I have read countless stories on this forum and want to thank you all as I have learned a lot from many of you but I have not posted until now. I am rather excited but very unsure what is going on so please allow me to explain my story below.Profile and backstory:
I am a 34 year old male, 6'2" 220lbs, average build, few spare pounds in the belly but not much. I was diagnosed having GERD with a 6cm hiatal hernia when I was 20 using an endoscope. I had a follow up endoscope 6 years ago and another one done a few months ago. Until a couple years ago I ate the typical american diet, which was full of crap food, processed foods and enough sugar to choke a horse. I seriously ate a ridiculous amount of sugar filled foods since I have been a child.
Like most of us I was put on various PPIs from my GI docs. I used them for over a decade and have suffered the wrath of using PPIs. I had trouble digesting foods, have lived for years malnutritioned from not digesting foods. A few years ago I was diagnosed as having both hormone and thyroid problems that are being treated as well, which I think are linked to so many years of not absorbing various vitamins and minerals from the PPIs. What I have tried:
A few years ago I had enough of the PPIs and food digestion problems. I had to find a way out, so I found this forum and a few helpful websites. I had first switched to using several H2 blockers instead of PPIs for a few months, but that didn't help much.
I found this very helpful website last year: http://chriskresser.com/get-rid-of-heartburn-and-gerd-forever-in-three-simple-steps/
I tried his regiment but it didn't help too much the first time. I think it was too soon after leaving the PPIs behind. Looking back I think I also did not take enough HCL, since my stomach was pretty much not producing ANY. I could eat an early dinner, and the food was still sitting in my stomach 6 hours later, trust me I know for sure it was still there. I also would pass vegetables and they would not be digested.
I continued on for several months just taking Tums when needed, which was pretty often and toughing through without the use of PPIs. I knew I needed a better solution. I also knew I was NOT going back on PPIs ever again.
I then attempted the regiment once again from the link above. I figured that maybe a few adjustments to it, as well as more time had passed since I stopped the PPIs, that maybe my body would adjust better.What I changed:
I have been following the regiment of:
1. using good quality strong probiotics every morning.
2. using multi enzymes everytime I ate
3. using HCL with pepsin everytime I ate
4. using an adjustable tempurpedic bed
5. cut out processed foods, trigger foods, cut down on sugars
6. eating a paleo inspired diet, not too strict but I try
7. stopped taking Tums and use chewing gum instead
8. started using this exercise when heartburn pops up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu2MQqS2ucY
A few months ago following the regiment above, I started out using 2 HCL pills and worked my way up each week adding 1 more pill at a time. I noticed as I increased pills I was starting to digest better, but would still have heartburn. I noticed around 4 - 6 pills I would get A LOT of burping after I ate but was actually starting to digest food. I worked my way up all the way to 11 pills every time I ate. While eating that many, I noticed I was finally fully digesting food again, it was a great feeling but was A LOT of pills to take every time I ate, it was kind of annoying.
Then after taking that many pills each time I ate for about
two weeks, I noticed a new heartburn, one that was different than ever before. It was actual TOO much acid heartburn, trust me it feels different! So I backed down on the pills to 8 then to 5, now I'm down to between 1 - 3 depending on what and how much I eat.
this time, during the decline of HCL pills required when I ate, I noticed a new sensation sometimes but not always. It was burning in the back of my throat. I had not had this before, it was always lower in the esophagus. I looked it up and it seems to be LPR, it's weird because I have never had this before at all. It continues now even though I'm down to 1 - 3 pills when I eat. It also happens randomly during the day when I'm not eating.
I still take 1 multi enzyme pill when I eat, and 1 probiotic each morning as well. I don't take the DGL as mentioned in the link, but I may try to soon, as I have some left over from when I tried them the first time mentioned above last year. Anyone have suggestions or stories about
Instead of using Tums when heartburn pops up, I'll do the exercise linked above any time of the day, I know it looks funny, but it is legit, it works! I also will use chewing gum to help produce saliva which is naturally alkaline. It works wonders as well.
I also changed my eating over the course of the last 3 years, I do not eat any fast food except Chick fil a. It's the only relatively decent quality food to eat when you need a quick meal when you are out, other than that, I switched to a mostly organic and / or natural diet for the food I purchase from the grocery store.
I try to eat a few hours before I go to bed at night, no late night snacks for me. I also purchased a tempurpedic bed with an adjustable base. The incline helps keep the acid down while I sleep, this was expensive for sure, but it's probably the best money I've ever spent. I don't regret 1 cent of it. Where I stand now:
Its only been like 2 weeks since I've been down to 1 - 3 HCL pills, so i'm still new to this situation. I have good meals and bad meals. I am trying to keep note of what doesn't sit well afterward. Most meals seem to only need 1 pill and I'm good afterward. If I notice any discomfort or feeling like food isn't getting digested from the 1 pill, such as crampy or bloating feeling, I'll take another pill or two and that solves the issue.
If I feel like I took a pill to much, then I'll chew gum or if it's night time and I am trying to sleep I will pop 1 Tums just for quick relief, but this is not often, it's only been like 2 nights in the past 2 or 3 weeks, which for me is a huge success from eating fist fulls of Tums several times every day.
I still have the LPR but it seems to be getting a little better and less often, maybe the DGL and / or Slippery Elm could help with that. Anyone know?My questions:
So I've shared my story, and I hope it helps some others with their journey to healing with GERD but I have a few questions myself.
1. Am I actually healing anything?
2. Has my stomach finally "learned" how much acid to produce?
3. Has anyone else had a similar experience?
4. Anything I should do or try for better results?
5. Does DGL or Slippery Elm actually help anyone?
6. Any suggestions for the LPR?
7. Anyone else have hormone or thyroid issues along with or a result of GERD?
Post Edited (Paulie B) : 4/24/2016 1:53:29 PM (GMT-6)