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The All-Natural Regimen That Has Helped My Reflux Problem

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  • I really wish I could share some of this fruit with you NYer!

    For the record, I don't think my boss hates me but more like he wouldn't care if I didn't return as long as the clinic patients are seen by someone if you kwim. I know he views us all as dispensable without thought to the number of years and loyalty we have given them.

    I also don't think he organized this delivery for me. I am sure it was someone else who took the reigns on this and got everyone to chip in. My guess anyway because work admin (especially the head honcho) is notoriously frugal. But it is very nice anyway because it is always nice to have people thinking of you and wishing the best for you in challenging times.

    Have a good dinner!

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    • Hello ladies,

      Dropping by for an update. I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore and am become quite miserable . I got the results from my latest endoscopy with my GI did a few weeks ago. Everything looks good. Which is great but I FEEL far from good. My gastritis has healed and although I do show signs of GERD I don’t have any damage to my esophagus and my LES looks good. All healthy tissue. Biopsies came back, no H. Pylori, no Candida, no SIBO. Yet, I continue to have this awful acid in my mouth and pain radiating through my ribs and arms (which I have read can be due to GERD). Some things have improved. My tongue no longer burns, my ears are good and I have no burning in my chest. I continue to do the dance. One step forward, two steps back.

      I hope you all are doing well.

      xoxo

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      • Hi Haze,
        I'm glad you don't have any bad kooties. It does sound like a lot of these things are from GERD. But what about the anemia issues? Did they link any of your symptoms to that?

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        • Hello... how is everyone doing? Well as for me I've been up and down. Taking a lot of supplements and trying to manage my symptoms. My Doctor is wonderful and is doing all she can to get to the root problem. I'm still eating and not gaining but haven't lost either. Went back up to 123-125 and thats it. If I gain 2, I'll loose 2. Thyroid is ok, blood tests came back good for everything. My iron went up a bit from 6 to 17 with spatone. My immune systems seems better, don't feel as "sicky" anymore. No more fevers and infections. (cross fingers)

          Had a full checkup and guess what? I have two small fibroids that's benign. So that explains my weird cycle.

          All in all I've seen some improvements but I'm FAR from feeling like my old self. Still experiencing uneasiness in my neck, thyroid specialist says it could be the reflux which I totally understand because it effects my glands and throat but ive been feeling this before I was diagnosed with gastritis. My main concerns right now are my weight because I am eating, healthy... but eating (seeing a nutritionist) and my neck which i've had checked a few times since february and its alway benign reactive nodes and reflux but not as heavy as before. I still get dizzy and light headed, but not as bad as it was in July.

          Still taking absorbaid (I can't live without it now lol), DGL, Multi Vitamins, B12, iron, Slippery elm, probiotics and giving Pepzin GI a try! Oh and gaviscon at night.

          Thats my update I hope everyone is well!!! What a year.

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          • Hi Nikki!
            Glad to hear you're doing well (relatively speaking).
            All's fine here. I hope everyone else is doing well. Hayley, I hope your leg is healing.
            I'm on vacation, so I'm gonna keep this short.
            Hugs to all!
            -NYer

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            • Thanks! Enjoy your vacation NYer :-)

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              • Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well. It has been 13 weeks or so since my accident (and will be 12 weeks since the surgery this coming Monday) and I started partial weight bearing last week. It has been a slow process but I am hanging in there and doing my best to remain optimistic and upbeat. This Pilon fracture has been definitely the most challenging period of my life to date and that includes all the esophageal testing I underwent in the spring so you can imagine! I think I overdid yesterday and my ankle feels very sore and weak but I will see what my physical therapist has to say this morning. Anyway I wanted to check in with you all and send my best wishes and hugs to everyone.

