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The All-Natural Regimen That Has Helped My Reflux Problem

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  • Oh, and regarding the Gaviscon, I was sort of kidding about the chocolate flavor. Yeah, I can't eat chocolate, for sure, but do love it...

    I haven't ordered the Canadian Gaviscon, but I did try the ones I have (cherry-flavored and not bad tasting, to me) and it didn't seem to help...phooey. I guess I could still order the non-aluminum type from Canada.

    Another thing I tried a week or so ago was apple cider vinegar. A lot of people seem to swear by it for curing their GERD, but all it seemed to do was make mine worse. Of course, I just used the supermarket kind, not the organic, so I may try that at some point and see... but there seem to be people who are low acid and others who have too much. I'm thinking maybe I'm one of the ones that produces too much, and that is what I'm trying to solve - what causes that? I guess there can be more than one cause.

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    • When I'm not home, I keep L-Glutamine capsules with me and I take those. The only problem with them is that they are let potent so I have to take three of them. I recently bought a more potent one that turned out to be a tablet - not a capsule - and it's huge. I'm not even going to try to swallow those. But anyway, there is no reason not to take it in capsule form. Unlike DGL, which you want to start working in your mouth, the L-Glut is fine to get to your stomach first.

      American Gaviscon is useless. Don't bother with it.

      Last week, I swallowed something the wrong way and I inhaled it. I didn't choke but I coughed so hard and so long that I did a real number on my throat and couldn't talk for two days. I went to the ENT and he did an endoscope of my larynx. I'm OK and it was good to see that my larynx looks generally OK after having GERD for so long.

      Anyway, I mention this because I was desperate to find something to help my throat the night before I saw the doctor. And after reading everything on the web, I mixed up some apple cider vinegar and honey with hot water. I gargled with it and sipped it slowly. You know what? It was very irritating. So I stopped. That's the first vinegar of any kind that I've had in two years. I mentioned it to the doctor and he is a very holistic kind of guy so if he thought it wasn't a good idea, I know it wasn't. He told me not to do that again - said ACV is irritating. OK. So there is no way, I'd use that to try to help my esoph or my stomach. I think people get sucked into believing anything when they're desperate and ACV is supposed to be the cure for everything now. It's not. Don't bother with it.

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      • Wow, that's no fun about the swallowing/inhaling episode. Glad you're doing okay. I tend to want to stay away from the vinegar, but it is true that there are a lot of folks that find it helps them. I really don't get it.

        Thanks for the feedback about the L-Glutamine. Next time I buy it, I'm going to get the powdered kind.

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        • you can try cabbage juice. its filled with glutamine. could mix it with some carrots to improve the taste.

          I remember inhaling manuka honey by accident once. very very horrible experience. coughed like hell.

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          • Intreresting about the cabbage juice. Have heard that was good, but didn't like the idea of just cabbage juice. And I have to get myself a juicer...but I've also read that juicing in general is good for reflux.

            I hereby institute a ban on all inhaling of food or beverages everwhere. (been there, done that, too)

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            • the juice is usually cabbage-carrots-celery or something similar to those lines.

              yeah i think my throat started to tickle and I accidentally inhaled the honey. silly throat

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              • Yes, actually white cabbage, specifically, is supposed to be really good for the stomach. However, I've never been able to find it locally. And it's not the green cabbage that looks white - it's actually WHITE cabbage. Can't tell you more about that. See if you can find it.

                Cabbage contains "Vitamin U", which technically is not a vitamin. It stands for methyl-methionine-sulfonium chloride. Apparently, it's supposed to be very good for stomach ulcers. (Get it? "U" = ulcer).

                But straight cabbage juice does sound unappealing. I'd go for the carrot juice mix!

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                • Hi. I'm new to this forum. I have a question for NYer. What type of powdered calcium are you currently taking? I also tried the powdered calcium citrate and it made my heartburn worse, too. Do you know if all types of calcium help tighten the LES? Thanks for all of your previous information. I'm going to start trying some of them.

