A Story of Recovering from GERD

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gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 7/7/2009 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   

I am a previous GERD sufferer that suffered the condition for over a year.  During my quest for recovery, I swore to share my success story if I ever got better.

 

Over a year ago I was prescribed very strong, injected antibiotics for weeks for an infection. After the third round of medication, I started to show strange symptoms: my upper palate was inflamed, my lymph nodes were swollen, and I felt a large ball in my throat. Worse, I was chronically tired and slept 12 hours a day.

 

My family practitioner was also a gastrologist. He initially suspected thyroid disease, diabetes, or another infection. After several tests though, everything tested negative. He concluded that I was stressed and prescribed sedatives. My fatigue improved slightly but the other symptoms remained.

 

At my next visit he asked me to lay down and jiggled my stomach. My previous meal been 2 hours earlier. The Dr. said that my food was still in my stomach, and that I had slow emptying.  He said that the burning in my upper palate was due to gases from my stomach making their way upwards - the gases were burning my mouth and tearing down my tooth enamel. He said I had GERD and prescribed Motilium (mobility drug) and Pantoprazole (PPI) for two months.

 

I felt well after a month of taking the pills, but as soon as I stopped the medications the GERD returned even worse. I could not stop belching. Every time I burped, I could feel the lining in my upper palate burn horribly. I had burn lacerations and blisters all over the palate. My throat also worsened. The lump I felt in my throat seemed to occupy all of the space. I could barely pass food and at one point even swallowing became difficult. I was constantly hungry because I could not eat much, but my stomach would feel full after just a few bites.

 

I underwent an endoscopy and my Dr. said that I had severe esophagitis and acid reflux - GERD. He recommended a manometry to test the LES ring, which I utterly failed. He confirmed a hiatal hernia and said the LES sphincter was not functioning. The analogy used was that of a worn out waistband on an old underwear. He prescribed two 40 mg Nexium twice a day and all sorts of other medication (pills, jellies) to coat my throat and mouth. Two months later I still did not feel better. Everything was getting worse. At my next visit, my Dr. recommended surgery.

 

I do not take surgery lightly, however common practice it has become. At this point, my weight had dropped from 120 lbs to 90 lbs. I went to three other specialists who all confirmed the same findings. I had a PH 24 test done and failed that one too. Everyone seemed to think the surgery would do it. I tried everything – naturists, anti-candida diets, alkaline diets, etc. At one point, I ate toasted bread and tea alone for days. I slept upright and avoided swallowing as long as I could. Nothing worked. I almost caved, except that I met someone.

 

I was at a dinner one night - avoiding all food as usual - when an older lady asked me why I was not eating. My friend told her my condition. She immediately pulled out her purse and passed me the number to a doctor. She explained that her husband had recovered from a very bad case of GERD after years of suffering from it - he had even been hospitalized several times. He too had been skeptical of the surgery so he kept looking for help.

 

I was doubtful of course, but I scheduled an appmt. The doctor turned out to be very unconventional, but wise. I arrived with a portfolio of studies and tests, but he would not see them, dismissing them as excuses for doctors to charge patients. He only wanted to hear my symptoms. He asked me to lay down and jiggled my stomach and listened with a stethoscope. Then he gave me his theory: my hiatal hernia and LES ring had nothing to do with GERD. Acid reflux is caused when a small muscle at the bottom of the stomach that opens to the intestine clenches up. It is called the Pylorus. When people undergo severe stress or nervousness - like I had undergone a year earlier with my infermity - the Pylorus tenses up. This prevents food from passing into the intestine from the stomach. Eventually, after prolonged bouts of stress, the Pylorus remains clamped. Food will sit in the stomach for hours after eating, giving one a sense of bloating or emptiness. Your stomach produces acid naturally so the stomach fills up on acid since there is no outlet. Your stomach is a muscle designed to pump food out of it. It does not stop pumping because your pylorus closes up though. A full stomach, no outlet, and the pumping action is what causes acid reflux.

 

This was revolutionary for me. And to be honest, I did not believe it. I became even more skeptical when he prescribed me another PPI - Mopral three times a day (6 pills), Motilium (12 pills a day), and Cisapride (12 pills a day). The doses seemed lethal but I remembered the gentleman who recovered under this man's care and went for it. I weighed 85 lbs then at 5'6". I could not eat, sleep (I could not lay down), and I was miserable and in pain all day. I was desperate. I went in every week, and we monitored my organ functions every 30 days. Luckily, there wasn't a flinch in the numbers.

 

I was taking medicine all day long. With all of this medicine it was no wonder I started to feel better in 24 hours. I could swallow again. Breathing did not hurt. Over time, I went back to my regular diet - excluding coffee, tea, alcohol, chocolate, spices, etc. My doctor said I should eat everything - and I found that nothing happened when I included previously banned foods - pizza, light spices, etc.

