You have been through a lot of struggle and pain, and I know how frustrating it is to have test after test and not have the doctors come to a firm conclusion and treatment plan that will get you back to normal. And we get so used to going to the doctor and getting a cure or treatment and the problem goes away, that it can be a shock the first time you are told that there may be no cure, you'll have to live with it, and here are the changes in diet and lifestyle you'll need to make or the physical therapy exercises you'll need to do for the rest of your life. I feel fortunate I got in to my 60s before that shock hit me.
So much of what you describe above seems to be brought to the forefront by gas and burping, I can't help but think that if you got that under control it would certainly make life more bearable while you continue testing to find out exactly what else to do. And so many of us with heartburn/GERD/reflux, etc. end up messing up our digestive systems just because of the drugs used to treat it, that if we didn't have IBS before, we are probably suffering from it now. So for what it's worth, here's what has got my gas and burping under control.
2 capsules saccharomyces boulardii probiotic (other dairy based probiotics are fine, if you can tolerate the lactose)
With breakfast and dinner::
1 capsule Yerba Prima fiber
With every meal:
1-2 capsules Digest Gold digestive enzymes.
While I doubt this will work for everyone, it has definitely made the difference for me. I have a regimen of nutritional supplements that I take every day as well, any of which I can skip a day or two with and suffer no real consequences. But if I skip any of the above three, I notice the difference right away, the same day.
I have also started following the principles described in Fast Track Digestion (yes- another diet!) by Normal Robillard, who's theory is that excess bacteria feeding on excess carbohydrates causes gas and bloating in the stomach, which in turn causes heartburn and reflux. For those without actual physical causes(hernia, weak LES, etc.), he may be onto something. At the very least, it's way to handle excess bacteria without resorting to the over use of antibiotics.
He has analyzed all carbohydrates and classified them based on a "fermentation factor", or how likely they are to cause gas. So not all carbs are forbidden. For example, Russet potatoes are allowed. All other varieties are not. Jasmine rice is allowed, but most other rices are not. His book is an interesting read. First half is devoted to explaining the science behind his method, and the second to actual recipes and meal plans.
I wish you well.
Post Edited (rjdriver) : 3/31/2014 11:13:12 AM (GMT-6)