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Author Topic: I have Silent Reflux disease, suggestions for food anyone  (Read 4920 times)
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« on: July 26, 2014, 09:41:19 AM »

 Hello all,
I have just been told I have Silent Reflux disease, I desperately  need suggestions for food if by any chance someone else here has that too.  It's the same as GERD but you don't feel the acid burn, so you don't know you have it for a long time, till the coughing and throat clearing and post nasal drip prevents you from sleeping at all, and makes your life totally miserable.  

Finally, after changing my doctor who said everything that was bothering me was "You are old!"  I found a doctor who took me more seriously, prescribed a ct scan and ultra sound and found out I had 6 nodules on my thyroid, and sent me to an endocrynologist who will "watch" them.

And then I went to an ENT who put the tube thingy down  my nose and into my throat (and took photos)  to see why I felt something was there that didn't belong there, and tho it was NORMAL, thank goodness, he says I have SILENT Reflux disease.   He gave me some diet restrictions, taking away everything I love and eat all day, and wants me to take 40 mg of Nexium a day.

I have not taken it yet, because I have read so much about  how it destroys your stomach's  ability to absorb critical minerals like calcium and magnesium, (so you shouldn't take it for more than a year, if that)  and this extended use cause BRITTLE BONES.  Just what I need at almost 82 now.  I have been so happy that my bones have been good, and so now I should take something to deliberately make them BRITTLE!!!  What's wrong with that picture!!
I find that very scary, and also I know the heart needs magnesium as does your whole body and MIND TOO.
I tried following the guidelines I found ONLINE, and have been starving this week.  And still suffering from the coughing and throat clearing etc.  I finally called the ENT's office and told them ok, I would take the nexium, and mentioned how hungry I was, and the girl said OH NO, you don't have to cut out all those things, if you take the Nexium, we don't want you to have to  live like that.  So I had an egg again for breakfast, and a tiny bit of milk on some special K, which I don't usually eat, but which seems a good snack.

Gone are my half a big onion chopped with about 5 big cloves of garlic in my scrambled egg for breakfast,  my tomato sandwiches  with tons of mayo for lunch and JUST BEFORE BED, and my tomato bisque soup, thoughout the day.  Spaghetti with meat sauce or alfredo, (NO CHEESE NOW)  Butter is gone, and cream so what do mashed potatoes taste like without those things.  No  Orange juice and all citrus fruit and juices.   and it goes on and on.

Yes, I can buy the low fat,  spreads and all the things with ingredients I cannot spell or pronounce and which I have always avoided! because they are so bad for you.

My younger son has Barretts disease, and takes the Prilosec generic and eats everything, but he doesn't care about brittle bones, or anything else.  So of course he thinks I should just take the Nexium.

I DO NOT NEED THIS, but who does, right?  Many  years ago my doctor told me I was hypoglycemic and that I should eat many small meals all day and not go without eating, and have some chedder cheese at the ready for when I felt whoozy, and that always worked, so now EATING is a problem and NO CHEESE!  

In any case, I am sitting here miserable, exhausted, very stressed,  and waiting for the results of the ENT's CT scan of my sinuses, I took Wednesday.  He'll call me Monday.  Heaven knows, I have stopped most of what I usually eat.  Tried to buy some tums, but they are MINT or STRAWBERRY flavored, and I can't eat any MINT OR STRAWBERRIES!  So how can I take a tums.

I think of my poor son with cholangiocarcinoma and know I should not complain even a little bit.
But I need to FUNCTION.  I take Blackie 2 times a week now for her fluids, now she takes 175ml twice a wk.   and the other 4 on Methimazole are looking thinner, which I don't like.
I must keep functioning to take care of my 15 cats.

So anyone else here have Silent reflux,  (LPR)Huh  If so what do you eat and how do you feel about the prilosec and Nexium medications and their effects on mineral absorption??
Am going to buy a blender, and will get out my Nutribullet which I haven't used, never found a drink that was really tasty, tho it is extremely easy to use and clean.

I HATE MEDICTIONS and fear reactions, which I have had to all penicillian type meds, and was upset to have to take the 2 meds for my BP, but finally after a few years I did. Didn't want to use the Xalatan drops for my glaucoma but am doing it. I DO NOT WANT BRITTLE BONES.  I CAN'T AFFORD TO BREAK SOMETHING, i HAVE NO ONE TO HELP ME IF I DO!!

