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vitamin D3 helping my LPR symptoms

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  • #31
    When to take supplements

    Hi Timmy,
    Calcium is best absorbed when there is some acid in your stomach and also with a meal that contains fat - fish oil is also absorbed better with a fatty meal. So, since breakfast is rarely a high fat meal (unless you're eating bacon, which you shouldn't with your digestive problems), you're better off taking the vitamins after lunch or dinner. You're probably taking your PPI before dinner, so I would take the Calcium, Fish Oil, and Vitamin D (you should be taking D3) right after lunch.

    Can the throat still get damaged from food even if the PPIs are keeping acid at bay?
    Yes. Reflux is not simply acid. It's also whatever else is in your stomach, including bile and undigested food. And when that comes up, it's very irritating to your esoph/throat, as well.

    The reason I suggested to Acidstrom that he take digestive enzymes is because the bloating he is experiencing is due to the food sitting undigested in his stomach. So the food rots/ferments and produces gas. The gas bloats you. And the LES (lower esoph sphincter) relaxes and opens and then the food and other junk in your stomach refluxes into your esoph. Digestive enzymes help to absorb and digest the food so it passes from your stomach downward where it's supposed to go and your stomach is empty sooner. Less gas, less bloating, less reflux.

    Take the digestive enzymes with every meal. That's what made ALL the difference for me. I don't take PPI's.

    Oh, and regarding fish oil, a lot of people with digestive problems find fish oil to be aggravating. You may want to stop the fish oil for a week and see if you notice any difference. It's good for you and you do need an omega 3 supplement, but it is possible that that is adding to the problem, too.


    • #32
      D3 and digestive enzymes vs. chronic pain


      Thanks so much for helping me understand better the vitamin situation. I have heard that fish oil helps with inflammation, and since my doc discovered a thyroid nodule (e.g., thyroid inflammation), I figured fish oil might help. But, alas, nothing has helped with my throat pain, tightness/globus, discomfort, and effortful speech and pain after talking a while. Speaking loudly, on the phone, or for a long time are all difficult, and have been so since August.

      I tried the licorice pills and the calcium powder -- both created huge GI disturbance. Recently purchased Nasalade, the anti-pepsin spray that Dr. Jamie Koufman recommends on her site [url][/url] (BTW, has anyone seen her new blog on LPR?) [url][/url] I ordered it through ebay from the UK. Took three weeks to get, and cost me about $40, with the costly shipping, for two spray bottles.

      Anyway, the Peptigon I spray into my nostrils and then again directly in my throat, which is not how it is designed to be used. No results yet, but it has been only two weeks. From what I have read, these vile throat symptoms can take up to six months to subside with the PPIs, which I am on. Anyone else have any other ideas? I am taking 2000 of the D3; tried the US-made Gaviscon, but it is too revolting to continue with. All other OTC antacids have been useless for me. Next purchase will be the UK Gaviscon and the digestive aid. Ugh. Very frustrating to still be suffering. But am worried that the fundo, if I decide to go that way, would be unsuccessful for throat issues. Anyone have any other ideas for me? Thanks again, NYer.


      • #33
        I would suggest marshmallow and slippery elm root powders from an herbal supplier. There is also a slippery elm bark lozenge you can get from most health food stores that is excellent. Magnesium is huge. 500 to 800 mg shortly before bed time is recomended by most of the supplement experts. Also there are transdermal techniques for absorbing magnesium which can get your cells even more saturated without the diarrhea effect of large amounts of ingested magnesium. Probiotics, Dr Ohrri's has an excellent reputation. Ginger, aloe vera, and apple cider vineagar have a lot of good anecdotal testimony behind them. All thes things need a fairly long test period to establish efficacy. I must admit you are one of the few who have had a poor reaction to DGL. Are you sure you were not reacting to something else?

        Diet- I believe a low-carb, low-grain, low processed food diet has the most evidence at being effective for gut disorders. If LPR is not a gut disorder, I would suggest the above diet is still the most effective in treating other disorders as well. Elimination diets to identify food sensitivities shoiuld be a long range goal

        Behavior and anxiety- Most GERD/LPR folks seems to have symptoms related to anxiety. If this is the case for you begining a meditation practice or other relaxation techniques is crucial. Meditation can be a hard thing for folks, trying tai-chi, yoga or progressive relaxation may be good avenues to getting there. Neuro-feedback is also on the short list of those dealing with anxiety. Finally herbal supplements, theanine and 5 HTP can be helpful with anxiety or mood disorder.