 

I was on this medicine for 2 months. When we started to wean me off the meds though, I would rebound. The doctor prescribed yoga. I was a believer in him then so I did anything he asked. I did yoga and I started to wean myself off the medicine. I started to relax - though I had never considered myself a stress case. I eventually worked myself down to 2 PPI pills a day and 3 mobility pills a day.

 

The Dr. said that after 2 months I should have recovered, so he was going to have to do a gastroscopy and dilate my Pylorus manually. It is the same as an endoscopy but they go further down to your stomach. A little balloon is inflated with water at the Pylorus and held for 4 minutes. This sort of jump starts the Pylorus again. 

 

After the dilation, I stopped all the medicine. I felt relieved for the first time in one year. I ran to the nearest restaurant and ordered hot chocolate, spicy pasta, etc.

 

I did not feel perfect though. I could sleep lying down at an angle only. Although most of my symptoms had disappeared, I still felt a vague sense of lingering GERD. I made an appointment with the most renown homeopath - a branch of medicine I had never tested.

 

I drove hours to see this man and sobbed my story to him, knowing this was my last chance to recover 100%. He listened carefully and wonder of wonders, reiterated the Pylorus theory. I told him about my last doctor and he agreed with him, but said that his methods were different. He gave me a little bottle of tiny sugared pills to take for two weeks and told me to focus on relaxing. I went on vacation.

 

After two weeks. I was 100% well. I went to my final doctor's appointment for GERD and gave him an enormous hug. He told me to never doubt my body's ability to heal itself naturally. And with that, my chapter on GERD was closed. I turned 32 feeling like I had been given another chance.  

 

It has been half a year now, and I have not had even the slightest GERD symptom. I eat EVERYTHING - I even drink wine and coffee again. GERD seems like something I suffered in another lifetime, but I know it was just around the corner.

 

I wanted to share my story to give hope to those who suffer from GERD. I know how painful this condition can become - it interferes with your life and takes over your emotions. Do not give up. However you find your cure - exercise, job change, medication, surgery, etc - do not give up. Be open to new ideas (within reason) – you never know when your cure is in front of you. Our bodies were designed to heal. In the words of my doctor - "The body is a perfect system. Just as it is vulnerable to disease and illness, it is remarkable in its capacity to heal." Have faith that you will get better and good luck on your journey to better health.

wackytummy
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/5/2010 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I have recently been diagnosed with an ulcer in the pyloric area, while the ulcer appears to be healing, my gi doctor is recommending a balloon dilatation of the pyloric area to enlarge the area for food to pass through. Am wondering if anyone has had this done, was it successful, is it something that has to be repeated..etc

zeldagoblin
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 4/7/2010 3:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, I found your story very interesting, thanks for posting. I often wonder if my chronic constipation is the deep seated root of all my problems, as it is the longest standing issue for me. If my stomach isn't emptying, would this cause constipation I wonder? I do get very bloated and gassy even if I don't eat.

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/7/2010 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Zeldagoblin,
from what I have researched and learned from doctors - constant gas and bloating can be due to poor/improper food digestion. Your body needs enzymes to break down food - especially meats and fats. Your body produces several types of enzymes - amylase (key for carbs), lactase (key for milk), protease, lipase, maltase, etc. etc. Your pancreas are responsible for secreting these enzymes. If you stress easily, or are older than 35 this production is reduced. Some people become lactose intolerant or start to have new food allergies. Now, if your body doesn't produce enough enzymes your food is not digested properly. Your body will start to break down the food using bacteria. Bacteria digestion causes fermentation and is inadequate, taxes the digestive system and makes it sluggish. So you can get lots of gas (burping if gas is produced in stomach, flatulence if from the intestines). Producing more enzymes naturally takes a while to train your body to do but it can be done. You can start by eating slowly to give your pancreas time to produce the enzymes. Chew your food a ton since saliva is a trigger for your stomach to prepare HCL & enzymes for digestion. Also, you decrease the amount of work your stomach does by breaking down the food as much as possible. Try to eat lots of greens that stimulate enzyme secretion - I believe alfalfa is good for this. Try eating warm foods & soups too - a huge effort is made by your digestive system to warm food up before it is digested. Eat simple meals - do not combine too many foods. Try eating 4 small meals instead of 3 big ones. Finally, if you feel like this may be your problem, ask your doctor or nutritionist about taking 1 - 3 digestion enzymes with every meal until you feel better. I like Enzymedica's Digest Gold. You can read reviews on them online - they have saved quite a few people.
 
If you feel like you may not be producing enough stomach acid, ask about taking HCL with Pepsin. I would try the enzymes for a couple of weeks first. If no result, try the HCL at one meal and see if you get relief or indigestion. If it does not agree with you, then acid production is not your problem.
 
