I have suffered from GERD for nearly 20 years. Over the past 2 years the problem spiraled out of control to the point that I would awaken every night with a burning in my stomach and chest along with a severe headache. On at least 6-8 occassions over the past two years, I would be sick for 7 day stretches where I could not eat. I was miserable. The doctors simply had me doubling up and tripling up on my acid blockers (I have been on omeprazole, zantac, previcid, priolosec, carafate, etc.....literally every medicine out there:(. The medicine was not working as my body had built up a tolerance to so much of it for so many years.
THE SOLUTION: I read a book called "No more heartburn" by Sherry Rodgers. I now take Similase digestive enzymes, Jarrow probiotics, Aloe vera gel caps, and L-Glutamine daily....all natural and no more heartburn....and best of all I'm off all of my prescription meds.....it is literally a miracle. Take my word for it, I was desperate. Your body is crying out for a natural solution.....not acid blockers. Try it and let me know how you do. I will let you know that you must stick with the program. Do not get discouraged in the beginning....after a month, I was soooo happy. A miracle has happened in my life. I used to carry an empty water bottle with me everywhere I went (you know why).......no more. Read this book or any other on the subject and implement the solutions based on your specific symptoms. YOU have control over your illness! YOU can do it!
Chia seed drink or eating a table spoon of chia paste made at home also helps. Slowly chewing Cinnamon sticks will temporarily relieve your acid reflux problems if it is worst. Chewing then daily has been proven to produce results. Even though Chia seeds and Cinnamon have a harsh taste they help a lot.
My mother also no longer suffers GERD, LPR (both severe for 5 years) and is 95% improved with gastritis after a year (has had this for 25 years/severe for the last 5). She currently takes digestive enzyme supplements to improve digestion and betaine HCI with pepsin supplements (for low stomach acid). The proteases (enzymes that digest protein) improve gastritis. Proteases helps reduce inflammation, clean out debris and infection, and stimulate healing.
My mother too had "built up a tolerance" to acid blockers which i will reword as "the drugs had lowered her already low stomach acid so low there was no hope of masking symptoms now". :)
"Just as studies show acid secretion declines with age, it is also well established in the scientific literature that the risk of GERD increases with age.
If heartburn were caused by too much stomach acid, we’d have a bunch of teenagers popping Rolaids instead of elderly folks. But of course that’s the opposite of what we see.
In fact, according to Jonathan Wright, MD of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington state, when stomach acid is measured in people suffering from heartburn and GERD it is almost always low, not high. In his book Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, Wright explains:
When we carefully test people over age forty who’re having heartburn, indigestion and gas, over 90 percent of the time we find inadequate acid production by the stomach.
In Wright’s 25 years of conducting these tests, he found very few people with excess stomach acid. Excess stomach acid is only found in a few rare conditions like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome), and GERD is hardly ever associated with too much stomach acid.
What’s more, Wright and other clinicians have found that giving hydrochloric acid supplements to patients with heartburn and GERD often cures their problem."
Excerpt from "What Everybody Ought To Know (But Doesn’t) About Heartburn & GERD" by Chris Kresser.
"When people are consuming large amounts of food products that have been highly processed, the digestive enzymes in that food have been destroyed by heat (anything over 118 degrees F.). The body normally uses the enzymes in the food you eat to help break it (the food you consume) down.
So, without those enzymes normally present in your food, the burden falls entirely on the body to make sure it produces enough to meet the needs of your digestive system. This can and many times does result in indigestion, reflux, heartburn, constipation and bloating."
Excerpt from "Digestive Enzymes - King of Indigestion, Bloating and Acid Reflux Remedies" By Lorn Allison Doctoral Candidate, L.M.T.
I am afraid to get off of the Pantoprozole because I have Barretts Esophagus and if I take something holistic and it doesn't work, I will have esophagial cancer. I have two friends now that died of it. If I go to my doctor and tell him I am no longer taking the proton pump inhibitor, he will just say, "Okay, if you want to die, go ahead."
Mitme. Perhaps you can try the suppliments I suggested while taking your Rx meds. That's what I did in the beginning....gradually taking less and less of the Rx drugs. I am now six months in and still take the Rx drugs now and again as need (mostly because I can now eat a wider range of foods including pizza and french fries). The good news is that my episodes of digestive discomfort clear up much faster (daily events) as opposed to lingering for a week or longer. I now feel more in control of my health and when I do suffer from an attack it is not nearly as severe as in the past. Good luck....let me know if you try the suppliments.
I know this has some truth to it. When my doctors finally started to think it was my stomach not my lungs that were the root of the problem my respiralogist suggested taking vitamin 2000mg a day in case it was H plyori, well that helped more than the pantaloc!!
However only helps a like and if I don't take gaviscon everytime I eat, the gastritis pain increases and I start to wheeze and my peak flow drops so the lungs defintely are not happy ..... but no asthma involved yay!!
I just wanted to add to this thread as more recently my mother was having some mild acid reflux issues. Of course there is always a cause and the problem was finally found to be the iron supplements she had started. I forgot to add to my previous answer that she also finds taking magnesium helps a lot when stressed. Also, probiotics are very helpful when stressed. She needs to keep taking the betaine HCI with pepsin supplements although many will find they no longer need this.
Excerpt from "Betaine Hydrochloride(HCL) With Pepsin" by Schlesinger
After having used the Betaine HCL for eleven weeks, at a dosage of two capsules per meal, without any discomfort, Joan now notices that she feels a burning sensation when taking the two capsules. She therefore reduces her dosage to one capsule at mealtime. After several more weeks, even one capsule per meal produces burning and Joan discontinues altogether. This is a sign that the stomach has been re-trained to produce adequate concentrations of hydrochloric acid without the further need for supplementation."
Dr Hyman has an excellent article on 3 Simple Steps to Eliminate Heartburn and Acid Reflux:
"3 Steps to Permanently Overcoming Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Step 1: Treat the Bugs if You Have Them
If you have H. pylori, treat it with triple antibiotic therapy from your doctor.
Treat yeast overgrowth with antifungal drugs such as nystatin or Diflucan or herbs such as oregano or caprylic acid.
Treat bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel with Xifaxin (see my blog on irritable bowel syndrome).
Step 2: Change Your Diet
Try to eliminate dairy and gluten (see www.celiac.com for sources of gluten in the diet).
Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, citrus, tomato-based, and spicy foods.
Don’t eat within 3 hours before bed.
Don’t eat junk food.
Avoid processed foods.
Eat cooked foods, like fish, chicken, cooked veggies, and rice; avoid raw food for now.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals, at least 4 to 5 times a day.
Step 3: Try Some Natural Remedies to Help Soothe the Gut
Take 2 to 3 capsules of digestive enzymes with each meal.
Re-inoculate the gut with healthy bacteria by using probiotics.
Try 75 to 150 mg of zinc carnosine twice a day between meals — this has been extensively studied and is used frequently in Japan.
Take 3 to 5 grams of glutamine powder in water twice a day to help heal the gut lining.
Chew 2 to 3 chewable tablets of DGL (a form of licorice) 15 minutes before meals.
Try 200 to 400 mg of magnesium citrate or glycinate twice a day.
As you can see, there’s no need to suffer from heartburn and reflux — or to take expensive and dangerous acid-blocking drugs. I hope the changes I’ve suggested here will soothe your stomach and have you feeling healthy in no time!"
Dairy products, milk, ice cream, cheese and sometimes orange juice cause mucus. Maybe you should avoid these and see if it helps. Also try putting salt water up your nose to dry out the sinuses - if you can, use some xylitol in your salt water mixture. It's a form of sugar that can help sinus infections.
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