        Globus is an interesting condition. I would suggest there is at least as much evidence to suggest it is anxiety related as there is for it having a reflux etiology. Mine has basically gone away after a pretty strong initial onset a few months ago.
        Good luck


        • #34
          Read Matt's post twice and do what he said!
          I also was surprised about the DGL, Timmy. I suspect it wasn't the DGL that you reacted to but something else you were taking at the same time.
          Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root - yes!! Make Tea from it. If you buy it in capsule form, open the capsules and either make a "tea" from them or mix them into Rooibos Tea or chamomile tea (which are both very soothing and relaxing and will NOT aggravate your reflux or your throat. And add honey to it - preferably Manuka honey. (If you go back to my thread, posted above, there is a lot of info on Manuka honey in there - which, by the way, also has a very good effect on h-Pylori, if you have that.) All of the above is great for sore throats and reflux-related esophageal irritation.

          I, for some reason, don't fare too well with ginger. Some people swear by it - I drank ginger tea and got wicked heartburn. Same with pickled ginger that comes with sushi.

          Matt, very interesting about the transdermal magnesium patches. Didn't know of those. I take Epsom Salt baths. That's also a good way to get magnesium in without ingesting it, although I do take it orally, too. By the way, the way to avoid diarrhea from too much magnesium is to make sure that you take the correct ratio of calcium with it. The ratio is 2:1 Cal:Mag. So if you take 500 mg of Magnesium, make sure you take 100 mg of Calcium. On the flip side, too much calcium without magnesium will constipate you.

          Timmy, yes, the US Gaviscon IS revolting! LOL The Canadian version not only does not contain aluminum, but it's MUCH tastier. Better selection of flavors and doesn't have that gross feeling going down.


          • #35
            D3 might be working

            Some good news. First, the throat "clamping" seems to be from stress. I had a very stressful event and it came on strong, then it disappeared entirely the day after. I am convinced that stress triggers some of this.

            Second, I have been taking D3 in 2000 IU per day and using enzymes including lactose. The lactose made a noticeable difference, but slowly my evening issues seem less. I have actually gone two nights now without any Tums. Thus, NYer is right - enzymes seem to calm everything down, and they are fairly safe to take from what I have been reading.

            Third, still waiting for the H. Pylori results to shed some light on whether that is a factor.

            Fourth, there is still something more going on. During the evenings when I have little or no heartburn, I am still experiencing strange sensations in the esophageal region. I have no clue what these are, and they are not a burning sensation or classic pain. They are most like an ache crossed with a muscle cramp - perhaps the LES cramping? No idea.

            The vitamin D3 may in fact be helping as vitamin levels build, but it could be attributed to other things.


            • #36
              Hi Acidstrom,

              You are not taking lactose.

              Lactose is the sugar found in dairy. If you are taking an enzyme that helps to digest it, you are taking LACTASE, which is what you take when you take "LACTAID".

              And unless you have a lactose intolerance (digestive problems from eating dairy), it's not the lactase that's helping you, it's the other enzymes that you are taking. And it's unlikely that the specific gastric problems you mentioned are from dairy, as those reactions usually consist of gas and diarrhea. You might have that also, but your main problem is more likely getting better from the OTHER enzymes in whatever you're taking - and I don't know what you're taking (it would be more helpful to people reading your posts if you are specific about what you're taking that's helping you).

              The strange sensations in your esophagus...
              Welcome ro reflux. There is no standard sensation. Those pains are part of what you get when you have bad reflux. In my experience, and this was confirmed to me by a good gastroenterologist, we tend to heal from the bottom-up with these conditions. So the pain in my stomach went away first, then the lower esoph and then the upper esoph and throat. So the good news is that if you're starting to feel better from what you're doing, give it time and you'll get even better.


              • #37

                How is your throat these days? I was pleased to read what a doc had once explained; that we heal from the bottom up. Interesting. I, too, found my pesky GERD symptoms waned relatively rapidly after I dumped offending foods, caffeine, tomatoes, citrus (wah, I miss my beloved OJ), etc., from my diet.

                Unfortunately for me, those symptoms were the least troublesome; the throat knot and the painful speaking are my real enemies. I can try to keep the throat tightness at bay if I chew gum. Sadly, I cannot do so all day long owing to job and speaking requirements.

                How long did it take for you to get your throat symptoms under control? Glad to hear you can do so without pharmacueticals! Perhaps there is hope for me and my nasty throat symptoms.


                • #38
                  I didn't get it as bad in my throat, as you have it. I had bad bloating, stomach pains, chest pains, heartburn, belching, wheezing, shortness of breath, sinus problems and ear problems. I also had sore throat, hoarse voice, and phlegm issues, but that wasn't where my worst discomfort was located.

                  A few years ago, when I had reflux problems the first time, though, I kept getting laryngitis and sore throats.

