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Avatar universal

Abdominal Pains, GERD, The Cure, part 1!!

I have found some very interesting information which may help some sufferers of all types of unexplained problems with stomach/esophagus and abdominal pains.
First a few Questions!!
Have your symtoms been gradually getting worse?
Gastroscopy showing up normal?

I think the main thing we all strive for is a clear diagnosis, we need to know what we are fighting against before we can move forward, i have now been 5 years undiagnosed, but yet my problems and abdominal pains have got worse and worse and the doctors gave me more and more medication to combat symptoms.
I am sick of nobody being able to tell me what is going on,so i have been devoting my life to researching stomach problems, the cause of abdominal pains and treatment.

Now there are going to be some sceptics out there and this will not suit most peoples conditions, but to those who accept and understand this it may well change your life, first i will tell you my story and how i came to where i am now, it has been a comedy of errors and misdiagnosis by the doctors, you will see how one condition led to all the other problems and why doctors are often misdiagnosing.

This is the compressed version of my story after which we will bust some common myths.
I started getting upper abdominal pains with heartburn 5 years ago, i was prescribed Acid blockers(lansoprazole) and sent on my way.Over the next two years my condition got gradually worse, i started to get pains between my shoulder blades and complained of big gurglings in the stomach, abdominal distention, i was suffering from fatigue and had severe muscle weakness in the stomach, if i tried to sit up from a laying down position my body would shake violently, after a few hours out of bed in a morning i would be worn out and ready for a lay down.
I got sent for an upper GI endoscopy, no problems found except i had "Delayed gastric emptying" i was prescribed "Domperidone" an Antagonist to speed up gastric emptying, i had a period of feeling a lot better probably for about 6 months, i was still on the Acid blockers at the same time, they worked quite well together to eliminate stomach pain.Then i started to get problems with lower abdominal pain and tightness in the esophagus, a gurgling in the throat and the feeling that something was stuck, i kept swallowing to try and clear the throat, still suffering from muscle weakness and fatigue, shaking and muscle tremors.
I was given "meberevine" to combat the lower abdominal cramps, it is an antispasmodic to relieve people with symptoms of IBS and i was told at this point that i am suffering from stress, i must admit i was a little bit stressed by having this illness for so long.
I demanded to know what the underlying cause was for all my symptoms, all the doctors had done so far if prescribe medication to "put a lid on it", i had had enough and wanted to find the underlying cause, no blood tests ever showed up anything except a high white blood cell count.
So my Doctor sent me to a CFS specialist, i was diagnosed with CFS and told i had to stop working and get plenty of rest.
Sure rest helps anybody, but who can afford to stop working, so then the Doctors had the perfect fall back, anything from then on was a symptom of CFS, and they just said get some rest, avoid stress, lol, i was not happy i still wanted to find a reason for the illness. I saw another specialist who gave me muscle relaxants and told me to stop taking "Domperodone" the muscle relaxants were supposed to resolve the problem of tension in the esophagus, i.e. the feeling something was stuck with pains going through to my shoulder blades, i was told that"domperidone" had caused the ever growing problems with my Esophagus.
My esophagus did relax, the gurgling in my throat disappeared with my back pains but my stomach problems got even worse.
I ended up booking myself into a private hospital to get to the bottom of it all once and for all, now this is where it gets interesting, i was kept in hospital on a drip for 3 days, i was not allowed to eat 1 day before the Gastroscopy and 2 days before the colonoscopy, so i went 3 days without food, just sipping water, i did not think about this until much later, but i later realised that the 3 days i was in hospital i was not taking any of my medication, the tests all came out all clear once again with a high white blood cell count, i came out of hospital like a new man, i put it down to the rest and relaxation.
After i came out i started eating normal again, only an occasional drinker of alcohol, closer to being tea total than an occasional drinker, not an unhealthy eater either, maybe only 2 stone over my ideal weight but i am of a muscular build as i have always been into fitness, after a few months my condition worsened again, new symptoms, i was getting upper abdominal pains so bad i had to go to hospital, i was in agony, a pain just below the sternum, where you would expect the Esophageal sphincter to be, the pain would radiate up through my back, into my shoulders and into my arms, the abdomen would bloat up like a football, like i had a shelf under my ribcage. I was diagnosed with Esophageal spasms and given more muscle relaxants, the attacks got worse, so i started taking more acid blockers 1 in a morning and 1 on a night, the pain started happening more frequent but the attacks were less severe, i was told that acid was aggrevating the lower esophagus thus causing the spasms, but i was at this point taking double doses of acid blockers and also taking gaviscon"double action" to protect the` esophagus and to neutralise any other stomach acids that may be present, i was advised to do this by doctors after i complained the pains were getting more frequent, even though i was already double dosing on Lansoprazole.

