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The All-Natural Regimen That Has Helped My Reflux Problem

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  • East meets West..

    I will try to keep this short (ha…get comfy)

    • First for the newbies….read this entire thread. Yes, from page 1. The information here is invaluable. Listen to NYer’s advice and suggestions, ALL OF IT. She does not get paid to spend her time here helping others like us (although we all agree she should and I’ll be the first in line for an autographed book). She does it out of kindness and it needs to be appreciated. So yes read all 25 pages, or maybe it will be 35, 55, 105..it’ll be worth it.

    •Second….LISTEN TO NYer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So here is a quick background on my situation. Started feeling ill in August 2013. Doc did full physical, ran all blood test, all came back fine. Continued to feel “off”. In Oct I was put on two doses of Ciprofloxin (antibiotic) for UTI. Nov. 1st, had my first experience with “heartburn” which true to name felt like a heart attack & ended up in the ER. Over the next 2 months had full blood work done 3 times, Liver, Kidney, Gallbladder and Pancreas checked, 2 Ultra sounds, 2 chest X-rays, full cardiac test (3 EKG’s, stress test, echocardiogram, 24 hr heart monitoring) – ALL NORMAL. Finally sent to a GI. On 1/28/14 GI doc did an endoscopy. Results were MILD gastritis and GERD. Doc sent me home with 80 mg of Nexium (yes, 80 mg) and 2 Carafate per day. Now I had never heard of GERD, Nexium nor anything else related. I dutifully followed docs orders as to the meds and it all went downhill from there. For the first time in my life I started feeling heartburn daily, 24 hours. Couldn't eat anything, not even water without getting heartburn. Had massive anxiety and panic attacks. Throat started to hurt, chest and back pain. Complained to doc, he upped the Carafate to 4 times a day. Started reading side effects of Nexium and took myself off..down to 40 mg. Continued to feel awful. Switched PPI’s to Aciphex then Dexilent. ..No good. I’ve now lost 20 lbs and feel awful on a daily basis. SWITCHED DOCTORS.

    At this point I have found this forum on line and started following NYers advice…feeling somewhat better (read the thread).

    New GI doc orders two test, Esophageal Manometry & Impedance. I have to stop taking all meds for 5 days prior to test. 4/24 get off all meds and start feeling better. I have been following NYers regimen since then.

    Now the purpose of this post…..wait for it….

    I went to see my new GI yesterday for the results of the two test. As I walk into her office she asks how I’m feeling, how was my experience getting off and then back on the PPI’s. I told her I never got back on the PPI’s, been dealing with it naturally. My heartburn comes and goes but def no worst off PPI’s. Otherwise I feel better with exception of chest & back pain which are pretty constant. She said “GOOD that backs up my diagnosis and the test results”.

    Test Results / Diagnosis: Esophageal motility, LES, UES, Swallowing, acid reflux occurrence all NORMAL. Yes, NORMAL. According to the test I am not refluxing any more than the average person. What I have is hypersensitivity in my chest nerves / muscles that react to any and all reflux even if its within “normal” occurrence. The doc then went on to say that it was an error for my first GI to put me on the Nexium and that it “probably” caused more heartburn rather than helped it and what I have been experiencing since getting off has been rebound. She wants me to stay off all PPI’s and even told me to taper off Zantac as she doesn’t believe I need it. She said there is no test that can be run to prove her diagnosis but she can only go by process of elimination and that fact that I feel better off the PPI’s. Acid is not refluxing into my esophagus so no damage is being done.