                  But that said, try all of the things mentioned above, and I think you will find a lot of symptomatic relief for your throat - but you have to keep doing them until your throat finally gets better. (slippery elm, marshmallow root, rooibos tea, manuka honey, DGL). It was the digestive enzymes that helped me tremendously and cut down on the reflux. Once that happened, it gave the upper esoph, etc., a chance to heal.

                  Once the reflux was under control, I'd say within a month, a lot of my symptoms were much better. But it took a few months to really feel that most of my symptoms were gone. But it's an ongoing process. I suspect that in my case, it might be a life-long process of being really careful what I eat and taking all the right supplements. Yes, I miss a LOT of my favorite foods, too. But if I got poked in the eye every time I ate pizza, I'd stop eating pizza. Same thing here. I know how badly I'd feel if I ate all the things I like. It's been two years now that I've been eating so carefully. But it's worth it. (When I am ready to die, I will eat pizza and chocolate and ice cream till I explode.)


                  • #39
                    Let me address these.

                    Originally posted by NYer View Post
                    Hi Acidstrom,

                    You are not taking lactose.
                    I made a typo. It is lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

                    And unless you have a lactose intolerance (digestive problems from eating dairy), it's not the lactase that's helping you
                    I absolutely DO have lactose intolerance - fairly severely. I just didn't know it until about four months ago. I was eating dairy on a daily basis and destroying my bowels until I started the lactase. Example - if I drink a milkshake, I will suffer hours of cramps and diarrhea. If I take lactase with it, I will suffer only a bit. There has clearly been some healing occuring since I stopped eating milk products.

                    The other capsules are MGM DigestAll, which has pratically every enyzme in it.

                    I also got back my test results - I am highly deficient in Vitamin D3, somewhat in B12, and my triglycerides are insanely high despite great cholesterol numbers. My BMI is "overweight" but not obese, and I work out regularly.


                    • #40
                      Hi Acidstrom,
                      Well, it sounds like you're on the right road. The fact that you know you have such a strong lactose intolerance is good - you should stop eating dairy entirely, though, rather than simply taking Lactaid, and I'm sure you'll notice better results. It really is easy to replace dairy. I cut out dairy, soy, and gluten from my diet 2 years ago and haven't gone back at all. It takes a little creativity, to say the least, when you cut all that out at the same time, but I'm proof that it can be done.

                      Have you ever been tested for Celiac? I strongly suggest that you do if you haven't. Considering your strong intolerance for dairy, a systemic gluten intolerance could absolutely be the cause of your problems.

                      It's great that you got tested for D and B12. Now you know why you responded well to D supplementation. Don't worry - if you keep up with the D supplement, your blood level will definitely improve in a few months.

                      As far as your triglycerides, by the way, that's a really good reason to cut out dairy. Stop eating saturated fat (cutting out red meat is a really good idea - I did). Buy whole flax seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Add some to your breakfast every morning. Start with a teaspoon a day. after a week or two, add more. And, over the course of two months or so, you and work your way up to 2-3 tablespoons a day. I take three tablespoons every morning. (Don't start with that much right away or you'll poop in your pants! (it's a lot of fiber)) . You'll see a drastic improvement in your triglycerides and cholesterol between that and cutting out dairy and red meat.


                      • #41
                        NYer- It is a rare day I introduce anything new to you, so if that was the case with transdermal magnesium I am pleased. You might want to check out Martie Whittekin, who wrote about treating acid reflux without prescriptions, and her website. She has a weekly health show called "healthy by nature" and she keeps all her shows on MP3 archive. I am not sure if you would recognize the names of the guests she has, but I think they are world class. It is a great resource of health information for those who can access the old shows. There was a guest on there that introduced me to transdermal magnesium, and I am sure you could find it on the archive index if you are interested.

                        Also I wanted to follow up on the last post. How far you go in treating LPR as a systemic as opposed to localized condition probably belongs in any summary of how to treat LPR. For instance balancing omega 3 and 6 may be instrumental in reducing systemic inflamation. If such balancing does in fact cause considerable relief of systemic imflamation, then it follows it will have profound effects on stomach and throat health. Immune system uptake, hormones, detox pathways, heavy metal exposure and other physiological sub-categories are very likely to also have profound impacts on LPR. So it was in this vein that I mentioned magnesium in regard to LPR treatment. I believe magnesium is likely to be the most important tool in the toolbox in impacting the overall health of indiividuals.

