Too much acid or not enough

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outdoorsgirl
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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/11/2012 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this forum. I'm hoping someone here will be able to relate to my symptoms. I started with a lump in my throat last May then had burning in my throat. I also had some chest discomfort. I started taking Nexium. Took it for 2 months. Seemed to help a little bit but still had symptoms. Then I tried prilosec..same thing....still had burning. Then I had endoscopy done and the doctor said everything looked okay. I had "some" acid reflux and some gastritis but he didn't act like it was bad at all. So he puts me on Dexilant. Tried that for 3 weeks but still had the same symptoms. This has been going on since May. I mostly have burning esophagus and stomach is tender/sore when I press on it. I watch what I eat.....no spicy foods..no fried foods...stopped any caffeine...no chocolate. I am now seeing a natural doctor who has put me on supplements. She is also chiropractor and does adjustments. She feels i do not have enough acid in my stomach instead of too much. She believes that's why the PPI's don't help. Another reason she feels this is the case is because I have no issues while I'm sleeping. No burning at all. I sleep good. Burning starts mid-day. I don't seem to have any one specific trigger. She has been treating me for 4 weeks now and I'm hoping she will get to the root of the problem. I'm having blood work done soon to test for any food allergies. Is there anyone who has reflux but doesn't have burning during the night?

stkitt
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Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/12/2012 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome,
 
I am not familiar with  Naturopathic Doctor's but do know there is a place for more then one kind of medicine.  After 4 weeks of treatment I am wondering if you feel any better off the PPIs ?
 
From what I know the gold standard for determining low stomach acid is the Heidelberg test.  This test has the patient swallow a tiny capsule, that contains a microtransmitter that measures the baseline pH (acid/alkaline level) of the stomach.  The lower the pH, the more acidic.  Next, the patient drinks a baking soda solution, and the transmitter measures the drop in acidity. The pH is recorded long enough to see how soon the stomach acid recovers to high acid levels.
 
I am sure you will hear from other members that will have better knowledge re to little acid.
 
Welcome to HealingWell and I hope you stick with us. 
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Post Edited (stkitt) : 1/12/2012 9:16:00 AM (GMT-7)


phillipo
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Date Joined Jan 2012
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   Posted 1/12/2012 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
i am just the same as you!on meds for 2 years,loads of testing and eventually a fundo.but symptoms still the same!arrrrrgh!

outdoorsgirl
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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/12/2012 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the responses. Kitt....I do feel better off the meds. I don't have as many symptoms now as I did when I was on the PPI's. But I do still have some burning.... usually by mid-day. Some days are pretty good. But others I notice the burning more. I am a cyclist and if I ride more that 15 miles my stomach begins to hurt. I haven't done any riding since I started going to the holistic doctor. I'm really hoping she can help me. I don't want to take the PPI's. I worry about the side affects down the road.....plus they made me feel bad and caused constipation!

Phillipo, At one point I was considering the surgery but I read some negative comments online from people who have had it done so I don't want to go that route until it has been improved. I started going to this doctor who is treating me for not enough acid. I'll be having the allergy testing done soon to rule out any food allergies. I am so hoping this doctor will be able to help me with this burning! I'm watching what I eat but sometimes it doesn't seem to matter. I'm sorry you have gone through so much and still dealing with the same issue! Do you have burning during the night? I can wake up during the night and I have no burning. And when I get up in the mornings I feel fine. If it were too much acid I would think night time would be the worst time!

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/13/2012 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
You might want to try the Koufman diet, it has helped me a great deal. I have not experienced heartburn at night, and only a couple of times in the day. Since starting this diet I have gotten rid of coughing, hoarseness & loss of my singing voice, throat clearing, and reduced my Nexium from 80 mg to 40 mg daily. I will bump the thread up here if you are interested, or you can search back for it.  There is a more restrictive "induction phase" that lasts two weeks.  If you don't see improvement in that time, the diet probably won't help you.  I saw some improvement in the two weeks, and improvements continued over about 2 months. 

Post Edited (sunbeam48) : 1/13/2012 7:52:56 AM (GMT-7)


lanab
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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 1/13/2012 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
outdoorsgirl said...
Thanks for the responses. Kitt....I do feel better off the meds. I don't have as many symptoms now as I did when I was on the PPI's. But I do still have some burning.... usually by mid-day. Some days are pretty good. But others I notice the burning more. I am a cyclist and if I ride more that 15 miles my stomach begins to hurt. I haven't done any riding since I started going to the holistic doctor. I'm really hoping she can help me. I don't want to take the PPI's. I worry about the side affects down the road.....plus they made me feel bad and caused constipation!



