Pretty much fully recovered from 2.5 years of gerd

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droper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 6/26/2012 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Wanted to document my story since it may help.Its been about 2 months since I have achieve a 98% full recovery. I am 32 years old.

Got sick during a trip and developed gerd like symptoms.Partly from eating meals that were too large I think , antibiotics and PPI were given to me that inflamed it even worse when I stopped taking them it was even worse than when I started. This all happened in the course of about a month or so.

I slept almost sitting up at the beginning due to sleep being impossible. I did not know it was gerd at the start and thought I just had bronchitis or some kind of lung problem.


Once I realized the problem I learned how to eat properly for the first time in my life and it was a crash course.

Shakes and blended low fat foods to reduce time spent in the stomach. The reason you want this is once you are feeling the gerd it means that you have had gerd for a while and the irritation has penetrated deep into the tissue of the esophagus from my understanding. You need to reduce that irritation so that when you have you have reflux it really doesn't feel bad because its rare and not constant.

I also started eliminating foods like unions, tomatoes , citrus vinegar. Anything that is acidic and spicy which will irritate tissue further. Small meals and to reach full recovery I got to about 3 healthy meals from having 5 smaller ones over the course of the years.

Too get off the PPI they gave me I used zantac and slowly weened off of it by cutting the zantac pills into smaller and smaller doses till I did not need them any more. I took one before going to bed and a bigger dose in the morning. This process took a few months.

Over the course of the first year I got my bed down to about a 20 degree angle. Sleeping on an angle is key as well as not eating past a certain time of the night. Also I do not drink alcohol if you can avoid it. I stuck to water and fruits drinks with alcohol here and there but rarely avoiding beer or carbonated drinks entirely though it seems I can drink them now with no ill effect , I am not going to push my luck though.

Discipline is everything. Whenever I strayed I felt it.As for doctors, they were useless.

There is another key factor in my recovery.. EXERCISE!!!. I think the key reason for this is that exercise stimulated growth hormones and helps drop unwanted weight. Without it I do not think I would be able to sleep without the bed raised like I do now as my sphincter did not seem to do the job till I started doing it about 5 months ago. I run, do elliptical and weights about 30-40 min a day and I DO NOT EAT RIGHT BEFORE, EVER!!!

My diet today is pretty much what any normal person would eat but probably a bit less just to be cautious. I NEVER OVER EAT. I do not take my recovery for granted and will do everything in my power not to go back to that hell.

Good luck to you all, I hope you find relief and do not lose hope. I was very depressed during the first year and a half of this crap condition, but I pushed though and I feel like I have a second chance at life now.

sunbeam48
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 6/26/2012 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your post. Your thinking seems to be that if you give your body some rest it can heal. Very interesting. Have you found any research supporting this?

new_2012
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 6/27/2012 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been weaning off Zantac for more than a month. Was depressed that I was not able to kick it off. Your post gives me hope. I will try it slowly cut it down over few months

Thanks

droper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 6/27/2012 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
sunbeam48 said...
Thank you for your post. Your thinking seems to be that if you give your body some rest it can heal. Very interesting. Have you found any research supporting this?


In terms of the esophageal tissue some reflux wont wont bother you. The problem is the repeated and prolonged exposure that makes it burn bad due to tissue irritation getting worse and worse. I realize that my situation was my own there are many and worse that probably can only be fixed with medications/surgery right now. I know for a fact though that diet mastery is key to restoring digestive health. You have to learn how to eat with reflux. For me this meant cutting out dairy as well as bread for the most part though today I can eat anything. I ate a lot of oatmeal when my situation was worse and I highly recommend it as a gerd food with any flavoring you like really.

- Fat sits in the stomach the longest
- Protein is the only thing the stomach acid actually breaks down so try to only eat lean proteins with veggies.
- Eat carbs as you see fit but try to stick to carbs without skins like corn or beans unless you puree them. The skins will claw at irritated tissue through out your digestive tract. Quinoa , oatmeal , rice, Steamed veggies(softens them). Stay away from flax seed and hard shelled anything that will hurt. Citrus and spicy will hurt as well.
- Do not drink water with meals, I wouldn't drink for like 1 30 min after a meal or at least 30 min before.
-Never Fill the stomach always leave it at least 1/4 empty.

As for the sphincter strengthening theory is based on this known fact which is explained the quote below.I'm not saying it will fix everyone's sphincter, but it cannot hurt it to do some exercise. I do not mean go nuts on exercise either. Start slow and work your way up steady and comfortably, it is not a race.

"Exercise will trigger the generation and release of human growth hormone by the pituitary gland to stimulate the body to increase its production of bone, muscle, or connective tissue cells. Human growth hormone was synthesized for use as a muscle-building supplement as a direct result of the desire by some athletes to become bigger and stronger. The pituitary gland also regulates the function of two other glands whose hormones are released in response to exercise—the thyroid gland and the adrenal gland."
http://www.faqs.org/sports-science/Ha-Ja/Hormonal-Response-to-Exercise.html

Post Edited (droper) : 6/27/2012 6:24:17 PM (GMT-6)


WJF
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 273
   Posted 6/27/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you droper for posting such an encouraging post. I am still recovering from GERD applying more or less the same method as yours. I'd say now I am only 80% well. The 20% left is a chronic acid dyspepsia condition that stays on and off for months now. I often feel stomach juices coming out at the wrong time, experience irritation on my chest when that happens.

Do you use blender alot? It's interesting to hear shakes and blended food are easier for the stomach.

I have a few more complications that slow down my recovery: work stress, frequent insomnia, underweight, so I couldn't take on a very restrictive diet and rigorous exercise regimen. I need fat and carbs in my diet. Light ex. is done 15 to 20mins a day. Sometimes I skip it when I feel tired.

Any more tips you can give me? I think this is the way to go.

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 6/28/2012 10:15 AM (GMT -6)   
There are many different flavors of GERD out there. Some people have only upright reflux and are perfectly fine to lay down and not have any reflux, even after a huge meal.

When people post their recovery diary or tips, it would be most helpful to know the symptom pattern that the person experienced (and that the dietary/medication etc. changes worked on). This is a frustrating condition for many (me included), particularly due to the lack of a one-size-fits all solution and often there are generic tips given (smaller meals, stop smoking, lose weight) that people were already doing.

I am glad to hear people have individual success though. Most of us are still looking.

sunbeam48
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 6/28/2012 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had very good success with the Koufman diet, which has some similarities to yours, and some big differences. It was specifically developed for people with LPR symptoms, and it isn't clear what your symptoms were or are. I will generally stick with something that has a little research support, and I guess yours has none.  The FAQ.org quote would not be considered research.  I still appreciate your post, it is interesting.

Belly-achin_Momma
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/7/2012 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
droper- you really give me hope.

I have just been diagnosed with this whole mess: acid reflux (which seems like it showed up out of nowhere & has gotten progressively worse over time) and now possibly hiatal hernia. I have been forced to make serious dietary changes, but some of the things you mention in your post I did not know. I have still been eating black beans & corn & flax seed mixed in my oatmeal! oops.

The more I read, the more I realized I have to learn if I want to return to living a productive & fulfilling life.

Still... It is so nice to hear that perseverance does pay off. Praying for the same success for myself. Congrats!

guddan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 7/7/2012 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrats dropper.
As you said, discipline is the key.
I am trying most of the points that you have mentioned. Its still early stages for me as I started these changes only 3 months ago.
I am still learning my list of foods to eat and foods to avoid and time of eat. Your post does gives hopes to many of us.
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