As I am sure most of you already know LPR (Laryngopharyngeal Reflux) is caused by acid refluxing the whole way up and the esophagus and then entering the throat where most of the symptoms arise. It is also sometimes called silent reflux because you don’t have the typical reflux symptoms like heartburn.
One of the best ways to effectively treat LPR (silent reflux) is through a solid diet plan. Below I will cover some of the most important diet steps for someone with LPR (silent reflux) and the exact reasoning behind why these steps are important and necessary to follow.
Silent Reflux Diet / LPR Diet – Understanding How LPR Works and The Diet Plan to Tackle It
While LPR may be a problem that seems very comparable to GERD when it comes to treating it you really need to follow a different set of guidelines and this also means a different variation of diet. Of course, there is definitely some overlap when comparing GERD and LPR though there are definitely very important differences that should be considered more thoroughly that often are not. If you want to know some more of the differences between the two check out my article GERD vs LPR.
As you know if you have LPR the acid refluxes up. The notable thing worth mentioning is that along with this acid comes up a thing called Pepsin. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme which is produced in the stomach to help break down proteins.
For someone with LPR this pepsin will cause the inflammation in the throat and most of the other symptoms. The thing with pepsin is that even after the acid reflux has happened it can lay dormant in the throat. The problem with it lying dormant is that pepsin is reactivated by foods/drinks that are more acidic coming in contact with it – even foods that don’t in fact cause reflux in the first place can directly reactivate this pepsin that is dormant in the throat which will reactivate the throat problems etc. This is the important difference between LPR and GERD.
The person with LPR needs to avoid these foods which reactivates this pepsin more. Ideally you want to only be consuming foods and drinks with a pH of more than 5. This is because foods above pH of 5 reactivate the pepsin much less if not at all. You can see below in the diagram how much the certain acidity level will reactivate the pepsin. For reference the lower the pH the more acidic it is and the higher the more alkaline.
While there is not a lot of research on pepsin currently early research shows that it can lay dormant for 24-48 hours. So, if you avoid the foods/drinks of this lower acidity the pepsin should disperse and go away. As you may have imagined knowing all the relevant foods and drinks with their individual pH level is a big challenge, so I am currently working on putting together a complete diet guide with all the suitable foods and drinks in detail. I have created my own diet plan tailored exactly for people with LPR – Wipeout Diet.
What Not to Eat with LPR
Of course, if you are still refluxing the pepsin will still be coming up and we need to stop this. The best thing you can do to start it to avoid the most problematic LPR trigger foods and drinks. Below are the foods which you should be avoiding as soon as possible.
- Fatty Foods
- Processed Foods
- Peppers, Raw Onions, Tomatoes
- Citrus Fruits
- Alcohol, Soft Drinks, Fruit Juice, Drinks with Caffeine
For more information on why these foods should be avoided check out my article – Laryngopharyngeal Reflux – Foods to Avoid.
An Often-Overlooked Cause of LPR – Overeating
Of course, while following these suggested diet steps is essential to recover from LPR there are other elements which should also be followed. One of the most important things to consider is the size of the portions you are eating. When I say this, if you are eating large portions where you feel like you ate too much, or you feel bloated after then this is something for you to think about.
The reason why you don’t want to eat large portions is because of the pressure it puts on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If you didn’t know the LES is the valve above the stomach which is designed to close once foods enter the stomach and then the digestion process starts.
For a lot of people, a LES that is not functioning correctly can be the root cause of their LPR in the first place. When someone eats a bigger meal it puts more pressure on the LES, this higher pressure means more likelihood that the LES will relax and open and thus the acid will reflux up causing you your symptoms in the first place. Not only do you have this effect but because of this overeating it can cause the LES to slowly degrade and degenerate over time. This could be over a period of months/years for most people and for a lot of them could even be how they got LPR initially. You can read more about the importance of the LES and its role in LPR here.
