Young guy here. Anyone have breathing problems with GERD ? hard to breathe

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motox1027
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 6/9/2009 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey
 
I am a 25 year male, in good health before this whole GERD thing.
 
Had a normal barium swollow, but ENT doc put the camera in my nose and said my throat was read and irritated due to GERD.
 
I have all the other symptons, such as burping, food reguritation, some chest pain, cough, ect.
 
My main problem is I am having a breathing problem.
 
This is almost constant, except every couple weeks it goes away for a week or so.
 
Its just a general feeling of its hard to breathe. Like my chest does not want to expand, and a dull feeling like I am holding my breathe in=between breaths.
 
I have a ton of mucus in my throat I assume, and hack it up all day long. I have a cough also.
 
I do exerice, and can still run a mile easily.
 
This breathing problem, no one can figure it out.
 
I have had lung x-rays, cause I used to smoke, but they were clear. The doc said my lungs sound excellent, I went to a Pulmologist, had a pulmonary function test and got 100 percent on everything.. they all say, no lung problem.
 
The barium x -ray did show a small sliding hitial hernia. he said it looks to small to cause any problems, but maybe he is wrong.
 
Any ideas on something else to do with the stomach-esopoghas that could be causing this?
 
At my age, I have ruled out esopoghas cancer, this would be highly unlikely right? (just turned 25)
 
I would appreciate ANY ideas....

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
As a matter of fact motox I can help you with this! First let me welcome you to the forum, you've made a wise decision to come here!

I had all of your symptoms and more; specifically and what really threw everyone off was the breathing problems. I kept telling the same thing you said, it's like I just can't get enough air in!, like I take these deep breaths, but it feels like my lungs can't expand enough! It's asthma, its not asthma, it's this it's that...I finally was sent to National Jewish Hospital in Denver; they're the leading respiratory hospital in the country and they are the ones who discovered the link between the reflux and the vocal cord dysfunction and the aspiration.

In my case, the reflux was silent and all the tests here showed the same results that you have, except that I wasn't okay. I was aspirating the acid while I slept, even though I didn't wake up choking or coughing or any of the other things that you may think of, but what was happening is that the acid was damaging the alveoli, which are the smallest edges of your bronchia..the final branches of your respiratory tree.

The inflammation would cause the increase or decrease in respiratory symptoms, the more inflammation, the more difficulties in breathing...these were coupled with allergies, sinus problems, air conditions, things like that; there always seemed to be a myriad of "things" that complicated the picture. Slowly though, I was becoming more and more depressed, from a respiratory point of view and no one knew why.

Find yourself a good, a very, very good, allergy /asthma Dr. and an equally good GI Dr. talk to them about the possibility of this being the case. Last summer I had a Nissen Fundoplication which "fixes" reflux; I no longer have the vocal cord dysfunction, the gobs of goo in my throat, the constant throat clearing, the hoarseness, and.....I can breathe!!! Yes, my lungs are damaged, the reflux went on a long time for me and there are times when I still am breathless, but not like I was before.

If no one will listen to you, seriously consider talking to people at NJ in Denver or Cleveland Clinic. I think, if I ask, one of my Dr.'s here may talk to one of your Dr.'s there to give them their perspective of my case history. It is complicated and drawn out, but we ultimately found the answers. I'm hoping that our meeting here may just save you years of frustration!

Let me know how things go for you.
Janice

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6873
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Motox,
I'm another asthma case, who has found salvation with the fundoplication surgery. My lungs were in terrible shape--constantly coughing up mucous, difficulty breathing, etc. My allergy asthma doc and family doc had been after me for years to consider the surgery. I had trouble getting up the courage to do it, since there are so many really negative and hysterical posts about the surgery online.

This forum provided me with the support and encouragement I needed to go forward with the surgery.
Every case is different, but I agree with Janice...seek out a lung/asthma specialist to look for answers.

