Just want to share my experience on how to recover from GERD caused by stress. I hope you find this post useful. There are many possible causes for GERD. Stress is one of them. If you are under stress, your brain secretes a chemical that can disrupt your digestive process. Unfortunately the standard treatment for GERD is to push for acid-suppressant medicine such as PPI for as long as 4 to 8 weeks. This treats the symptoms and does not solve the underlying problem.
I first got my GERD because of intense stress from my work. It was accompanied by indigestion, bloating, gas in stomach, etc. The doctors I saw prescribed me PPI. It only helped to alleviate the symptoms. Certain PPI, like Nexium, added diarrhea and constipation to my list of problems.
I then found this forum and started taking natural supplements. Among the supplements I tried, I find these three most helpful: probiotics
(daily after breakfast), apple cider vinegar
(diluted with water, during meals) and Ensure LIfe
nutritional supplement (I need this because I was underweight). I also adopted a balanced diet. It really took some time for my stomach to return to normal. The other thing I did was to stay away and relieve myself from stress, I find the tips in www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=9&m=104206
very helpful. I also did acupuncture, standard meal splitting strategy and sleeping on a slanted bed.
Despite the therapy I tried, I was still not doing well. Because when I was still taking PPI, it suppressed the acid needed for digestion. When I ate too much, I still got heartburn because of indigestion.
I finally met a doctor who recognized the root cause of my illness. He looked at my endoscopy report and decided my stomach anatomy is normal. He asked me a few questions on how I got my GERD. He immediately took me off regular dose of PPI and put me on a mild dose of anti-depressant (Lexapro). He has also given me a stomach tranquilizer - Librax (Chlobax) and PPI (Controloc) to take as when needed. It was an unconventional treatment plan, but it worked. Since then I have progressively recovered from GERD.
I now have a new battle to fight: anxiety disorder and insomnia, but I no longer experiences the kind of painful heartburn every night. The healing wasn't perfect, I still experiences mild heartburn when I am under stress, but better than before.
If you got your GERD after a stressful event, not because of some big hiatal hernia or esophageal motility issue, and your doctor put you on 4 weeks PPI treatment, it's time to question the treatment plan, seek a second opinion or explore alternatives.
Post Edited (WJF) : 1/11/2012 5:26:11 AM (GMT-7)