my cure for GERD

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riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/8/2006 12:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello people:

I am new to the forum and see that a lot of folks are suffering. This year after long having GERD symptoms, I got completely over the problem. Here is how I did it. I had had gastritis since college. Then after being treated for h pylora, I started to get GERD. It would come and go, but everytime it came back worse. I had tried pills and stronger pills and diet change and every home remedy (garlic, licorice, aloe, etc.) and exercise and bed raising and yoga, and none of that was working completely. I was finally thinking that I would try the surgery to fix it once and for all. My esophogas felt terrible, I had lots of pain front and back. It seemed really serious and getting worse. BUT...then I realized that the reading I had been doing of John Sarno could be applied to GERD, not just back or muscle pain. I really applied his techniques (which is to simply read his book and do journaling) and almost overnight my symptoms went away. It was amazing. The more that I believed, the better I got. I now eat whatever I want, sleep on a flat bed, drink alcohol routinely, exercise or don't, do yoga or don't and of course take zero pills. This has been a revelation to me...I am a natural born skeptic and realize that some think Sarno is a quack. What I have learned is that the body is tough and often we don't have a serious physical problem, but instead a mental issue that is manifested in the body. Whatever it is, it worked 100% for me. It stills takes work to read the book and journal and deal with anger and anxiety, but it is much better than fighting GERD the traditional way. (BTW, this theory explains why some of you have multiple symptoms, symptoms that mysteriously change or that dumfound doctors.) One last note: realize that a lot of info you see is influenced by the drug companies (who sponsor lots of these forums and websites.) Sarno would put many drug companies out of business..at least those that thrive on chronic ailments. Doctors are in the same boat...they need chronic patients to create lucrative specialty practices. So, give Sarnoa a try, avoid specialists and just get a good family doctor who can help you with the acute illnesses and the ocassional accident. Avoid the specialists! You can beat GERD and Sarno and his followers hold the key. Good luck and let me know if you hav questions.

Precious
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 11/8/2006 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Who is John Sarno?

whiskeygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 11/8/2006 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   

riverotter:

I too, beliee that alot of our symptoms can be helped thru therapy, over mind over matter. But, in the same token, we feel physical discomfort and it is hard to believe that it's only emotional. My therapist is working really hard with me to solve my emotional issues and hopefully my symptoms will subside. In the last two days, since my therapy session i have felt a little better, but I am also eating a little differently as well. I am very interested in reading John Sarno's book. Can u please tell me which one of his books you read? Thanks for all your information. I am glad you are better and I believe I am on the road to becoming better. And this is for everyone who reads this post, Keeping Positive thoughts are so important and I know it can be hard to do. My email address is available and if anyone would ever like to talk about their symptoms and see what we have in common, please take the liberty to write.

 

Melinda/aka/Whiskey Girl

 


riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/8/2006 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
"who is John Sarno?"

I hope I'm not repeating myself.....sorry for being long-winded.

He is an NYU School of Medicine doctor in NYCity with a large and growing following. He has four books available on Amazon, etc. He has appeared on Nightline, ABC 20/20 and has been publicized by Oprah (he cured one of her producers) and Howard Stern (he cured Stern of back trouble). His first bestseller was for back sufferers and talked about back pain as a distraction from emotional issues. He cured a lot of people, but also there was a big backlash from folks who accused him of minimizing their pain. They said, "it's not just in my head!" Sarno responds that the problems are real physical problems, but that the root cause is pent-up anger and emotions that create a physical symptomology. This has been the basic debate about his theories. (Even among his followers, there is debate about how it really works.)

Meantime, thousands of people have cured backpain and lots of other ailments like GERD and allergies using his theory. His second book is about mind-body healing and his third, just published, is a more general and academic work. Several books have been written by other authors using his theories and more are coming out all the time. I would recommend the 2nd and 3rd books.