Soooo, anyone here have experience with Nexium or Prilosec??  OR actually have LPR?Huh
I feel like going into the closet and closing the door, but if I did, all the cats would cry for food or something.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 11:20:32 AM by BW » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 11:38:29 AM »

I'm so sorry to hear you have yet more problems to deal with BW. I have GERD and it took some time to get it under control but now I can pretty much eat what I want. My doctor prescribed prilosec for short term use to allow time for my esophagus to heal. It sounds like you don't have any damage to your esophagus so I'm not sure why your doctor prescribed Nexium. I can see why you are nervous about taking it. Did you doctor say how long you should take it?

You shouldn't be starving yourself at all, especially if you are hypoglycemic. Usually reflux sufferers are supposed to avoid large meals and have smaller meals more frequently. You can cut down the amount of acidic/fatty foods but you don't have to stop them entirely.

These are the things usually recommended for people with reflux:

Stop smoking
Losing weight if you are overweight
    Eating before bedtime
    Eating large meals
    Alcohol and Tobacco
    Tight fitting clothing

If you do anything from the list the most important is to not eat before bedtime. I would try these things first before trying the Nexium but you should follow your doctor's advice rather than someone on the internet!

"It seems that some creatures have the capacity to fill spaces you never knew were empty."  - Jean-Luc Picard
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 12:32:26 PM »

BW, I second Ned's suggestion of not eating just before bed, if you can swing it.  It makes a really noticeable difference for me, in terms of being able to sleep well and not feeling queasy the next day. It's not a big WOW you notice the first time you do it, but give it a few days to a week and see if it helps.

I was also told to avoid orange juice and coffee (okay with the first, fail with the second), but I find that it takes some experimenting to figure out what foods aggravate your stomach.  For instance, I am fine with small amounts of cheese, but eating cashews make me queasy the next day. Go figure.  I don't know if you can have avocado, but it makes a good mayo substitute.
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 12:52:46 PM »

I don't have GERD, but my husband does.  He never took Nexium.  He has taken Zantac (ranitidine) for years with success.  Although he chooses to avoid some things like caffeine and spicy food, and he doesn't eat before bedtime, and doesn't use tobacco or alcohol at all anyway, he can generally eat mostly anything otherwise.  There are a few things that he has found that may cause him a problem, not everything that is usually listed as no-no's affect everyone in the same way.  He started out like you thinking that he would not be able to eat very many things and that he would starve.  But, trial and error after a few weeks of medication, may indicate that there are many things that you can eat that won't cause symptoms.  The food itself won't hurt you - it is the discomfort that you feel when you eat certain things that you want to avoid, thus the long list of foods that can affect some people, but certainly not all.  Avoid what you think may have been causing you a problem for the first weeks of taking the medication, then you can probably add some things back and see if you can tolerate them after any irritation that might be there has healed.

Nexium wasn't meant to be taken long term.  The usual time is 4-8 weeks.  You may then be able to switch to something like the Zantac if you need maintenance.  The more serious side effects you may have read about are rare and are not likely to occur if you don't take the Nexium longer than you really need it.  You probably have already seen this website, but I am posting it just in case, and there are other links on this site to get you to even more information if you want to read more.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 12:55:45 PM by Mandycat » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 12:54:39 PM »

Eek I hear you about the bones, as I already have quite brittle bones, probably mainly genetic aggravated by crash dieting in younger years. as I never took acid suppressors for too long a period (as I too hate meds). I used zantac some years ago just long enough to get ulcer symptoms under control. Then I was a bad patient and backed off the stuff.  I don't blame you for being worried about the bones!!! It's a  horrid problem!

But what I did notice was the butter and other very fatty things really did aggravate reflux,  Cry although much depends on quantity used. The others are also right about the no meals before bed item,too. Snacks may be ok- no 10 pm suppers though...

Non-drug helps I found  include incline wedge under pillow (have to do this for my  back anyhow), also a product called Prelief taken with meals (its a mild form of calcium and avail over the counter in some drugstores and Amazon), and I do tolerate the mint-only Tums (is mint an allergy for you or is on your reflux-avoid list?).Neither is used as my bone supplement though. For that I take Twinlab brand Calcium Citrate with Magnesium which is in powder-capsule form for good absorption. And if you are worried about the bones, you might want to get your vit D level checked and take the right dose of D3. I also had one doctor into alternative remedies steer me into something called DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). It is licorice with some substance that could raise blood pressure removed). That coats the stomach a bit and cuts the curse of acid somewhat. Enzymatic Therapy puts out a good line. Available in health food stores and Whole Foods.Just be careful that some flavors have sorbitol which is laxative in quantity.  Tongue And, I am a very, very bad patient in one way...all the docs hear my "nobody takes my coffee away" speech..but unfortunately most coffee is highly acidic. Trader Joes puts out a low-acid french roast coffee and we've been using that in the morning.

