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.


Larcana said...

I have the same issue myself. I normally eat VLC and if I have rice in sushi, I get reflux. Not with Sashimi, even if it is spicy.
Sometimes with coffee and chocolate and sometimes not. The carbs are worse, than the chemicals in the other two.
I have avoided OTC histamine blockers myself, I have tried some HCL betaine and digestive enzymes instead with some relief. Mostly I just stay VLC.

Galina L. said...

As I commented several times before, I have a tendency to see autoimmune disfanctions almost everywhere, and from my not balanced point of view, the people with general health disregulations (multiple allergies, a fragile digestive health, tendency to have neurological instability...), almost always have some allergies component in their calamities. As I know well,gluten, chocolate, spices,artificial flavorings(most likely chips contain it), alcohol, especially red vine, strawberries, citruses, very bright produce, honey, nuts, smoked fish/meat, even very concentrated broths may provoke allergies flare and are better to be avoided when there is some worsening of health and not consumed everyday when an individual feels fine. I think that eating a chocolate everyday is a very bad idea.It is a very potent substance.I always roll my eyes when somebody starts raving about magic of antioxidants, eating your rainbow, healthiness of a red vine and a cayenne pepper improving metabolism - nowadays when amount of people with allergies rises quickly, it is very counterproductive. If a coffee causes similar to chocolate reaction, it is better not to ignore own observations.


Lori Miller said...

I suffered with allergies when I was a kid--it was so bad that I had an allergy test and was allergic to most of the substances. (In those days, they did a scratch test on your back. You bled if you flinched.) I had shots every week for several years. It helped, but I had allergies after that, too, including an allergic reaction to a medication.

I've had a lot of experience with allergies, but I didn't feel like I was having an allergic reaction with my coughing. My sinuses didn't hurt and I wasn't coughing up anything.

I do think there's something to going overboard on antioxidants, though. Some things *need* to be oxidized. If a person is eating a lot of antioxidant-rich foods plus drinking juice plus taking high doses of antioxidants like krill oil, vitamin e and vitamin c, I agree they're apt to have some problems. There has been at least one study linking vitamin e supplementation to either higher deaths or higher cancer rates, as I recall.

I've been doing fairly low carb for almost a week now and I'm coughing less and less. I can take a deep breath without coughing or feeling a tickle. I'm drinking a lot less coffee and eating a lot less chocolate; those foods don't necessarily cause acid reflux, but they do make it worse once you have it.

Haven't had any palpitations or fluttery feelings for the past few days. My new coworkers have been really welcoming and my stress level is the lowest it's been in years.

Galina L. said...

Sure, Lori, you had a very stressful time. I am glad you feel better.

People have tendency to go overboard with "healthy" stuff, thinking the more - the better, and human body often just doesn't tolerate well such approach.

Lori Miller said...

It can be tough to digest food when you're not well. That was why I lived on a fairly high-carb, low calorie diet for a while last year. In any case, you need some fat and salt in your diet, especially salt if you've lost fluids.

tess said...

I hope you've found the right job at last! Best wishes for your health being perfect, too!

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Tess. I work with CPAs, some of whom shoot and eat squirrels or mount elk heads on the wall. I finally feel like I've found my people.

Lowcarb team member said...

Stress never is easy and quite often affects us, and you've certainly had a lot of it in recent time!

I do hope your new job works out well, and that your health does too.

All the best Jan

Lori Miller said...

Thanks, Jan. I had a good first week at work.

Val said...

Late catching up on my blogs - but I'm glad you diagnosed your problem & are feeling better.
My mother (84) was having PM reflux/regurg issues but since she won't try LC, I bought her a big pack o'Prilosec. Problem solved!
I also recently found out I've inherited her hiatal hernia, which explains some of MY reflux issues, especially when I let PUFA's sneak back into my diet :-(

Galina L. said...

My mom has a strange reflux for last 10 - 15 years, which manifests itself in A LOT of mucus for couple hours in the morning. Gastroenterologist told her her esophagus sphincter doesn't get closed complitely, and it couldn't be fixed. After she started LCarbing, the amount of the mucus got reduced, but not to the point the it became normal.