The simple solution in this situation is to eat smaller portion sizes. You shouldn’t eat more than what your stomach can hold at one time. For reference this is about the size of your fist. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean to eat less throughout the day, but it means to spread it out more evenly between more meals and snacks instead of fewer larger meals. Luckily if you do this it will not only mean less pressure on the LES and less reflux symptoms but any previous damage that has been done over the past months/years of overeating can be gradually healed over time and will return to normal function!
Frequently Asked Questions
What foods are good to eat if you have LPR?
There is a wide selection of foods that are great for helping to calm and settle LPR. A few of the best options I recommend are watermelon, cucumber, celery, oats and bananas.
How long does it take for LPR to heal?
Assuming you are following a strict low acid diet you will usually see improvements within 1-2 weeks’ time. From that point will depend on a host of factors like how well you are following your diet and other lifestyle things like not eating soon before laying down for example. Assuming you are doing things right you could be completely healed in a matter of a few weeks, but it doesn’t work like that for everyone. For some they will need to remain consistent with the diet for many months until they return to normal or at least much improved.
Is LPR Curable?
Everyone is different and therefore there is no one answer fits all to this question. For some people after they have healed, they can return to a normal diet etc. and they will be cured whereas for others they may not see as good of an improvement. Let’s say for example someone is 70% better but to maintain this they must keep the strict diet. Point being that everyone is different though luckily the vast majority of people can be cured or at least feel significantly better when following a LPR diet.
How do you treat LPR naturally?
As you might have guessed already LPR is best treated naturally through a low acid diet and avoiding the common triggers. Of course, there are other things you can do to further help this like not eating within 3 hours before sleeping and losing weight particularly around the stomach can also be helpful for certain people.
Are bananas good for LPR?
Sometimes I get asked are bananas good for LPR and the simple answer is that it depends. But generally speaking, bananas are great for people with acid reflux and LPR, they are soothing and also very nutritious with is an added benefit. The reason I said it depends is because for a small percentage of people bananas can trigger their acid reflux, that percentage is said to be about 5%. So, for most people with LPR it’s good to eat bananas but if you feel your symptoms are worse when you eat bananas you could be in that small percentage of people that should avoid them.
Does LPR ever go away?
For some people yes LPR can completely go away whereas for others it may not. Luckily though for the vast majority diet should greatly improve symptoms, even if it doesn’t go away completely you will feel much better.
Added Extras –
LPR Diet Book
I personally created the Wipeout Diet Plan which is specifically tailored for people with LPR. As I said the guide was made to help people with LPR (silent reflux), and it was created based on medical studies. So, it’s all backed up medically and scientifically to help people heal effectively. I personally follow it everyday and many others have success following it as well. Check it out here – Wipeout Diet Plan.
Snacks for LPR Diet
There is a selection of things you can snack on if you have LPR. Here are a few of my suggestions – raw nuts (cashews, pistachios, almonds etc.), boiled egg, cucumber, celery, dates (plain), melon & banana.
LPR Diet Recipes
I am currently working on some LPR diet recipes for my blog. If you want some recipe ideas I already have some options already available in my Wipeout Diet Plan here.
Low Acid Diet for LPR – Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Whether you have been suffering from LPR for 10 days or 10 years following this LPR diet advice will set you on the right track to preventing the acid from refluxing and getting you on the path to healing. Just keep in mind that if you have had LPR and its symptoms for a longer period of time it will take some more time to heal and fully recover. To give you an idea from my own personal experience, I suffered badly with LPR for about 2 years’ time, then I took these steps as I have suggested, and I got back to normal in six months. Though I noticed the difference as soon as a few days after starting with gradual progress from that point until about 6 months after as I mentioned.
If you want a more detailed diet plan that matches all the criteria I have laid out above check out my Wipeout Diet Plan here. It is a diet plan which has been created for people with LPR and has been designed to match all the elements I have laid out above and other important diet information.
On a final note I want you to know that LPR can be cured and brought back to normal just remain consistent with the diet. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below or send me a message here. Also check out my complete guide on LPR which covers causes, symptoms and treatment in detail.