                        And finally NYer I still find us using somewhat differnt definitions of GERD and LPR. You recently responde to one of the post here saying most of the folks here have GERD. It seems like a fair enough statement, but I hope it is clear by now that I have problems with it. Do people who complain about heartburn symptoms, but no identifiable LES dysfunction or excess reflux have GERD? I would have no problem with such a definition. But it seems the general connotation is that GERD includes identifiable physical dysfunction, and I would suggest the example I just gave does not.

                        There are a couple of other lingering distinctions that I am having some trouble being clear about. One is the idea that there are a couple of clearly defined LPR subgroups, namely the group with GERD symptoms and those who do not. I guess my main problem with this results from earlier problem with defining GERD. Also if we consider the vapor theory of LPR as the most likely cause for LPR then it may be the case that GERD and LES dysfunction are basically unrelated to LPR. It may be the case that general stomach distress are causing an environment which are promoting both reflux and vapor, but it might also be the case that they are separate processes. Also I assume vapor theory would tend to put the idea that LPR is mainly a disorder caused by UES dysfuntion to rest. As far as I have seen there is no proof of UES dysfuntion or daytime reflux for that matter in relation to LPR. Yes it may have made sense to consider this as the best explanation for LPR given the circumstances, but as far as I can see there is no empirical evidence.

                        I know that a lot of this sounds like a tearing down of theories and creating more confusion than help. So I can certainly understand using terminolgy and definitions for new folks on the board this avoid all this confusion and ambiguity, but at the same time I want to be clear that I still see problems with any simple definitions regardfing these disorders.

                        Also I want to mention that I still believe that my LPR symptoms are directly related to something going on in my digestive symptom. I mention that because I am clearly a sceptic of the medical information regarding these disorders and I could have allowed this sceptical tendency to come to a conclusion that my symptoms are completely unrelated to stomach problems. I also believe the great majority of those who have a situation similar to mine are indeed suffering from a gastic disorder. How it is alll transpiring is anyone's guess.

                        P.S I obviously hope Tricia or others will respond to things included here, but NYer has discussed some of this with me before so it was addressed to her


                        • #42
                          Do people who complain about heartburn symptoms, but no identifiable LES dysfunction or excess reflux have GERD?
                          Maybe or maybe not. Just because you have what feels like heartburn doesn't mean that's what it is. But if it is truly "heartburn", then it's probably GERD. Reflex, as we've discussed, isn't only reflux of stomach acid. It can be all the other crap that comes up from various parts of your digestive system.

                          ...localized condition ...
                          I don't believe for a minute that my condition is localized. It will be an extraordinarily happy day for me when I finally figure out why I have GERD/LPR. I absolutely believe it stems from something systemic. And I believe that a LOT of peoples' problems, whether GERD or LPR or both, stem from something systemic. Doctors figure if they just stop the symptoms then all is well (which I know you and I certainly feel is ridiculous). So they don't research further into trying to find the root cause of the problem and curing it.

                          GERD includes identifiable physical dysfunction
                          Well, of course it does: If you have GERD, you probably have an LES that is too relaxed too much of the time. That is, indeed, a physical dysfunction. As to WHY it's relaxed too much of the time, that's the big question (see above, regarding systemic problems).
                          I still believe that my LPR symptoms are directly related to something going on in my digestive symptom
                          (I know you meant digestive system). Of course it is related to something going on in your digestive system. It's a reaction in your non-digestive area (throat/Larynx/bronchial tubes) to stuff (acid, solids, or vapors) coming from somewhere in your digestive system.


                          • #43
                            got vit d checked. i'm actually in the range on the high end so i'm okay no need to sup.


                            • #44
                              NYer- I started taking powdered AsorbAid (probiotic) after meals about one day ago and immediately felt better. This morning, I took the AbsorbAid after a light breakfast, then took calcium & magnesium powder. Now I have bad indigestion & heartburn. My breakfast was bland, so I know it’s not the food. And since I took the AbsorbAid with other meals, I know it’s not that. Has anyone experienced heartburn from a calcium/magnesium combination?


                              • #45
                                HI TVC,
                                AbsorbAid is not a probiotic. It's a combination of digestive enzymes. They do make another product that also contains probiotic in addition to the digestive enzymes, I don't know if that's what you're referring to. Nevertheless, I'm glad to hear you had such good results from them. I certainly do.

                                It is certainly possible that the Cal/Mag supplement you're taking upset your system. I have no idea what kind you're taking and what additives are in it. You have to be careful about the quality of the supplements you take. If there are any other ingredients in it besides the actual calcium and magnesium, those could be a problem. The ones I buy are pretty expensive but there is no junk in them. If you buy them at the local drug store,they probably have all sorts of additives in them.

                                Also, the type of calcium could be an issue. (There is calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, and others.) It's possible that you may be reacting poorly to the particular type of calcium.