My symptoms are
1) An annoying (chronic) throat clearing which seems to be related to ingestion of foods or beverages. It’s always present in the morning no matter if I’ve eaten or not (about ½ to an hour after I’ve gotten up). The symptoms oddly stop when I lie down completely. I’m thinking either non acidic reflux or some form of post nasal drip pr mucous thickening?
2) A whitish lump on my tongue which comes and goes depending on different food or beverage in ingest. My general doctor could'nt really recognize this (she seemed a little confused when looking at it). Sometimes, after I drink pear juice (for example), the bump swells up to the point I feel I have something moving around in my mouth (due to the swallowing muscle movements). Gross, I know …
Oddly, so many people are going though this and so little of us seem to find the solution!
So here goes …
I met with my ORL subsequent to getting a 24 PH study results. The 24PH study results indicated that the tracing did not indicate significant gastro-esophageal acid reflux. Due to this and the multiple inconclusive tests I’ve had previous to that, my ORL concluded that this is probably all in my head now and that I should stop trying to figure out what the source of the problem is and either adapt to it or slowly learn to stop clearing my throat!
For the record, here is a list of what I’ve done so far to eliminate possible causes for my throat clearing:
• Chest scans: all good
• Lower abdominal echo: nothing abnormal
• A gastrocopy : all ok in there
• A 24hour PH study and a motility test: no significant gastro-esophageal acid reflux
• A sinus scan: revealed a slightly deviated septum
• Allergy tests: some grass, weed allergies (I have not had food allergy testing yet)
• Home based acidity test (saliva sticks): almost always normal levels
Here is a list of the medications I’ve tried:
• Benadryl: Helps a lot but puts me to sleep (drastically)
• Nexium: no significant effect
• Gaviscon: “seem” to help but not much
• Nasonex and sinux flushing: clears the sinuses well and I haven’t had a sinus infection since
• Magic Mouthwash: no effect whatsoever
I don’t smoke, I train regularly, I eat really well, and I’ve stopped drinking coffee and really cut out acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
I’m the first to believe that the human brain can cause the illusion of symptoms but these symptoms are real; chronic throat clearing, occasional phlegm in my saliva (slightly acidic tasting), a white infection like bump on my tongue which comes and goes with the level of “reflux” I have (almost a weekly cycle).
After meeting this meeting with my ORL, I contemplated the fact that 1) he is a renowned ORL (he is chief of the ORL department) and 2) there was no significant gastro-esophageal acid reflux in my 24 PH study which itself was done by a chief GI. However, over the past two weeks, I’ve stopped all medications and returned to my normal diet (nothing bad, just not watching the acidity levels as much). I have noticed that the reflux (assuming that’s it) is more frequent and I can especially see my tongue grossness factor increasing. I tried to brush it off (as suggested by the ORL) but it hurts and it bleeds!
It’s in my nature to resolve things and I just can’t accept that this is psychological until I’ve gone through all possible other scenarios first. It’s a process of elimination thing that I have. So by sheer curiosity, I looked up “non acidic reflux” which I fell on a few months ago and found some interesting claims. From what I’m reading now, this seems to be exactly what’s going on for me!
From the research I’ve done, the 24 PH study I’ve had doesn’t measure “non acidic reflux”. Apparently I need a Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance (MII) for this. For your convenience, I’ve indicated a few websites that contain what I think to have pertinent information about “non acidic reflux”:
• Source: MedScape (Year of publication: 2004),
• Source: EndoNurse (Year of publication: 2008),
• Source: ABC (Healthbeat) article about non acidic reflux (Year of publication: 2008),
So, my questions are;
1) The 24 PH study shows average levels of 7 which from the bellow extract of the EndoNurse article seems to point toward Non Acid Reflux!
"The ACG practice guidelines define acid reflux and non-acid reflux as follows: Acid Reflux = reflux that reduces esophageal pH to below 4 or reflux that occurs when esophageal pH is already below 4. Non-Acid Reflux = esophageal reflux where the pH remains > 7 or increases to > 7.
Should I push to get the MII test?
2) Could whatever is happening to me be related to some form of anxiety? I’ve read a lot about acid reflux (or non acid reflux) having a connection to this? The fact that lying down (relaxing) stops the symptoms (pretty much) could be a hint of that? If so, what type of cure exists for that?
3) Is there any chance some type of food allergies could be causing an excess mucous build up in my throat (or Larynx area)?