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                • Hey Hayley!
                  I can't believe it's been 13 weeks. Wow. I'm glad to hear that you've graduated to partial weight bearing. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the New York Marathon! : )
                  -NYer

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                  • Hey NYer, how are you? Hope you had a fantastic rest of the summer. And haha on the marathon. On my best days I would never have attempted that lol. But I would love to meet you after you run and take you out for some pasta...or is that before the marathon.

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                    • Me? Run???? BWAHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
                      Um no. If they had a SITTING marathon maybe.
                      I'd eat the pasta, though

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                      • Haha I'm with you. A girl after my own heart.

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                        • Hi NYer, I need your advince please.

                          HI NYer, I have been doing some research online and thankfully came across this message board. I apologize if this post is long.

                          My back story:
                          I am 41 years old. Relatively healthy, 5'8", usually 126lbs.

                          Last year in Feb 2013 while my husband was away for the weekend ice fishing, I had Wendy's chili all weekend long! A few days after that I experienced severe throat pain, ear aches and the feeling of a lump in my throat. I was scared. This went on for a week. Finally went to my primary care dr. and she told me that my symptoms sounded like silent reflux. She told me the do's and don'ts of foods to eat and avoid, also about elevating my bed. She gave me a script for protonix. I wrote a food diary of what I ate, small portions etc. and also when I took the medicine. She had me on one pill daily. In my food diary I took the pill for 8 days. On the 8th day I found out I was pregnant and decided to stop the meds. I did continue the food diary for another 5 days. And that was it! It went away. (I did have a miscarriage after that pregnancy) I continued to watch what I ate. I did enjoy one cup of coffee a day and the occasional glass of wine. No symptoms. Fine for a long time. I did get pregnant in Aug 2013 and all thru my pregnancy just pretty much ate what I wanted with out any reflux or throat issues.

                          I had my daughter in April of this year (2014). Then the whole world seemed to spin out of control.....
                          When my daughter was 3 wks old, my mother (age 73) went into the hospital. I was her health care proxy and had to make a lot of decisions. Also had to handle her bills etc. My stress level was through the roof. She is still not home yet, rehabbing in a nursing home for now. Also to add to the stress was that my 18 yr old son was a Sr. in high school and I had a lot to do in getting the paperwork together for college. When my son left for college at the end of Aug. I was having a rough time of it. Feeling very sad etc. My friends said I should go and talk to someone so I went and see a Psychiatrist. She thought I had anxiety and prescribed me Prozac. I took the pills for 2 days in a row. On the 3rd day, I woke up with severe ear pain, and the feeling in my throat that I couldn't breathe, also the lump in my throat. I went to Urgent Care that day and I explained that the year before I had a episode of silent reflux and asked her if she would give me Protonix. She said no, and that I would have to get that through my primary Dr. She gave me Zithromax for a ear infection and Zantac to take before bed. So I did. The next day, Sunday morning I seemed worse and it really scared me. I then went to our local Hospital ER. Explained everything to the Dr., he said all he could do was give me a script for Protonix and a ENT referral. I believe it was the Prozac!! I looked online and it does cause acid reflux!

                          My friend works for a Gastro Dr. so she did get me an appointment with him on that Wednesday after going to ER. He said that instead of the one a day on Protonix I should do 2 a day for a week, then finish the bottle on one a day. I told him that I was afraid to eat because I didn't want to make it worse. He said that it didn't sound like food caused it but that maybe the Prozac did and that I shouldn't have a problem with eating a bland diet. Which I am doing. Compared to my food diary last year this is 100% blander! Last year I was drinking coffee, eating cereal and milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and it went away! Now I am eating apples, broccoli, fish, rice so far. Occasional banana but not sure if that is a trigger for me, so I have stopped. Also raised bed again.

