What Do I Do About Severe Reflux Causing Hoarse Voice?


Asked by Cory

What Do I Do About Severe Reflux Causing Hoarse Voice?

I am a singer that has experienced severe problems with acid reflux, causing hoarse voice trouble breathing, etc. I have gone through the Nissons surgery, every reflux medication known to mankind, diet changes and various natural remedies, to no avail. What do I do to stop this once and for all?


Hi Cory,

You are not alone. There are a whole group of folks who are performers like you who are dealing with the issues of Acid Reflux.

The coughing and throat irritation can be from the acid going into your esophagus. It actually can cause asthma like symptoms. You can read more about the symptoms here and in this sharepost Dr Todd Eisner talks about the throat issues with the cough and raspiness of the voice.

There is no single answer to all of this. What works for some, might not work for others, and vice versa. It's a matter of trial. The best thing to do is work closely with your doctor to find out what works for you. While online resources are great places to get information to make sure you ask all the right questions, it can not take the place of your doctor's solid medical advice.

Here is some information that you might find useful when speaking to your doctor.

While you already know much of this, it never hurts to read it over again to make sure there is nothing you missed when speaking to your doctor.

You can read about GERD here in the overview and you can check your symptoms here in the symptoms database. Once you have seen your doctor, if he prescribes medication for GERD, you can read about them here in the drugs database. You can also research treatments available and alternatives here in the treatments database.

Also, there are things you can do as far as diet and lifestyles changes that might help.

People with heartburn should first try lifestyle and dietary changes. In one study, 44% of patients who experienced symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) reported improvement after changing their diet. Some suggestions are the following:

  • People with heartburn should avoid or reduce consumption of foods and beverages that contain caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, spearmint, and alcohol. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee increase acid secretion.

  • All carbonated drinks increase the risk for GERD.

  • Although physicians often advise patients with GERD to cut down on fatty foods, studies are finding no evidence that a low-fat or high-fat meal make any difference in symptom exacerbation. Better studies are needed to confirm this. In any case, as a rule, it is always wise to avoid saturated fats (which are from animal products), and cut down on all fats if one is overweight.

  • Increasing protein may help strengthen muscles in the muscle valve. Patients should choose low-fat or skim dairy products, poultry, or fish, in such cases.

  • Whole grain products rich in selenium may have some protective role against dangerous cells changes in Barrett's esophagus.

  • Patients should have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, although avoid acidic vegetables and fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pineapple**, tomatoes).

** There is a discussion about pineapple where Dr. Eisner suggests it is actually good for you because it has an enzyme that promotes digestion. You can read that posting here.

I hope this helps somewhat. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing!

Vicki M

You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.