I admit that the cure sounds too good to be true and I understand people being skeptical. But the darn thing works and should be considered by GERD sufferers, since not much else is helping. A good introduction is the 20/20 video with John Stossel (an ABC reporter) that you find at the bottom of the Wikipedia article listed at tmshelp.com. Even if you don't agree with it, Sarno is a fascinating guy and not a random quack. It is not just placebo effect, BTW.

I realize that it is not fun or easy to admit that a physical ailment is emotional, nor is it easy to drop all your physical treatments when you are in pain, but if you are brave (or desperate) give it a try and see whether you feel better. The trick is actually believing that nothing serious is wrong with you and that the body can heal itself. This requires ignoring the dire statements of the doctors. This is easier if the doctors say that they can't really figure out what is wrong. I used to think that my GI had a structural problem, but now, symptom-free, I think it was never really anything like that. So, read the book and ponder it.

Precious
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 11/11/2006 3:24 AM (GMT -7)   
That sounds like I'm already doing that theory....I 've been telling myself I'm healed. My symptoms are minimal if not anything, since I stopped taking prescription PPIs. However I'll look up his book online.

Precious
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 11/11/2006 3:25 AM (GMT -7)   
BY the way, I just tried that link you provided and it doesn't work. Is there another one?

riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/11/2006 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
the link is www.tmshelp.com

from there you can go the article in Wikipedia

at the bottom of the Wikipedia article is Stossel video

or go to Wikipedia article on "John E. Sarno"

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 11/14/2006 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi....I picked up the book at the library yesterday and read it last night.  I didn't find anything in it about journaling.  He talked alot about TMS and believing that you have TMS and not the condition that you have...and once you believe this then you tell yourself that TMS is harmless and the pain goes away. 

Is this the book you're talking about?  How long did it take for you to believe before you saw a change.  I'm willing to believe anything that will make GERD go away.


whiskeygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 11/14/2006 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Sillylilly:
 
Are you making dietary changes as well? I started prilosec again, zantac and adding the following into my diet, bananas, canteloupe, almonds, drinking fuji water and other stuff. I, for the first time in over a year have felt relief. My days are better - I'm sleeping better. It's not a 100%, but is a major difference.
 
Whiskey Girl

DANIE
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 11/15/2006 2:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Whiskey girl,
try using the DGL licorice instead of the Zantac - it's supposed to have the same effect without the drug.
While I do believe that our mind can heal, I also think that with GERD and other ailments, it's easy for people to say it's all in your head.
I heard that when I had my GERD episode recently since my symptoms were dizziness and nausea and not pain in the esophagus.
I had to tell myself that it wasn't in my head at different times since no one  really understood why I was having these symptoms.  I, in the end, cured myself definitely by using my brain.  Did alot of research and used an ALKALINE diet, sleeping ONLY on the left side, elevated torso.
I tried many supplements but believe that DGL licorice was the one supplement that finally healed me.
Good luck to all of you, believe me it takes alot of self control with the alkaline diet.  You basically go from eating the way you've always eaten to a total vegetarian diet. 
 
 

riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/16/2006 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I would like to restate that, using the Sarno method, you don't need any pills or herbals to get better. In fact, it is important to stop ALL treatment and realize that there is very little physically wrong. The problem is the repressed emotions causing distressing *symptoms*. The symptoms are real and bothersome and painful. And the symptoms, if ignored, can cause real damage. However, most GERD sufferers can probably drop all treatment (taper the strong drugs) and live life normally, if they will address the underlying cause, the emotional distress. Step 1: get in touch with inner issues (anger, sadness, rage), step 2: tell the body that you are done with GERD symptoms, step 3: act normally, resume old habits (drink alcohol, eat your favorite foods, sleep any old way, etc.)

Why do symptoms get worse for lots of people o conventional treatments? As you treat the symptoms, the mind has to work harder to make you miserable...to distract you from the issues in your mind. But once you recognize this strategy of your mind, you will become free of the symptoms. You break the cycle.

