At the time of writing this post and launching this site, I’ve suffered from laryngopharyngeal reflux, commonly referred to as LPR, for just over six months. It’s been a humbling and frustrating experience, not least because I’ve always made a great effort to take care of my health. In fact, my LPR began around the same time that I became even more strict with a paleo-style diet, and took a break from alcohol entirely, all in the name of better health. I was pretty focused on regular and adequate sleep, stress management, exercise and everything else I could think of that was important. The fact that rather than feeling better, I developed this ailment was a bit of a blow.
The first few months, particularly before I really knew what was going on, were very challenging, on a psychological level as much (if not more) than on a physical level. I felt depressed, I was prone to intense mood swings, and I felt intense fear about the possibility that something more sinister was underlying my painful symptoms. What was particularly frustrating was the fact that nothing I tried seem to make me better. Some of what I tried actually seemed to be counterproductive, and I was completely overwhelmed by the myriad suggestions of diets, lifestyle changes, supplements and medications that I found online.
I really came to feel lost at sea when I realised how little help the conventional medical system could provide. I visited several doctors and a gastroenterologist and none of their recommendations seemed in my best interest, nor did they seem to come from a place of understanding of my problem. I’ll elaborate on my experience with the medical system in future posts, but suffice it to say, that I wound up feeling very alone with my issue.
Fast forward a few months and I’m happy to say I’m feeling much better, though I can’t say that I’m out of the woods yet. I’m happy to at least have a better understanding of what’s going on with my health and I feel much less anxious about the underlying causes of my LPR (another topic for future posts). I’ve learned to recognise the warning signs of my reflux symptoms, as well as a personal toolkit to address pain and discomfort when it arises. Perhaps most importantly, I feel like I’m on the mend and that at some point in the future, whenever that will be, I will be free of my laryngopharyngeal reflux, or at least have it under complete control.
Why am I launching a site about laryngopharyngeal reflux?
No doubt some people will find the idea of creating a website devoted to a very specific, non-life-threatening ailment a little odd. I admit that I ruminated over the idea for a long time before getting started, but I have a few reasons for wanting to create a site about LPR.
I want to share what I’ve learned about LPR
I’ve spent a lot of time reading about laryngopharyngeal reflux over the last few months. I think that’s probably true of a lot of people who suffer from this particular condition, but I feel compelled to document and share some of it in one place. I really think it may be useful to other sufferers, of which it seems there are many around the world. I think I may have been able to get to where I am now more quickly if I had been able to find more information earlier, particularly from a patient’s rather than a professional medical or encyclopaedic vantage point.
I want to find, gather and engage with a community of LPR-sufferers
Many people suffer with laryngopharyngeal reflux around the world – millions in fact. Depending on where they are located, they may or may not have access to good medical care for this fairly recently identified condition. I know that many people turn to the web for answers; you’ll find posts on this topic on general health and GERD-specific websites, as well as in the comments section of any LPR-related content. My impression is that the interactions are quite scattered though, and I really believe that people with LPR would benefit from a place on the internet where they can interact with others with this very specific set of symptoms.
I want to draw a distinction between LPR and GERD
There does seem to be an important link between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux LPR, which I’ll explore in future posts, but LPR comes with its own symptoms, challenges and remedies. Too much of the content on the web about LPR is mixed in with content about GERD, and too often the recommendations are treated interchangeably. I don’t believe that’s appropriate or helpful based on my personal experience, so I want this to be a place where the focus is only on this very particular type of reflux. I think most LPR-sufferers will appreciate and benefit from the distinction.
I’m still on a journey to getting well
I’d love to be writing this having completely overcome this condition, but sadly that’s not the case. Part of my motivation for creating this site is create momentum in my own journey with LPR. I think that the endeavour will behove me to keep researching and focusing on solving this for myself. I also think building a community of people with the same problem will provide some psychological support.
I believe that working on this site will be positive for me regardless of what direction it takes or traction it gains. If it can also be helpful to other people, so much the better.