Posted 1/15/2013 4:48 PM (GMT -7)
-I have been reading this forum for a long time, and decided I should finally join. I just wanted to briefly share my story. I am 32 years old, and otherwise healthy. I hope my story inspires/encourages people to stop suffering and look for alternative cures.-I was over exerting myself at the gym 2 and a half years ago. I was trying to put on muscle mass. One day after the gym, food began sticking in my esophagus like nothing I have ever experienced. My physician suspected I had a hiatus hernia, and recommended I see a visceral specialist in his office in Seattle. I scoffed at the idea at first, but was experiencing so much discomfort that I went the following day. I saw the visceral specialist, and my stomach was pulled down with instant and dramatic relief.
-Most of my symptoms were corrected(less the occasional heartburn-a handful of times per month). I then moved to Portland(Portlandia), OR(1 year and 5 months ago), and starting experiencing similar symptoms again. I spoke with a naturopath who was trained by the originator of the hiatal hernia manipulation. He would perform the technique, and I would feel better for a month. I kept having to see him more frequently. He couldn’t understand why my hernia kept sliding back up into my diaphragm. I then sought out an osteopath. The osteopath tried to do the same thing with little result. Once, I drove myself to the ER because my voice was changing, and I felt like I was unable to breathe. I sat in the ER parking lot and decided to go home and manipulate my stomach like I saw on YouTube tutorials.
-I then decided to visit “one of the best gastroenterologists in Portland.” Through my research, I told him I thought I had a hiatal hernia. He highly doubted me. I was extremely frustrated as I had only experienced heartburn on a rare occasion growing up. We did an endoscopy and it was confirmed. I have a 3cm sliding hiatus hernia, and a non functioning les valve. He told me my options were a proton pump inhibitor or the Nissan Fundoplication. I asked him if he ever thought there would be a day when physicians would look back in horror that they performed these surgeries on otherwise healthy individuals? He said, “potentially.” He knew I enjoyed research, and asked me to look into the Linx Procedure through the Torax Medical Group.
-I didn’t know what the Linx was at first, but had already researched the Esophyx TIF procedure. I loved that the Linx could be reversed, and had a 45 minute operating time. I sought out the only surgeon in Oregon offering it at that time(approx. 7 months ago). She performed another endoscopy, a bravo test, and 2 manommetries. The first manommetry was about 2-3 months ago. I fit all of the inclusion criteria for the linx except that my results indicated I potentially had an esophageal motility disorder. I sent my tests to some additional doctor friends to interpret the data. They believe my tests to be inconclusive and blamed a faulty technician or faulty equipment. I spoke with my surgeon on the phone yesterday, and she has asked me to come in for another manommetry in 3 months as I stick to my low carb diet. Additionally, she said that she has seen hundreds of patients in the last ten years and agreed that GERD is definitely linked to diet. She also believed my results to be skewed.
***I should note that for the handful of months I was waiting to meet with the Linx surgeon, I refused to take a proton pump inhibitor and drank bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar(diluted with water) before each meal. It was strange but I could feel my les valve close every time I drank the organic vinegar. If I drank it before a meal, it relieved almost all of my symptoms and closed the valve. It was extremely tart, so I eventually succumbed to omeprazole. I got a call from the Linx surgeon who said I met the exclusion criteria for the Linx procedure. She was only on the fence with the strength of my esophagus, and asked me to come in for another mannometry. I went back in for the PH mannometry, was told, “you have the esophagus of a 70 year old”.
-Now devastated about the realization of having a partial or full nissen fundoplication, I did more research. I asked for a prescription of 10mg of omeprazole(which coincidentally isn't offered in the stores-go figure), and told myself I was going to get off these terrible drugs. Besides some alcohol I drank over the holiday, I have dramatically reduced my carbohydrate intake recently and have weaned myself off Prilosec. I have adopted a low "specific" carbohydrate diet according to the teachings of my hero, Dr. Norm Robillard(who I have seen posting on here years ago). I have been off omeprazole for 2 weeks with absolutely no reflux. I was on a proton pump inhibitor for 2 and half months before. This should be noted as weaning off omeprazole will take different times per individual. I feel extremely blessed. The only problem is that I don’t feel any movement in my les valve. My gastro and my surgeons originally laughed at me for my low carb diet. I now have no symptoms and have gotten their attention. The only problem I have remaining is that my les valve is open 24/7. I hope to use HCL tablets to get it to close soon. I would encourage everyone to check out the following links. I have no affiliation with either doctor. Additionally, I would love to hear your feedback.