For almost 6 months I have been having pain with my voice. When it began, it was only occasional pain, and then with time it progressively got worse. My symptoms included excess mucus, sour morning taste, occasional cough, and mainly the sore throat and pain while speaking. After going to a general doctor, I was referred to an otolaryngologist to check for vocal problems like polyps, nodules, or other vocal obstructions. The only abnormal thing he found with the scope was inflammation of the vocal chords. Based on my symptoms he treated me for GERD and he gave me a prescription for Omeprazole 20mg twice daily. Instead of success with the drug, I had stomach pain, and a constantly full stomach feeling. Because of this I stopped and tried to get my medication changed. He then gave me Prevacid 40mg once daily. I had the same problem. It was almost like I refluxed more when on the PPIs. Then he doubled my dosage on Prevacid which only made matters worse.
After that I was referred to a voice specialist at a more legitimate hospital. I went through their vocal lab tests. Mostly just microphone tests to check how my vocal chords were producing sound and how I was breathing, but nothing stuck out as abnormal. Around this time I began to really notice reflux like symptoms. Before, I guess it was more what they call "silent," but at this time I could tell shortly after eating, I would have a burning in my throat. I then noticed increased difficultly in swallowing, but not extreme difficulty. Because of this, the doctor decided to do an endoscopy to look at my esophagus. He said nothing looked out of place and there was no noticeable damage to my esophagus. The only thing he noted was that my Lower Esophageal Sphincter muscle seemed to relax a lot. He then proceeded to put me on another PPI called Zegerid, which didn't help and now Nexium, which after four days on it, I am starting to notice more frequent reflux. Before that he tried to put me on Protonix, but insurance wouldn't cover it. I have researched PPIs and they all do the same thing, cut down the production of gastric acid. If the first 4 didn't work, isn't it quite unlikely for others to work?
I have also had a couple of blood tests done. I had a thyroid test and a H. pylori test done and both were negative. The thyroid test was run by my dermatologist because she said that my long term usage of Minocycline for acne could cause both thyroid problems and reflux problems. Because of this, I stopped using Minocycline, but I’ve noticed no improvement over almost 2 months. One more symptom I noticed, but may not be relative, is a gurgling sound in my stomach. It doesn't always happen though. It is mostly common only when I go for a jog, but has happened a few times when not running.
I have researched a lot of things, because I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. It seems they are only treating me for overproducing gastric acid. I have learned that this isn't the only cause of reflux. Under-producing acid, food allergies like lactose and gluten, or other digestive juices like bile and pepsin can cause reflux. I’m just stumped and I don't feel like the doctors are looking at the whole picture.
If anyone has any ideas, I am really desperate. I am currently a senior college student training to be a teacher someday, so my voice is VERY important. I have chosen to take a semester off to take care of my health, so I would like to get to the bottom of this so I can move on with my life.