For constipation, it can be caused by so many factors: fiber deficiency, dehydration, iron deficiency, poor peristalsis of colon, excessive fat or red meats in diet, etc, etc.  Simplest solution is usually the easiest - increase fiber intake, replenish intestinal flora, eat foods that lubricate intestines. 
 
If your diet permits, try a breakfast of oatmeal or muesli with cinnamon and psyllium or flax seeds or flax oil (or take 1 Tbspn organic, unrefined, cold pressed flax seed oil), and/or kefir (goat milk preferred since it is easier to digest than cow milk) with strawberries or mango or try papaya (it has digestive enzymes like papain). For lunch try eating a big salad with mixed greens and chicken breast and olive oil with lemon & a tiny bit of sea salt, and eat a lighter dinner like fish, or quinoa, brown rice with some steamed veggies. I mentioned kefir which is fermented milk because it offers so many benefits for your digestive system - it is fermented which means it has been predigested for you so most lactose intolerant people can handle it. It also has many probiotics which will help revitalize your intestinal flora. You can also try a good probiotic formula (buy the ones that have to be refrigerated). Most fermented food has the good bacteria you want in your intestines - kombucha, pickles, seaweed/Spirulina. To lubricate bowels eat spinach, bananas, sesame seed/oil, pear, prune, apple, almond, alfalfa, beets, seaweed, papaya, coconut, bran, cabbage, etc.
 
If you are desperate, or in the case of an emergency, try taking 2 - 4 Tbspn of Extra Virgin Olive Oil before a meal. You can also take a bath in 2 cups of Epsom Salts (Magnesium) for 20 minutes. You should go within 14 hours. You can also take Magnesium supplements (most people Mag deficient) but check with your doctor first.  At mealtime, limit the amount of water you drink when  you eat since this will dilute your digestive juices. Better to hydrate between meals.
 
Finally, exercise and relax!!!
 
Please confirm any changes you make with your doctor first. Encorporate changes slowly to see what works and what does not. I have no medical training. I only recommend what I have tried and worked for me so please check with your physician before taking any of my recommendations. 
 
Best of luck!!!
 
 

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/7/2010 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wackytummy,
I had my pylorus dilated two years ago for GERD. It was a simple procedure and helped a lot in my recovery. I believe the pylorus can shut down or tighten up from stress or an ulcer. Dilating it may be a good temporary solution for your digestive issues if you have any, however, clearing up your ulcer should be priority number one. I know a few people that have had success with exorbitants amounts of lemon - I know, it sounds like something you would not want to do, but I am only passing along information. One of the individuals was going to have surgery and it was cancelled after he took lemon for 1 month. You'll have to speak with a nutritionist to see how it is done. I don't have too many facts and am not sure your type of ulcer is the same type they had.

In terms of the dilation, MOST people do not need a second dilation. One GI dr estimated that only 20% of his patients need a repeat. I felt relief immediately after having it done but have to confess that the GERD returned much later because the root cause was not addressed - in my case, stress. The procedure in itself is very quick and I did not hear of any fatal or horrible incidences. It seemed safe and most people I talked with experienced no discomfort or side effects. The people I spoke with had it done for GERD - not an ulcer. Not sure if this would make a difference.

Good luck with the procedure if you decide to get it done!

puddycat
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/7/2010 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Gerdo, Wonder if you would be willing to give out the Dr. name that you feel helped you the most? If not on website I would be willing to communicate by email. I have just been diagnosed with GERD after only having symptoms for two weeks but not being able to breathe well for over a year. When put on an acid blocker for the last two months the breathing returned to normal which tells me that acid was probably getting into my lungs even tho I had no symptoms for over a year. I took the blocker for the 8 weeks and then stopped it two days ago. The symptoms have returned but I don't want to take a rx for the rest of my life. I eat right, mostly veggies and greens... no meat or dairy... nothing acidic if possible. Try to stay with an alkaline diet. So far the pain is only in my chest and back... not my mouth or throat. I have no trouble sleeping at night. I am fine when I wake up. My current diet plus eating less has led me to drop 8 lbs. I am not overweight so don't particuarly want to lose more. I am willing to travel anywhere that I feel someone can help me. I have been all over the internet and read all the stuff you can find. Yours is the first thing I have read about pyloric valve but it makes sense to me and I would like to explore that with a dr, who believes in it. Thank you for your post.

kittykat

wackytummy
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/8/2010 4:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gerdo, Thank you so much for replying! I will keep you posted, am planning on the procedure for mid April, and looking forward to a normal meal without discomfort later!

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/8/2010 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kittykat,
Your email is not in your profile so I can't send recommendations directly to you. I can offer a couple of suggestions but can't post doctor's names/emails on this forum bc of spam issues. It sounds like what you have is "silent GERD." You don't feel the reflux but you have the symptoms. An endoscopy will tell you for sure whether you have reflux or not.

