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The All-Natural Regimen That Has Helped My Reflux Problem

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  • #76

    OH!!! One more thing. Why don´t you eat sweets? Are they bad for reflux?



    • #77
      GERD and Sleep Apnea

      The thread I started inside Laryngo Pharyngeal Reflux is called GERD and Sleep Apnea.



      • #78
        Hi John,
        It was a great relief for me to find other people who were having the same problems that I was, too. Some of the symptoms that doctors seem to simply not acknowledge and refuse to stop and realize that they are GERD/LPR symptoms are: anxiety, sinus problems, breathing issues.

        No, I don't have apnea. In my case, I woke up a lot during the night and eventually woke up for the day very early (for me, that was like 5 AM - when I normally woke up closer to 9). Similar to apnea, though, was the fact that I was obviously not sleeping fully - I think my body was waking up more often than I was aware of. The result was that after not getting an actual full night's sleep, I woke every day actually shaking and feeling nervous and scared. And that sensation stayed with me all day. I was afraid to be alone and afraid to go outside. When I was outside, I felt afraid that people were staring at me. No doctor diagnosed this as GERD related. They simply decided that I was nuts and that my anxious personality CAUSED my GERD!!!! Luckily, I found a wonderful psychologist who listened to what I was telling him and HE said that it sounded like my anxiety was a RESULT of my physical problems and that if I got that fixed, I'd probably be fine. He was right! He recommended Yoga for the breathing technique and he referred me to a Naturopath. And, as I said earlier in this thread, she had me start on digestive enzymes and DGL, which in my case, made a world of difference and it was within that first week that my anxiety went away.

        The Naturopath suggested that many people have various digestive disorders due to food allergies. Primarily, those allergies would be to: Soy, Dairy, and Gluten. So, she had me do an elimination diet where I remove all of those things from my diet for at least 6 weeks and then add in one at a time and see if I still have problems. In my case, she thought it might have to do with the wheezing I get. Well, I still get the wheezing, so that's not the cause. But since I still had symptoms, the timing was never right to add these things back into my diet because I wouldn't know if it was making the symptoms worse or not. So I've just simply stayed off of Soy, Dairy, and Gluten altogether. I did try to add dairy back in and I realized that I'm lactose intolerant, though. It didn't necessarily affect my GERD but it made me very gaseous.

        But lots of people find that food allergies do set off many of their issues. It's absolutely worth trying the elimination diet to find out. Only add back in one thing at a time and wait two or three days before adding in the next thing. Plus, if something does cause symptoms, stop eating it. If you add in soy, for example, and your GERD gets worse, don't eat any more soy.

        Dairy is NOT good for GERD. People used to think that milk was good for ulcers and GERD but it's not - a LOT of people find dairy to be a trigger for GERD. But that doesn't mean it's a trigger for you. I drink a brown rice based beverage that looks like milk (it's called Rice Dream) and I prefer the vanilla flavor.

        Yesterday, I tried eating a soft Goat cheese that was spreadable on crackers. I got heartburn about an hour later. So it looks like I can't eat that but I still have to try it with hard cheeses made from Goat milk and see if that's a problem. Goat milk yogurt does not seem to be a problem for me.

        I don't know why, exactly, cold beverages and food are an issue. And I'm not sure that it is a problem for me, but I did cut it out. Too many people on here mentioned that it caused esophageal spasms and that they did better on warm drinks. I don't seem to have any problem with cold rice milk in my cereal in the morning, but I stay away from frozen things like ice cream and when I drink water, it's always room temperature. Before I have breakfast, I drink a cup of hot Rooibos tea (also called African Red Bush tea) and having the hot or warm beverage first is supposed to be helpful (again, I learned that from things people said on this site...not from doctors).

        I stay away from sweets because I have type-2 Diabetes. Some people feel that carbohydrates (which is what sugar turns into) set off their GERD, too, though. I do not. I went on a very low-carb diet and it made no difference at all in my GERD. It was just very good for my diabetes, though. Of more concern is a High-FAT diet - that can be a big problem for GERD. Oh, chocolate and mint, however, can relax your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and allow reflux to come up. So I stay away from them for that reason. I miss chocolate (and ice cream...and pizza).

        Forget about garlic, onions, black pepper, and tomatoes. I don't have to add those back into my diet to know they would be a problem. Onions ALWAYS gave me heartburn - even before I had GERD. Cooked onions did not, though, but I don't want to even try it. Yes, it makes it very hard to find food you can eat, especially when you go to restaurants or to friends' houses who have cooked dinner. I can imagine how hard it is to have chicken or fish cooked with no sauce and no spices and steamed vegetables when you live in South America. Can you imagine if you lived in India?

