What Is Silent Reflux?
It is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the back of the throat, larynx and even nasal passages from the stomach. It is also known as LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux). It can damage the throat and vocal cords. It is similar to GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) that also results from back-flow of stomach acid but the symptoms vary. Symptoms (like heartburn) do not occur always in LPR, that is why it is known as silent reflux.
Homeopathy is very effective in managing cases of silent reflux. Homeopathic medicines are of natural origin that help in reducing acid reflux and its associated symptoms. Homeopathic medicines are recommended when the symptoms are mild to moderate in intensity. In severe cases having serious symptoms like difficulty in breathing, wheezing, feeding problems, failure to thrive (in children), it is strictly advised to take help from conventional mode of treatment. Silent reflux can have serious complications. So one should take homeopathic medicine under the supervision of a homeopathic physician who can prescribe the best medicine according to the case after detailed case analysis, and in case of serious issues or emergency, conventional treatment is recommended.
Top Homeopathic Medicines To Manage Silent Reflux In Adults
1. Natrum Phos – Top-grade medicine
It is one of the best medicines in homeopathy to manage acid reflux. The first indication for using it is sensation of a lump in the throat. Second symptom where this medicine helps is difficulty in swallowing. It is useful to manage dropping of mucus, usually yellow, from posterior nares. It gets worse at night awakening a person from sleep. Other than this, it is indicated to manage cough with clear, white phlegm dripping from the posterior nares. It is accompanied by much hawking (forceful clearing of throat to get rid of phlegm). Lastly, inflammation of throat can be there when this medicine is required.
2. Carbo Veg – For Managing Cough And Difficult Swallowing
It is a very prominent medicine for cases of acid reflux. The main indicating symptom to use it is sensation of something acrid and corroding in throat that incites cough. Another symptom is difficulty in swallowing food. Other than this, rawness, burning and a biting feeling in the throat is felt. The throat feels dry. Lastly, there is tough mucus in the throat with the feeling of a lump.
3. Robinia – To Manage Acid Reflux
It is prepared from fresh bark of young twigs of the plant ‘Robinia pseudacacia’. This plant belongs to family Leguminosae. It is another well-indicated medicine that helps to manage acid reflux. Acidity gets worse at night, persons needing it have dry scratchy throat. The throat feels rough and sore.
4. Arum Triphyllum – For Hoarseness And Throat Clearing
It is useful for cases in which there is hoarseness and a need to clear the throat frequently. The person feels stinging and burning sensation in the throat. He/She may complain of difficult swallowing.
5. Causticum – For Managing Hoarseness
It is an important medicine to manage hoarseness of voice, which gets worse in the morning and evening. It is accompanied by scraping in the throat (lump-like-feeling). In some cases, it is attended with dry, tickling cough. Larynx can be inflamed in cases needing this medicine.
6. Kali Bichrome – To Manage Postnasal Drip
This medicine works well in cases where postnasal drip is marked. In cases requiring it, there is hawking of much thick, tenacious, yellow mucus. Mucus is so viscid (thick and large) that it can be drawn out like a long thread. It is attended with cough. Other than this, dryness and burning in is felt in the throat which gets worse in the morning.
7. Lycopodium – For Burning And Lump In Throat Sensation
This medicine is prepared from plant Lycopodium Clavatum commonly known as ‘club moss’. This plant belongs to family Lycopodiaceae. It is indicated for sensation of a lump in throat that moves up and down. Person feels as if a ball is rising up in the throat. The lump feeling is felt in the left side of throat where this medicine is required. It is indicated for burning pain in throat. Sometimes there is sore throat and difficult swallowing also.
8. Belladonna – For Sore Throat And Cough
This medicine is a top-listed medicine for managing sore throat. It is prepared from the plant ‘deadly nightshade’. It belongs to family Solanaceae. In cases needing it, the throat is red and inflamed. The throat is also dry, attended with burning sensation in the throat. A sensation of lump is felt in throat making swallowing difficult, especially liquids. It is well indicated for cases of cough. For using it, the cough is dry, short and tickles the throat which gets worse at night.
Homeopathic Medicine For Managing Its Symptoms In Children
1. Aethusa – To Manage Vomiting
This medicine is prepared from plant Aethusa Cynapium commonly called ‘fool’s parsley’. It belongs to family Umbelliferae. It is one of the most effective medicines to manage vomiting in children. The vomiting is of curdled milk or cheesy matter, sometimes white frothy matter is also expelled.
2. Ipecac – To Manage Vomiting And Cough
It is prepared from dried root of a plant Cephaelis Ipecacuanha. It belongs to family Rubiaceae. It is very beneficial in managing vomiting and cough. The vomiting can be of white, slimy mucus or watery fluid. In case of cough, its main indicating feature is cough accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
3. Belladonna – For Managing Sore Throat And Cough
It is helpful in managing sore throat and cough. The throat is inflamed, swollen and red where it is required. Besides, there is short and dry cough 24X7. Tickling sensation in throat accompanies it.
4. Cina – For Managing Cough
It is prepared from plant Cina Maritima. It belongs to family composite. Firstly this medicine is indicated for paroxysms of spasmodic cough. Mostly it is worse at night. Next it helps cases of hoarse gagging cough and also short hacking cough at night. With cough there may be expectoration of whitish, slimy matter.
5. Sambucus and Ammonium Carb – To Manage Nasal Congestion
These two medicines are very useful homeopathic medicines to manage nasal congestion.
6. Kali Mur – To Manage Ear Infections
In cases needing it, the main symptom is an ear discharge, usually white. Pain in the ear may be present.
What Are Its Symptoms?
Symptoms In Adults
There is a feeling of something being stuck in the throat, a need to clear throat frequently, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, coughing, postnasal drip (PND), bitter taste in throat, sore throat, burning sensation in throat and difficulty in breathing. If left untreated, it can damage the vocal cords. Other complications include lung disorders, pneumonia (infection and inflammation of air sacs in lungs), laryngitis, and it can increase risk of laryngeal cancer.
Symptoms In Infants And Children
In infants and children, the symptoms includes chronic coughing, breathing issues (like noisy breathing, wheezing, apnea, difficulty breathing), vomiting, nasal congestion, respiratory illness (bronchitis – inflamed bronchial tubes), feeding difficulties, asthma, sore throat, ear infections and failure to thrive (when baby isn’t growing and gaining weight as required per the age).
What Is The Reason Behind It?
After eating, the food goes down the food pipe and then into the stomach.
Normally Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) which is a sphincter at the junction of lower end of food pipe and upper end of stomach prevents back flow of stomach contents. It only relaxes when food has to enter from food pipe into the stomach. At all other times, it is closed to prevent back flow of stomach acid upwards. If the LES doesn’t work properly, it can result in back-flow of stomach acid into food pipe.
Though anyone can suffer from silent reflux, some people are at a higher risk. People who are overweight, who consume alcohol/tobacco, malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter, delayed emptying of stomach or pregnant women are at risk.
The babies are at high risk because of underdeveloped or weak esophageal sphincters that becomes strong with age and overcome the complaint of acid reflux.