Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure | Blog

This blog is a companion to Dropping Acid and it allows us to continually publish new material.

Think Heartburn Means Acid Reflux? Think Again!

Columbus of Columbus Circle and the Time-Warner Building

This  website, that goes along with our book: DROPPING ACID: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure, has  a poll.  After a year, almost 9,000 people have responded, and the results are surprising.

THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE REFLUX? Which symptom(s) do you have?

Percent             Votes

Post-nasal drip                                                    14.1%              1,231
Chronic throat clearing                                    14.1%              1,212
Hoarseness                                                           12.1%             1,039
Sensation of a lump in the throat                13.0%             1,119
Heartburn                                                              11.2%                969
Sore throat                                                            11.1%                957
Chronic cough                                                       9.0%                 779
Difficulty Swallowing                                         8.3%                 717
Choking episodes                                                7.0%                 599

Total Votes: 8,822  as of January 9, 2012

Heartburn (chest pain after eating) may not be the most common symptom of acid reflux. We polled thousands of people on this website and found that postnasal drip, chronic throat clearing, hoarseness, and a lump-in-the-throat sensation scored higher than heartburn. We now recognize that airway reflux (involving the nose, throat, sinuses, and lungs) may be more important than esophageal reflux, so-called GERD. The symptoms? See above  … AIRWAY REFLUX WINS!

P.S. If you want to vote, go ahead; the poll is right over here →


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32 Comments

  1. How long after eating should I experience coughing? I eat some tomatoes last night and coughed a lot this morning. Should it not have happened more or less straight away?

  2. I’ve been suffering from LPR for some time. Especially bothered by constant sniffing up of the glop in my nose. Just started the induction diet. I love nuts and peanut butter! Can I have any? Also I use a saline rinse in my nose as recommended by an ENT. Is that a good idea?

  3. I don’t feel a lump more like my neck is swollen. When I eat right it feels better.

  4. Nuts and peanut butter should be avoided in the induction diet, but if they don’t trigger your reflux, they’re OK in the maintenance diet in moderation.

  5. If you’re experiencing throat symptoms in the morning, you’re probably refluxing at night. Tomatoes with dinner are a likely cause.

  6. For two years, I am suffering with reflux, throat mucus, sometimes coughing because my throat tickles and hoarseness. I have been taking two Protonix (80 mg) a day. I’m still having hoarseness in mornings and through out the whole day! It’s been two years! Why Protonix not reducing my hoarseness? Are there any other medications can help? Just curious, does the acid reflux cause damaging and scarring my vocal cord? If I have scar on my vocal cord, does it cause hoarseness and can it be fix by throat surgeon? I don’t want to have hoarseness for rest of my life. Your help will be greatly appreciate it.

  7. There may be a number of reasons why medication alone is not curing your reflux. Very few doctors talk about diet and lifestyle changes. Yes, reflux can cause damage to the vocal cords. If you are hoarse in the morning, it sounds like you are refluxing at night. Be sure to avoid eating a heavy dinner, and avoid eating three hours before bed. If you haven’t already, it would be wise to consult with an ENT specialist.

  8. In my experience as an information consumer, this website is known more as an LPR website than a reflux website. That might explain the LPR-leaning poll data. In the world of reflux there seem to be so many websites, that the odds of someone with classic heartburn/regurgitation ending up here would seem slim.. at least compared to those with LPR symptoms.

  9. I have been waking up in the night with pain.It was in the area of my heart. I lost lots of sleep because of it. One night I had pain in the area of my heart, down my left arm, up my throat, across my jaw and my teeth hurt. At 3 AM I finally went to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. My heart is fine. It is acid reflux. I since learned (not from my doctor) that the nerves to the various points that were in pain go to the esophagus. The esophagus was irritated by acid reflux. I have met several people since then that have had the same experience. Why are doctors not aware of this? It seems this is a common thing.

  10. I am unclear if I can, theoretically, stop taking my doctor prescribed Barret’s medicine (Prilosec 40 mg generic) if I can make myself symptom free with your diet. Can you clarify? Also, if I have a reverse osmosis water treatment system and then ionize my water so I can drink Alkaline water, will this help my Barret’s and reflux? Has any hard science been done on the benefits of balancing our diets with slightly more Alkaline water instead of “normal” 7.4 PH water? I believe our water – way back when – was more Alkaline. Would this help off-set our otherwise less than ideal diet? I am not suggesting forgoing other advice and avoiding acidic foods/drinks – but in addition? Or to compensate when we over-indulge?

  11. I’ve had gastritis for over 3 years. My worse symptoms are reflux. It’s my second day following this diet and I’ve felt immediate relief already. Here’s to a more positive future for me.

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  19. I have suffered from heartburn and digestion issues for years and was just recently diagnoses with Barrett’s esophagus and had to recently go to the emergency room from severe burning pain on chest and back and was diagnosed with gastritis and when researching relief for gastritis I ran into a blog that mentioned your book. I take protonix daily although don’t feel much relief. I always knew carbonated drinks made me feel bloated so limited the amount I drank but did not realize how bad diet coke was in termsof acidity nor some of the many fruits I would eat daily (strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, mangoes, peaches – all my favorite). I have suffered from post-nasal drip for so many years and have never been told there could be any correlation so I am going to try the two weeks of strict dieting to see if that improves as well. One of the things I have not seen mentioned is the terrible burning pain I also feel in the gums near my molars. I feel like someone is pulling down on them where it even hurts to talk. I think it is also related to acids. Have you heard other patients mention this symptom? When I’ve mentioned it to my doctor, he doesn’t seem to know what I am talking about. I just stocked my house with foods with 6.0 or higher PH levels so hoping to feel much better in a few weeks.

  20. Is swimming in a chlorinated pool bad for LPR?

  21. Was wondering if you tested kefir milk yet

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  24. Have followed the diet for 5 days and sticking perfectly to the allowed foods. However, discovered that ANY melon or fruit causes instant burning in throat and sinuses that will not go away. I was diagnosed with LPR and have all but two of the symptoms. Wondering when the Dropping Acid will start to work.

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  28. I have suffered with gerd and gastritis for 8 months now acid heavy burny in chest short of breath lump in throat allergys.gas …just started the induction 2 week diet.and was wondering if I could drink a vanillia high protein boost drink in the mornings for the vitiams?

  29. I have been diagnosed with acid reflux about two weeks ago and i only siffer from swollen uvuala and lump feeling in throat (no heart burns) i didnt take any medications but i followed my diet for two weeks am 85 percent recovered lump is gone now i only feel like my throat is tight and dry…. my questio is how long should i stick on diet?? And am i going to cutt eating burgers (junk food) forever?? Am really depressed by this and i need an answer.

  30. I have been taking digestive enzymes which contain quite a bit of pepsin. Should I discontinue and/or switch to another kind without pepsin?

  31. Diagnosed myself with LPR. Did the detox and now and now have no more cough, breathing is better, annd hoarseness gone in the morning but comes back midday.
    I’ve developed Edema in my legs and have some Acities and some Pleural Effusion. Been tested and do not have congestive heart failure, liver is ok, had thorocentisis, and paracentisis done with ok results. Can this be anyway related to LPR??

  32. One additional symptom I don’t see on the list is shortness of breath…or the inability to take a deep breath. This, coupled with clearing the throat and trouble swallowing were brought on by Reflux, and resulted in Esophagitis. Following the Induction Diet seems to have helped, so I would encourage everyone to find the discipline to avoid ALL foods/drinks that contribute to reflux until the esophagus has a chance to heal.

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