Another PPI med free person, that's good that you can have control of your GERD problems.

Have you done everything needed as stop smoking if you do, have the correct BMI? eat proper food etc?

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the info, sunbeam! I found the thread and it's very interesting. I'm going to get the Koufman Diet book. The way I'm eating now isn't bad. I do cheat sometimes and have fast food....maybe once a week. But that's usually because I'm out and need to eat something. Even then it's usually Chick Fila grilled chicken sandwich....AND the fries! :/ My diet at home usually consists of Quaker slow cooked oatmeal for breakfast..with banana, little brown sugar and tsp of Smart Balance buttery spread. Lunch I normally eat Smucker's all natural peanut butter w/hon honey on whole grain bread and have a glass of fat free organic milk. For dinner it's either grilled chicken or canned wild Alaskan salmon with frozen veggies cooked in micro-wave and baked or boiled white potato or sweet potato. I don't eat sweets much anymore but will occasionally cheat and have something. I'm thinking about buying some all natural protein powder and mix with FF milk because I do strength training work outs and want to incorporate more protein in my diet. I used to add strawberries and walnuts to my oatmeal but when I started having this issue I stopped because I thought they might be adding to the problem. I eat red delicious apples but not sure anymore if that's a good choice after reading the other thread.

And thanks. lanab! I'm doing everything I can think of to stay off of PPI's. And no, I don't smoke and I'm pretty fit. I used to have a glass of red wine a couple of times a week but have stopped that for now. And I will have a mixed drink occasionally. I work out with weights and I cycle. I'm 5'5, weigh 127.....and trying to not to lose any weight.

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/13/2012 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like you have good eating habits most of the time. Peanut butter is pretty high fat, it would be better to stay away from that. Grilled chicken salad is a better fast food choice. I think you know that fries are an indulgence it is best to avoid.

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/13/2012 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah..i know the fries aren't a good choice. I just occasionally give in to the temptation. As for peanut butter...I thought I was making a healthy lunch choice but maybe not? I take it with me when I'm cycling because it's easy and a good source of protein. But guess I will need to find something to replace that too! :(

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/13/2012 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
The problem with our problem is that the rules are different from the healthy rules. There are no good fats, all fats are water insoluable so they take a lot of acid to digest. I don,t know the answer to your original question, but this is something pretty easy and not too costly to try.

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/13/2012 8:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, sunbeam. I ordered the book. I hope it helps. Do you have burning during the night? Or only during the day? I'm trying to find some people who have never experienced burning during the night while sleeping. I can wake up and i don't ever burn. It's only around mid day when it starts. Once I lay down it goes away.

aeshleyrose
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 1/14/2012 2:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey OutDoorsGirl,

Peanut Butter doesn't bother me at all. We all have different triggers and sensitivities.

Ashley

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/14/2012 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   
What's different about being on an actual diet is getting away from that whole notion of specific triggers. I feel much better not due to avoiding specific foods, but because I keep my entire diet low fat. I do eat some fats, and probably I was too quick to comment about the peanut butter. You can eat it, just be careful how much. Most protein sources do have some fat in them, and we need protein. I eat a few almonds most days, yogurt, skim milk, some meat. I eat a lot of vegetables and grains with the proteins. I also carefully balance acid foods with alkaline ones, like Triscuit reduced fat crackers or graham crackers or whole grain bread. I frequently eat an apple, with a few crackers.

I haven't experienced much burning at all, at any time. None at night. My symptoms have been in my stomach, and the throat stuff: coughing, clearing, hoarseness. I believe I definitely have an acid problem because of my stomach issues and the fact that I developed esophagitis including Barrett's. You might not have much acid, that is possible, but small amounts I believe can cause symptoms like yours.

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Ashley. I HOPE that will be the case for me! I hate to have to give up peanut butter. Right now it doesn't seem to matter what I eat, I'm going to have a little burning by the middle of the day. Of course if i eat certain things, like chocolate, I know it will be worse.

Sunbeam, I know what you're saying and I'm going to try to follow the diet for 2 weeks exactly like the book recommends you should. As I have said before, I try to keep my diet healthy with very little fat.....sweets being my weakness. I had a piece of homemade apple cake yesterday that my mom made and I paid for it later. The burning was worse. But then again, sometimes I will eat rich brownie from the bake shop and it really doesn't bother me very much. It's all such mystery!