So the doctors started suggesting "Fundoplication surgery", i researched the operation and found a lot of horror stories, with a low short term success rate and a very low long term success rate.I still believed this was "putting a lid on it" and not actually resolving the real problem, so i started my research into why the stomach produces so much acid or what causes GERD, then everything started to fall into place and all my problems were explained from beginning to end.

This is a story about misdiagnosis and symptoms spiralling out of control due to medication side effects, to all you who are "well read" this will all make so much sense.
For starters i am now properly diagnosed, with "Bile reflux", within 1 day of taking treatment for this condition i actually knew what it felt like to be normal again, i feel better than that in fact, after being ill for such a long time, being normal feels a bit understated, it's exhilarating to know the nightmare is over.

I am running out of space, so please see "part 2" to read on!!!

14 Responses
Avatar universal
Not a single comment, i guess people do not want to get better :)
Avatar universal
oh my gosh! i am in such dilemma for almost 5 months now i can really relate to everything that youve said.. think  you could help me out?..
i had endoscopy and was diagnosed  having chronic gastritis but after a  4 mo. medication i decided to stop coz nothings workin..i still feel my upper abdomen "tighten " especially when im nervous,angry, stressed and the pain radiates through my back. everyday i still feel lump in my throat and halitosis in the morning which is really bad...i wanted to think its worst but i think something can be done about it coz  when  i took antibacterial meds for a week before, (eventhough finding for H. Pylori was unequivocal) both dispappeared but only for a week and  then was back again until present...by the way, i told my situation to my  dr. but she just kept giving me PPI  to be taken before sleeping but which i think was not working so decided to  stop seein her...  any insight??thanks a lot...
u think my decision to stop takin the meds is good??
by the way,  i tried homeopathy and the dr gave me pepsidine which i took for a month..
Avatar universal
I've had my own problems with reflux, abdominal pain, etc.  It all started after a throat infection and taking 2 rounds of antibiotics (big mistake).  I finally decided to go to a Clinical Nutritionist http://www.completenutritionandwellness.com/
I've just started my treatment but I'm encouraged that she's going to find the root of the problem.  When your digestive system is off-track you have to fix the problem with a hypoalergenic diet, detox program, and supplements based on what your individual body needs.  It might take a couple months to recover but I've heard of a lot of success stories.
Avatar universal
I am curious as to how they finally determined the Bile Reflux.
My husband started out in January 2008 with burning throat pain (his throat was as red as fire and felt like it too), he had major sinus infections, heavy post nasal drip....long, long story but for 12 months he was in and out of hosptial, had sinus surgery, every test you can imagine from a colonscopy to barium swallow, every blood test, cultures grown, antibiotics of EVERY type given etc.  All they could come up with were sinus infections.  No one could explain the burning throat pain and difficulty swallowing (he lost 60 pounds in 5 months because he could NOT eat) - doctors initally told him it was anxiety and nothing was wrong with him.  He was treated HORRIBLY by doctors!!!   Once he had his sinus surgery they kinda changed their tune but still said the throat and stomach problems were anxiety/stress/depression.   In December 2008, he had his tonsils removed - to their amazment, his tonsils were severely infected and once they were removed...hummmm, no more burning throat pain (we had started asking in June if it could be his tonsils and they assured us it was not).  Again, the doctors were proven wrong.  
He is still having serious stomach problems and went in May and got scoped again and the doctor said to him "I'll do it this time but you have to stop this, this is all anxiety related and you need to get it under control."   Doctor said scope was normal.
Still having serious stomach pain and loss of appetite, nausea, bloating, belching.  Ends up in hospital again and the redo a gamit of tests - dumping, gallbladder, scope. etc.  Gastrologist this time said he had "severe gastritis, and severe stomach lesions" - negative for H-pilori (sp??) bacteria.  They put him on Carafate and Priolsec twice a day and he has seriously changed his diet but isn't doing much better after about 5 weeks.
Anyhow, does this sound like you?  How should he bring this up to the doctor about he bile reflux?  I hate to say to the doctors....."we were looking on the internet" but honestly that is the only way we have gotten answers at this point is to do our own research and push and push and push.  They didn't want to do the sinus surgery and kept giving him antibiotic for months and it would not go away.  Sinus surgery proved that he was seriously impacted and had alot of problems going on up there, same thing with the tonsil removal - we pushed it, we researched it.  The doctors have been horrific in this and we have only found a few that have helped him!
Any other thoughts?  I want him to feel "normal" again as you said in your post.  What did they give you for the bile reflux.  Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thank you
Avatar universal
I had heartburn 3 years ago  the gastrointerologist reffered me to a surgeon for fundoplication surgery, I kept asking if it could be my gallbladder... insisted it wasn't I had a gastric emptying test before the surgery and it was normal, about six months after the surgery still felt sick went back to the GI said it was in my head nothing was wrong with me, the next day I went back to the surgeon and I asked him for a referral for a hida scan (gallbladder function test) the test showed my gallbladder only worked 2% after the gallbladder surgery about two weeks...I had a burning pain in the middle of my abdomen...went to a different Gi she did another scope and it showed bile in my stomach up to my throat.. sent me for another stomach emptying test and the results were poor my stomach was hardly emptying -moving at all. before the surgery the test was normal- Iand I don't have diabetes. she said it had nothing to do with the surgery and I probably have a viral infection..old mono.  I think your right 3-years on PPI-nexium, zegrid etc. now my stomach isn't emptying and the fundoplication didn't help matters. now I have bile instead of acid-prior to all this all I had was heartburn now I have pain and gurgling in my stomach and nothing helps.. I am afraid of what the future holds.
Avatar universal
The fact you are still having stomach emptying problems after stopping the medication, leads me to believe the below, as with my experience, my stomach started emptying normal again within 24 -48 hours of stopping the medication.