    That said she then started channeling NYer (I swear you were in that office NYer). She said and I quote:

    “Now don’t be dumb…the test may state otherwise but YOU DO HAVE GERD” I let out a laugh at this point that neither the doc or my hubby understood but I know you all do . She said it may be very minimal but it’s there. Stick to the GERD diet, avoid the triggers but slowly start reintroducing some foods. Listen to your body. Try sleeping without the wedge, if you reflux hop back on the wedge. Continue with the DGL, probiotics and digestive enzymes, vitamins, etc.. if that is what’s working for me. My downward spiral to bad health back in August probably started due to bad eating habits, so stick to healthy food and the GERD rules (no eating before bed, no tight clothes, etc)

    Then she looked at my husband and said to him “Now I want to make this 100% clear. The chest pain is NOT in her head, it is not mental. Technology may not be able to prove that something is wrong but her body knows. “ The pain is real and physical. Yes, maybe be caused by stress, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder from what she has been through on the PPI’s but it is a pain that actually occurs” (I almost got up and hugged her). She said that the chest pain is normally treated with anti- anxiety meds or muscle relaxers, but if I can deal with the pain knowing it’s not causing damage, she’d rather not prescribe anything for it. She said that in 30% of her patients the pain goes away with time, the rest take medication or live to learn with the pain. She would prefer I wait 3-6 months before trying any medications. She suggested Yoga, acupuncture, even allergy testing before getting on any other meds. I found this very refreshing. This is a top GI in California with the best technology available and she wants me to try the natural route. She has giving me hope that there are good doctors out there after all.

    So with my doctors encouragement I will continue my natural healing per NYers advice and hope I continue to improve. My doc did say that she wants to see me in 6 months to see how I’m feeling and perhaps do another Endoscopy to confirm no damage is being done to my esophagus, but only if that will give me reassurance but she doesn’t think I will NEED it.

    Here’s hoping!!!

    Comment


    • Hazel, that is probably the most awesome post I've read on this thread!!!
      And thank you for everything you said about me and what I've posted!
      (And for anyone else reading this, I have never met Hazel, and I did not pay her to say those things! LOLL!!)

      I'm super impressed with your doctor. If I lived in S.F., that is the G.I. doctor I'd go to. Wow! I love that she took it upon herself to admonish your husband about the fact that your pain is real. I wonder if she's ever been to this web site! Because all of us know that it's real and many people on here have families who were not supportive and didn't believe them (I will simply say that those families deserve beatings.)

      Anyway, thanks again.

      xxxooo
      NYer

      Comment


      • NYer..your very welcome and deserve it.

        Yes, both my Hubby and I walked out impressed by her. My hubby did ask if I had asked her to address the "mental" aspect of it (jerk LOL ).

        I'm going to take little vacation away from all things GERD related and the internet as I'll admit it has consumed a big part of my time and most of what I read is discouraging with the exception of this forum. So I may not post for a little while but I'll be back to check in on everyone

        Comment


        • Alkaline water

          Hi NYer
          That's great your feeling better today!
          Interesting reading about the alkaline water... It makes sense. However I totally agree with you about the ACV. I've been there and done that, and it just makes it worse for me. I also found out that calcium citrate is bad for me too!
          I found it way too acidic for my oesophagus. I thought I would try some baed on your recommendation, but I couldn't buy the one that you use. So I just bought one from my local pharmacy that mixes into water (it has an orange flavour). Oh well, it was worth a try...
          Perhaps the one I bought is very different to yours, so maybe I'll have to see if I can import the same one you use at some stage...

          Oh, there is one thing that I always know that I can turn to when things are really bad for me that's not really been mentioned here, and that is rice... Steamed or in the form of rice milk. Either of these helps a lot. The rice milk (I know you mentioned you use this) is great because it forms a kind of phlegm that it think lines my oesophagus and helps with burning/pains, and also helps my saliva when my mouth is watery etc.