                          The same week after the ER visit, I saw the ENT. He listened to my story. He had never heard of Prozac affecting acid reflux but said it was possible, especially since I had not eaten anything that week that would be considered acid triggers. He did the scope in my nose and into my throat and said that one side of my vocal cords looked a little red, but that nothing else looked bad. He also looked at my ears and said they were fine. He agreed with the gastro dr's advice of 2 pills a day for a week and then one a day. He said if I didn't get better then he would do an acid test. The numbing spray he used for the procedure was great, I didn't have a lump in my throat or ear pressure the whole rest of the day. I was feeling confident that this would work for me.

                          I think I have done too much research on the internet..... because I have found that Zithromax antibiotic also causes acid reflux! So for the first 5 days of being on Protonix I was also taking the 5 day Z pack of Zithromax!! Was one cancelling out the other??! I have also come across a ton of people that had horribly bad side affects while on Protonix. Which of course has scared me.

                          Each day has been different when it comes to my symptoms and the severity of them. One day could be phlemy throat feeling and no ear pressure. The next could be lump in throat and a lot of ear pressure. Each day, something different. The minute I think I'm having a good day, by evening the lump in my throat returns. The Zithromax caused me to have nausea and add the bland diet, I have lost weight. I do not need to loose any more weight.

                          This is what I am dealing with now:
                          Last Wednesday after taking my 2nd dose of Protonix I experience heartburn for the first time in my life. My left arm started tingling and my whole face started to tingle, jaw, nose, lips, cheeks. I called my gastro dr and his nurse said to stop the medicine and to go to the ER if it keeps happening.

                          I stopped the protonix cold turkey on Thursday. My first day of pill free was Thursday. I have been going downhill ever since. I have never experienced heartburn in my life before and suddenly since stopping medicine it is happening each day. I went to ER on Friday night, the gave me gi cocktail and said arm and face tingling could be side effect of protonix OR it could be sign of acid reflux. Now I don't know which it is I am experiencing. Is it acid rebound or is my illness just getting worse?? My endoscopy is Oct 14 and I can't move it any sooner. I'm so scared right now. My sternum is radiating heat like crazy. I last ate at 7pm last night and went to sleep at 11. Not a big meal, a banana. I had been experiencing reflux all day since 4pm yesterday. I was ok in the morning until 4pm. Now I am on a downward spiral. Last night I have been up every hour with severe acid reflux. I have been trying to combat it with gaviscon extra strength. It is not working. I am waiting for a bottle of Gaviscon Advance but won't be here anytime soon. I also have been taking DGL before each meal and bed. Nothing is working. When I had alkaline water in the middle of the night I could hear it sizzle when it went down my throat I was only on protonix for 11 days. 1x a day Sunday-Thursday, 2 pills on Friday, 1 pill on Saturday and Sunday, then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was 2x a day. Do you think I am experiencing acid rebound??? Or am I just declining health wise? If i call gaatro Dr he will tell me to take another type of PPI. I'm not even sure the protonix was working. I'm desperate right now. I'm scared. But now it seems like my reflux won't let up at all. All I had originally was a lump in throat, ear pain and sometime sore throat. Now I'm experiencing acid reflux every time I swallow. I don't know what to do. I'm sorry for the long post, I'm really scared. Any advice. Please help.

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                          • Hi EllJay!
                            I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. I was able to relate to everything you talked about (um, except the pregnancy part ). The good news is that I relate to this because it happened to me 6 years ago - not because I'm currently dealing with it. So that's the good news...it will get better.

                            In my experience, the first time around (2 years prior to my bad episode - at which time I actually did well with PPI's - and I was also taking Protonix), after being on the Protonix for 10 months, I happened to go for a routine exam and blood test (I was not having reflux symptoms) and the doctor called to tell me that my blood sugar was sky-high. I have Type-2 diabetes and I keep it under control with diet-only. I don't take any meds for it. And back then, I was not testing my own blood sugar (since then, I test it every single day). So I had no idea that it had spiraled out of control. I thought back on the timing since the last test I'd had and realized that it coincided exactly with when I started the Protonix. I told that to the doctor who insisted that it could not be from the Protonix. I went home, looked it up, and sure enough, listed as a possible (not common but possible) side-effect was elevated blood sugar. I printed it out and faxed it to the doctor. "Oh" he said, "I never knew that." I went off the Protonix immediately and my blood sugar totally went back to normal. I was also fortunate at that time in that when I went off of the Protonix, I was fine (no rebound and no GERD).

