Five steps to curing your chronic heartburn / GERD

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/13/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
!. Go to a counselor or friend or write in a diary and explore anger, sadness, stress andor perfectionism as a reason that your body is mad at you and gives you these symptoms.

2. Get plenty of sleep and some exercise.

3. Eat normal, healthy food and reintroduce the "bad" foods, which are probably harmless.

4. Taper your drugs slowly and abandon bed elevation and other symptom-related tricks.

5. Keep telling yourself that you have a strong body, that your supposed physical "abnormalities" may be natural and harmless, that others have been cured this way and that you are ready to move on with your life.

If this works, great; if it doesn't, it has cost you almost nothing. For more info on this method, do research on the concept of TMS (tension myositis syndrome.)

Good luck.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 5/13/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks riverotter for your thoughts.

I do need to say that on number one should taper ANY drugs without the supervision of their doctor. Also, on number 4...please, some people do need to keep their beds elevated, and keep with the other tricks. Everyone needs to use their own judgement on that.

When it comes to number 3...the bad foods are not necessarily harmless to everyone. Again, people need to use their own judgement on that. Everyone reacts differently to everything, be it a diet, a drug, or whatever. So, when it comes to the foods thought of as bad, that too needs to be judged by each individual.

Like you said, the above is free...but I just wanted to stress how everyone is different, and that how nobody should go off their drugs of any kind without the supervision of a doctor.

Again, thank you for your suggestions...they are appriciated!
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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/14/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Lots of folks are on over-the-counter drugs, millions in fact...they can go on or off their meds without a doctor's advice and do routinely...the notion that all these people need a lifetime of these drugs is truly scary and the drugs just keep getting stronger and more expensive and having more side effects....something is very wrong here

Regarding food and the tricks, I am talking about a major paradigm shift in how you look at this...if there is nothing physically wrong, then treating the symptoms can perpetuate the symptoms....I often find that when I have a flare-up (rarely), eating or drinking forbidden foods/drink is a good way to get better...I repudiate the symptoms. Remember too doctors do not know what foods to avoid, as they have bounced around for years with spicy is bad, spicy is good, milk is good, milk is bad, alcohol is bad, alcohol is OK...

trying this method does have some risks (it might not work), but remember that the drug/surgery route has serious risks, too....I bet though that if most of these people tried this method, they would feel better. why? because the body no longer has to work to produce symptoms to mask your emotional issues and overcome their efforts to get rid of the symptoms...the game ends and the symptoms disappear...this should be particularly apt for those who find that when they are stressed, symptoms get worse, and when they are distracted, on vacation, have the flu, their symptoms oddly go away...

some will say...shut up, riverotter, you are not a physician...well, that criticism can apply to anyone who makes comments on this list...we are all just trying to figure this stuff out, and lots of these doctors, God bless them, are pretty clueless as to the holistic set of issues their patients are dealing with, physically and emotionally

best wishes

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 5/15/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I must say that you seem to have all the answers. You remind me of Tom Cruise when he scolded Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants for post-partem depression. He also assumed her condition was not real and all she had to do was think beautiful thoughts and she could control her depression.

Millions of people have heartburn everyday but that does not mean they have GERD. Everyone refluxes everyday but they do not have GERD. In fact, normal reflux is anything under 50 times a day according to GI doctors and their Demeester scale that they use to measure GERD. These episodes last only seconds and do no damage. I dare say that you may have episodes of heartburn but you do not have GERD. A chronic conditon where "something is wrong" that requires diligent medication to prevent serious damage.

I recently had a bravo test where they measured how much acid comes up into my esophagus while I had been off medication for 6 days prior to testing. I had 70 episodes of reflux most lasting 5 minutes or more and the longest being 37 minutes. I was not on drugs at the time and under no particular stress. I have a great family life with not alot of problems, praise God. The real cause of my GERD is that my LES muscle between my stomach and esphagus is weak and doesn't close and open properly or at the right times. And that is the reason people have real GERD or they have a hiatal hernia where their stomach is protruding into their esophagus which causes acid to leak around the hernia. Many times people have a lump in their throat because of acid refluxing into the throat.

You're insisting on dangerous measures for people who have real problems not imaginary. I'm happy you can create your own reality and just eat more forbidden food and your heartburn goes away. Most of us live in the real world. I hope you have a great day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 5/15/2008 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   

I have had GERD for over two years now.  I got it from a paralysied stomach motility, bacterial overgrowth, and weak LES.  Ive had tests for all these so I know thats what it is from.  I hate it when people tell me, oh im too stressed, thats why i have acid coming up....just CHILL out and RELAX - youll feel better!  I hate that because my condition is medical and I have reflux all day everyday, no matter what I eat, or dont eat.  I wish I could think it away, how easy would that be, but i cant because it doesnt leave me, ever.  I just know for me its medical and I hope to find a cure soon.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/16/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry if I offended anyone. I agree that everyone who has GERD or heartburn has a medical condition. And I think it is a serious condition, a real condition. When folks go into doctors now with GERD symptoms, they are getting high powered tests, drugs and interventions.