So there are some mild helps out there. I don't know how severe your reflux is or how long you are willing to take the Nexium. Good luck and I will be sending a prayer your way.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 12:59:15 PM by Meowli » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 05:01:44 PM »

My mother, who is in her late eighties, has this problem (as well as other digestive problems - hiatal hernia, colitis).  She is very good at avoiding and ignoring doctors.  She didn't want to take a proton pump inhibitor, because she said she never felt heartburn, and couldn't understand why she should take it (she is on omeprazole).  Well, she has had 4 procedures (scopes) to widen her esophagus.  Each time it got to the point where she couldn't swallow, not even a sip of water, and we ended up in ER.  She needs to take this to keep the acids from further damaging her esophagus.  I know when she doesn't take it (she is slightly forgetful); she has more coughing and mucous problems.  There are only so many times they can attempt to widen the esophagus, each comes with more risk of a tear.

She has had bone density problems for a long time (since before esophagus problems), and a couple of falls with broken bones.  She resisted treatment for that for a long time.  Interestingly, if you have esophagus problems, a lot of bone density treatments can't be used.  She began Prolia (twice yearly injection) a couple of years ago, with no ill effects. 

I don't think it's good to go hungry - I would think that would create more stomach acid. Agree with sleeping with head elevated 4-6 inches, if you can.

Can't they monitor magnesium levels, etc. with blood tests?   
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 06:50:49 PM »

Thank you all so much for your prompt replies.  it is so encouraging to read that so many of you have this lpr or GERD, or a loved one does, or something similar, (tho I am very sorry you have to suffer it too)  but you all seem to be pressing on and living satisfactory lives, and eating many things you like, so that is a big relief!!!  So maybe it isn't the end of the world.  I thought I just belonged in a closet.

I just got home, without supper, so I had to eat later than I should.  I have been eating by 8 at the latest the last week, but tonight I just finished at 10 pm, whic is a REALLY BAD TIME, I know.  I will stay up for a couple hours, and hopefully that will help.  I simply wasn't able to eat sooner tonight.

Soooo, Ned, Gkit, Mandy, Meowli and Sparty,  I will read your messages thoroughly, and digest your advice, and try things.

Ned, what a relief to read that you can now eat pretty much what you want, wow, that is a relief!!
Meowli, I read online that  Dr Weil, also suggested the DGL when I went to his site, and I already have some Calcium/Magnesium which I take from time to time.  My only concern about that was that even if you take it the Nexium non-acidic environment in your stomach won't let you absorb the supplements either.   
Fortunately, I am allowed one cup of coffee upon rising, and since I use heavy cream in it,  I will only drink 1/2 cup, that did the trick this morning.  I can do with that for the day.
GKit, I have never had an avocado in  my life, but I know they are supposed to be very nutritious, so I will definitely try some avocado!!  I LOVE BUTTER AND MAYONAISE!!!  soooo avocado as a mayo substitute,  very interesting indeed!!

Mandy, I'm glad your husband is able to eat many of the things he likes, and has been able to pinpoint the things that cause his symptoms, that is certainly reassuring.
Spartycats, yes, I believe they can monitor magnesium blood levels.  I had a friend who has had her esophagus widened twice.  I am sorry for your mothers problems, and wish her well and send her my prayers.  I can certainly understand how difficult these things can be for her, bless her heart.

tomorrow I will go and get my nexium or prilosec, or the generic.  My pharmacy has the Nexium powder packets, and I am thinking about them, and if I have trouble swallowing the capsules, I can always try the powder and hide it in something.  OR perhaps I can open a capsule.  I am hoping that it might heal me in a couple weeks and then with the proper diet, I may not need it longer.
At first I admit I panicked when I saw the long list of precious things I love that were to be eliminated.  it seemed my remaining few years would be ones of deprivation and hunger and misery.
I always thought I was eating things that were GOOD for me.  I'm not big on sweets, am a vegetarian etc. Thought my precious onions and garlic were good for my  heart and that my beloved tomatos were good for everything!.   I'm going to get out my Nutri bullet, and I just bought a new blender tonight, my friend said she had a couple recipes I could try using the blender, so we will see.

