about 4 years ago, after a course of anti-biotics, I started getting night reflux - waking at between 2am and 4am retching on acid in my throat, and sometimes vomiting bile.
My doctor diagnosed stress and gave me PPIs. After 6 months of sleep deprivation, and two stones of lost weight, I privately arranged a gastroscopy - but it didn't give any clues.
My doctor told me to learn to live with it.
Various things helped relieve symptoms a bit, to make it all slightly less miserable:
* avoiding stress
* propping up the head end of my bed
* avoiding carby foods, sugar
* avoiding a fatty breakfast
* avoiding alcohol
* decaf green tea
* avoiding caffeine (although drinking coke/pepsi helped (?!))
* cutting out spicy/tomatoey foods
The PPIs relieved symptoms for a week, but then the symptoms came back with a vengeance (even though I kept taking the PPIs).
After about a year I thought I had it under control by watching what I ate and taking pro-biotics. But unfortunately it came back. And kept coming back.
After three years of sleep deprivation and wretching I was at the end of my tether. I felt that if I was to die tomorrow, that'd be a shame, but at least I wouldn't have to put up with my stomach hating me any more.
In desperation, I tried a faecal transplant. I'd vaguely heard of it as a cure for certain stomach problems, and basically I'd have tried anything by that stage.
It's not something I can recommend you do outside of treatment by your doctor, but I didn't really have a choice - they don't do it round my way, so I had a go myself.
With hindsight I'm guessing that:
* I had an imbalance of gut bacteria
* This was presumably kicked off by a course of antibiotics I'd had shortly before
* The faecal transplant re-introduced the various 'good' bacteria I was missing, which then flourished and restored a healthy gut
I borrowed some stool from a healthy donor. Ideally I would have had it screened for nasties by a doctor/lab, but unfortunately I didn't have that option. I can't recommend doing it yourself, because there is the risk of catching something dangerous.
Anyway, I did it. I was desperate.
First I tried an enema. It was pretty unpleasant, messy, and I was skeptical that the bacteria would get to where they needed to be. Didn't seem to do a lot.
But what really worked - I mean all symptoms stopped (for good) within 48 hours:
* I took some pro-biotic capsules, twisted them open, and dumped the contents
* I filled them each with a sample of 'healthy bacteria' (uggh)
* I zip-bagged them and stuck it in the freezer
* Once frozen, I took one with water
Pretty gross (though the capsules didn't taste of anything), and pretty reckless, because I could have caught something nasty.
But it worked. Within two days I was back to my old self. I'd made a few, but the rest were binned - one was enough, and I was cured.
Don't try this at home, but do tell your doctor. And if you are a doctor, please take note.