Paul - you mentioned that your LES was normal. What is the best test to find this out? And if it is normal what is the cause of the reflux?
I don't know what's the best test to find this out, but mine was done via upper endoscopy. If your LES is considered to be normal there are still many other causes of GERD. According to Dr. Jamie Koufman, the majority causes of GERD is diet. So it's what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat, and what we drink.
GERD can also be caused by certain medications (such as antibiotics), food allergies, pregnancy, hormone imbalance, chemotherapy, and many other things. But because diet seems to impact most people, that's where most people should start.
I didn't start feeling better until I stopped drinking caffeine, alcohol, most herbal teas, food with MSG, dairy, gluten, and switched to eating organic vegetables, fruits, and home made chicken vegetable soup. I eliminated diary and gluten for 90 days and then slowly introduced them back into my diet.
At it's worse the pain was constant and felt like someone was pressing their fist against my upper abdomen, with pain sometimes shooting up my chest and arms. The pain was so bad that I would sometimes stand for hours because lying down hurt too much. Sometimes it felt like I had an extra heart beat down in my stomach and sometimes it felt like I had an eel down there that would wiggle.
I had low energy, a general feeling of overall malaise and doom, my anxiety would shoot up through the roof, especially during my esophageal spasms which would trigger my SVT (rapid heartbeat). I thought it would never end. Until one day I finally said to myself I have had enough and that I would do whatever it took to get better, with or without my doctors.
So I started reading..... A LOT. I went to healthfood stores to check and see if they had free seminars on health. I found several that hosted free seminars on digestive health and how to fight inflammation. I attended them all. I learned that the majority of my specific problems were caused by my abuse of alcohol, drinking coffee everyday, eating too many processed foods, and not eating enough nutritious food.
Combined with a risky lifestyle of staying out late at night and working early in the morning, not dealing with stress effectively, etc. it's no wonder my body started falling apart. So I made a tough decision to change my lifestyle. So I didn't just change what I ate, I started exercising more, I started meditating nearly everyday, I was kinder to more people, I stopped blaming outside forces for my troubles, and I took 100% responsibility for my own happiness and health.
At one point, I was only able to eat baby food and pureed food. I also ate a lot of applesauce. But I persevered.
I lost a ton of weight. But after about 6 weeks of eating pureed food, peeled apples, and bananas, I finally started feeling better. At that point I began adding more foods to my diet, but I mostly stuck with home made chicken vegetable soup and ate fish and poultry for protein.
Though I still have many months to go before I'm fully healed, I feel much, much better than I did back in June when I went to the ER. And today, I'm now addicted to different kinds of foods like Kale - Spinach salad. Portebello Mushroom burger (no meat). Chicken Vegetable soup.
I'm hoping by New Year's Eve I'll be able to enjoy a glass of wine (or two). =)
Paul - Diagnosed gastritis and erosive esophagitis in 2011. Conquered it once and am going to conquer it again because this time I've taken total ownership of my health. Gluten, dairy, MSG, sulfite, caffeine, alcohol free. Said goodbye to canned and processed foods, my gut deserves it.....