So far, anything I eat, even fat free or non acid things not on the list, seem to make me do the throat clearing after the few minutes, very annoying to say the least,  but I am probably really sore. I really am tired tonight again, and so will close, but all you Itchmos have once again earned many golden stars in your crowns.  I will reread your messages again tomorrow, so I don't miss anything by being sleepy tonight.
Thank you all so much, bless you, bless you. 
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2014, 08:30:57 PM »

Aww BW!  You just don't get a break.  Sad  I don't know anything about your problem so I'm no help.  I am sending all good thoughts your way, though.  There has to be a happy medium that allows you to eat and be comfortable!

I once asked a four year old what the secret of life was.  "Feed the kitties," she said, "Feed the kitties."--Ellis Felker
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2014, 05:51:55 AM »

BW, I'm very sorry to hear about this problem.

My elderly mother experienced this for quite a few years, and it turned out to be the result of the medication (Fosamax) she was taking to prevent osteoporosis. It's a well-known side effect. Once she discontinued that med, the problem disappeared.

You aren't by any chance taking Fosamax or a similar medication, are you? If so, you might want to talk to your doctor about discontinuing it.

Whatever the cause, I hope you can find a solution you can live with in terms of your diet.

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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2014, 06:44:46 AM »

Very sorry to hear you are struggling with this ! I am on Nexium right now too , I usually take Zantac extra strength but with tomatoes in season I need Nexium or Prilosec . Definitely try not to eat [or drink a lot] within a few hours of laying down. The wedge pillow &/or raising the whole head of the bed frame help too as suggested above . 1 of the biggest things I found was start by cutting out everything iffy as you did , & slowly add them back 1 at a time . That way you can find what bothers you the most . Eating those things together is what will really get you . For me anything acidic, dairy , onions, peppers , & garlic are bad . So if I'm going to have a western omelet or spaghetti I know to take Prilosec or Nexium for a few days . You don't have to never have what you like , just learn to cut some things out so that you can enjoy the rest . For instance how about fat free 1/2 & 1/2 for coffee & sub a good quality extra virgin olive oil for butter in some things . You can mix plain fat free greek yogurt with mayo & or sour cream also . If you use 1/2 yogurt , you cut the fat , add protein & can still have the same taste . I have also found that organic produce & real food [ not premade convenience junk ] don't bother me as much as gmo's & take out or fast food . So while you may need to be extra careful right now as you let the Nexium work , you can start to eat some of your favorites soon . You do not want to skip eating , it will make things worse !Both Nexium & Prilosec otc are small capsules & you can take 2 to make swallowing easier than the larger rx capsule .My Dr just suggested that last week .

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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2014, 07:23:54 AM »

BW, my heart goes out to you.  I wonder if keeping a food diary might help figuring out what foods you tend to react to more than others. 
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2014, 08:30:34 AM »

(Leslie and Sandi both posted while I was writing this reply, so some of what I said is repeated in their posts - sorry)


I'm sorry that you are having this problem with food. I have never heard that someone with GERD should not eat mint flavoring. If that is the case, why do they sell over the counter antacid tablets with mint flavoring? I used to eat Rolaids by the tons until they were recalled for their packaging, (Now back on the shelves after eliminating their plastic bottles). But I have now switched to Walmart brand - 'equate' mint flavored antacid tabs in bottles.

I don't like going to the doctor, so don't know what  causes my acid problems at night, except going to bed too soon after eating as others have mentioned. I rarely have problems during the day, however. Sometimes it's a combination of foods that seem to be a problem for me, like eating a bowl of cereal, with milk and sugar, just before going to bed. However, the same combination can be eaten earlier in the day with no acid problems - Why? I don't know.

Keeping a journal for a time about what you eat and the time of day eaten and the result - acid reflex or no acid reflux -  might help you figure out foods and times that you can eat certain foods.  Right now, my guess is that the tomato bisque soup and garlic are your major problem foods that you have listed. In my opinion, the tomato sandwich for lunch is OK most likely, but before bed, it's a no-no.

You might want to experiment with eating only one kind food that you like at a time, or a simple combination of foods for a meal and seeing if you get a reaction. If you do not get a reaction, add that food to your list of OK foods to eat. Example: for breakfast only eat toast with butter and maybe water to drink. If that works out OK, the next morning add your coffee. The next day for breakfast you might want to add a plain egg with your toast, butter and coffee. The next day add in your onions to your eggs, than the next day, your garlic. It just might be the garlic that is the problem.

Do the same for snacks, lunch and supper. But avoid eating anything 2 to 4 hours before going to bed.  

Or you could approach this experiment first by eating your normal breakfast but eliminating the garlic. Spicy foods are high suspects on my list of foods that cause acid reflux for me, along with highly sugared foods at bedtime.