For me the GERD was creating an underlying inflammation that did not allow my lungs to recover. When other things came along (colds, flu, allergies) my lungs were already very inflamed, and it made my lungs that much worse.

Good luck in finding answers to your questions.
This is a great place to receive and share information and support!
Denise

motox1027
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Janice.
 
If I can ask, how long did you deal with the breathing problems before you got the surgery? How did they determine that was the problem?
 
Also, if you dont mind, how old are you?
 
Do you feel allot better now?
 
Yeah, I just need some doc who can figure this out. I have been to like 10 doctors, and I think they look at me like I am crazy because I am young and look healthy.
 
My new ENT doc, seems very good, and I am getting an endoscopy in 2 weeks. ( A TNE, the one where they do it from your nose)
 
I dont even care about my reflux, as far as burping and pain, I would do anything just to relive this breathing problem, thats all I want......
 
What test did they do for you? I have had chest x-rays, and the full blown out Pulmonary function test with and without broncdilaters.
 
In the past they gave me a inhaler, but it did NOTHING, so after my pulmonary function test showed no ashma, I stopped using it.
 
I have had this breathing issue for about 1 year

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise, is the real expert when it comes to lung problems motox, and I'm still VERY concerned about her lung issues, but you now have two very strong cases of reflux induced respiratory/pulmonary issues that could very well have ended up in what my Dr.'s termed "pulmonary cripple". That alone was impetus for me to have the surgery! and I hope you'll push for answers.

Janice

motox1027
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise,

What do you think?

What kind fo doc did you see, and how did they find the connection? How long did you have breathing problems for until your surgery? Has the surgery helped?

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 6/9/2009 9:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Motox, my breathing issues started a long time ago, we thought it was a cough variant asthma and treated it off and on. In 2002 it started getting quite bad, at times I could hardly walk from here to there without being completely out of breath; I went to NJ in October of 2007 and had the surgery in July of 2008. I'm 53 now, but this stuff can strike at any age, so don't let that sway your thinking.

The TNE is a new way of doing endoscopy, I have no experience with this at all; I am happy to hear that you have a Dr who is progressive and seems to be interested in getting to the bottom of this. It was my allergy/asthma Dr. that first found that there may be more to this than just a breathing thing, so have some faith in your ENT.

I can't remember the tests they did at NJ anymore, I'll have to go back and look at records. I do know there were the standard pulmonary function tests, but there were others that were designed to look at somethings more specifically. Once was simply a walking test, with some stuff attached to you and a tech..we walked and walked until I was suddenly out of breath and they were able to record the event. That, was somehow important to their findings. They sent me to one of their gastroenterologists, he didn't believe that I had a reflux problem at all, until he did some tests.

While I knew I had reflux, we never knew it had gotten bad, my 24 hour ph was 121 (normal is 14)..one thing led to another and I ended up at Cleveland Clinic for surgery.

Do I feel better? honey, I feel tons better. It is a wonderful thing, I can work out now, even cardio without stopping. It's like a new lease on life. This will get better, just find the right doctor and don't give up!!!

