[I spent hours trying to format this, sorry] Seven months ago I was diagnosed with Reflux laryngitis. I was told to swallow the mucous in my mouth instead of clearing my throat. I didn’t know my diagnosis was Gerd, because I didn’t bother to read the Reflux Protocol the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT) gave me when I left the office. Had I read the sheet I would have wondered what Maalox, tight fitting clothes and elevating my head when I went to sleep had to do with my coughing from all that junk in my mouth and throat. The Doctor was right if I swallowed the stuff it worked. I wondered out loud why nothing came out when I blew my nose. No one had an answer. That was seven months ago, now I am coughing, belching and burning. I am in trouble. It doesn’t matter if I eat or don’t eat, swallow or don’t swallow, I have heartburn in my stomach, pain in my chest not to mention a lot of burping. Visiting a Gerd forum didn’t help. You can be diagnosed with Gerd from just about anything you do: stress, toothache, bad posture, hernia you name it Gerd is a scourge. A typical post: “Tears are swelling up in my eyes. I thought that i was the one person who was experiencing the belching drama. I am in my 6 years of trying to determine what is going on with me. I've tried it all (diet, meds, chiropractor, meditation, acupuncture), so I am waiting in my belching mode for relief that I am hoping will come from this forum.” I don’t get physicals and only go to the doctor when I think it’s something simple to cure. When I was a kid there weren’t specialists and the doctor actually came to your house. Our doctor had this to say about medicine… in 1950: 95% of the people who are sick will get better by themselves. 2.5% will get better with very little help. The rest who are sick can’t be helped. I can hide the junk in my mouth but that belching and burning isn’t very attractive. I call the doctor’s office that referred me to the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist seven months ago and tell them I think I have Acid Reflux Disease. The receptionist calmly tells me to see a Gastroenterologist. I recall another post on the forum: [Start] “Six weeks ago, I myself have been experiencing trouble in my GI, starting in my throat, where I found it difficult to breath, like I would choke if I tried to eat anything. I went to an internal medicine MD and he asked me what I went to him for, and have I seen a GI? He didn't understand anything about not being able to swallow, and difficulty breathing. All he did was accuse me of being confusing and not telling him what was the matter. I had an endoscopy as well, which showed nothing. Still, I couldn't eat. So I continued losing more weight. Everything else was fine-blood pressure/pulse, because I am ordinarily a strong, healthy person. I dropped 30lbs in 1.5 months. I was only 160lbs before, so I lost 30lbs of valuable, healthy muscle/body weight. So, now I have these other issues that have resulted from where the doctors couldn't find original problem. Modern medicine, even with all it's advancements, is still run by imperfect, not omniscient people, who most of the time can only treat what they see, and are poor investigators. I'm just sitting here waiting for a gallbladder
attack, or something worse, so the ambulance can get me in the hospital and someone will take seriously what I have been trying to tell them-that something isn't right in me! Good luck and God bless you.” [End] Since I am still hoping it’s in the easy 2.5% and I hate filling out all those forms when you see a new specialist, I call the ENT doctor from seven months ago. I liked him because he offered to read my articles (http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/UserInfo-Robert_Singer.html). The receptionist says don’t worry we can treat Gerd as well, just as long as it’s above your larynx, we can’t treat anything below your neck… rules you know. While waiting for the doctor the nurse comes in and takes my temperature and blood pressure: I am close to normal and wants to know when had my last physical. She gives me one of those looks when I tell her I don’t “do” physicals because if they found something seriously wrong with me like cancer I wouldn’t let them kill me faster with chemotherapy anyway, so why bother. The doctor walked in and when I tell I think I have Gerd, he said, “What did you think I treated for last time?” But then he asked, in a somber tone, “When was your last physical?” He says if I can’t fix you this time you better get a physical and find out what’s going on. When I tell him I beat a urinary tract infection with cranberry juice he isn’t impressed. He needs to look at throat and larynx again to see if seven months of clearing my throat incorrectly has given me cancer. To stick that rubber hose through your nose to look down my throat (only as far as the larynx) he uses a 1% solution of phenylephrine as a nasal numbing medicine. And guess what seven months later my larynx and throat are the same: moderate inflammation. No cancer, he says but this time I am giving you a drug, you are “hee heeing” when you should be “hah hahing”. When he writes the prescription I get my first clue that even if the drugs work they have side affects: they are real expensive. The drug companies are preparing ahead of time for those pesky class action suits. As I am leaving the office I am now starting to drain, phenylephrine is a decongestant. All kinds of mucous is now coming out of my nose… interesting. I head over to the nearest whole foods. I read on the forum Apple Cider Vinegar is the most popular folk remedy to cure acid reflux. In the store I walk past the salad bar and load up on the most dangerous items possible for people suffering from GERD: Olives, marinated artichokes and lima bean salads. I am going to die anyway, why not enjoy my last meal? I get the Apple Cider Vinegar and a bottle of Martinell’s Sparkling Apple Cider and sit down to a meal certain to antagonize the stomach of a healthy person. I get a little nauseated and belch as I am swilling down the sparkling apple juice but guess what… no burning pain. I figure it will come later. Blowing my nose and draining, I head to the pharmacy. The pharmacist confirms my diagnosis. Mr. Singer we found you a really good generic 30 pills $150.00. I said $150.00! I leave with a box of over-the-counter Prevacid and a bottle of Maalox, which I never open, for under $20.00 and head home expecting the worse. But no burning or pain. By now you must have figured out what was wrong… Gerd can be caused when your sinuses are plugged. It’s a good thing I hate paper work, the Gastroenterologist doesn’t go through your nose or use phenylephrine when he does an Endoscopy. His territory is limited to your digestive tract.