My Journey with Hypersensitive Esophagus Rotating Header Image

High PH Diet – Do not try this at home

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) was the diagnosis from the ENT specialist. After some research into the symptoms I decided that this is what I had.. the only symptoms that did not seem to fit was the spit that was in my mouth after suffering head pain and the chest pain.. but because I was told the diagnosis and some of the symptoms fit.. I took it on.

I found an LPR book called Dropping Acid by Jamie Kourfman. It was basically a book that said to take on a high PH diet.

I completely changed all my food to everything with a PH over 7.. it was awful as all of the foods and drinks I seemed to like were off the list including caffeine not being good.. Apart from 3 foods that I did like.. Salmon, Camembert and bananas. My life was lean chicken or fish with no sauce and plain vegetables.

I lost about 15kg so went from about 76kgs down to 61kgs and my work mates commented on my lost weight.

Because I had convinced myself that I had this illness I tried to make sense of the symptoms. I still got sick about weekly and tried to figure out where I had slipped up and what had been my trigger food that caused it. I started driving myself nutty with keeping a food diary and trying to track down what was causing me to be sick..

What was good was some of the recipes in the ‘dropping acid’ book.. it forced me to stop buying packet sauces from the supermarket and buy the raw ingredients.. and some of it was really tasty and yummy. I learnt to cook properly even though it took time.

I purchased a PH meter from Amazon so that I could test what foods I was eating. I also needed some calibrating liquids to calibrate the meter with. It was kind of fun testing lots of food with it.. But it still did not seem to make a difference to me…

What is going on ?

 

June 2018

I saw Catherine Fergusson who is an Otolaryngologist – Head/Neck Surgeon..

I explained my symptoms and she decided to examine my throat. She takes me into a room with a screen and explains the procedure. She will spray my nose with a solution that tastes like banana and put a camera up through my nose, then using manipulation will guide it down into my throat to check it.

Before I could freak out a bit I was there and she was checking which nostril was the best one. I was kind of dreading and feeling excited at the same time.

She sprayed up my nose.. waited a little while.. then passed this tube into my nose.. it felt weird like my nose was blocked.. after my nose I have no idea where it went but it was a bit sore as she kept pushing it in..

It wasn’t long until she took it back out.. That was equally as weird as I felt tugging through my nose..

She explained that everything looked ok.. and in her letter afterward diagnosed that I had Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) and a throat spasm. She suggested taking Omeprazole and taking Gaviscon Dual action at night before I went to bed.

I had no idea what that diagnosis was about to do to me but It felt good to have a direction to go towards and hopefully it would solve my problems. It was also told that there seemed to be no damage but some redness and throat pressure

I drove home and can hardly describe how uncomfortable my nose felt afterwards.. It was the absolutely weirdest feeling and felt awful for a while. The banana stuff that had been sprayed up my nose was now in my mouth and tasted blah..

 

March 2018

I had an appointment with my Gastroenterologist for a Gastrocopy. I spoke with Dr Griffiths about my symptoms and then I went in for the Gastrocopy.

I went into the theatre and there was a team of about 4 nurses present. They seemed surprised that I did not want to be sedated. I wanted to drive after the procedure and I was curious about the thought of having one done to me.. I had wondered what it would feel like to have a tube down my throat into my stomach.. so that is what I chose so that I would remember it.

I was told to lie on this sloping bed and was draped with some medical cloth. They recorded my name and date of birth. They then sprayed a liquid that tasted like banana on the back of my throat but was quite strong tasting. I then had a black mouth guard type thing put into my mouth that had a hole in the middle of it. The Gastroenterologist explained the procedure and that he would be as quick as possible, then put the tube through the mouth guard and asked me to swallow as he fed it down. It was sore at the back of my throat but I seemed to tolerate it ok. It was not a pleasant procedure but also not the worst (That was to come). I had to fight hard to relax and not to keep swallowing like I was choking as a reflex action. He had a look around and took photos as well as a sample of my throat tissue for testing. I felt like I was starting to get to get to the end of my how much I could handle and it must have only been about 50 seconds.. what felt like longer though when he took it back out again. I thought it might have caused trauma to my throat as it hurt so much but I was fine afterwards.

They let me walk to a lazy boy chair and I had club sandwiches to eat afterwards which was my breakfast after fasting from the night before and I relaxed that it was over.

Dr Griffiths came to talk to me afterwards – he told me that everything looked ok though a little red and gave me a picture of my Oesophagus – Yah… It was gross looking. The biopsy for eosinophilia came back as negative.

December 2017

I went back to the doctor – as well as having an incredibly uncomfortable throat, I now had the spit and bad chest pain that would keep me up all night. Strangely enough it would be worse at night and seemed to ease a little when I was distracted with either work during the day or watching a movie in the small hours of the morning.

It still seemed to strike me for about 2-3 days per week.. One particular night I had an uncomfortable throat.. Had been spitting mucous all night – and had such a bad pain in my chest that I was distraught by the morning. When I had my uncomfortable throat I would have trouble swallowing food..

I was asked to do another blood test CBC and this time the eosinophils level came back as normal. I had an allergic reaction and a sort of heat rash on my legs at the time of the previous blood test so it could have been that.

I was referred to a Gastroenterologist.

November 2017

I first felt symptoms in November 2017. I started waking up at about 2-3am in the morning with an uncomfortable throat. It was difficult to swallow and it felt like a lump in my throat.. It is difficult to relate how uncomfortable my throat felt as it was something that I had never been through before. I also had a gurgling sound in my throat.

I had to get up out of bed and my throat would hurt and I would feel spit (non coloured mucous) in my mouth.. it felt really awful to I would need to rush to the bathroom to spit it out.

The pain in my throat was really painful before the mucous.. I would sit up in the early hours of the morning and watch tv.. feeling absolutely miserable and would see the dawn on the 2-3 days that I got this at night.

What was strange was this started a pattern of suffering for 2-3 days every week.. It would give me a few good days before my throat would feel uncomfortable again.

I went to the doctor and I was prescribed Omeprazole and referred to Several blood tests. Mostly general health blood tests but I had a CBC and various renal tests etc.. and found I had slightly elevated eosinophils.

 

Where I am today

My current status is that I now have just a minor throat inconvenience about once a week which is not a problem and I generally feel fantastic. I have just had a one off bad night.. but nothing as bad as it used to be.. my throat was just feeling uncomfortable at my 3am wake up.. I managed to watch a couple of Rialto movies which is a positive to being awake.

 

The below is not medical advice but this is what I am currently taking medically.

20mg Nortriptyline (For Chest nerve pain)

20mg Citalopram (Seems to deal with the Throat discomfort)

10 mg Omeprazole.

 

These to me a wonder drugs that have taken me from being incapacitated for 2 days out of every week to not only being able to function but enjoy life.. I will now blog about my journey in these other pages..