If you want to investigate whether delayed gastric emptying is causing your GERD you will need to see a GI specialist. There are several tests that can be done to identify the root cause of your GERD. The fact that you do not get symptoms at night is an indicator that your LES ring may be ok. Many of the tests for GERD are hoaxy, in my opinion. For example, I FAILED the b swallow test and the motility test that checks for LES pressure but somehow recovered from GERD. I did not change anything other than take the homeopathy pills and the homeopath said the pills were going to stimulate my body to heal - not cure or tighten the LES ring. So my problem was not the LES ring, despite tests that indicated I would need surgery.

I know that gastric emptying issues generally produce four symptoms: feeling full very quickly after eating, having a sensation of fullness or bloating despite not eating, gas, nausea or a desire to spit up food. These are usually signs that your pylorus is clamped up. I did not have any of them though and was still diagnosed with slow emptying so again, testing is sometimes not so useful. My doc was 87 yrs old so he learned to diagnose this the old fashioned way - without sophisticated tests. He would put a stethoscope to my stomach, jiggle it around, listen for food, fermentation, and gas in the stomach, etc etc.

My mother had silent GERD for a few years and it gave her asthma and bronchial complications. She had a good diet. I believe her naturist gave her charcoal tablets after every meal for a few weeks, and then put her on a glass of lemon water every morning for several months (lemon is alkalizing in our bodies). At night, she drinks cabbage or celery (both cleansing and alkalizing) juice with parsley (promotes peristalsis and hence emptying). Her GERD symptoms are gone (it took almost a year), her asthma gone (no more inhaler), even her arthritis improved with the lemon (cool side effect).

Are you Iron, Magnesium or Calcium deficient? Calcium helps contract muscles and Iron deficiency can sometimes cause a weakening of the digestive muscles. You should never take Iron supplements if you are not iron deficient though since it can cause toxicity in some people and in excess amounts. Get your doctor to check your levels first. You need Magnesium to absorb Calcium and lots of people are Mag deficient since it is taken out of refined foods. Without Magnesium, Calcium can't do its job.

Personally, I found that my diet was missing good fats. I keep a mostly grain/bean & vegetable diet but eat fish and chicken as well. I stay away from coffee, soda, desserts, etc. Once I started eating more "good" fats, I found that my bowel movements improved significantly. I take a digestive enzyme with every meal as well to encourage the digestion of food and relieve the burden on my system. The good fats I incorporated are Flax seed oil (1 Tbspn), unrefined, EV Olive Oil (anywhere from 2 - 5 Tbspn a day, taken before meals since it also helps coat and sooth the esophagus), olives, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame oil, etc. I cook vegetables in coconut oil and take a tsp as well. I am also thin and was losing weight because of reflux. I don't imagine I will keep taking the OO for more than a few months. I have excellent cholesterol so I can afford the extra fat. In any case, it helps quite a bit to keep me regular and has helped heal my esophagus, reduce burping, and increase bowel movement. Aloe Vera is also great at regulating the PH of your stomach. Too much raw vegetables can sometimes overtax your digestive system - making it produce more acid. Try steaming vegetables lightly and see if it makes a difference. Also, look into L-Glutamine which helps strengthen your muscles. Many GERD sufferers swear by it. Do not take it for too long though since long term side effects are uncertain - I used up one large bottle of Pure Encapsulations L-Glutamine and stopped using it. Took 1 tsp w/ half cup of water between meals.

I feel that the doctors at MayoClinic may be your best option for working with a GI. They have several campuses in the US (East, Central and West Coast) and use an out of the box mentality when it comes to health. They are extremely pricey though and don't fall under most insurance plans. I would send forms before the appmt and specify that you want a doctor that can work with gastric emptying disorders. Ask them to give you a call when they review your tests and forms. The forms are questions of your medical history. You can check out their specialists online at http://www.mayoclinic.com as well as their treatment options. I think in terms of GERD they are run of the mill so stick with the gastric emptying specialists.

If you want to try a more natural approach, try a reputable naturist. I have heard positive things about a clinic in Florida called Foundations Clinic http://www.foundationsclinic.com for GI issues. More than 70% of the cases they treat are for GI disorders like GERD and they don't resort to PPI use. Apprantly they have a pretty high success ratio - this is all word of mouth though. I have not worked with them. Most of the doctors I worked with are in Mexico but I am certain you can find help here in the US. Personally, I like to try naturists first since their methods are milder and natural. I find that with GI disorders, most of the time, some diet changes and strategic supplementation can really go a long way. It takes time though.