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                  • I was taking NOW powdered calcium. But I didn't feel that it was doing much for me. I am now using a LIQUID calcium/magnesium. I still don't know if taking the calcium (whether powdered or liquid) actually has the LES-tightening effect that Dr. Galland and others have tauted. But the liquid cal-mag is easy to take and, if nothing else, I get a good dose of cal and mag. I find the liquid one soothing, too, and to a small degree, it actually works as a temporary antacid - I suspect it's neutralizing as it goes down (like Maalox, et al, but healthier).
                    The one I've been taking is a bit hard to find - you pretty much have to get it from higher-end supplement retailers. You can find it online.
                    It's called Seroyal/Genestra Cal Mag Liquid. A tablespoon contains 600mg Calcium and 300mg Magnesium (plus 100 mg Vit D). The container comes in two sizes. And you have to refrigerate it after opening. The only difficulty is if you go out to dinner, you can't carry it with you.

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                    • Thank you for your reply! You have really offered up a ton of natural remedies to try, and your posts are very specific. So, thank you!! Can I ask how long you have suffered from acid reflux or gerd?

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                      • First bout was 4-1/2 years ago. Took protonix, did pretty well for 10 months till I realized that the protonix raised my blood sugar to obscene levels. Went off for a year and a half and did OK. Then had a horrible bout 2.5 years ago and couldn't handle any PPI's anymore. Have changed my whole eating and supplement lifestyle since then.

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                        • How are you doing now

                          Hello NYer,

                          How are you doing these days?

                          I am in the same boat as you - can not tolerate PPIs / H2 blockers - and have been on a natural regimen for the last few weeks. Plus, started to go to an acupuncturist as well.

                          Are you still following your regimen and how have you fared so far?

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                          • How I am these days (great!)

                            Hi Gerdy,
                            Thanks for asking - I hadn't realized how long it had been since I posted to this thread. And you can usually assume that if someone isn't around here as much it's probably because they're feeling better and not thinking about their GERD as much (hmm...or they could be dead ).

                            It's been just short of three years now and I'm still doing everything that I've mentioned here - and I still do it everyday.

                            I still sleep with the wedge to elevate my upper half - and I sleep with another wedge under my knees to keep me from slipping down off the top wedge while I'm sleeping. The leg wedge also gives me support for my lower back.

                            I still chew two sugar-free DGL tablets before each meal and occasionally at bedtime. (You don't have to use sugar-free but I do because I'm diabetic.) I still take 4 Absorb-Aid digestive enzymes with every meal - one at the beginning and 3 after. I still avoid drinking liquids during my meals.

                            I haven't eaten red meat, gluten, or soy in 3 years. I had cut out dairy for a long time but I've added back in occasional yogurt and hard cheeses from time to time. Lately I keep the carbs very low in general but I'm doing that for my diabetes - I don't know that it makes a difference with the GERD.

                            I still don't eat anything with onions, black pepper, garlic, mustard, vinegar, citrus, tomato, radishes, hot sauce, mint, chocolate, grapes, pineapple, kiwi, banana, coffee, black or green tea, alcohol.

                            I still take all of the supplements that I've mentioned throughout this thread. I take 2 grams of L-Glutamine before each meal on an empty stomach (15 minutes before eating if I can). (I take the powder mixed in room temp water). I avoid taking a multi vitamin pill because I was told that they are often irritating to the stomach. I take individual pills/capsules of an assortment of supplements and I take both Vit A and Vit D in liquid form. I also take a Cal-Mag liquid supplement. And by the way, the Cal-Mag liquid works well as a temporary antacid from time to time, too.

                            I still use the black raspberry powder mixed into a beverage every day. Note that you have to go to the dentist more often to get your teeth cleaned a lot when you drink this stuff a lot. It does stain your teeth (they don't turn purple - I just notice some brownish stains behind some of my teeth - but people who drink a lot of coffee have a similar issue).

                            I make a whey protein shake every day (this isn't for GERD - it's just healthy). And I mix in berries and some walnut oil. I don't drink dairy milk - I use Rice "Milk" and/or Almond "Milk", which I mix in with my shakes and also my breakfast.

                            I eat a lot of fish and some chicken (no skin) and nothing fried. Vegetables are virtually all steamed. I add olive oil to lots of stuff. I mix nuts in with lots of things. I also eat nuts as a snack. I know some people have GERD issues with certain nuts. I don't.

                            I don't ever wear clothing that is tight around my stomach/waist area. I haven't worn a belt (or an underwire bra) in years.