        But you don't have to worry about spices like oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, etc. You only have to worry about "hot" spices. Also I have no problem with salt. I use sea salt, not regular table salt, because it has nutrients in it and table salt does not.

        I carry a printed message that I wrote that says that I have a medical condition and please make sure that my meal does not contain any of the following...and I list all the ingredients that I cannot eat. I don't say that I have a dietary issue because then people think that means I'm on a diet and they don't take that seriously. I say it's a food allergy and I'm allergic to those items. That scares them a little more and makes them careful.

        One other thing, since you live in South America: don't drink coffee! Both regular and decaf are a problem so just don't drink it. And don't smoke.

        What it comes down to is you have to cut out a LOT of things but once you're feeling better, you can add in one thing at a time and see if you have problems from it. If you don't, then you know you can eat it.

        I hope this helps you.. !Buena suerte!



        • #79
          I agree with John. This has been a superior help to my acid reflux. You need to be aware, not treating your acid reflux can lead to major health issues such as throat cancer, vocal cord damage, stomach cancer, and other things. I have found great relief from the natural treatments. I hope it helps others. Remember, natural or medical: treat your acid!


          • #80
            To NYER: About Your Acid Reflux Cure..

            Hi NYER,

            First off thank-you so much for sharing your thread. I had your exact same symptoms for about 5 months. I literally lived off of liquid ensure and boost drinks for those 5 months. It was a nightmare, and even thats putting it lightly.

            During that time..... I had an upper endoscopy that didnt reveal much. But to me the symptoms were unreal, and some of the times my throat would close up when I tried to eat ANYTHING (even yogurt) making it difficult to breath. I finally was put on prilosec and that worked like a miracle in about 2 weeks. I was off the prilosec for about 3 months before all the same symptoms returned. When the throat symptoms returned I RE-tried the prilosec, and it didn't do much.

            About 5 days ago after that my stomach and lower back became very "stuck" tight, and constricted when I try to eat anything. Very similiar to bloating. But not exactly. It's as if novacaine has been injected into my stomach and my stomach's just lazily not moving anything. I literally can only eat a bowl of cereal and be FULL for 8+ hours, and just like my throat did before... it's as if my stomach "closes up" when food hits it. (although I will say my throats not as bad as it was on the first episode several months ago)

            Being that you lost a whopping 26 lbs did this sort of thing happen to you as well? What did you eat? Do you think I have no enzymes?

            I've been able to eat pretty much anything just fine for 30 years, with no food allergies. I don't drink, smoke, or drink caffiene. So this is really surprising to me. Especially because it's now over a week that this has been going on.

            For the last week I've only been able to eat maybe of a small bowl of cereal in the morning, a little yogurt, and soup in the evening, and even THAT feels like it just kind of sitting there in my stomach, and not moving through. I'm concerned that I'm not absorbing ANY proper nutrition whatsoever, and I'm lost as to what to do.

            I'm lucky if I'm getting 500-700 calories a day which is simply not enough. I need (at least) 1500 with my current weight of 120 lbs. My GI doctor wants to do a gastric emptying study, which will only lead to reglan and I hate that stuff.

            Anyhow, any input on the stomach issue would be appreciated!!


            • #81
              Hi Mrk7,
              My GastroEnt wanted to do a nuclear gastric emptying test on me. He said I might have gastroparethis, which is slow gastric-emptying. But it was shortly after that when I found the Naturopath and the good ENT doc who both recommended Digestive Enzymes and that's what did the trick. I mean, frankly, from the amazing results I had from them, it seems to me that I did, indeed, have slow gastric emptying (whether or not it's gastroparethis, I don't know) but the digestive enzymes worked to fix that. There is no down-side of taking them. If your body doesn't need it, it just comes out through the normal outbound channel. So why don't you give them a try?

              My ENT recommended the Absorb-Aids. They're vegan - no animal ingredients. I found one local natural pharmacy in NY that carries them and one other place, but there are plenty of places online, including Vitamin Shoppe. The cheapest I've found is VitaCost and they have flat rate shipping of $4.99 no matter how much stuff you buy, so I usually get it there.
              Here's a link:

              I didn't get exactly the same symptoms that you're describing with the "stuck" sensation. But I felt verrrrry bloated, after my first bite, if I could even take a bite. And I felt like complete crap all the time. Constant heartburn, stomach burn, stomach pains, chest pressure and pains, lots of big belching. Interestingly, no flatulence, but I guess that's because nothing was really getting down through my intestines.