          Eating steamed rice works wonders for me. I think that because it's a carb (which is also gluten free for those that can't tolerate gluten), it seems to absorb any excess acid in the stomach. The way I look at it is that it gives the acid something to do rather than try and eat into my oesophagus

          Also, you are absolutely right about the loose clothes. I discovered this about a year ago... I used to virtually live in tight jeans, and due to the usual symptoms plus burning and pressure in my tummy region I decided to start wearing looser clothes. This made a huge difference! The only thing that suffered a bit was my sense of style lol

          Perhaps, and I'm not suggesting you should do this, but it would be really good to try and condense all the information that has been spread over 26 pages (currently) into a new thread (closed would be better), so that anyone new that comes along doesn't need to read through so many pages, and this thread could be kept open for suggestions. Maybe it could be posted as a 'sticky', but this might need to be done as by an administrator.
          This thread could remain open for discussions and new tips etc and the 'sticky' updated if/when it needs to be done.
          Anyway, this is just a suggestion, and I'm suggesting it to you because this thread is essentially yours, along with most of the information included within it. I just think it could be very helpful for others.
          If you are not interested in this idea, that's ok. But if you are but would prefer not to do it yourself, perhaps I or someone else could collaborate with you, or something...? Just a thought, no harm intended.

          Regards
          Tropheus

          Comment


          • Hazeleyes

            Originally posted by Hazeleyes View Post
            I will try to keep this short (ha…get comfy)

            • First for the newbies….read this entire thread. Yes, from page 1. The information here is invaluable. Listen to NYer’s advice and suggestions, ALL OF IT. She does not get paid to spend her time here helping others like us (although we all agree she should and I’ll be the first in line for an autographed book). She does it out of kindness and it needs to be appreciated. So yes read all 25 pages, or maybe it will be 35, 55, 105..it’ll be worth it.

            •Second….LISTEN TO NYer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            I couldn't agree with you more Hazeleyes, there is a lot of very useful information contained throughout the thread that is not contained just on the first page of the thread, and therefore the whole thread needs to be read. I have made a suggestion in my previous post so that newbies don't need to read the entire thread though especially as I'm sure it's going to continue to grow in size for years to come!

            It was really good to read your story and that there are medical professionals out there that really do understand the diseases and impacts it has on those infected (ha, that sounds like I'm talking about The Walking Dead )
            I sincerely hope that it all works out for you, and it gives hope to the rest of us

            Comment


            • Tropheus,

              Thanks for the suggestion and thank you for your offer to help. But although this is my thread, THIS IS NOT MY WEB SITE. I'm just someone who came here for help and subsequently started writing about what helped me.

              And it's not just a matter of reading a list of the specific things I've said here, but there is also something to be said for reading it in the form of a conversation with other people. Yes, an index and list would be helpful. But I'm not going to do it here.

              In addition, although I put the time in on here (for free) with the hope that other people will find help from it, frankly, if people want help, they're also going to have to help themselves and they're going to have to put in a little time of their own.

              I find it annoying when there is something that I know I mentioned within this thread and someone new pops in and asks me for that info because they don't feel like finding it on their own. So it's easier for them to make me repeat it.
              And yes, sometimes if I'm not busy and I'm in the mood, I'll repeat myself with a new post to answer the question again. I'll do that, in particular, when I have some additional info to add to it.

              It's not hard to do a search. In fact, those questions are often something like "where can I buy this product?". Now first of all, I have mentioned in this thread the places where I buy the products that I mention on here. But frankly, instead of even looking through this thread, those people could make the slightest effort and just Google the name of the product. That's how I found out the best place to buy a number of things - I just Googled them. And then I compared web site prices, etc. And if someone has the wherewithal to know how to use this bulletin board, then they're perfectly capable of doing a web search. They're just being lazy.

              So, no thanks. I'm not going to do that.

              But, if and when I decide to do my own blog or write a book - as I am being hounded to do by a number of people (on this Board, and also in "real life"), , then I will certainly have it very organized and indexed and so forth.
              You guys will be the first to know. ...OK, maybe the third to know. But don't hold your breath and pass out waiting ...it's gonna be a while if I decide to do it! (and you'll probably all be better by then anyway!!)

              All the best,
              NYer

              Comment


              • Tropheus,
                You're probably right about rice. I know it is very helpful on the occasion that I have the runs. Specifically white rice - and more specifically Chinese Restaurant white rice (it's stickier than regular white rice). But I can't really test this because I have diabetes and I have to stay away from rice and potatoes.