I’m so desperate for answers …
***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed
Thanks for the info. Anything helps at this stage ;-)
i'm starting to beleive there isn't anything gastric about this and that it is most likely just a question on mucous now ... However, I wonder to what extent it is just a question of the catch 22 effect; i cough, i make my throat sensitive to normal levels of mucous which in turns tickles just enough to make me cough again!
So the fact that it stops (almost entirely) when i lie down could be due to the change in mucous production (more likely to fill up in the sinuses i suppose than drip down into my throat ?).
Anyhoot, i'm gonna find out what this is one way or another ;-)
PS: Another ORL appointment on thursday! I'll ask him about this and let you all know!
Finally someone experiencing the very same symptoms my daughter has had. Like you, she suffers from frequent throat clearing and white bumps on the tongue. We have seen and ENT who thought it was acid reflux but we don't think so. She does have allergies and sinus issues from time to time. This is the first year she has had these problems. The only 2 things which we can think of that were different this year is that she started using a power nose irrigation device (kinda like a water pic) and she did receive the H1N1 intranasal vaccine. We have had little success with the ENT so we are going back to the generalist, then to an allergist and possibly to a naturipathic doctor. At least we are reassured to find someone with the exact same symptoms or so it seems. Good luck in finding the answers to seek. We look forward to hearing more from you.
This is what I think you have:
(LPR) refers to the backflow of stomach contents into the larynx and pharynx (the voice box and throat). LPR can occur during the day or night, and many people who have LPR will not have heartburn; so LPR is sometimes called "silent reflux." It is also sometimes called extraesophageal reflux disease (EERD)
It's treated with PPIs (proton pump inhibitors, like prilosec, prevacid and nexium. You may have to take these for a few months; they don't work right away. Maybe you didn't take nexium long enough).
DANNY our symptoms are similar the constant clearing of the throat and some mucous found in my throat. But now in the last two weeks I 've had a cough off and on. I was treated with and antibiotic and cough medicine which did absolutely nothing for me. When I lay down the clearning of throat and the coughing stops too. I did take 1000mg of a vitamin c and this seem to contribute to my coughing just recently fo rone night, which I stopped . I do have a cup of decaf occassionally. I consumed a lot of frozen yogurt for 2 -3 months before the coughing and cold/allergy like symptoms began may have contributed . I believe if one reduce dairy it will reduce mucous in the throat overall. I try to eliminate milk and all dairy products where possible. I do have a hiatal hernia and acid reflux, and a slight deviated septum,
I have been having the same symptoms for over six months now. Any solutions yet?
my son has been suffering from this for over a year. It started w/a cold. At it's worst he loudly cleared every 5 seconds! We have finally found something that seems to be helping. He takes an allergy med ( w/ loratadine) which is non drowsy every morning and has gone on a gluten free diet. The gluten free started off difficult, but there are many foods that are not a problem for it and many grocery stores have a section for it. He also has Sleepy time tea (Celestial seasonings) w/honey after a meal if his throat starts to be irritated. It has been 3 weeks now and his clearing has gone down to only a bit after meals. When/if it disappears completely we will slowly add gluten and see if he reacts. For now this is helping GREATLY.
Have any of you been checked for thrush? I've had the same symptoms, which seemed to start after being sick last fall. I went to an ENT and was scoped twice...nothing abnormal there. Then the doctor took note of the whiteness of my tongue and suggested I had a case of thrush, which is basically a yeast infection of your mouth. It is normally associated with people who have a weak immune system, such as those with HIV. Well, I'm 100% sure I don't have HIV...so I continued looking. Thrush can also be caused by food allergies, like gluten/wheat. I cut back on my gluten, refined sugars etc. and started eating more vegetables. I also have better dental habits and also brush my tongue when cleaning my teeth. About every 2 weeks I change my toothbrush as well. No more flavored coffee creamers, either. All of this seems to be helping with the thrush, but I still have occasional mucus problems...which may be due to seasonal allergies. All in all, I think maybe it has more to do with your tongue and maybe not so much with your throat.
iDanny - I have been experiencing the same symptoms as yourself, minus the tongue irritations. I am also 42 and have never had allergies. I have researched this until I am blue in the face to no avail. I have noticed that dairy makes mine worse, and that all hot liquid break it loose and make clearing my throat more necessary. I am also interested to see what your resolution is, if any.