It sounds like they accidentally damaged the pyloric nerve whilst carrying out the gall bladder operation, it does happen and the symptoms are exactly as you describe, it sounds too much of a  severe case right after the operation, for it not to be linked.

Once the Pyloric nerve is damaged, the pyloric valve will not function properly, it is the main risk with gall bladder surgery, one slip of the scalpel and the nerve is damaged, if not severed.
The nerve can repair over time and basically rejoin.

I would suggest sleeping on your right hand side and slightly elevated, the stomach empties to the right, so two things happen, gravity promotes your stomach contents to flow in the right direction and the bile has to defy gravity in order to enter the stomach, I hope this helps.

If you are still having trouble after a few months, then the option may be for "roux en Y" or in laymans terminology "bile diversion surgery", where the intestines are cut and spliced in order for the bile to be dumped further down the intestinal tract, this has a very high (99%) success rate for people with a severe condition like yours, but it is major surgery and surgeons are always reluctant to offer it.

If you can get the bile out of your stomach, your digestion and stomach emptying will hopefully improve and I also really hope that in time your pyloric nerve repairs and returns your pyloric valve to normal function.

You may want to try herbal digestive enzymes in the meantime to break down fats, proteins, carbs etc.. this will give your digestive system a helping hand, so at least you are not malnurished and suffering from leaky gut syndrome and related fatigue.
1283791 tn?1276818314
By any chance did you have any nausea with these other syptoms?
Avatar universal
Your husbands condition sounds different, funnily enough though i have a friend who had the same problems with the tonsils and septic fluid was entering the throat. When i was trying to find out what was wrong with me i went for a blood test to eliminate this same thing but it was negative.
All my problems were purely down to medication, i started with a small stomach complaint and ended up being seriously ill and fatigued and depressed.