I wouldn't suggest this method if I didn't think it would work for a lot of people. Why do you think there is a sudden rise in GERD in the U.S.? It is the symptom group of the day. That is, it is a fad illness. The doctors and drug companies make a lot of money by treating these symptoms.

Remember it is not "just in your head." That is the big misunderstanding. Your mind and body are linked. The mind causes real distress, real symptoms. But the cure is found in the mind.

For example, when we are embarassed, our face gets red. This is a real physical change caused by our mind. If I said, "your face is red because you are embarassed," would you say, "don't say it's all in my head!" ? Of course not. The same is true of GERD. It is a real physical problem. The answer is in your mind...reject the symptoms and feel the emotions.

Again, this may sound too good to be true, but isn't this approach better than a lifetime of drugs and surgery? Give it a try and if it doesn't work, you can go back to your drugs and surgery. But I doubt many will need to do that.

Good luck and God bless.

PS: you may find that if you reject GERD, your mind will find other symptoms to throw at you (skin problems, headaches). You have to reject these the same way.

DANIE
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 11/17/2006 4:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Riverrotter,

I beg to differ!
You are basically saying that GERD is a real physical problem but that you can cure it with your mind!!!

Well, I agree partially, using your mind to get off drugs and using your brain to eat the correct foods - ALKALINE!!!!

You can go on and on touting the value of the Sarno method but unless you avoid many acidic foods, it will never work.

People have to give up alcohol - coffee - teas - milk - wheat - sugar to name a few. This is the start to healing your esophagus and stomach.

You can use all the other methods that you want but the food is the key at first. It's not easy and talk about willpower, you really need to use your brain to control yourself!!!

Lonibel
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 11/18/2006 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
How about the infants and children with GERD?  How can they have psychosomatic causes?

teaman
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 11/18/2006 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Back when I was still smoking, I tried hypnosis to make me stop smoking.  It did not work.  I am sure the Sarno method would not work on me.  The guy who tried to hypnotize me was a quack, so is Sarno.  Mind - body does not work.  Your mind CAN NOT heal your physical problems. 

riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/19/2006 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Question: if GERD is in the mind, then why do kids/infants have it?

That is a good question. I don't know. Children get all kinds of ailments. Usually if they are left alone, given basic normal care and love, they will get better. An example of this is the controversy now about treating childhood earaches, an alarming and widespread problem in young ones. Doctors are now questioning whether the heroic antibiotic treatment of earaches does any good and whether it would be better to just let the thing run its course. Another ailment turns out to be not so serious and to not need lots of drugs -- perhaps.

At any rate, why do folks want to pick apart a theory that might help them? People do fear quacks and false hope. That is reasonable....but I think we also fear getting better.

But to the main point, does mind-body work? Is another paradigm possible other than the western drugs and surgery way?

I would simply encourage folks to ponder why they have GERD? Is there anything going on in your life that is stressful or would produce anger? Do you deal well with anger? Is it possible that those repressed emotions could be causing you physical symptoms? Are you attached to your symptoms and to being "the sick one"? Be honest. Why is it that there is a GERD epidemic these days? Could it be a fashionable illness, pumped up by the pharm companies? If you reject all this, fine. But some of you may want to try an alternate way and here is one that worked 100% for me. As I have said, after trying everything except surgery, I now take no drugs and do all the things that are on the GERD bad list and am BETTER, not worse. I take in alcohol, dairy, acids or alkalines, spicy food, fatty foods, even coffee. (Sometimes when I feel symptoms coming back, I do something on the bad list just to prove to my mind that GERD is a mind-body thing.) How is that possible? I think Sarno's theories explain how this can happen. So, if you are brave or desparate (as I was), try Sarno or some of his copiers. Remember, it costs nothing (versus endless drugs and surgery and/or giving up certain foods for a lifetime.)

The biggest danger in this approach, I should note, is that symptoms could shift to another part of the body...you might lose GERD but gain a back ache...this, by the way, explains why your GERD probably goes away when you get a cold or the flu....

