Have you ever suffered with acid reflux? If you answered yes, then you will not be alone as the American College of Gastroenterology say that 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, with 15 million having symptoms of acid reflux or GERD every single day. 

In fact the most common type of reflux is often referred to as “silent” reflux due to the fact that sufferers do not show the most typical symptom which is heartburn. Silent acid reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), is a condition that happens when acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus all the way to the laryngopharynx in the throat. It is commonly seen in GERD patients but may occur on its own without GERD.

Symptoms of LPR:

  • Needing to frequently clear your throat
  • Having the feeling that you have a lump in your throat
  • Slight hoarseness
  • Continual production of mucus
  • A chronic cough
  • Experiencing difficulty when swallowing
  • Constant sore throat
  • Red or swollen voice box

Who Can Suffer With Silent Reflux?

Unfortunately absolutely anyone can be prone to developing silent reflux. This includes men, women, infants, and children. 

There are some lifestyles that do make you more susceptible to suffering with this condition. They include people who have:

  • Poor diet – eating a lot of acidic and spicy foods and/or too much caffeine
  • Overeating
  • Alcohol and tobacco abuse

In infants and children, LPR can develop due to the developmental immaturity of the esophagus.

Diet Can Help Alleviate Symptoms

As with many common conditions diet can be a contributing factor in managing silent reflux. In fact a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology, discovered that eating a Mediterranean diet may be extremely effective preventative and proactive solution.

The Mediterranean Diet

I am sure many of your are aware of the food included in the Mediterranean Diet and it’s proven health benefits such as the reduction of inflammation, maintaining a healthy weight and improving heart health. The diet consists of lots of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, quality fats and proteins, and an occasional glass of wine. 

Foods Included in the Mediterranean Diet

The most common, day-to-day foods of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (leafy greens, eggplant, cauliflower, artichokes, tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, sesame seeds)
  • Legumes and beans (lentils, chickpeas)
  • Herbs and spices (oregano, fennel, rosemary, parsley)
  • Whole grains
  • Wild-caught fish/seafood
  • Pasture-raised chicken and eggs
  • Goat milk
  • Fresh water
  • Red wine

Some foods moderately consumed include:

  • Red meat (once a week)
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Kefir and yogurt

Please note that if you are already eating in this way and yet are still suffering with symptoms then it may be time to consult with your doctor. Silent reflux can often be a symptom of a more serious condition like GERD.