I hope my  suggestions help you find some answers and that you don't have to go hungry all the time or eat foods that you don't like.

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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 06:49:41 PM »

Hello Fizzy,  thanks for your well wishes, yes, caring support is always valuable, so thanks.  And Sandy K, yes, I am keeping a food diary.  At least I'm going to lose weight this  way. 

Catbird, Fosomax, no I don't take that, BUT it is very interesting to hear that  a medication can cause this.  I am always suspicious of all  medications.
I have experimented with taking away my onlodipine (bp) because as I  may have mentioned, it caused my friend to cough so much her doctor changed it, however, I can't say that I am any better when I don't take it, so I don't think that is the problem.  I'm afraid to stop the  Tekturna, that is my main bp med and seems to really help my bp.  However, I can research it online and see if this is ever a side effect.

Today I am having a bad day, it was good till the afternoon, I slept very well all night.  I was able to eat a fried egg, with a handful of chopped parsely, which I like a lot sauteed in it with evo, just a little bit of the evo, and I was ok.  Last couple of days also, so I don't think the egg is doing it.  Thank goodness.
I won't torture you with the rest of my pitiful diet today, but believe me there was no fat or acid of any kind unless a slice and a half of Boars head boiled ham has a lot of fat in it.

 Leslie,  << For me anything acidic, dairy , onions, peppers , & garlic are bad .>>  YES,   and I love them ALL SOOOO MUCH.

>>You can mix plain fat free greek yogurt with mayo & or sour cream also . If you use 1/2 yogurt , you cut the fat , add protein & can still have the same taste . >>  REALLY,  I will certainly try that.  I LOVE Mayo and could live on it alone. So giving that up is very hard.
Unfortunately since the gov. is not allowing the manufacturers to label things GMO, so we can know what we are buying, how can we tell.  That infuriates me.
all we can do is buy organic and pray they are telling the truth.
I really believe that so many people are having this problem, it is said to be an epidemic now,  because of all the toxins in our food and the gmo with who knows what in them.  Monsanto is destroying our food supply and getting away with it.

Yes, Caylee, the tomatoes are definitely a problem, so none of them now.  I always felt that since they create an alkaline environment in the body, that they were safe, but evidently going down they are acid, so that makes them a problem. And i LOVE THEM and they are a very healthful food in our diet.
I am writing everything down, and am not eating very much with all the restrictions, guess I am going to have to start the Nexium tomorrow.  Didn't want to start a new med on a weekend in case of an allergic reaction, since I live alone.  I hope to only take it a week or two, till I have healed.  And then hopefully I can do what Leslie does and only use it when absolutely necessary.
I really fear for the strength of my bones at my age.  And I have always needed my Magnesium.

Thank you so much again.   And Leslie, when you have a moment, which brand of the greek yogurt do you buy?  There are so many now.  Bless you all,
AM really hungry now, but don't dare eat, so maybe a cup of Chamomile tea.
I am going to get skinny, but losing a little weight might be good.
Bless you all. 

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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2014, 06:56:26 PM »

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this now too in addition to everything else, BW!  Tea is a really bad one for me, and coffee to a lesser extent since I don't drink it nearly as much.  When i cut those out, my GERD symptoms stop within a few days.  It may be just one or several foods for you too.  Bad thing about yours is you can't tell it's hurting you!

My mother gave me a article about apples helping acid reflux.  if you google it, you can read the articles supporting (& denying) they help.  Wouldn't hurt to add them in.
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 07:21:32 PM »

Heartburn is one of the side effects of Tekturna so maybe you can discuss that with your doctor. I think it's more important to keep your bp under control though so I wouldn't do any experimenting with it!

I'm sorry you're having a bad day. Are your symptoms any better with the restricted diet? I hope you will be able to eat more normal food soon.

My favorite greek yogurt is Fage. I'm not a big yogurt fan but that one I can eat instead of ice cream.

This is just my own experience, but my gerd symptoms went away when I stopped all NSAIDs. I had read several reports of gerd being associated with NSAID use so i figured it wouldn't hurt to try stopping NSAIDs to see what would happen. This was pretty hard since I have a lot of pain from my spine injury (I took ibuprofen and aspirin often). Within a month my gerd was so much better that I was able to sleep on a flat bed again (I used risers at the head of my bed rather than a wedge pillow). Just food for thought.

"It seems that some creatures have the capacity to fill spaces you never knew were empty."  - Jean-Luc Picard
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