In my opinion, stress and anxiety can play a major role in bad digestion, when you are ill it is difficult to not be stressed and anxious though, the doctors told me for years there was nothing wrong with me and put it all down to stress, what the doctors have got to realize is that we are only stressed because we are ill, it can be very annoying having doctors telling you there is nothing wrong with you.

What i learned is never say to a doctor " i have been doing research on the internet" it puts their backs up and immediately become unhelpful and on the defensive.

The saying is " a little bit of knowledge is dangerous",i know my story rings true with a lot of people but i do not want to lead anybody down the wrong path, i really coul;d not say that your husbands gastritis could be linked to bile reflux, buut the things i do know is, bile can severely aggrevate the stomach wall thus lweading to gastritis and delayed gastric emptying does tend to allow bile to backflow into the stomach. This same saying about a little bit of knowledge is dangerous also in my opinion summarizes most of the doctors i have seen, they are jacks of all trades, so they have to knwo a little bit about everything, there are some doctors out there that are very very good and very knowledgable about these type of stomach complaints, but if you went to the same doctor with a joint problem they may not be as knowledgable in that field.

5 weeks is not a long time for the stomach lining to repair, the stomach and esophagus are very slow at healing, but he should have started to see an improvement if the treatment is working.

I dedicated my years of illness to researching conditions of the stomach, there is so much to learn and i am still learning. I have tried helping a lot of people through the private messaging but have neglected the public part of the forum for quite a while. One thing that i would recommend for people to look into, is finding out what foods you are compatible with, some people can not digest or have trouble digesting certain foods, colonic irrigation will highlight what foods are passing partially digested and they can advise you what foods to avoid.
Certain blood types are known to have trouble with certain foods, you can look into this on the internet if you know your blood type.

All i would suggest to people is please try to find a natural cure through eating sleeping and lifestyle rather than going down the route of taking medication long term, as they may end up a lot worse off than when they started.

Every case must be treat as individual and all avenues explored more than once, two doctors can have completely different opinions, as can two specialists, they can look for gall stones but completely miss on giving you a function test. Keep on fighting, getting second and third opinions, keep researching yourself so you have the knowledge to know what tests you can ask for.
Mainly do not put your life in the hands of doctors, do not take their word as gospel,they are not like aircraft pilots where if they fail at their job they also die, i wish it was like this because maybe then they would be a little bit more thorough, rather than treating their job like a day at the cattle market.
It is bad to tar all doctors with the same brush because there are some very good ones who really do care a lot, but unfortunately after years of experience with them as a whole, i have found they are few and far between.
Avatar universal
Lots and lots of nausea, poor digestion inevitably tends to cause nausea, this is part of the downward spiral you end up laying down a lot to combat nausea which makes digestion worse.
I do not think this is so much as a direct side effect of the medication but more to do with the problems of poor digestion which is caused by the medication and then of course delayed gastric emptying allows bile to backflow, you end up with nutrient deficiencies, chronic fatigue and leaky gut syndrome due to tiny undigested food particles entering the blood stream through the intestinal wall, and the list of complaints and the severity of the illness just grows.

It can be a very small spark that sets of a chain of events that leads you to serious illness.