I hope this helps some of you...to the rest, I hope your other treatments go well : )

whiskeygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 11/19/2006 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Danie:
 
I bought the DGL Licorice and it tasted horrible, so horrible I gagged and vomited. I heard it also comes in a mint flavor. I'm thinking about trying that one. Any suggestions?

Whiskey Girl

DANIE
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 11/21/2006 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Whiskeygirl,
It tastes just like licorice, it you hate the taste then it will be hard for you to dissolve in your mouth. I never heard of the mint flavor. Actually mint is not good for people with GERD so I don't know what to tell you.
You probably hate the taste of licorice. Sorry....if you can't use it.

MOB1123
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 11/27/2006 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Rivverotter,
 
You have a really intersting post. Thanks for taking the time to post it up. What's intersting is that my accupuncturist/Chinese medicine physician said the same thing you were saying. That my reflux was the result of pent up anger, unexpressesd rage, and represssed anxiety. I refuse to believe GERD is a purely a physical "diesease." I have had heartburn maybe like 3, if not two times in my life. That's why for a while I couldn't figure out why I had a sore throat. So I went to an ENT, said it was due to acid reflux, said nothing, no advice...gave me a prescript for tagament for 20 days (which made me feel like my boobs were getting bigger, I'm a guy), I was eating like a pig for those 20 days, (I even clogged the toilet one time!) when I stopped it came back daily.
 
I believe in the mind and body connection. Going to check out that book. It is so totally weird, because there were times I drank a sh-t load and was fine, ate sh-tlloads of barbeque and drank tons of soda at barbeque and was fine. (the two times I was having fun)
For me it definetly is not a food trigger because I never had that hearburn problem in my life until now. (i'm 28) I think just stressing about acid reflux is causing it to continue. For me its hard to believe that eating two bannanas caused me to have a sour taste in my mouth. And nighttime reflux is really strange no?
It think it does come down to something related to the mind or even spiritual.
 
:-)  

riverotter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 11/30/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
MOB1123:

Glad to know that some are open to the mind-body connection. I remain virtually symptom-free and have been drinking alcohol, sleeping on a flat bed, eating chocolate, etc. When I start to feel symptoms coming on, I sit quietly and ask myself what is bothering me and that usually brings up powerful emotions and makes me feel better. I never would have thought it could be so powerful but it is. I agree that food triggers are probably a red herring.

The Sarno technique works best, I think, if one works on doing actions to lessen anger and rage, not simply feeling the emotions. If you hate your job, for example, you will get better results if you do something about that, rather than simply recognize that "oh, I hate my job." But doing things to make you happier is not such a bad thing...better than taking pills or having surgery so you can continue doing what you hate!

This all said, I do wonder how folks on the western medical treadmill can get off of it. There is so much pressure to view our ouselves as machines and not the mind-body-spirits that we are. Let us know if the books or techniques work for you. It might inspire others.

-- riverotter

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1524
   Posted 11/30/2006 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Whiskeygirl.........
I bought the DGL licorice a couple years ago and it was the worst tasting stuff I'd ever put in my mouth (and I'm not usually picky...hahahaha).
But the person who recommended it to me loved it.......so I guess we're all different. I just couldn't even force myself to chew it. Sorry you're having troubles too.

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 11/30/2006 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Riverrotter,

I really want to believe that you're right about this mind/body connection.  I read the book and I think there is something to it and I think that some gastro pain and nausea could be mental but when GERD is happening, it's because the valve between the stomach and esophagus is weak and doesn't close properly which allows acid to come up.  I don't see how that can be mental but your symptoms that you talk about certainly mirror mine.  Even as I write my chest is burning up and I've taken 2 prilosec and one pepsid today. 

So, did you really have acid coming up into your throat everyday and a burning chest, gaggy lumpy throat and your doctor diagnosed you with GERD?   And if you had these symptoms, what did you think, speak or tell yourself to get cured....it's so unbelieveable that you could cure GERD by telling yourself you don't have it.  The book I read really wasn't that specific about how to cure yourself. 