                            Two years later when I had the really terrible bout of reflux, I was not so fortunate. I suffered from all sorts of side-effects from the PPI's (I tried a number of them). A lot of the PPI side effects actually mimicked the symptoms of GERD (like bloating, chest pain/pressure, shortness of breath, wheezing). And here lies the problem with so many doctors. (1) They don't know the side effects of the PPI's and they don't acknowledge the possibility that they don't know everything (2) When you complain about symptoms that, in actuality are side effects of the PPI's, they assume that they are actually continuing symptoms of GERD. So they INCREASE your dosage, only to make the problem even worse!

                            So let me tell you right off the bat: What you described are absolutely typical symptoms of GERD. But yes, they can absolutely also be side-effects of the PPI's. AND...although you weren't on the PPI's that long, the heartburn (that you hadn't experienced prior to the PPI's) can absolutely be "Rebound" reflux. You're pretty much stopping your acid production and then your body thinks it isn't producing what it's supposed to so it decides to dump out a whole load of acid...and you reflux the acid and, voila: heartburn.

                            YES, the Zithromax can cause GERD. And, YES, the Prozac can cause GERD. You are NOT being a hypochondriac!!! My episode was set off by Doxycycline. I was taking a low-dosage for dry-eye syndrome and that did it. Those of us who are already susceptible to GERD will have it set off by a variety of drugs that other people likely wouldn't have problems with. A LOT of people on this site have ended up in the vicious cycle of doctors deciding that their GERD was caused by anxiety so they put them on anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety meds, which exacerbated the GERD and that exacerbated the anxiety. And then the doctors blame the patient.

                            It sounds like you've read through this thread. I know it's long but if you haven't read all the way through, please do. I don't have the time to look back through it right now to list all of the things you should do, so you'll need to do that. But do this: get yourself some digestive enzymes. I don't know about all the brands that are out there. I have been very successful with AbsorbAid. If you can't find it locally, you can order it online from Vitacost.com (they have the best price) or Amazon.com, or VitaminShoppe.com. My advice is to just get the first bottle quickly so you can start it sooner - so you can to to Amazon.com and get overnight shipping (yeah, not cheap but you need to get this stuff fast). You can't overdose on it. When you're having bad symptoms, the best thing to do is put a teaspoon of the powder into some room temperature water and drink it all down. If you get it in capsule-form, that's four capsules. Just open them up and empty the powder into the water. The reason I recommend doing it that way is that it starts working before it even hits your throat so it's soothing all the way down. Normally, I just take them in capsule form and they go to work in the stomach.
                            (There are other brands of digestive enzymes, I tried one at one point that was useless. Sorry I can't remember the name of that one right now. Some of them also contain pancreatin and HCL and some other things that may be helpful and are certainly not bad for you but YOU CAN TAKE TOO MUCH of them. That's not an issue with the Absorbaid.) (When you're searching for it, some sites spell it as one word (Absorbaid) and some as two words (Absorb Aid)).

                            Continue taking the DGL. When you're having a bad episode, the DGL won't necessarily fix it/make it feel better. But using it on an ongoing basis WILL help your gastric lining to heal itself.

                            I don't know where you live but if you can find a Naturopathic Doctor ("N.D."), I think you will find more success (not all states license them so it might be harder to find one in certain places). Also, you might do well with acupuncture. I did it for a year every week. I know it helped a little. And it also does help anxiety.

                            Also, you should get a blood test and find out if your Vitamin D level is low. If you live north of the latitude of Atlanta, you probably have low Vitamin D. And you should supplement. But get tested before you start supplementing so you'll know how much to take.

