change in diet, and for someone who is only 10 pounds away from being underweight, this is not good. My ENT was stumped and sent me to a GI doctor. He seems to think its non-acidic reflux and wanted to do a scope, but my insurance would not cover it, so I don’t think that is going to happen. As a vocalist, having an irritated throat all the time is no good, although thankfully I have not experienced hoarseness or anything and have been able to sing like normal. I’m just so afraid that it’s only going to get worse and that there is nothing I can do to stop it. Singing is my passion, and I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to pursue my passion. Is there anyone out there who has any suggestions or is experiencing this as well? Does anyone know of any natural remedies perhaps? I am very young and never had problems before college, so I have no idea why this is all of sudden there.
Thanks for all the answers so far!

I have heard of heartburn and saw it in my health food store, but didn’t really know what it was. Thanks, maybe I’ll try that.

MeMeMe-Actually my ENT already ruled out the possibility of mucous and drainage…said my sinuses where clear. I do have lots of mucous in my throat some days, but not others. My throat is always irritated, but the severity of the symptoms and the location where I feel irritation is different from day to day. Some days it feels almost normal, aside from the constant “clicking”
I have in my throat. But thank you so much for your answer and the advice!

Maybe-I know I’m not lactose-intolerant. I am already vegetarian and do not drink coffee and hardly any soda, and when I do it’s not caffeinated. Many people in my church are vegan, and I tried a vegan diet with no results other than weight loss, which, as I stated before, is not good for me. It seems like no matter what I eat, I still have symptoms.
Oops I meant I have heard of heartburn free! lol

answers:

Hi,

Two things. First, I remember a few years ago that my sister’s best friend had very similar symptoms as you are describing. She had started doing this little half-cough type thing which she said helped her throat feel clearer. My mom noticed it at dinner one night and asked the girl about it. She had been diagnosed with acid reflux too, but meds weren’t helping. My mom is an ENT/head and neck surgeon and asked if she could take a look in the girl’s throat and ended up calling her mom to talk to her. The girl went back to her ENT and was re-diagnosed according to my mother’s advice and now everything’s fine. I wish I could remember what it was… It wasn’t the acid though. It had something to do with how mucus drained from her sinuses into her throat which was causing irritation in the back of her throat I believe. So it was like reflux irritation but was coming from the head, not the stomach. If I remember correctly, it required a minor surgery to correct something in there. Obviously don’t go schedule an operation, but just a thought.

Secondly, if you’ve taken the reflux meds for long periods of time (and it sounds like you’ve tried a lot of them), but they’re not helping, I would definitely try to get a second opinion. How frustrating that you can’t get scoped! You may want to try some natural remedies to at least alleviate your symptoms in the meantime. They won’t fix anything, but at least they might help your throat feel better. Common remedies for throat pain include eating spoonfuls of honey (plain or you can mix honey in a non-acidic warm drink like certain teas or even rice or almond milk). Warm liquids in general are good for sore throats, but can aggravate reflux, so be careful in case it is acid reflux. You can also try sucking on herbal lozenges or inhaling steam (my mother’s #1 remedy for most throat/chest/cough/ENT issues–she used to always boil a pot of water and then put a dish towel over my head while I leaned over the pot, inhaling the steam when I had bronchitis or something similar). I would definitely up your water intake too; it can’t hurt.

I hope you figure something out soon! I know how frustrating it can be, I’m going through something similar with my stomach. Just hang in there and keep pushing your docs for answers. They’ll figure it out someday.

Good luck!

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Steven asks…

More information on Motilium Domperidone medicine?