Again i do not want to lead you down the wrong path, you need to go through the motions and get all the proper tests done, although it can be a very annoying and frustrating and stressful process( to put it lightly )
1283791 tn?1276818314
Well I had a stomach virus in the beginning of december. I was sick for about 10 days before i began eating solid foods. I then felt fine for about 2 weeks, then out of no where the nausea came back. I have been nautious every since. I take phenergan and zofran and sometimes they work but other times it just takes the edge off. I have blood testing done which all comes back fine. I had a ct scan which found a cyst on my kidney but they said that wouldnt cause the nausea. And last week I had an endscopy done and the gi doctor said everythin looked normal but he would tell me more when I come back for my follow up visit which is the 22nd. My primary care dr thought i might have had h. prylori so I gave him a stool sample but that came back negitive as well. So at this point I am ready to just give up. People are now tellin me it's in my head and I know that it's not possible. I have even taken ativan when i feel really sick and I still feel the same. Now i do know I have some sort of acid reflux because I get heart burn constantly and it used to wake me up  in the middle of the night all the time until I started sleeping with 3 to 4 pillows a night propped up. I have tried previcid, tums, mylanta, and I am still nautious. The thing that has me stumped is I can starve myself and still feel like throwing up, or I can eat and still feel sick. It's a losin battle. I havent lost any weight because I do it whether i feel sick or not, but just pay the price if the food does happen to triger the nausea even more so. There are also times when i think i am starting to get better, where i dont feel sick for days even up to a week with no nausea pills, but then out of no where it hits me again and then I am back on zofran and phenergan like clockwork. I had my gall bladder out in june of 2008. I suffered real bad gall bladder attacks for over a yr until they figured out I had stones. The ultra sound never showed them anything and finally I put my foot down and told them i am not leaving this hospital until i see a surgeon. I went for surgery a few days later and sure enough i had so many stones that nothing could move in or out of my gall bladder anymore. After the surgery I felt great. Never had the nausea even with the bad gall bladder for a yr. And even ate fast food and fried stuff after they removed it and still no nausea ever. So I am just stumped on what could be wrong with me. I am starting to feel like my primary dr doesnt want to be bothered with this anymore. And my quality of life just *****. I cant work for fear of being sick, or feeling sick everyday. I dont even go out or drink alcohol with my friends anymore. I basically just want my old life back. I am newly engagaed and just want to enjoy it and make my fiance happy. If u have any suggestions pls get back to me.....
Avatar universal
I haven,t read all your posts but I am suffering the same.  I had a stomach ulcer back in July last year and lost a lot of weight.  Since then I started to get severe chest pain and an ultrasound scan showed gallstones.  In October I had my gallbladder out eerything was great at first and I could eat again after being sick for weeks.  Then a few weeks later I stopped taking Lansoprazole and got a big acid reflux and severe chest pain.  The hospital checked my heart even though I knew it was my stomach. I was put on double Lansoprazole later changed to Omeprazole but I have been in an out of hospital with pain and vomiting also getting osophageal spasms and extreme pain.  Doctors have said to me that a lot of it is anxiety which I know I have because of months of being sick.  I have had lots of tests including endoscopies,the last one showed bile reflux and gastritis.  I have had a lot of pain with the gastritis and am still sick.  The hospital won,t have me back in however bad it gets,the reflux gets so bad that I can,t go out.  My gastroenterologist is sending me to another hospital for a ph monitoring test and then I may get the Nissen fundoplication surgery.  I,m scared that it won,t work and the pain is so bad. I,m fed up of being sick though.  My meds are Lansoprazole,metaclopramide and sucralfate and they don,t make much difference so an op may be my only option.  How does anyone get rid of the bile reflux?  I,m sure its inflaming my stomach, is there reallya chance it can get better o its own?  Any help appreciated.  I,d like to say that Ithink meds cause a lot of problems,if I had never had the ulcer and that was caused by Naproxen tablets then I would never have gone on Lansoprazole.  Stopping that caused a lot of problems so don,t just stop meds.  Also herbal remedies can have side effects and after having honey I was in agony.  Manuka honey is said to be good for heartburn and healing the stomach but I can,t take it.  Also Slippery elm and Aloe vera bu you have tobe careful.
Avatar universal
That's a difficult one, be sure of one thing though and don't let any doctor try and convince you otherwise, there is definately an underlying problem and it needs to be found, you have good days and bad days, so you know the difference between feeling well and unwell and the doctor should appreciate this fact.

The nausea could be linked to delayed gastric emtptying and poor digestion, but the question is what is causing that to happen.

I think i would go down the route of getting checked for food allergies and try colonic irrigation and see if you have any partially digested foods clogging up your system.
Do you smoke?
Is your blood pressure ok?
Do you have a healthy heart and circulation?
Have you had a colonoscopy to check for any problems?