                Also, as far as the calcium, I personally found much more help and relief from a liquid calcium-magnesium supplement. The one I use is "Cal Mag Liquid 2 Punch flavor" by Seroyal Genestra. It's a little harder to find than some other supplements I've mentioned because it's primarily sold to/by naturopaths and other health professionals. So it's not cheap and it's mostly on some of the more expensive sites. (And I don't know about how easy it would be for you to get in Australia, for that matter.) But I know there are other liquid calcium supplements, so you could check around. And remember, as I've said many times, when you're supplementing with calcium, you also want to supplement with half as much magnesium. (That's why I take the "cal-mag".)

                NYer

                Comment


                • Hey NYer
                  Yes, I do understand it's not your website, it's just a thread you started (as I stated I'm my previous post). However, as you are the one who started it and most of the ideas here you put forth before anyone else, I thought it would be the right thing to do to mention it to you. I completely understand your unwillingness to do what I suggested, and I didn't mean to offend you in any way.

                  I also understand where you are coming from in terms of some people just asking questions without reading the whole thread. It must be frustrating sometimes, I'm sure.

                  However, my suggestion was only for new people coming here and looking for a where to start. Not just with supplements, but also with lifestyle and diet changes etc.

                  But as you've said, you don't want to do it. So I'll leave it at that...

                  Re: calcium
                  Yes, I had also noticed you switched to the cal-mag formula, but I thought I would start where you did with the cal citrate as it seemed to work for you to begin with, plus I already supplement with magnesium, so having an all-in-one formula wasn't important for me. I will have a look at what's available locally though, but I've only noticed the tablet variety combining both... Hopefully it's around somewhere. I did previously do a google search on the brand you have though, and as with all the other brands you have there, it's only available as an import here... and then there's the customs issues with foreign medicines/supplements to consider. I'll just have to see how I go

                  It's a shame that rice is not a good thing for you, but at least the rice milk/almond milk works. Btw I have tried almond milk (sweetened and unsweetened) and I'm not a fan of the taste personally. I know some people that love the taste, but I'm not one of them. I've also tried various other 'milks' but I much prefer rice milk for the taste. For any Aussies that read this thread the brand I like by a long way is Vitasoy (I'm assuming it's not sold in the US or other countries). The taste is very close to the real stuff, but it is also a bit sweeter than the real stuff too! What I do find interesting though, is that the label states there is no added sugar. The list of ingredients is just water, brown rice and salt... Go figure where the sweetness comes from? I've actually tried making rice milk myself, but it has no sweetness to it at all. It's actually easy to make, but I can't be bothered with the effort when I can't get the taste right

                  Regards
                  Tropheus

                  Comment


                  • Hey Tropheus,
                    LOL! No offense was taken! You have to get used to my New York City attitude. I was in no way referring to you asking me any questions. I was speaking in general. And I was just putting an emphasis on the fact that it's not my web site...but there is no way to use italics...so I had to use CAPS, which sounded like I was yelling.
                    Plus, I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, so my meaner side might have been typing.

                    Vitasoy is also in the U.S. - it's not an Aussie-only brand.

                    And I always noticed the same thing about the rice milk - that it tastes sweet without any sweeteners. But you have to realize that rice is predominantly carbohydrates. Carbs ARE sugar. When they're digested, they turn to glucose. But of course, that doesn't happen till after it's digested, so it really doesn't explain why it TASTES sweet.

                    By the way, I thought that Hemp Milk tasted the most like real (cow) milk. Well, actually, it didn't TASTE like it - it FELT like it. The brand I drank ("Tempt") had a nice texture like whole cow milk. That said, though, I generally like the vanilla flavored "milks", so ultimately, most of them taste pretty much the same. And if you're not drinking them straight out of a glass (if you're mixing them into shakes, etc.), you really don't taste the difference. (Well I don't!)