ITSJUSTME0000
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 6/10/2009 3:47 AM (GMT -6)   
HELLO, I ALSO HAVE THE BREATHING PROBLEMS...FROM THE MINUTE I WAKE UP... MY GASTRO DR SAID THERES NOTHING HE CAN DO FOR ME.. I HAD A LUNG FUCTION TEST AS WELL AND IT WAS FINE...WENT TO A SPECIALIST FOR THAT ONE..NO ONE HAS MENTIONED ASTHMA AT ALL..I TOLD MY GASTRO DR IF I COULD BREATH A BIT BETTER I WOULD NOT WORRY SO MUCH about THE GERD, HERINA OR EROSIONS..I HAVE BEEN LOOKED AT LIKE IM NUTS...ITS ALL IN MY HEAD..BUT I KNOW MY BODY AND I CANT BREATH EVERY SINCE THIS GERD THING...THEY CHECK MY LUNGS EVERY DR VISIT AND SAY..... SOUNDS GOOD AND IM SURE THEY DO... BUT I CANT NOT GET A FULL BREATH.. I WAKE UP WITH THIS AND GO TO BED WITH THIS..ITS VERY SCAREY WHEN YOU CANT BREATH..I GO INTO A PANIC AT TIMES...I KNOW ITS THE ACID SEEPING IN MY LUNGS AS I WAKE I HAVE A SORE THROAT AND VERY STUFFY NOSE BECAUSE THE ACID IS RISING WHILE I SLEEP..I SLEEP ON A WEDGE PILLOW AND BED IS RAISED, I EAT RIGHT..I DO ALL IM SUPPOSE TOO..JUST THIS BREATHING THING...ITS DRIVING ME NUTS...NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH BREATHING..IM GOING TO KEEP PUSHING UNTIL I GET ANSWERS...I EVEN WENT TO THE HOSPITAL A FEW TIMES COMPLAING I COULD NOT BREATH...DID XRAYS, BLOOD, URIN AND SENT ME HOME WITH ANIEXTY MEDS... BELIEVE ME ITS NOT THE ANSWER...I WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS AS ITS A TERRIBLE WAY TO LIVE...A FEAR I WILL NOT CATCH MY BREATH ONE DAY....PLEASE KEEP ON THE DRS,, DONT LET THEM TELL YOU ITS IN YOUR HEAD...

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6873
   Posted 6/10/2009 5:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Motox,
As someone who did not have the "off the charts" reflux that makes life miserable 24-7...no food and acid in the mouth, no Barrett's, etc. I'm not your typical Nissen Fundoplication candidate.

I am an example of someone who has responded to the surgery--although the PPI's didn't control my secondary symptoms.

Over the past few years my GERD symptoms had become progressively worse. I was put on a variety of PPI's (at times in conjunction with Zantac), (my last dosage was Protonix 40mg morning and night) and continued to have both breakthrough reflux (not all the time, but enough to require Tums and Maalox stashed in my purse, desk, bedside) and severe asthma that was not controllable.

I was hospitalized for severe asthma that was caused by a gastritis/GERD episode triggered by an antibiotic. I had many GERD flare-ups that created severe asthmatic symptoms, and took months to resolve.

My family doctor (of 25 years) and allergy/asthma doctors both were confident that my GERD was exacerbating my allergy induced asthma, and creating constant underlying inflammation that was not being effectively treated by traditional asthma methods. My inhaled steroid dose (made worse by intermittent prednosone) was raised to a level that caused me to experience some adrenal insufficiency and side effects like thinning and bruising skin that would tear with just minor bumps.

Finally, after years of hearing my doctors request that I consider a Nissen Fundoplication surgery, and searching the internet (finding many hysterical and negative posts from people who had received botched surgeries--actually, the Healing Well forum really helped me move forward with the surgery), I decided that I didn't really have a choice. My asthma was life threatening, and I had to try the surgery.

I had the surgery on February 27th (and by the way, found the recovery much easier than the many GERD/esophagus-burned episodes I'd had that took months to recover from), and am happy to report that my doctors were correct--the surgery has made my asthma MUCH improved. I've actually had about a month of pretty perfect lung function, free of the constant cough, mucous, and nebulizer treatments.

I do have allergies, so as expected, I do get some lung reaction from these. (tree pollen at this point) However because I've alleviated the underlying constant inflammation caused by reflux (be it acid or bile), the asthma reaction is much more treatable.

I was one of those pre-surgical cases that was not at all clear cut. My 24 hour PH monitor results were 14--very average. Not generally indicative of needing surgery. It was my asthma that was the indicator, and my surgeon deferred to the opinions of my doctors.

