Sunday, July 17, 2016

Silent Reflux (Cough Cough)

The potato chips, the chocolate, the sweet potato fries--they finally caught up with me. I saw a doctor (!) the other day for a cough I'd had since Memorial Day weekend. We determined it probably wasn't allergies, asthma, or sinus drainage. With a temperature of 97 point something, I didn't have a cold. It was probably silent reflux, since I've had raging reflux before, which I fixed with a low-carb diet.

My diet has been off-track for over a year: stress and anxiety over moving across the country (no permanent job waiting for me, buying a house from 1,000 miles away before selling my other house), complications from a root canal (re-infection requiring industrial strength antibiotics that messed up my stomach and skin). I think the only reason I didn't have silent reflux then was that I wasn't eating enough of anything to affect my stomach. Now that things are getting back to normal, my stress level is down and I'm eating more. And now the carbs are giving me acid reflux, just like before.

A problem I was having on very low carb was scary palpitations. I've had some fluttery feeling eating fairly low carb the past few days, but only when I've exerted myself. The reduced stress might have something to do with it: after having four jobs in six months, I'm starting another one tomorrow that seems like a great fit. (The previous jobs were with my long-term employer from Denver; a job that turned out to be collections, which lasted a day; temping for the Marion County Election Board; and proofing graphic designs at a t-shirt factory, where I felt like a couple of employees I had to work closely with disliked me and didn't care if I knew it.) For nearly a year, my life has had a feeling of being up in the air. It finally feels settled.

Anyway, being a cash patient, and not wanting to go through acid rebound again, I declined prescription-strength acid blockers and got a bottle of Pepcid to take temporarily to let my esophagus heal. I've been stricter about limiting carbs, too. It's only been a few days, but my cough is almost gone. Coffee and nut bars make it come back. Darn! But at least it's easier to diagnose problems now than it was when I first started doing so in 2010.