The question we have to keep asking though is why is there a current epidemic of GERD in the US? Is it because LES failure has suddenly reached epidemic proportions or is something else at work? Is it not possible that crummy LESes are out there in millions of people who have no symptoms...we don't know. Could more aggressive treatment be making matters worse? This is one big science experiment and we are the guinea pigs.

The other question to ask is how our minds and bodies work together...I think it is misguided to go to a doctor for a chronic condition and not at least think about our emotional lives at the same time. My doctor for example listens to me for about 30 seconds, growls (he has no bedside manner) and writes a prescription for some strong medicine. Is this effective medicine?

Anyway, I am not saying it is in your have a real condition...but it may be linked to your emotions. (For the curious, do some research on how headaches and backaches are being treated these days...there is tremendous turmoil and disagreement among various camps of doctors...the psychological origins ones are disputing the physical origins ones and vice versa...)

In the end, I am just offering an alternative to the largely unsuccessful treatments and unhappy results I read about on this forum. Nothing worked for me, but the mind-body approach did work. After posting a year ago, several people tried this method, it worked and they later thanked I'll keep trying.


potty girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 835
   Posted 5/16/2008 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
riverotter, I will somewhat agree with you. there are a lot of sick people now days and it is a rush rush world with a lot of stress. with people trying to do it all. work, go to school, raise kids, do laundry, cook, clean house, take care of your spouse,pay the bills and on and on. plus most of us eat food that is not good for us, drink stuff that is not good for us. and dont get enough rest. I have alot of health problems and was under stress for years. If it wasnt for my meds today I wouldnt get threw the day. If you have a doctor that dont take the time to listen to you, then you need to find a new doctor. I went threw 4 of them before I found one that would listen and explain things. If I am not done talking to the doctor I let him know I have more to say. I have a hiatal hernia, and before I started meds the acid was so bad that it colasped my esphugus and beleive me I never want to repeat that again. So I take my med everyday.

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 5/17/2008 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Riverotter,

Thank you for your post.  I have evidence that eliminating stress may alleviate GERD.  I have daily LPR, despite taking PPI's.  In March, '08, I was scheduled for the esophyx procedure.  Two weeks prior to the procedure, my husband and I went on a short vacation.  I had absolutely no LPR while we were on vacation, despite my drinking coffee daily and eating "trigger" foods like tomato sauce.  Two days after I came home from vacation, the LPR symptoms started up again.  I went ahead with the esophyx procedure, and unfortunately, it did not relieve my symptoms (I had the procedure 8 weeks ago).  Interestingly, there appears to be an anatomical reason for my LPR, since my surgeon told me that my valve was "flat" and therefore, not functioning normally.  He said that he recreated my valve, using the esophyx device, but obviously, it didnt help me.  I am surprised that I felt well on vacation, given my defective LES valve.  I can only conclude that stress is a major contributor to my symptoms.  I have a great deal of anxiety, due to numerous health problems in my immediate family. 

Can you possibly be more specific about what type of mental excercises one can perform to get into a relaxed state of mind?  Is there a particular website I can check out or CD that I can purchase?

Thank you!!



Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 5/17/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Riverotter , No need to apologize. I see where you are coming from and tend to agree with you on some points. :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 5/19/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   

You asked if I could be more here are a few ideas. You said that you felt better on this approach that would say that your mind and body felt "happier", so they did not feel the need to "send" you any symptoms...(I know this all sounds a little crazy, but bear with me)....when you got back form vacation, your mind and body got mad or upset per usual and per usual rather than letting you feel all that upset, it sent you symptoms to "distract" you from the unpleasant or scary your symptoms return and you are miserable again.

But never fear, you can overcome this and rather fast. I would try sitting quietly for say 30 minutes and think about anything that could be upsetting you...think about job stress, family stress, childhood stresses of long ago and just be in those feelings...make notes if you might try imagining a door marked "anger" or "sadness," and try opening the door and walking in...this can be very powerful, so be the same time, tell your body that you are OK with those feelings existing and that you don't need a distraction should feel a palpable sensation of something letting go or the technique is not just relaxing or exercising or getting a massage to relax, it is doing conscious work with these topics in mind...

I also like to picture the affected area (stomach, e.g.) and ask it to talk to me...why is it upset?