I went into this surgery with eyes wide open. I am well aware of the possible complications that I might face down the road. I am also cognizant of the fact that people who post on the internet are more likely to be those who have had complications. Very often these complications are a result of poor surgical skills in this procedure.

Selecting an extremely skilled and experienced (in this procedure) surgeon is the most important thing someone can do.

My breathing is the best it has been in years. The surgery was definitely the right thing for me.
If you have any additional questions, please let me know. I'll do my best to answer!
Best of luck in your search for answers.
Denise

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32589
   Posted 6/10/2009 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Motox,

Welcome to HealingWell...........as you have already found out we have great members who are willing to share and you have met some of our best members already.

There are lots of other wonderful members and now you are part of the GERD/Heartburn family.  Welcome aboard.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
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rijssel
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 6/10/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   

I had the same breathing problems at times, what sad about it is, that you have to explain to the physician what is causing it. In March I did demand some tests for this problem. I had chest x-ray and spirometry, where just i blow real hard into a tube. Of course the tests showed normal.

 I found sleeping on my hosipital bed which I can elevate, helps alot and I had not much of a problem with breathing since.


motox1027
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 6/10/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

Well, unless my esopoghaus is pushing against my lungs, or my small hitial hernia is causing the problem, I am going to assume, that small amounts of acid are getting in my lungs, and causing the irritation, which leads to breathing difficult.

I really dont have a cough. Its more like a forced cough, I make myslef cough, to get rid off all the mucus in my throat.

Is the mucus coming from my thorat, lungs, or stomach? who knows?

Is there a way to test mucus for acid in it at home?

To test: I am going to raise my bed even higher than it is right now, and not eat anything within 3 hours before going to sleep....

 

Any other ideas or suggestions?

 

Thank you


Gerber_Daisy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 6/10/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Motox...

I also have breathing problems... have to take very deep breaths sometimes..because i feel like just have to. (My boyfriend called me out on it because he said i sound like I am sighing all the time). Like Janice said... you just feel like you can not get enough air so you take these breaths. I also can walk up stairs and feel like I have just run a mile... I get asthma every once in a while for no reason. I had a chest x-ray which showed clear and I also had the spirometry, which showed no sign of asthma.

I feel like there is something in my throat all the time, and am trying to clear it often. I swallow and feel like there is something stuck there too. Sometimes I get a very deep hoarse cough, which if I cough for long enough I lose my voice...

I sleep fine and am not interrupted at night. I believe that I am aspirating at night and I am not aware of it, and this is causing my breathing problems.

I had a barium swallow... which showed reflux. I had a pH study, which also showed reflux. Now I am in the process of a bravo (i turn the monitor in this afternoon).

In my case i believe I have a combo of LPR and GERD... which is rare from what I have read... and ENT's who treat the LPR and GI dr's who treat GERD are not always on the same page with treatment... so find a dr who will listen to you and help...may take a few, but someone out there will listen and help, and I hope your new ENT can do that for you...

I would check out LPR and see if you fit anything in that category.

Good Luck...

Jodee

ceetay
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 6/13/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Motox
 
For several months I had silent reflux (no pain or acid regurgitation)  My symptoms were stomach tenderness, shortness of breath, chronic sinus infections and cough.
 
I am 42 years old and was diagnosed with Barretts Esophagus in 2001.  When I was diagnosed, my reflux was so severe I couldn't even drink water without getting it.  My Dr prescribed Nexium 40 mg a day.  In 2005, I had a nissan fundoplication sugery to repair my hiatel hernia.  After the surgery my reflux symptoms disappeared.  My Dr took me off the Nexium.  I continued to have a yearly endoscopy, which the results never changed.  In March 2008 the endoscopy revealed the Barretts is significantly worse.  Dr wasn't concerned with the results and told me to come back in a year for a followup endoscopy.
 
