Dr Oz: Silent Reflux | Symptoms of Silent Reflux

Silent Reflux How To Stop Esophageal Cancer

Today Dr Oz goes to battle against Silent Reflux, the epidemic causing Esophageal Cancer, America's fastest growing cancer. Maybe that persistent cough be a warning sign? Learn the symptoms that go misdiagnosed. How to stop esophageal cancer before it starts!

Today Dr. Jamie Koufman and Dr. Johnathan Aviv, Director of the voice and Swallowing Center talk with Dr. Oz on Silent Reflux and Esophageal Cancer.

We are not not just talking about reflux, it's silent reflux and more times than not our doctor doesn't know the warning signs.


The most common silent reflux symptoms are hoarseness, chronic cough, throat-clearing, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, snoring, sleep apnea, bad breath, tooth decay, asthma, and COPD.

Sandra was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer, she had the symptoms and said she should have pushed for more tests earlier. She had difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, she took allergy medication thinking it would work. The doctors kept insisting there was nothing wrong with her. Things got progressively worse and said she knew there was something wrong! The pain got more severe, the coughing got worse, even the smallest piece of food swallowed she could feel going down her esophagus.

Sandra pushed for an Transnasal esophagoscopy (TNE) and was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. If Sandra had not insisted on getting an esophagoscopy, she said she wouldn't be alive today.

Dr Oz: Silent Reflux Test

Do I Have Silent Reflux? Take The Quiz. The Koufman Reflux Symptom Index, based on your score on the quiz, is a good indicator. See a doctor who knows what to look for. A visual image of the throat may indicate damage caused by reflux. Finally, take the acid test. 24-hour double probe pH monitoring tells your doctor every time you reflux.

Dr Oz's at-home silent reflux test, it is a questionnaire called Reflux Symptom Index, it is has 5 questions rate each answer between 0 and 5. 0 meaning you don't have any symptoms and 5 is the most severe symptoms you ever had. Within the last month have you had any of these 5 symptoms.

  • Hoarseness or a problem with your voice
  • Troublesome or Annoying Cough
  • Sensations Of Something Sticking In Your Throat or A Lump In Your Throat
  • Heartburn, Chest Pain, Indigestion, Or Stomach Acid Coming Up
  • Excess Throat Mucous or Post Nasal Drip

If the numbers add up to be more than 10 you need further investigation done.

  • Difficulty Swallowing Food, Liquids or Pills
  • Coughing After You Ate Or Lying Down
  • Clearing Your Throat
  • Breathing Difficulties Or Choking Episodes

What Is Silent Reflux

Silent reflux is acid reflux that does not produce heartburn or indigestion. You don’t know you have it, and yet it can still cause cancer.

Studies have shown that both typical and "silent reflux" similarly cause Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Reflux-related esophageal cancer has increased 850% since the 1970s. If you have hoarseness, chronic cough, or any of the other symptoms of silent reflux, you should see a doctor and have throat and esophageal examinations.

"Silent Reflux" is often overlooked and misdiagnosed, silent reflux affects over 50 million Americans. The backflow of stomach acid and digestive enzymes (pepsin) can wreak havoc on your esophagus (the food passage that goes from your throat to your stomach), as well as your ears, nose, throat, vocal cords, sinuses, mouth, and lungs.

Dr. Jamie Koufman set up Dr. Oz's Silent Reflux Screening clinic in New York City, It was startling to see how many people showed signs of silent reflux and they didn't even know it.

Christy who was shopping at the mall that decided to get tested, she was diagnosed with asthma when she was 14, she was told that she may have been misdiagnosed and was told to go have a full screening done.

Jamie Koufman, MD, F.A.C.S. Founder & Director, Koufman Reflux: Studies have shown that both typical and silent reflux similarly cause Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Reflux-related esophageal cancer has increased 850% since the 1970s. If you have hoarseness, chronic cough, or any of the other symptoms of silent reflux, you should see a doctor and have throat and esophageal examinations.

The difference between typical acid reflux and “silent reflux”
Typical acid reflux is characterized by symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. Silent reflux is “silent,” usually occurring without typical symptoms. Silent reflux usually involves the body’s air passages.

Dr Oz: Silent Reflux Prevention Plan

Esophageal can be prevented, even cured with diet changes. To stop silent reflux Get rid of the acid in your diet and the deep fried foods. To know more about foods to avoid get yourself Dr. Koufman's Book - Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure


Foods To Avoid: Bad Foods -- Good Foods

  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol - Carbonated Beverages - Citrus
  • Onions
  • Breath Mints
  • Raw Tomatoes
  • Raw Garlic
  • No Canned Foods - Too Acidic

Best-For-Reflux Food List:

  • Grilled/baked/broiled/boiled fish, shellfish, and poultry
  • All veggies (except onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers)
  • Breads, rice, grains (low-sugar cereals), oatmeal, and tofu
  • Alkaline water, low-fat cow, soy, almond, and coconut milk
  • Melons, bananas, ginger, chamomile tea, Manuka honey

Smoking (The esophageal cancer perfect storm the nicotine loosens the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus, the second thing that nicotine does is it directly increases acid reduction.

Barrett's Esophagus: Barrett's esophagus is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.


Surgery or other procedures may be recommended if a biopsy shows cell changes that are very likely to lead to cancer. Such changes are called severe or high-grade dysplasia.


Wait 3 hours after dinner before going to sleep Treat Heartburn With Acid-Blocking Medication (H2 Blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors).

These medications should work within two weeks, but if you are having throat symptoms that is as big a warning signs as persistent heartburn. The next solution is to get a Nasal Esophagoscopy.

What are the best foods for reflux?

High pH, alkaline, foods and drinks are best. Alkaline waters above pH 8 are particularly good because they permanently kill the protein-eating enzyme, pepsin, that sticks to your sensitive tissues every time you reflux. Kill the pepsin and your tissues have a chance to heal. Bananas, melons, oatmeal, pasta, grilled, baked, or roasted poultry and fish are good.