Silent Reflux – You don’t have to have heartburn to have Reflux!
Acid Reflux / GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) ~ Many people are unaware that they are suffering from Reflux because it can exist without symptoms. Thus, the term Silent Reflux. You don’t have to have burning or pain in your chest to have reflux.
The symptoms of silent reflux include, ” hoarseness, chronic cough, throat-clearing, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, snoring, sleep apnea, bad breath, tooth decay, asthma, and COPD.” (Koufman). Consequently, your physician might not be aware that these symptoms may be caused by silent reflux and that it could be controlled with the proper diagnosis and treatment ( Koufman).
Treating Reflux /GERD is important. Untreated it can lead to serious complications, such as esophageal ulcers, esophageal strictures, Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
There are four types of treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): lifestyle measures, medication, surgery, and endoscopic procedures.
Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes as the first-line treatment for GERD. These measures can include elevating the head of the bed during sleep, not eating late at night, and avoiding alcohol or spicy foods.
Researchers looked at the results of 100 studies conducted on various lifestyle measures for GERD. Only losing weight and elevating the head of the bed showed a clear benefit in well-designed studies.
A study by the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest that, “What will work for GERD, according to the review, is sleeping with the head of your bed elevated and losing weight if you’re overweight” (Volume 166, page 965).