I was having stomach tenderness, persistent cough, hoarseness, sinus infections and shortness of breath so severe I ended up in the ER.  My family Dr ordered lung xrays, whooping cough test, pulmunary functions tests which were all normal.  Finally, I mentioned the worsening Barretts to her.  She wanted to know what the GI Dr had suggested I do and what medications I was taking.  I told her that he took me off of the nexium in 2005.  She felt I shouldn't have been taken off of it.  She suggested I get a second opinion.  The Dr she sent me to for the second opinion also told me I should never have been taken off the nexium.  He ordered an upper GI which showed I had another large hiatel hernia and he placed me back on the nexium.  He also suggested I make an appointment with a Dr at UPMC who specializes in Barretts esophagus.  More tests revealed my sphyncter valve was not working at all and my esophagus was in bad shape, not to the cancer stage yet. Thank God.  In October 2008  I had an esophagectomy.  A portion of my esophagus was removed and the remaining was reattached to my intestines (roux-n-y).  I no longer use my stomach.  Since the surgery I feel great.  The cough and shortness of breath is gone, I am not hoarse and haven't had a sinus infection since the surgery.   
 
Please make sure you get a dr that will listen to your concerns

dbnye
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/25/2009 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
HI.
 
Have you seen a cardiologist? My son who was 9 at the time had problems breathing and we thought it was just his asthma summer of  2002 and here he also had a heart condition which was finally diagnosed December 2002 and than he had surgery January 2003. His heart is fine now and his athma also is fine.
 My son had coarctation of the aorta.
Bye.
Bethann
 
ps
 
I also have the gerd  but I have astma which the gerd complicates and induces my asthma frequently so I know what it is like not to breathe well but at least my breathing problems have been diagnosed --best of luck to you
 
 

rebelflower65
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/15/2009 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes I do having breathing problems and chest pain.I hate this and I get depressed because it seems to never go away.I take Prilosac
but it still don't help much.I have found eating 6 small meals a day ,I feel better.So try that and God Bless!

vicrayhoov
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/17/2009 6:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I just joined this forum this morning after trying to decide whether to buy that report with the "miracle cure" for acid reflux. I really know better than that, because if it were that simple everyone would know about it. while reading some of the posts I discovered I am not the only one with all these breathing problems. I have suffered from acid reflux for years and I am on 2 protonix a day, and I have had all this weight on my chest, and coughing, and wheezing and in just plain misery for about 2 months now. Getting ready to go have a ct scan and the breathing test on Tuesday, but my doctor did say yesterday he was referring me back to the gastrointestinal specialist.  I really didn't think about it being connected with the GERD, I was thinking more along the lines of developing COPD although I have never smoked.
 
I have had fibromyalgia for about 20 years, and I'm sure like the rest of you I've gone for test after test during the years and rarely does anything show up, yet I'm living a life of misery. I have had a headache every day of my life for at least 15 years, and have pretty much learned to live with it, but this acid reflux has about worn me down.
 
I'm glad to be part of the forum. I am interested in hearing more about what surgery anyone has had to relieve the GERD. My doctor mentioned it yesterday but that sounds like a last resort. Has anyone had it and does it work?
 
thanks for listening. I'm glad to know that at least this isn't all in my mind.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6873
   Posted 7/17/2009 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi vicrayhoov,
I can't emphasize enough how bad my lungs were before surgery. They were so bad that I was using a nebulizer treatment 2-3 times a day for the past year. I was wheezing and coughing for at least 4 years--it got progressively worse. As I've said other places, I was even hospitalized for GERD-induced asthma. My family doctor and allergist both kept urging me to get the surgery, as they could not control my asthma, even with high doses of steroids (which, by the way, have left my arms with skin that was so thin that it tore with the slightest impact. It also bruised badly.)

It took a couple months for the surgery to work its magic, and unfortunately, due to the inflammation before the surgery (made worse by a lung infection I was suffering with pre-surgery, and allergies to tree pollen) I coughed terribly for the first couple months after surgery, which has worried me. I hope it healed and wasn't damaged. Also, my tissue was very delicate internally, and the surgeon had to put additional stitches in the hernia repair to make up for the delicate tissue. All this medication was in an attempt to help me breathe. Before surgery I was coughing tons of phlegm as well.