BTW - check out the naturist's website for an explanation on why PPIs are NOT the answer to GERD. I also started with silent GERD - just had burping and a burned mouth from the acid fumes but no heartburn. I had some coughing but nothing wild. I was able to sleep fine. When I tried to get off the PPIs I started to have the really horrible reflux. It was painful and made recovery so much more difficult. I regret ever taking them and prefer dealing with flare ups in a natural form. I have a great friend that also suffered GERD for one year and ate papaya every morning until it went away. He has never had another case and this was 6 years ago. He was sleeping upright, etc etc but believed he was going to get better naturally and he did! Be patient! There is so much scary information out there about cancer from GERD etc etc that people will sometimes run frantically into the surgery room for relief. The body is so resilient - we just need to give it time to heal. Another close friend of mine had GERD years before PPIs came along (she is much older now). She lived with GERD for 10 years before she recovered from it naturally - after discovering it was due to the pylorus in her case. If surgery is the case for some people, super - just make sure you try other, milder solutions first.

I hope you find this helpful. Best of luck to you on recovering!

Moo'sMum
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 4/9/2010 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Gerdo
I found your story so heartening since I'm currently suffering from reflux.  It makes me feel so frustrated and miserable so I've been researching a lot to try and find a cure that doesn't involve taking drugs.  Are you able to tell us what the little bottle of sugar pills from the homeopath were?

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/10/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Moo'sMum,
yes reflux is so painful - I am sorry you are going through this! I will give you a few resources about homeopathy to start you off in the right direction about what it is, how it works, and why the remedy I took (Arsenicom & Phosphorus) may not necessarily work for you, how you can find one that might, etc.

You can read about homeopathy through this educator's website:
www.mirandacastro.com.

The following web sites list professional homeopaths in the US:
Steve Waldstein's personal referral site:
http://www.homeopathy-cures.com/search.html
National Center for homeopathy:
http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/resources/practitioners.jsp
Council for Homeopathic Certification:
http://www.homeopathicdirectory.com/directory.php

abchomeopathy.com is a site that many people use to learn about the most popular remedies for common ailments such as GERD. You can even take a survey and a remedy will pop for you. I highly recommend going through a professional though. The wrong remedy can wreak havoc on your health - read some of the horror stories on the forum.

Here are my two cents on GERD. GERD is a thousand times more painful than resolving it. It is so difficult to beat because most people do not understand why they have it in the first place. We all run to take PPIs and this makes it worse, and then when they stop working, we are told we need surgery. Then we hop on the table, and still a good percentage of people come out the same! The vast majority of people can overcome GERD without PPIs or surgery - even if you have a hiatal hernia like myself, even if you failed the motility test like I did, even if you are crying unconsolably from the pain it causes just to breathe. Most people can heal using natural remedies. The trick is to investigate why you have GERD. I don't know enough about your reflux to give you much advise other than to eliminate obvious reasons for GERD. I have met so many people that have rid themselves of the disorder and these seem to be some of the more common reasons people get it and and how to diagnose it:

- H. Pylori bacteria - get a blood test to rule this out. Easy to fix via antibiotics.
- Candida (yeast) - distinctive symptoms (there are so many symptoms to this one) might include fungal infections in nails, recurring yeast infections, fatigue, etc. You can also do a blood test for this.
- Clamped pylorus - sensation of fullness after eating just a few bites, feeling a gnawing hollow in pit of stomach, gas, feeling like you want to throw up after you eat, throwing up after you eat, nausea, slow emptying, etc.
- Disbiosis (too much bad bacteria vs good) - this is one of the most common reasons for GERD. Do you have a history of using antibiotics? Symptoms include, frequent burping, flatulence (especially if odor is foul), bloating (despite not eating), stomach rumbling, etc. You might also get constipation or diahrrea. This one requires a few more steps to remedy so pls feel free to write again if you need advise on this. Again, in my experience, this is the most common reason for GERD.
- Pancreatic enzyme deficiency or low acid production - try a good digestive multi-enzyme formula with every meal for a few days and see if you notice a difference. Slow digestion and gas may be a sign of this. Also, low hydrochloric acid production can cause GERD. Try HCL w/ peptin at a meal and see if it improves of worsens your condition.
- Food allergies - you can get tested for these or try eliminating most foods but steamed or cooked vegetables for 2 days, then slowly reintroduce foods into your diet and see if this makes a difference. Switch from cow to goat milk and see if this makes a difference.

If you are taking PPIs, they make everything much more complicated and they are horribly difficult to wean off of. At one point in my treatment I was taking 6 PPIs in one day. I had to go off of them 1/2 a pill at a time for 1 week so it took me months to get completely off of them. They also worsened my GERD so much that things like DGL and Aloe Vera made no difference whatsoever. The pain was unbearable at times.

I stress natural remedies so much because I really believe GERD is our body telling us something is off. The list above are some of the more common reasons the people I talked with and recovered had GERD. If you know what you are doing, you should be able to get better in a matter of 1 - 3 months. If you are PPIs, it might take longer.

Homeopathy is a very safe and wonderfully powerful medicine that will most likely can heal your GERD. However, the possibility of getting the wrong remedy is strong unless a very experienced practioner is helping you.

As I mentioned earlier, I am not medical practioner. My advice is based only on what I have learned / seen.