                            I really feel for you. I know how frightening it is. But you are among people here who have all gone through this.
                            I've gotta run. I hope this helps you and I hope you start feeling better soon.
                            -NYer

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                            • Nyer- Thank you for responding and the advice. A week ago I did order the "Absorb aid digestive support", so last night I did the 4 capsules with water, and today I have been taking 2 capsules after each meal. I also had my blood work done last week and my D came back as 31, which is low, so I did buy liquid D3 and tried that for the first time this morning. My B12 1049! Still waiting on the Gaviscon Advance. I also need to look into the liquid cal/mag that you take. I'm a little worried about it affecting my new acid reflux symptoms, but I will try it. I did look up a Nuturopath in our area (Syracuse, NY) and there was one listed and I have emailed her.

                              What I am concerned about is my rapid weight loss, I have lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks, since eating the bland diet of chicken, yellow squash, rice, oatmeal and honeydew and cantaloupe. I haven't had any dairy or bread in 2 weeks. No coffee, alcohol etc. Just alkaline water. I have asked on this and few other boards about small portions for each meal, but no one has responded. I'm afraid I might be eating too little. (Because I'm paranoid about eating too much!) I have searched through this website and online in general, but I just don't understand what the appropriate small meals mean.
                              For breakfast I will have a half cup of oatmeal from 7:30-8am, then another half cup at 10:30-11am. A half cup of rice and a couple tablespoons of zucchini at 1:30-2 and then a small piece of baked skinless chicken breast (fits in palm of hand) and a couple tablespoons of yellow squash at 4:30-5. I try to chew and eat slowly. And that is it. I go to bed at 10:30. Am I eating too little??! I'm very worried about that. I am 5'8" and now weigh 114lbs. I should be 126-130. If this LPR doesn't kill me (and now the new heartburn and arm/face tingling since taking Protonix), I am going to die of weight loss and mal nutrition. I'm scared. Please let me know what the proper portion sizes for meals I should be eating. I can't afford to loose any more weight. Also if there is something else I can eat please let me know. I always noticed that I got phlemy after eating a hamburger and fries, and after eating ice cream, but no other food allergies or triggers that I know of. I stopped eating banana because I wasn't sure if it was a trigger, but who knows, I wasn't getting better on the PPI and had all sorts of problems, so I couldn't narrow down what could be causing the new heartburn. Thank you so much.

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                              • Yes, you are eating too little and that's why you're losing weight. I don't know what you read that made you think you need to eat tiny amounts of food. Nor do you need to eat "bland" food. But I'm actually surprised that you need to ask if that's why you're losing weight. Read what you wrote. That's less food than most extreme diets allow. Of course that's why you're losing weight.

                                Bland isn't necessary. You don't want to eat spicy or acidic food. But you can certainly eat all sorts of seasonings including salt. And you don't want to eat heavy fatty foods (like fatty red meat). But you should be eating normal amounts of food - just don't eat to the point where you're FULL. You should feel satisfied but your belly should not be distended. You're not eating enough protein either. You can eat eggs. You can eat protein shakes (whey protein powder is a good choice, as well as some others that have been discussed in this thread). You can have fish at lunch (salmon/tuna are easy to make). Most cooked vegs are fine. Stay away from onions and garlic. Don't drink coffee. Not even decaf.

                                In my case, I lost a lot of weight because I COULDN'T eat. I felt too bloated and sick every time I went to put food in my mouth. Once I started taking the digestive enzymes, I was able to eat full meals again.
                                Oh, and take FOUR Absorbaids with each meal. Not two. I know it says two on the bottle but it also suggests that you take more if you have some digestive problem. Which, YOU DO.

                                And I have no idea why you think the Cal/Mag liquid might cause you problems. It's very helpful.

                                Please read through this whole thread. There is a lot of helpful info here that will answer your questions.

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