Once you get the feelings going...and have waited a few days or a week, you should start to feel physically better, perhaps feel that any inflammation is going away, etc. Then to complete the treatment, you will then have to reduce the drugs (under doctor supervision perhaps) and other symptom related things that you do...why?...well because the symptoms will try to overcome your remedies, so remedies are counter-productive...they trigger the brain to produce more and stronger symptoms to continue to get your attention...I found that after a few days of meditation, I could decrease my meds and then slowly stop; slowly I had a beer and ate some chocolate and did other no-no body got to the point where it would refuse to produce any more symptoms...why should it? there was no of course if I ate ten hot dogs I would get a stomach ache like any normal person and I had to get sleep to stay healthy, but if I felt a twinge of symptoms and reached for a no-no beer rather than my pills, it really sent a strong message to my body that I was back in charge and that the game was over

An analogy would be if you had the flu and after you got completely over it, refused to get out of bed or go back on normal foods...babying your body at that point would actually slow would get stuck in a sick zone...that is your body now with GERD...stuck in a sick zone that serves only one purpose, to distract you from the pain/rage of the stressful life you lead

By the way, if you have the ability to lead a less stressful life or make needed changes in your life (like quit a too stressful job) and know that, but refuse to act on that, that is not good...knowledge may stop the symptoms at first, but if you want long-term relief, go ahead and make the change...otherwise you are punishing yourself, which causes more internal the answer is not just the meditation, but the action of change that matters...

according to this technique, if something is difficult and you can't make a change, then all you need to do is to acknowledge it...if you are stuck in a bad job, but absolutely can't quit right now, that's OK...but when you CAN quit, you'd better do it or you'll hate yourself

if you are successful curing your GERD this way, symptoms may creep in from other parts of your body...your skin may break out or you might get headaches or backaches or allergies...your body is trying to fool you again another way...simply use the same technique to stop those symptoms, too

for more research on this, look up TMS...that is the clinical name for this healing technique

as I said, this all sounds rather crazy, but it has worked for a lot of people, thousands; it is not well known because it puts medical specialists and drug companies out of business, and it sounds wacky...normally I would hate this kind of approach but I was desperate and it worked : )

good luck...


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/13/2008 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW! You are unbelievable... I think the most unscientific and laughable statement you made was "drugs just keep getting stronger and more expensive and having more side effects." HAHAHA are you serious? What medical training are you basing this mighty wisdom off of oh wise one. So positive thinking will repair my hernia and rid me of my chronic reflux? Wow, you do realize this is a serious medical condition that is genetically linked right? I don't think positive thinking is going to cure a genetically inherited disease you ****.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/18/2008 4:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Erm, I have say I agree with Drakepoo13.

I think that offering this type of miracle cure gives people with chronic conditions false hope. Perhaps stress etc can increase the symptoms of an existing condition but I don't think any amount of "Positive Thinking" can cure my GERD.

I am not a stressful person and my GERD can flair up whenever it likes for no reason, the fact that you saying these things about GERD basically being a condition that is manifesed in the brain, is the type of thing that I think makes some doctors so indifferent to offering help with this condition.

Sorry for my rant but I don't agree, I'm not saying that for some poeple if they lead a very busy lifestyle then I'm sure if they slow down and relax then they will perhaps get some relief. But curing a chronic condition thru PMA is not something I can believe in.... If only it where that simple.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 6/28/2008 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
to katie and drakeypoo:

You are smart to be wary of miracle cures for GERD and like you I hate mindless "positive thinking", but alas using the techniques I suggest is not a miracle cure or positive thinking at all. A miracle cure would be simply wishing that the disease went away or praying that it did. These techniques, on the other hand, require extensive work and following a set therapeuic process that has been developed by a well-regarded MD from NYU Medical Center. His most recent book has chapters by six other MDs with prestigious degrees and affiliations. He may not yet be accepted by all his colleagues, but that does not mean he is wrong. The h pylori guy was ridiculed for years before his theory was accepted.

What you are objecting to is a "mind-body" therapeutic process. You have fallen into the trap that the mind and body are divorced from one another and that belief can/will cause you unnecessary pain and grief. The mind and body are very connected and this is most evident when we have some dis-ease.

I would also add that this forum is full of what I consider failed miracle cures...newly developed surgeries with little track-record, pills that have no long term studies to back them up, food regimes that supposedly help -- with little or no research behind them and techniques like bed elevation. These are tricks, but not a thought-out therapeutic process like the one that worked for me.

This process, I might add, is logically consistent and gets at root causes. The treatments I read about here do not seem to be able to explain the flare-ups and odd manifestations of GERD.

But it is your life...if you want to divorce the mind and body when you walk into the physician's office, that is your choice. Just remember that this kind of medicine (body as a machine) is new...healing arts are very old and have great wisdom...only in very recent times have we treated the body with such a lack of regard for the psychological and spiritual aspects.

I'll close by saying again...I am doing well with no drugs, surgery or special many of the rest of you can say that? What is wrong with this picture? I am in control of my mind-body (as best as possible) and will not completely hand it over to a physician or pharms company to try to cure for me. I have to do some work, too. I do and it is great.

God blees to you all,

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/28/2008 8:11 PM (GMT -6)   

But what if your sphincter really does malfunction?  I mean what if it really is weak and acid leaks up into esophagus?  Thats not something you can control by thinking it away...i mean i dont know, i think if your gerd was brought on by stress, then reducing stress would be the cure, but if hyoru Gerd was brought on by a physiological factor like your LES really being weak and malcunctioning, then I really dont think reducing stress would benefit that much.  I think you have to find WHAT is causing it and tackle ot from there.  Not everyones GERD was brought on by stress.


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