              By the way, don't be so sure that you don't have a food allergy. You don't have the obvious kind - those are pretty straightforward, ie., eat shrimp and throw up. But you very well may have sensitivities to certain foods (soy, gluten, dairy, corn) and you don't realize it. The only way to find out about those is to do an elimination diet. Considering you're not eating much of anything now, that shouldn't be too hard for you to do. You cut out all of the above for about 6 weeks, then you add back in one at a time for a few days at a time and see if you get any symptoms. I never knew until I did that that I'm lactose intolerant. That doesn't give me GERD/LPR symptoms, but I get a very gurgly stomach and I get flatulent (aren't you glad to know that?). I have actually stayed off of soy, dairy, and gluten for 14 months now! The reality is that I have NO idea if the soy or gluten are any sort of problem for me, but until I have NO symptoms of any kind for a few weeks in a row, I haven't wanted to add anything else in. Anyway, I've really gotten used to eating this way.

              Oh, by the way, have you ever been tested for diabetes? Diabetes can be a big cause of gastroparethis. I have type-2 Diabetes and I just control it with diet. But that's what, right off the bat, made my GastroEnt think of that possibility. That may be the reason, if that's what it's from, but they don't have any good means to fix that anyway. What works? The digestive enzymes. My GastroEnt was very surprised when I told him how much they helped me. Duuhh. Regular doctors know nothing about nutrition.

              Yes, I was living on Ensure and soup back then. I was so afraid that I was going to die of starvation. And I love to eat. Every day, I'd sit down to eat and I couldn't - and I'd just start crying. And I would think how ironic it was that someone who loved to eat as much as I do would end up dying of malnutrition. These days, I stay away from soup because I can't find anything that doesn't have onions and/or garlic in the stock. The only way to have soup would be to make it homemade from complete scratch - i.e., throwing the chicken in the pot and making my own stock. That ain't gonna happen. But I did figure out that I can make some decent vegetable soups by throwing everything in a blender and making "soup". I have no problem with salt, so that helps a lot. I also wouldn't go near Ensure these days because I don't eat anything artificial and it has a lot of crap in it. I mean, if that's all you can eat for now, it's fine. But now that I can eat, I try to eat all natural and mostly organic, if possible.

              Anyway, I recently posted some information about what, exactly, digestive enzymes do. I'll re-post it here. I highly recommend that you try that as well as the DGL, etc., that I described earlier in this thread. It changed my life.

              By the way, in the past 14 months, I've only put back on 2 pounds. But I look good now, whereas at the beginning, I looked sick. I filled back out in a few spots where I looked drawn from losing weight so quickly. But the way I eat now, well, I just simply wouldn't be able to put much weight on because it's all healthy stuff and no junk. But that's not like losing weight from not eating.

              Anyway, get the digestive enzymes. If I were you? I'd order them today for overnight delivery and start taking them tomorrow. That's just me, but if you feel like s**t the way I did, I'd have paid a million dollars for quick relief.

              Good luck - I hope you feel better soon.


              • #82
                What are Digestive Enzymes for?

                This is a repeat of a post I put on another thread recently, but it makes sense to have it here, too:

                Here is an excerpt from a website about enzymes. (The full URL link is: [url][/url]).
                I copied the part that is specifically about digestive enzymes and it is a pretty good explanation of what they are and what they do:


                The stomach has two distinct divisions: Fundus (upper part) and Pylorus (lower part). The eaten food remains in the upper part for approximately one hour. This is where predigestion takes place. The fundus is where digestive food enzymes begin to break down the food into carbohydrates, fats and protein.

                Raw foods supply their own digestive enzymes, thus saving the stomach from supplying all the enzymes. Cooked foods, which have no enzymes, must wait in the fundus until the stomach supplies the enzymes. Predigestion by food enzymes occurs in every creature on earth. The only exception is the human being on an enzyme free diet.

                The upper section has no peristalsis (movement of food), acid, or pepsin and therefore, if enzymes are not provided in the diet, only minimal digestion can occur. The lower stomach (pylorus) performs the second step in digestion, but of protein only. In the lower part of the stomach, pepsin (a powerful digestive enzyme) and hydrochloric acid continue the digestive process.

                The predigested food now enters the small intestine. Here, the pancreas and small intestine cells secrete their enzymes to further break down the food into glucose (carbohydrates), fatty acids (fats) and amino acids (proteins) for absorption into the villi (absorption cells in the small intestine).

                The human stomach is really two stomachs with separate functions. Our stomachs have been provided with the means of permitting outside enzymes to help with the burdens of digesting food. Thus, we don't have to make all of our own digestive enzymes to digest our food. This will allow us to make more metabolic enzymes as needed and make us more healthy.

                When we eat raw foods the enzymes in the food are activated by heat and moisture in the mouth. Once active, these enzymes digest a significant portion of our food and make it small enough to pass through the villi (small projections found in the small intestines) and into the blood.