                    NYer

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Hazeleyes View Post
                      I will try to keep this short (ha…get comfy)

                      • First for the newbies….read this entire thread. Yes, from page 1. The information here is invaluable. Listen to NYer’s advice and suggestions, ALL OF IT. She does not get paid to spend her time here helping others like us (although we all agree she should and I’ll be the first in line for an autographed book). She does it out of kindness and it needs to be appreciated. So yes read all 25 pages, or maybe it will be 35, 55, 105..it’ll be worth it.

                      •Second….LISTEN TO NYer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      So here is a quick background on my situation. Started feeling ill in August 2013. Doc did full physical, ran all blood test, all came back fine. Continued to feel “off”. In Oct I was put on two doses of Ciprofloxin (antibiotic) for UTI. Nov. 1st, had my first experience with “heartburn” which true to name felt like a heart attack & ended up in the ER. Over the next 2 months had full blood work done 3 times, Liver, Kidney, Gallbladder and Pancreas checked, 2 Ultra sounds, 2 chest X-rays, full cardiac test (3 EKG’s, stress test, echocardiogram, 24 hr heart monitoring) – ALL NORMAL. Finally sent to a GI. On 1/28/14 GI doc did an endoscopy. Results were MILD gastritis and GERD. Doc sent me home with 80 mg of Nexium (yes, 80 mg) and 2 Carafate per day. Now I had never heard of GERD, Nexium nor anything else related. I dutifully followed docs orders as to the meds and it all went downhill from there. For the first time in my life I started feeling heartburn daily, 24 hours. Couldn't eat anything, not even water without getting heartburn. Had massive anxiety and panic attacks. Throat started to hurt, chest and back pain. Complained to doc, he upped the Carafate to 4 times a day. Started reading side effects of Nexium and took myself off..down to 40 mg. Continued to feel awful. Switched PPI’s to Aciphex then Dexilent. ..No good. I’ve now lost 20 lbs and feel awful on a daily basis. SWITCHED DOCTORS.

                      At this point I have found this forum on line and started following NYers advice…feeling somewhat better (read the thread).

                      New GI doc orders two test, Esophageal Manometry & Impedance. I have to stop taking all meds for 5 days prior to test. 4/24 get off all meds and start feeling better. I have been following NYers regimen since then.

                      Now the purpose of this post…..wait for it….

                      I went to see my new GI yesterday for the results of the two test. As I walk into her office she asks how I’m feeling, how was my experience getting off and then back on the PPI’s. I told her I never got back on the PPI’s, been dealing with it naturally. My heartburn comes and goes but def no worst off PPI’s. Otherwise I feel better with exception of chest & back pain which are pretty constant. She said “GOOD that backs up my diagnosis and the test results”.

                      Test Results / Diagnosis: Esophageal motility, LES, UES, Swallowing, acid reflux occurrence all NORMAL. Yes, NORMAL. According to the test I am not refluxing any more than the average person. What I have is hypersensitivity in my chest nerves / muscles that react to any and all reflux even if its within “normal” occurrence. The doc then went on to say that it was an error for my first GI to put me on the Nexium and that it “probably” caused more heartburn rather than helped it and what I have been experiencing since getting off has been rebound. She wants me to stay off all PPI’s and even told me to taper off Zantac as she doesn’t believe I need it. She said there is no test that can be run to prove her diagnosis but she can only go by process of elimination and that fact that I feel better off the PPI’s. Acid is not refluxing into my esophagus so no damage is being done.

                      That said she then started channeling NYer (I swear you were in that office NYer). She said and I quote:

                      “Now don’t be dumb…the test may state otherwise but YOU DO HAVE GERD” I let out a laugh at this point that neither the doc or my hubby understood but I know you all do . She said it may be very minimal but it’s there. Stick to the GERD diet, avoid the triggers but slowly start reintroducing some foods. Listen to your body. Try sleeping without the wedge, if you reflux hop back on the wedge. Continue with the DGL, probiotics and digestive enzymes, vitamins, etc.. if that is what’s working for me. My downward spiral to bad health back in August probably started due to bad eating habits, so stick to healthy food and the GERD rules (no eating before bed, no tight clothes, etc)

