People claim meds don't work or this and that but we do not know the whole story. It takes a comprehensive method to deal with GERD. I started using Aciphex myself just a couple of weeks ago but I know my GERD would still affect me in a worse way, or the meds would be rendered ineffective if I didn't do all the other things you need to do in dealing and living with GERD.
Lifestyle and diet changes MUST be adhered to. Anyone who expects to take meds to take care of their GERD without doing anything about their lifestyle and diet will most certainly have symptoms come back sooner or later.
GERD is mechanical: We all know if the LES is not working properly, this allows acid to do its damage and consequently cause all of our horrible symptoms. For me, this means the head of my bed is elevated on books about 6 inches. I know if I didn't do this, I would be in trouble as a flat bed would simply allow stomach acid to creep and wash into places in does not belong. Acid does its damage at night and we feel the effects during the day! This also means not bending over or wearing very tight clothing or belts around the waist which can cause abdominal pressure and literally squirt acid up your esophagus. Just relaxing my belt at work while sitting at my desk helps. The worst part for me as I work out all the time is that I now have to avoid heavy exercises and bending movements. I cannot even lie flat on a bench anymore!
GERD is physiological: Our own acid is the culprit as well as the faulty valve or LE sphincter. This means avoiding foods that relaxes the LES. We all know them. For me, the biggest one is chocolate, which of course I love. Coffee too is one of the worst for me. I now avoid all meat, fatty/fried foods, soda, and heavy starches like potato and certain breads. Overeating is also a big no-no, which is bad for me as I bodybuild and the decrease in calories has caused me to lose weight. Of course, do not eat before bed or prior to exercise. All this has been a blessing in disguise as it has made my eating habits better and diet a lot healthier!
My GERD came upon me quite suddenly. I've never had digestive problems. I attribute the cause mainly to stress and anxiety. I believe the cure lies here. I am now working hard to change the way I deal with daily/work issues that cause stress and life in general in such a way as to lessen the harmful effects when we allow our bodies to go in the fight or flight mode. All that adrenaline and cortisol wreaks havoc on our system and eventually something will give. The physical symptoms that are manifested from this damage is many we all know: chest pains, tremors, palpitations, limb pain, muscle tingling/numbness, and of course GERD. I can testify that allowing myself to become "stressed" going home in traffic and getting angry at someone driving poorly, can suddenly cause all kinds of problems for me. One of which is a rush of acid that I feel and the subsequent GERD effects for the rest of the day and night.
There is NO miracle cure or the perfect medicine. Please do not cry and look for sympathy on this or other forums when you are not doing all the above! if you insist on eating the wrong foods, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine, YOU WILL continue to experience GERD pain. If you do not protect your body to compensate for the part of your system that is not functioning properly, YOU WILL continue to have the worst of GERD. If you do not look at your life and yourself carefully and begin to exert self-control on anger, rage, negative thoughts, YOU WILL continue to have GERD.
Remember that GERD is a phenomenon in industrialized nations and in high paced societies. This should tell all of us that the way we live, work, play and most importantly, deal with one another need serious adjustment as our own bodies are telling us that the current way we live and our way of life may not be so great after all.
I only wish the best for all of my fellow GERD sufferers...