Just give us all the specifics so that we can try it....thanks,  Sillylilly 


WDC
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/1/2006 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I'm new to the forum, but have been reading it since I was diagnosed with LPR this summer. After 2 months on Prilosec, with symptoms subsiding, I had an upper GI X-ray, which resulted in a diagnosis of "severe reflux." It began to occur to me that the worse my diagnosis was, the worse I felt, so I decided to forgo the endoscopy my doctor recommended. I continued on, got no better or worse, took Prilosec as needed....

Then I read the posting about Dr. Sarno. It seemed to correspond with my gut feeling about more information making me sicker, so I bought the book (The Mindbody Prescription) and read it. Not only has the LPR shown great improvement (still a little throat lump now and then, but I'm working on that, with no medications or diet changes), I've also started running again after suffering from tendonitis in my ankle for over a year and a half!

Thanks for the information, Riverotter. I'm a believer.

Post Edited (WDC) : 12/1/2006 11:31:46 PM (GMT-7)


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 12/3/2006 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm wary of anyone who tells people to drop all their medications and start buying books written by a doctor with a "following". I'm also wary of doctors who prescribe meds and nothing else.

GERD as well as other medical conditions have various causes. Some probably are mental. Others may be physical. Most are probably some combination of the two, though. People should approach their problems accordingly, listening to their own bodies along the way.

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 12/3/2006 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   

WDC,

You  said you had LPR with severe GERD.  Did you have the heartburn and acid reflux also with burning in the chest?   That's the part for me that's so hard to overcome.  The excrutiating burning in my chest is so agonizing that to stop the meds is very scary for me.  I really want to try going off them and see if I can conquer it mentally.

Sillylilly 


WDC
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/3/2006 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Sillylilly,
Hi. My acid reflux affects my larynx, not my esophagus, so I had choking, coughing, gagging, and voice-loss kinds of symptoms, not heartburn. While I am definitely no expert in this, my guess would be that you would need to continue on some meds until the damage in your esophagus is healed - using the mindbody connection can potentially help reduce further instances of reflux, but it won't cure the structural damage that is already there.

The idea behind the mindbody connection is that your brain is creating symptoms to distract you from stress, anger, even rage that you're repressing. So, just as your brain causes you to blush when embarrassed (a physical reaction to an emotional trigger), it can cause your esophageal sphincters to allow acid to reflux. Other kinds of pain, such as back or joint pain, are caused (Sarno theorizes) by the body reducing the flow of oxygen to that area to create pain. So it's not an "all in your head" kind of theory - it's real pain, caused by your brain's reaction to repressed rage.

The pain you feel in your chest, I would guess, is now caused by damage done by the acid - it's not your brain depriving it of oxygen. It's like a cut on your arm. It needs to heal. Hopefully, though, using the mindbody connection ideas, you would be able to start to prevent future damage. That's, I think, why I still have some of that lumpy feeling in my throat. The gagging, coughing, and difficulty breathing that occurred when I was refluxing has gone - my hope is with no new acid being introduced into my larynx, the lumpy feeling will go away as well. It certainly has improved.

The causes of the rage could be immediate (things currently happening in your life), left over from childhood, or just a combination of the things we all put up with, finally reaching a critical point. There are certain personality types more susceptible to TMS (tension myositis syndrome, what Sarno has named this condition), such as perfectionists, those who try to please others, those with guilt or dependency issues, among others.

This is really more than "mind over matter," and not even Dr. Sarno claims it is the answer to all medical problems. It's just an acknowledgment that if we don't deal with the psychological, the brain can make the ramifications be physical. By the way, he considers acid reflux to be a TMS "equivalent," which are more complicated than the oxygen deprivation which causes joint pain, but still linked to the psychological. He addresses this in chapter 7 of "The Mindbody Prescription."

I hope this helps. Do read the book if any of this seems to be a fit for you. Let me know if I can be of help.

WDC

Post Edited (WDC) : 12/3/2006 3:06:50 PM (GMT-7)

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