I wish you all the best in getting better - imagine that you are already better!!! And feel free to ask any questions about anything I mentioned - including homeopathy (I am no expert on it though)!

Moo'sMum
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 4/11/2010 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again
Thanks so much for your reply Gerdo. I have made an appointment to see a natropath so am looking forward to that. Interestingly I have found great relief in the last couple of days by eating banana's and fresh mango with acidopholous yoghurt for breakfast. I am on a mild acid reducer at the moment but am due to stop taking these in a week. I'm on a mission to do this naturally so am hoping this will be the last time I have to resort to drugs.

My reflux started after I had my second beautiful child. I was a mess vomiting several times a day, severe pain in my chest, extreme tiredness and a new baby. 2 years later I had my 3rd gorgeous child and whilst I experienced some heartburn while pregnant with him I didn't get any symptoms for some time after he was born. about a year after he was born I started getting a few symptons again always in the middle of the night and I always relied on gaviscon for relief which worked fine. At this stage my doctor advised that my problem was due to pregancy causing an incompetant LES valve. Towards Christmas 2009 I started getting severe pain again and started experiencing vomiting again which again went away by itself after a few epsiodes. This last month I have been back to not eating anything and still vomiting several times a day so I had to resort to visiting the doctor and getting drugs which I hate. After much analysis I think my reflux is caused by a combination of stress, tiredness and poor diet due to time constraints. (Running three children here and there :-) ) Cause if I think back all my episodes coincide with something stressful happening. I also feel I might be low in digestive enzymes which I guess is why the mango is having an effect.

Thankyou so much for replying to me I really appreciate it. I will keep you updated on my progress.
Cheers Moo's Mum

Moo'sMum
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 4/11/2010 4:37 PM (GMT -6)   
PS I live in New Zealand and we call homeopaths natropaths not sure why :-)

gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/11/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I am happy you are seeking a natural approach – homeopathy is natural and are sometimes also referred to as naturopaths in the US. Perhaps I meant a Nutritionist Naturopath??? In either case, I have a lot of faith and respect for homeopathy and I hope you find that it works for you too!

It sounds like your GERD is caused by a few factors - weakened LES ring, compromised digestive system due to stress, perhaps pylorus clamping down due to stress. A few ideas to discuss with your naturopath:
- L-Glutamine in powder (not capsules) to strengthen the digestive tract muscles – including the LES ring and pylorus. I have used 1 large bottle of a brand called Pure Encapsulations. I took 1 tsp between meals until the bottle ended and stopped using it. It definitely helped me, and I heard about it from several people who swore by it as the cure for their GERD (it wasn’t the cure all for me though, just helped a lot). Before this I was taking prescription motility pills (unnatural) like Motilium. They worked great in exorbitant doses and were tough to wean off of.
- During your pregnancy I imagine that just the upward pressure on your tummy caused your GERD (giving you a sort of temporary hiatal hernia). However, the fact that you had no issues for a while after your third pregnancy may indicate a stress-induced GERD. Stress depletes your body of natural enzymes to digest food, and also changes the PH in your system creating an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria (disbiosis). This leaves room for pathogens to take over the lay of the land. They produce gases (you may experience bloating, belching, flatulence). Bananas and mangos are both high fiber fruits and help your body evacuate toxins. Most fruits also have digestive enzymes and are alkalizing, producing a more favorable environment for good flora health. Taking a digestion enzyme with every meal will help. Otherwise, try papaya (lots of enzymes) in the morning. Eat plenty of onion and garlic if you tolerate them to kill off any pathogens if you feel you have them (both are excellent prebiotics). Reduce stress on your digestive system by eating warm soups or steamed vegetables and smaller meals. Repopulate flora with probiotics and good yogurt. If you have gas or bloating try active charcoal for a few weeks to help kill off pathogens and relieve gas/bloating. Some people even do colon cleanses to help their body create a fresh terrain. Since you are in New Zealand, you may want to try Manuka Honey….
- If you continue to feel like vomiting, your main problem may be the pylorus not allowing food to pass through from stress. Makes sense since it sounds like your biggest time of pain is at night when you are lying down (acidified food still in your stomach may be coming back up). Relaxation, Valerian, and ginger tea can help. Homeopathy does wonders in this arena as well! I think it might be quicker too!
- Finally, if you have abdominal pain you may wish to investigate IBS. Most people with IBS are nervous types. Most recently, natural remedies for IBS have included serotonin-enhancing supplements like 5-HTP. This, coupled with a good remedy for good gut flora (imbalance caused by stress) usually cures people of IBS.
Good luck in your appmt!!! Let us know how it goes!!!