                      Then she looked at my husband and said to him “Now I want to make this 100% clear. The chest pain is NOT in her head, it is not mental. Technology may not be able to prove that something is wrong but her body knows. “ The pain is real and physical. Yes, maybe be caused by stress, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder from what she has been through on the PPI’s but it is a pain that actually occurs” (I almost got up and hugged her). She said that the chest pain is normally treated with anti- anxiety meds or muscle relaxers, but if I can deal with the pain knowing it’s not causing damage, she’d rather not prescribe anything for it. She said that in 30% of her patients the pain goes away with time, the rest take medication or live to learn with the pain. She would prefer I wait 3-6 months before trying any medications. She suggested Yoga, acupuncture, even allergy testing before getting on any other meds. I found this very refreshing. This is a top GI in California with the best technology available and she wants me to try the natural route. She has giving me hope that there are good doctors out there after all.

                      So with my doctors encouragement I will continue my natural healing per NYers advice and hope I continue to improve. My doc did say that she wants to see me in 6 months to see how I’m feeling and perhaps do another Endoscopy to confirm no damage is being done to my esophagus, but only if that will give me reassurance but she doesn’t think I will NEED it.

                      Here’s hoping!!!
                      Hazel thank you for your awesome post and of course thank you NYer!
                      So glad your doctor has some common sense and thank you so much for sharing what she said.

                      Hope everyone continues to improve and feel well!

                      And NYer, have you given any thought to becoming a naturopath? I think you'd excel at it and help so many people. And of course write your book along the way. Just a thought.

                      Comment


                      • Yes, I've thought of it. And then I considered the fact that I'd have to go back to school for 4 years and do an internship, etc. Nah!

                        Comment


                        • Hey everyone, I hope y'all are having a good wknd! I was wondering if anyone has a remedy for chest pains... not hurtful, more like sore/tender? Hummm.... I know its still healing but somedays, not all the time its hust really-really tender.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by NikkiB View Post
                            Hey everyone, I hope y'all are having a good wknd! I was wondering if anyone has a remedy for chest pains... not hurtful, more like sore/tender? Hummm.... I know its still healing but somedays, not all the time its hust really-really tender.
                            Hi NikkiB
                            Do you mean the muscular type of chest pain associated with GERD/GORD? If so, I will usually find that the usual treatments will work as discussed in the thread and/or the usual drugs or antacids. However, if nothing works (and this is often the case for me), I find using heat helps. A hot shower seems to work best, or you could try a heat pack. It obviously doesn't treat the cause, but you will get relief for at least an hour or two (if not more) especially with a hot shower. Trust me on this... It even helps with the burning chest pains I get. I'm not quite sure how or why, but I'm guessing the heat must release tension created by GERD/GORD.
                            Obviously, it's not always practical to have a hot shower, so the heat pack is the next best option. I don't get the same amount of relief, but it does help.
                            The other thing that helps is pain relief medication like paracetamol. Do not take any anti-inflammatory meds though cos this will more than likely make your GERD/GORD worse

                            I hope this helps you :-)
                            Tropheus

                            Comment


                            • Hey Tropheus and everyone

                              Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it tonight! I have a hot water bottle that might work.
                              As for me, I've just been feeling quite sluggish for the past couple of days with a slight headache. No energy with the same warm sensation in my stomach. I know my iron is low because I could feel it! and I cant take iron supplements... ugh the struggle lol hope I'll feel better tomorrow. How are u NYer?

                              Comment


                              • Hi Nikki,
                                I'm fine! Thank you.
                                I don't know if you're aware of it, but you can get iron injections. That way, it stays out of your digestive tract and doesn't upset your stomach in any way but it still gets into your blood. You should talk to your doctor about that.
                                Also, for the chest pressure/pain, you might want to try acupuncture. No down-side to trying it.
                                I hope you're feeling better today.
                                -NYer

                                Comment

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