As far as my other symptoms, if i over eat i will get the bloating discomfort and the cough. I will also have a little bit of a croaky sound to my voice and throat clearing. I will be having my food allergy blood work done next week to rule out that as a possible cause.

I really appreciate all the feedback I'm getting! :)

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
My Naturopathic doctor believes that I don't have enough acid. And she told me that even though I don't have enough, it can still cause the same symptoms as too much.

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/14/2012 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Outdoorsgirl, be careful not to confuse the acidifying foods and alkalinizing foods lists from the naturopaths, with the actual pH of foods. They are very different, and often opposite. They measure acidity of your sweat or urine, I believe, whereas the Koufman diet is based on the pH of foods as they are eaten. Unless your naturopath measured the acidity inside your stomach, she really can't know about stomach acid. But your naturopath is correct, too little and too much acid can produce similar symptoms. I believe that too much acid is more common, so that is the assumption most physicians make. There are books you can buy, you might check out the reviews at Amazon.com. But before you spend more money, I think trying this diet for two weeks makes sense. But I'm not you.

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/14/2012 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
My doctor told me that there isn't really a good test for testing acid levels. Is that correct?

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know the details, but there are ways to measure stomach acid that have been posted by others here. I believe your doctor's statement is not correct, but maybe he/she feels the tests aren't very good.

aeshleyrose
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey OutDoorsGirl,

The test Kitt mentioned above is the standard for diagnosing achlorhydria (low stomach acid).

There is also esophageal pH monitoring, which can monitor when acid splashes back up into the esophagus.

Hope this helps :)
Ashley

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/15/2012 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Ashley and Kitt. I will be asking my doc about the acid test.

Can either of you...or anyone else here on the forum...... tell me if an endoscopy can detect whether or not a person has a faulty LES? I had an endoscopy last October and the doctor said I had a little gastritis and a little acid reflux but didn't seem to think it was a big deal. I didn't think to ask him about the LES.

bcfromfl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 1/15/2012 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Some doctors claim to be able to visually diagnose the integrity of your LES by the way it "grips" the scope when the camera is turned upwards within the stomach. If he tells you this, find a new doctor.

Many reflux patients have LES muscles that work just fine some of the time, but there are unpredictable relaxations that allow reflux. This is not understood, but to claim the function of the LES is "OK" in a brief moment in time is conjecture, not science.

-Bruce

outdoorsgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/15/2012 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for that info, Bruce. I appreciate it. I'm just so frustrated. I want to know if I have too much acid due to relaxed LES..... or not enough acid!.....to which I'm assuming means the LES is not the problem? I feel like until this is settled, I really don't know what direction to go! I must be in a very small minority when it comes to not having any issues during the night. And my biggest problem during the day is burning esophagus and tenderness in the upper abdomen, with a little cough and phlegm after a meal. Still planning on trying the Koufman diet and keeping fingers crossed that it will help!

sunbeam48
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Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 1/16/2012 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I will watch for your post on the Koufman diet thread.

bcfromfl
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Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 1/16/2012 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, this is a very confusing condition, that almost defies understanding...because there seem to be a host of varying symptoms, that affect everyone differently. Not to mention, there may be multiple causes.

Certainly, there seems to be an "acidity" connection for some people, and those with normal GER can trace their temporary symptoms to something they ate that caused an overproduction of stomach acid. But this is not always true with GERD. I don't dispute that there are some that have a perpetual overproduction of acid, and I think for this subcategory of patients, the diet can probably offer some relief. Perhaps some of these patients have a normal LES, and the symptoms are due to "normal" reflux that carries a larger-than-normal amount of stomach contents/acid with it. So, if the acid is managed through diet, then the normal reflux won't be as corrosive.

Then, there are the vast majority of patients (IMO) with LES issues, either by way of involuntary muscle problems, or abnormal nerve signals via the vagus nerve. For these folks, perhaps the only diet adjustment that will offer much is eliminating trigger foods.

-Bruce

aeshleyrose
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 1/16/2012 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Word, Bruce.

It is so incredibly confusing, not to mention that we're all different and all have different symptoms. Just getting a proper diagnosis is a battle. I am so glad that the Koufman diet helps people, I am just (unfortunately) not one of them.

Take care all,
Ashley
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