                            Oh, and of course, I don't eat for 3 hours before I go to sleep. And, for me, that's still the hardest part.

                            I think I covered everything, no?

                            So that said, I feel great. Do I still get heartburn from time to time? Yes. But whereas on a scale of 1-10, where I used to get heartburn at a 10 (or worse), now it's never worse than a 2 or 3. And it's occasional. I did notice for the first time in a long time, about 4 weeks ago, some chest pains which I hadn't had in 2 1/2 years. It was while I was under a LOT of stress taking care of a sick relative and at the same time doing income tax! The chest pains, however, were just gas. When I stood up and walked around, I let out some huge burps and it was all gone!

                            I don't have any of the other symptoms of GERD anymore. Sometimes when I attempt to sleep like a human being - you know, laying down flat and really comfy - I wake up coughing. So that's a reminder that I have to sleep elevated. That ticks me off because I was hoping that after so much time, I'd be able to sleep like a person again and cuddle with my honey while I'm sleeping. He misses that, too. But the alternative is waking us both up with me coughing and ultimately, if I ignored it, I'd end up with laryngitis. So I do what I do instead and I'm fine.

                            The one thing that started 3 years ago that has not gone away is the belching. I used to only have cute occasional girlie burps. I couldn't do a big belch if I tried. Now I could compete with John Belushi. I know the belching is GERD-related but I haven't been able to get rid of it. Luckily, they're just air - they're not smelly. And if I feel bloated, occasionally, I stand up and walk around a little and a big burp flies out and then I feel good! Needless to say, I let them fly when I'm home but I keep them suppressed in restaurants. When I'm outside walking, I check to see if anyone is around me before I let out a good burp!

                            I am told that if I take an HCL (hydrochloric acid) supplement, that might be helpful with the burping. I haven't gotten around to giving that a try yet. There are people on here that swear by it and it makes sense to me. I'll get around to it.

                            I still keep the Canadian Gaviscon by my bed. I only need to take it occasionally now. I have the English liquid, too, but I haven't ever actually used it yet. (Both have no aluminum - the American does.)

                            I actually had a dream about pizza last night! (It was so good in my dream and it didn't give me reflux!) Yes, I miss pizza, and tomato sauce, and chocolate. But I just don't do it. I've been there and back and I'm not going back there again.

                            As James Brown said, "I FEEL GOOD!"

                            All the best,
                            NYer

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                            • A little more

                              Oh, and I left out something important. Every morning before breakfast, I have a cup of Rooibos (Red) Tea with a scoop of Slippery Elm Bark Powder and a heaping teaspoon of Manuka honey. It's delicious and it's really soothing if you are having any throat issues. If you have h-pylori in your system (which I do not), you absolutely want to use Manuka honey. It's expensive, it's delicious, and it has amazing anti-bacterial properties not found in regular honey.
                              I really enjoy the red tea. It is non-acidic and caffeine-free. You can drink it any time of day. Slippery Elm bark is a wonderful product for soothing throats and esophagus.

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                              • Thank you NYer

                                Thank you NYer,

                                You are giving me hope that I'll be able to live after all. Since I'd discovered last week that I can not take PPIs .. I had been an emotional mess - since I've seen so many sites on LPRD basically say that one has to be on the PPIs for 2-6 months to be able to be cured of LPRD - and I was simply not able to tolerate these PPIs .. they gave me all kinds of side effects.

                                I'd started to incorporate a lot of the regimens being discussed here in these boards - but I will have to get extra diligent about these now .. now that I don't have the luxury of the PPIs to help me have a regular lifestyle. It is a small price to pay to have a healthy body.

                                Some questions:
                                - I tend to want to chew gum (Orbit) which helps reduce the acid .. is this a no-no for the LPRD sufferers?
                                - Currently, I am on 75mg Zantac (and sometimes 2)... which I feel I need to be able to be functional during the day (it also gives me slight dizziness and achy leg muscles - by the way). However, I am hoping that I can wean off of this one eventually.

                                Have you (or anyone else here) - tried homeopathic treatments at all? I am going to begin one from Tuesday (my aunt in India is a homeopath and is sending me a prescription / meds-set). I will let you all know on how I do.

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