                Metabolic enzymes found in the blood then take the digested 45 known nutrients and build them into muscles, nerves, bones, blood, lungs, and various glands. Every cell in the body depends on certain enzymes. Each enzyme has a specific function in the body which is referred to as enzyme specificity.

                A protein digestive enzyme will not digest a fat and a fat enzyme will not digest starch. Enzymes act upon chemicals and change them into another chemical, but remain unchanged themselves. Simply stated our chemicals are changed from their original identity by the enzyme to another chemical with a different identity. Without enzymes nothing in our body would work.


                Bartos and Groh (researchers) enlisted 10 young men and 10 old men and used a drug to stimulate the pancreatic juice flow. The juice was then pumped out and tested. It was found that considerably less of the enzyme amylase was present in the pancreatic juices of older men. It was determined that the enzyme deficiency of the older group was due to exhaustion of the cells of the pancreas.

                Other research indicates that not only are there fewer enzymes in the pancreas but also in the trillion cells in our body as we age. The pancreas must borrow these entities stored in the cells to make the enzyme complex. This could be a definition of "old age" because old age and debilitated metabolic enzyme activity are synonymous. If we postpone the debilitation of metabolic enzyme activity, then we might delay the aging process and possibly increase the life span to its genetic potential.


                • #83

                  Hi NYer,

                  A few other quick quesitons if you don't mind...

                  Thanks for getting back. I will surely try the options.

                  * Where did you get that rasperry powder?

                  * Did the enzymes work for you immediately? Or did it take several weeks?

                  * Also, since your diet is so limited of dairy, soy, and gluten what would you say a typical days diet like for you? It would seem like you can only eat meat and veggies. You must be hungry! (smile)


                  • #84
                    You really need to read through this whole thread and you will get most of your answers.
                    Black Raspberry Powder from [url][/url]
                    Had amazing results from digestive enzymes after a day and a half.

                    I drink rice milk (Rice Dream Vanilla enriched) instead of milk.
                    I eat rice "cheese" slices instead of cheese.
                    I use olive oil instead of butter.
                    I eat gluten free cereals, bread, and pasta (although I don't eat a lot of bread or pasta anyway) and rice crackers and pretzels which I recently found.
                    Gluten Free black licorice vines are my new treat.
                    Soy, in and of itself is no big deal, but you have to watch out for it in ingredient lists of everything. You can't believe where you'd find soy (like in tuna packed in water).
                    I don't eat stuff with either sugar or artificial sweetener in it either.
                    I eat lots of fruit and vegetables. No red meat.
                    Fish, Chicken, Turkey

                    I've gotten very creative. It works. When I go out to eat, I just give them a list of what I can't eat and I make sure not to get sauces on anything because something is always hidden in the sauce.


                    • #85
                      Questions for NYer

                      Hi NYer, I am new to this blog and SO grateful to found it. I had some follow up questions, is it now almost end of Sept., and I was wondering how the acupuncture is going. Do you think it really made a big difference? it may be hard to tell b/c you are so diligent with the regimen. I am considering it but wondering if it will make a difference.

                      thanks, Marylisel
                      PS. I've been looking everywhere for the Heidelberg capsule - where did you get it? (prob in NYC?) - I live in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Was it TOTALLY expensive to get it done, and did insurance pay for it at all?


                      • #86
                        Hi and welcome!

                        No, I had the Heidelberg test done at a doctor about an hour and a half from NYC. But you can find one near (or sort of near) you as follows:
                        Go to the site for the Heidelberg Capsule ([url][/url]) - they have a doctor referral section to find doctors who actually do the Heidelberg test (which is the only sure way to know if you have low versus high acid).

                        (if you aren't familiar with the Heidelberg test, I posted some info in this thread a while back - my post is the last one on the page:

                        Re accupuncture:
                        I really can't say. I went every week for about a year. I stopped going about two months ago. I do think it helped at the beginning, but as you pointed out, I'm doing so many other things that it's hard to tell. My insurance does pay for acupuncture. I can't remember if it covered the Heidelberg. But since it was done by a doctor, I'm sure the doctor can come up with some way for at least the VISIT to be covered, even if they don't cover the procedure itself. I also don't recall it being super expensive. I don't remember that so it probably wasn't outrageous.


                        • #87
                          thanks NYer!!

                          Thank you again!!!


                          • #88
                            NYer, did Heidelberg report low or high stomach acid?

                            Sorry NYer to bother you again! Was wondering what your Heidelberg results were. Did you have low or high stomach acid? I think low right? does it tell what type of acid it is - like if it's bile or just gastric acid? THANKS!!!!


                            • #89
                              Mine was low.
                              No, it doesn't tell you what kind of acid. Just acid - high or low.


                              • #90
                                I am new to all this and really hope this helps me out with my rebound. I have a bunch of these items on order. Thanks for sharing the information.