Motilium tablets is commonly used for stopping feelings of sickness (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) in adults and children.Relieving stomach discomfort, fullness or bloating and regurgitation of stomach contents (reflux or heartburn) in adults.Apart from that,Domperidone works primarily by blocking dopamine receptors found in the upper end of the digestive system.This causes tightening of the muscles at the entry to the stomach,relaxation of the muscles at the exit of the stomach and increased contraction of the muscles in the stomach itself. These actions speed up the passage of food through the stomach into the intestine, which physically helps prevent vomiting and reduces feelings of sickness, bloating and fullness. It also prevents food from flowing the wrong way through the stomach and so prevents reflux (regurgitation of the stomach contents back into the food pipe).
What if you were given this tablet but your problem doesn’t seem so serious,would you take it or not?I was given this medicine from my doctor 4 days ago but I haven’t started taking it yet cuz,my only problem now is I don’t bladder frequently and I had to strain a lot to bladder but other than that,the other medication that I’m taking helped to overcome other situation(Heartburn,acid reflux,bloating).I don’t want to further damage my digestive system by taking medications cuz I was told that it takes time for the body to get back to normal cuz the body itself is the Doctor,prevent from taking medication and take more of natural ways of remedy(healthy diet).Plus,I heard that if a person is not in serious pain,they should avoid taking medications cuz it’s not really good.Is this true?Based on these infos I’ve provided,do you think I should take this tablet or not?I’m a bit agitated and confused about it now T_T

answers:

You are free to choose how your body should be trated. In fact, follows your heart and mind. If you listen to others, you may regret in your later life.

You are not alone. Many Asians (Indians, Chinese, Malays) shares your view. And they resort to natural herbal remedies (which claims “harmless”) Some really did recover, and some, even worst. The best 3 types of cases I saw are – renal failure, diabetes and hypertension. Almost all those with renal failure stage 4 and above, when they opt for natural herbal remedies, they will eventually die or end up very sick in ICU. As to diabetes, those milder form and those Type 1 DM, i did see a few recover with traditional medicine. As to hypertension, I’ll state a 50-50% I have seen.

Some alternative medicine, eg TCM (traditional chinese medicine) is undergoing harsh stringent scientific research and there are positive feedback! Eg acupuncture used in pain management, chronic diseases and help pt lose weight. It spare the side effects of opioids, liver problem and metabolic disorders.

Many despise alternative treatment. But what i can say is, some can be justified from scientific point of view and some others need scientific proof. Eg, TCM has terrific effect to help oncologic patients endure lesser and milder side effects from chemo and radio. MAlays use papaya to try induce miscarriage. After some medical research, indeed, some chemicals and enzyme present on green papaya skin, indeed, is able to induce miscarriage. Scientist are trying to perfect the technique as this carries much less side effects as compare to medicine use for abortion eg cytotec.

You are right, your condition doesn’t sounds too serious. But seems there’s 2 problems here, digestive problems and urinary problem. You may want to try the following (it has scientific proof, just goggle if you need more info)

Digestive problems – try taking 50-100ml of yoghurt daily, or drinks fortified with lactobacillus. You can get from pharmacy also. Lacteofort is the brand name for dry lactobacillus powder. Add high fiber eg oats and vege to your diet. I’m sure you know the food pyramid (I’m a bit tired and allow me to save my breath on that :) LOL ) Regular exercise helps with intestinal movement.

Urinary problems – sounds like your urine output is little and difficult. First, make sure it’s not other serious cause eg renal failure. If it’s just mild urinary tract infection and you want natural, try cranberry juice. Drink 1.5L a of cranberry juice, and additional 1L of plain water. If cranberry is difficult to obtain, watermelon is fine too. Although effect not as good as cranberry.

A lot of natural remedies forsimple minor ailments. I, despite being a doctor, will opt for that. Tablets are not my first choice. Eg, I had a headache, giddiness, some mood swings yesterday, I made myself a glass of juice with grape and apple and it helps.

A week back, I had mild slleeping difficulty and i don’t get quality sleep, I took some gingko nuts and I had wonderful sleep that night!

Some forrest fire outbreak near my area and i got some respiratory discomfort. I put some peppermint aromatherapy oil around me and I felt better. I didn’t use the common antihistamine.

As my job expose me to all harmful microorganism, I took a lot of natural stuff to boost my immunity, berries, soy and black beans, pineapple, kiwi, carrot, tomatoes…. The trick is balance. (I don’t take garlic as it’ll cause halitosis ie bad breath. I deem it impolite to talk to patients with bad breath) Believe it or not, I don’t take Vitamin C tablets and I’m rare down with flu.

Ultimately, it’s your own choice. But i want to emphasize tis, CHOOSE WISELY, that means do research, google and not just some hearsays.

(note : I am still a human! I will fall sick just as everyone else!)

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