Moo'sMum
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 4/11/2010 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again. Absoutely awesome info you have given me!! I will keep you updated.

babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 4/11/2010 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
This is really interesting. I had the nissen in Dec last year. I think my GERD was brought on by pregnancy and stress. None of the meds helped for very long. Since I've had the surgery, I don't feel the acid coming back up but my stomach is always burning, nausea, bloated, feeling full after a few bites. My dr pretty much gave up and said I might have gastroparesis and to stop my meds and come back in 3 months. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do since he's the only specialist in my area. I will definitely look into this.
Michelle

~Nissen 12/14/09~


gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/12/2010 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,
it could very well be your pilorus. My GI doc 9the 87 yr old) said many of his patients were in your situation - reflux despite the wrap. This is usually a big indicator it is the pylorus and not the LES ring that is malfunctioning. Read above for other common causes of GERD.

Ask a doctor if they would recommend you try Motilium (10 mg is usually good enough) 30 mins before each meal. If 1 pill does not help, try 2 pills before each meal. I was taking 4 before a meal, and 2 after a meal - total overkill but it was what I needed. A close of friend mine found relief in 3 weeks taking 2 before each meal. If this is your problem you should feel better in a week or so. The idea is not to stay on them though since they are not going to "fix" your problem - your issue is most likely stress. My doc said they "jump start" things again. Think of the pylorus as a clenched fist at this point. Since my GI doctor worked only with meds, I don't have any recommendations for natural remedies other than Valerian. I believe my GI doctor only used Motilium for 2 months max before doing a manual pyloric dilation (not surgery). He gives patients 2 months on Motilium and prescribes stress therapy - yoga, meditation, and therapy if needed. His last resort is the dilation. 70% of his patients got better with only the meds, and 90% total successfully eliminated their GERD with either drugs or the dilation.

Also, try some of the protocols above about relieving stress on the digestive system.

Hope you get better and good luck!!!

babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 4/13/2010 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the information! How do they test the pylorus? I'm guessing the stomach emptying test? I'm having the swallow test tomorrow morning. My surgeon wants to make sure nothing is getting hung up at the wrap. I tried explaining to him that it does once in a while but a drink helps it go down. It's more of a stomach issue now than the reflux but he wants me to get the test anyways.
Michelle

~Nissen 12/14/09~


gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/13/2010 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,
I am not sure how they test the pylorus here in the US. It is not a very common "diagnosis" in the US - done much more in Europe while we tend to blame the LES ring much more. My GI doctor was able to deduce it from symptoms alone. 1. Nausea/vomiting, 2. Bloating/gas, 3. Feeling full quickly (sometimes even if you have not eaten) 4. Feeling a pain/hollowness in gut of stomach. My doc would check how long food stayed in my stomache (he used a stethoscope to listen for it and moved the stomach around. I would schedule my appointments 2.5 hrs after lunch). My doc was one of the top GI surgeons in the country and had over 60 years experience so he did not really use sophisticated tests - he always said it could be done just by listening / observing. Perhaps you could ask your GI doctor if he can test for it - using any methodoly.
Another approach might be to ask your GI doctor to prescribe Motilium for you. Try 1 or pills for 1 - 2 weeks 30 mins before a meal and see if it makes a difference. If it is not helping after one week, perhps this is not your issue. Most people that try Motilium in the correct dose feel relief in a few days. Weaning off the meds is slow (if you do find that you need them). Eliminate 1 pill at a time (usually takes a few months on them to feel like you are 100% better) every week. Again, check with your doctor to confirm all of this information.
Hope this helps! Let us know how it goes and good luck!

babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 4/13/2010 5:10 PM (GMT -6)   
You've described my symptoms exactly. I also get a grumbling that's pretty loud even when I eat, like when you're stomach growls but I don't feel hungry. I wish I could avoid all these tests. The motility test was pretty bad. I'm not looking forward to the barium swallow tomorrow. I know a person who had gerd from hormone imbalance and my gastro didn't believe it. So I doubt she will consider the pylorus. She doesn't believe I was having withdrawls from stopping Aciphex cold turkey. It's rough since she's the only specialist within an hour of me. I will call and ask about that and the Motilium tomorrow morning.
Michelle

~Nissen 12/14/09~


gerdo
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/14/2010 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,
I am so sorry to hear that you have only 1 option for a GI specialist!! If you really decide after your testing that the pylorus may be causing you problems, you can always ask your general care practioner to prescribe a two week supply of Motilium and try it out. The daughter of a very close friend of mine was suffering w/ GERD for years - literally vomitting fiercely. Her GI doctor would only give her the PPIs and she started to lose weight, get worse, etc. Her mother was is such dismay one day that she opened up about what she was going through. I described to her the different ideas on GERD and we decided that the pylorus fit her daughter's type the best. Her GI doctor refused to prescribe the pills though (said it did not make sense), and so her physician prescribed them and she feels 100% perfect.