I had the surgery on February 27, and mid May my lungs made the turn. I am breathing easily, and beginning to reduce my inhaled steroids--even though I'm dealing with grass pollen and lots of dust as I clean out our home to get ready to sell.

Yes, in my case I can say that the surgery was a godsend. I'm so glad my family doctor kept pushing and pushing. There are so many negative posts on the internet that it's scary to move forward. I wish I'd done it years ago, before doing damage to my skin, and who knows what else, with the prednosone and high doses of inhaled steroids.

My skin is beginning to improve, thankfully. It is not tearing as easily, and the bruising is getting a little better. While I'm sure there is some permanent damage, I'm hoping that they can continue to improve at least to some degree.

This surgery isn't perfect. That's why it's such a difficult decision. Your odds of a good result are increased astronomically when you get a highly qualified, experienced (specifically in laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication) surgeon. There is nothing as important. The surgeon (or GI doc) will most likely have you take some specific tests--barium swallow, manometry, 24 hour PH monitoring.

Good luck with your search for a resolution to your breathing problems. In my case the surgery was very effective, and I'm very glad I had it.
Welcome to the GERD forum! There are lots of experienced members here, and it's a very active forum, so you're likely to get lots of responses. Be sure to start a new thread on the opening page, so you're more likely to be seen and responded to.
Good luck!
Denise

mthboards
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 9/9/2011 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Holy crap Im not alone thank god!
I have been having sicking breathing problems to where I went to the hospitals 6 times in one month all they gave me was acid reducers which did keep me out of the hospital.
I have Crohns but also gastrisis inflammation right after my stomach.
I know what happens to me, the inflammation gets so bad all the food gets blocked and my stomach starts to fill with gas, now It doesnt feel like I have gas in my stomach only severe breathing problems when this happens. Then when I lay on my back and start pushing all over my stomach I can hear how much gas is in there. For me sometimes I can push on one spot and all that gas moves through then I fart alot.
Instantly after that I can breath, for me I know acid is not in my lungs but somewhere my stomach is pushing on my lungs almost to where I feel like im going to die. I have crohns also. I was given one drug that healed everything for a long time, it was Remicade a serious drug that can heal or kill you. Once I took that I could just feel the food moving past my stomach which stopped all the breathing problems burping problems swallowing problems everything!
I think alot of people here have the exact same problems with just so much gas building up from inflammation gerd or whatever not letting the food digest and move through the right way. All my drugs that I take for crohns help the breathing problem it just gets rid of the inflammation then the gas never builds up, but I think those drugs also don't let the gastritis heal.
The trick is to heal the gastritis or the inflammation around there and everything is fine again, but thats the hard part for me!!!!!!!!!!
Vitamin D3 every time I pop them all the food and gas moves through again and I can breath 10000 UI a day for me this has been the best thing that works
Fish oil helps but I have to take a crap load
Apple cider vinager helped big time but felt it never really healed anything
Clolostrum helps a lot but seems to stop working if I take it all the time.
A lot of herbs that gets rid of TNF like curcumin works great but also stops working after years.

all those drugs helped but the instant I drank coffee gas built up and I get the breathing problems again to where I have to go to the hospital so they can tell me they cant do anything!!!

I think that what I have is some type of infection thats causing my gastritis and crohns and its not h PLorie however you spell it, I was tested for that. Everything that I eat that would feed bacteria viruses fungus like sugar or carbs or a lot of fat would start the problem over again.

Anyways so now Im on the SCD diet which seem to help heal me to where I can drink some coffee after a few day without problems.
I feel this diet has killed off a lot of bacteria that was reacting with the sugar coffee all the junk food and smoking.
I would like any help I can get to try and heal this up
thanks
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