I have not responded to medications (Prilosec, Protonix, Pepcid, Nexium, Reglan, Baclofen, Trazodone) for GERD, hiatal hernia. It seems like some people go for many years without considering surgery and I have only been trying meds for about 5 months. The symptoms that seem most difficult to control are the cough, hoarseness, heartburn, and feeling like something is stuck in my chest. Bile reflux is also part of the problem since I had my gall bladder removed 30+ years ago. The dr. said that if I did improve by my next visit we would begin to discuss surgical options. What would these options include?
please, before considering surgery, do everything possible naturally to help your body heal itself. I have exactly the same thing, hiatal hernia and GERD. I had shortness of breath and a chronic cough for 18 months which they couldn't track down (cardiologist, pulmonologist all clueless). I finally figured it out myself. Once I started treating the hiatal hernia and GERD naturally my symptoms got remarkably better in a week and I do not take any meds. I'm symptom free most of the time now.
hiatal hernia exercise: first thing in the morning drink a large glass of warm water. Raise your elbows out to the side, fingertips on your chest by your armpits. Raise up on your toes and thump down on your heels for 10 times. Then raise your hands over your head and pant for 15 seconds.Do this exercise every day, even after symptoms subside, to keep the stomach down where it belongs. Don't try this is you have disk issues in your back!
GERD supplements & diet. supplements: DGL (chewable de-glycyrrhizinated licorice, regular licorice can increase your blood pressure). chew 2 tablets 20 mins before eating. keep it in your mouth until you've generated some saliva before swallowing. very healing. slippery elm "tea" before bed. slippery elm powder (I get mine from kalyx.com, search for organic slippery elm powder), add powder to hot water, put in sealeable container (I use a thermos), add some stevia (herbal sweetener) and cinnamon and shake, shake, shake. makes a slippery gruel almost like thin oatmeal. the thicker the better. coats your esophagus, again very healing. take digestive enzymes before eating and a probiotic daily (I like the beadlet form).
diet: no chocolate, no alcohol, no caffeine ( I know, why live? but stay off it for 30-60 days and you can start adding it back in once in a while without incident, at least that was my experience). no spicy food. nothing acidic (tomatoes, citrus). nothing carbonated. smaller more frequent meals. That more than anything helps me, simply not eating too much at one sitting. Tell yourself you can have more in an hour. if you're overweight, lose it.
sleeping position: use an incline pillow or elevate the head of your bed 6". sleep on your left side. And wait 3 hours after dinner to go to bed.
no going upside down. I do Pilates and find inverted positions (head lower than my waist) to be aggravating. Same caution for yoga - no downward dog! in "regular life" watch for bending over to pick things up. bend at the knee instead of at the waist.
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