We are trying to wean her off of them now slowly using Valerian to keep her body relaxed. She has been able to stop using all of her PPIs (we took them out slowly after she felt great on the Motlilium. She felt better in two days so the trial should not take long). I have to admit, I was a bit terrified about going solo on this with her b/c I am not a doctor. However, I was disappointed that her GI was not open to other causes of GERD. She was in such bad shape that it just made sense to test something else.

Doctors have a lot to fear when it comes to trying new things (5 of my closes friends are docs and they all confirm this). But it's like trying to convince everyone on the planet with acne that they ALL have it for the same reason. It's just not true! There are hormonal changes, hygenic factors, stress, diet, etc etc.... One prescription can't possibly be the solution for everyone!

You did mention one more thing that I want to point out. The grumbling in your stomach. This can also be caused by a pyloric shut down. It is also a symptom common in dysbiosis GERD - also easy to treat naturally. I think the big differentiator is the pylorus shuts down mostly in people that stress or get nervous or a person who has gone through a stressful event. They tend to be worryers. Dysbiosis in more common in people with a history of antibiotic / NSAIDs use, poor diet, and who stress as well. The rumbling can be due to hunger, digestion, or b/c of unfriendly bacteria, yeast or pathogens in the gut. Bad bacteria can generate liters of hydrogen sulfide gas and can upset your tract. The gas causes bloating, gas, etc. This case of GERD can be cleared with a detox program and then repopulation. I will say though, that the nausea makes me think more of the pylorus GERD in your case. Again, doesn't hurt to try!!

I hope you get some luck trying something other than just the PPIs. They just aren't the solution for everyone. My GI doctor had many patients like you - they had done the Nissen wrap and still had GERD at some point later in time. And he would still cure them! So don't despair. If one remedy does not work, another one will. I have to say, the remedies left to try are much less scary than a surgery - so if you went through that, you can defintely survive this!!! You will heal - believe it today!! You are stronger than you realize!!

babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 636
   Posted 4/16/2010 8:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I asked about the Motilium and it's only available in Canada. My dr said I can get it but it's a pain and very expensive. My esophagram came back that my nissen wrap is too loose but that explain my stomach problems. My dr wants to see what my surgeon thinks about it before doing anything and my surgeon is on vacation until next week. It's such a run around!
Michelle

~Nissen 12/14/09~


kostner
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/17/2010 6:18 AM (GMT -6)   
gerdo, your story realy sounds like a succes, a relief... I'm so happy for you smurf and have to ask you something. I have gerd now, I'm PPI for about 2-3 months, it was first 40mg Controloc and for 16 days I reduced it on 20mg per day but the simptoms are coming back slowly. I am h. pylori negative but I want to try out the triple therapy... I had Gerd allready for 4 years (h. pylori negative) and the triple therapy cured me completly... I just don't know if this is a good idea to do the therapy on my own, not involving the doctor.

sassyj
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/17/2010 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Gerdo, I'm intrigued and would love to email you more about this if you are open to it. My email should be in my profile.

My story: I've suffered from heartburn for most of my life. I'm a 32 years old female and recall having heartburn from the young age of about 9/10. Around 18/19 years old, after an Upper GI and major heartburn complaints, I was prescribed Prevacid daily. I eventually was switched to Nexium. They all worked for me and I could eat whatever I wanted while taking them without any issues. Last year I decided I wanted to be done with the meds and stopped taking them altogether. I was in agony for 3 weeks until I finally went to another GI doc and had an endoscopy done. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and GERD. I also had an ulcer at the top of my esophagous. After the procedure, the doctor also said I had "a ton of acid" in my stomach. I was put on temporary meds to get rid of the ulcer and then prescribed Pantaprazole which I have taken for the last year. I don't want to take these meds for the rest of my life, especially since I've been on some form of them for almost half of my life at this point. So, just a week ago, I stopped them again and started up the Master Cleanse. I've read that it has helped some people so I wanted to it try it for that, in addition to cleaning out and resetting my body. I am overweight and am working on losing weight as I know extra weight doesn't help this issue. During my 5 days on the master cleanse, I am getting heart burn mostly at night. Its uncomfortable but not as horrible as I thought it was going to be. I'm planning to do this cleanse for 5 more days but I am getting nervous that this isn't the cure all I am hoping for. I live in the NYC metro area and am wondering where you got treatment that worked for you most? I would love to get any info you are willing to provide! I think its amazing you are cured and feel great and can live a normal life, congrats!!!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12066
   Posted 4/18/2010 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
sassy,
I got tired of the medications, too. The surgery scared me. The recovery stories terrified me.

I decided to do my own research and then decided to go ahead with the surgery.

I'm very happy with the results. I haven't taken any reflux medication in several months.

Joy

sassyj
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/18/2010 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Couchtater, thanks for sharing. I'm glad to hear you are happy with the surgery results and that you no longer suffer! I'm on a mission to find a natural cure and I know its out there. Its just a matter of finding the right one for me!
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