It "could" be Bile which is causing the Nausea and heartburn, you mentioned you had your gall bladder removed, there are many cases where the liver can start producing much more bile than is required and it backflows into the stomach, this can happen many years after having the gall bladder removed for no apparent reason, some people who have had gall bladder removed can go 30 years without a problem and then all of a sudden the liver starts to produce excessive bile.

There are so many things you need to get checked out, could this be a lifestyle issue?
Do you get plenty of fresh air and excercise, drink plenty of water?
Is your bowel movement good and regular?
The fact that you can get Nausea on an empty stomach, does not eliminate that the problem could be coming from your digestive system, you can have decaying food stuck in your bowels for a long time. I am not saying it is any of the above but these are all avenues you could explore.

I think as a first step you should try a full cleansing of the system, complete detox from both ends and see if your nausea is reduced or eliminated.

In the meantime try propping up your matress rather than pillows to combat the acid reflux, you really need to be elevated from the waist up, there is no doubt you have digestive problems, but you need to find out what is causing the digestive problems, something is causing the acid reflux that is what you need to locate, it is too easy for doctors to say acid is the problem and give you medication to neutralize it, that is the whole problem, it is not getting to the route of the problem, it is just covering it up to reduce the short term symptoms and making things worse long term at the same time.

Doctors like to always put it down to stress when the tests come back negative, I openly admit and have noted with myself that stress can play havoc with the stomach and digestion, but only you know if this is the case and you have to be truthful with yourself to whether this can be an underlying cause.
I have a very stressfull job and it does affect my digestive system, even now i can have bad days and i feel the effect it has on digestion but i knew my illness was too serious to be caused by stress alone, therefore i continued to search for the underlying cause. I now consider myself well and healthy, but i am aware i still have a nervous stomach, but the lesson i have learned is to not jump on the medication bandwagon, i.e. I nearly had a car accident the other day, my stomach was jumping through hoops, i started to get reflux and mild abdominal spasms, i just took it for what it was and knew my system would return to normal shortly.
The main message that i want to get to people is, find the underlying cause, don't put a lid on the condition with medication or a mild complaint may turn into a serious illness as it did with me.

Good luck and don't stop fighting to find the underlying cause and i know it is hard but try not to worry, thinking you may have something sinsiter going on only makes digestive problems worsen, look at it this way, all the tests coming back negative at least tells you that it is not something sinister, it may be something as simple as your system needs a flush out and a helping hand to start running efficiently again.
Avatar universal
The acid blockers are making your condition worse,
How can the problem with the esophagus be acid related if you have neutralized your stomach acid, with double lanzoprazole, this is bile related reflux for your pain to be so severe, and all the medication is doing is messing up your digestion and making the problem worse.
Please reconsider before opting for fundoplication surgery, there is a natural cure as is written in part 2 of my story.
It is a catch 22, your stomach is suffering from gastritis and is inflamed, probably due to bile entering your stomach, which in turn is causing poor digestion, delayerd gastric emptuying and inevitably reflux into the esophagus.
You have to first get your food digested properly which means having the correct acidity levels in your stomach, this will speed up gastric emptying and reduce the amount of bile entering the stomach, the gastritis will take time to heal, but you need to put yourself on a very strict diet whilst the healing process naturally occurs. After a short period of time you will feel the reflux die down, this shows you it is working, you need to build on this and day by day you will get better and better, sleeping elevated is very important in this process also.

I may have mislead people by talking about treatment for bile reflux, the treatment i am refering to does not involve surgery or medication, it is a natural treatment and is the only way to break out of the catch 22 situation.
I have avoided fundoplication surgery and i am back to full health, i am 37 years old and my digestion is now very good, virtually no reflux and i have massive stores of energy.

Fundoplication will most probably lead to further problems and your health may get worse, it will not stop the bile from entering the stomach and you will still suffer from gastritis, you need to address the route of the problem and that is to stop bile from entering the stomach in the first instance.
You need to eat regular, small ammounts, sips of water, with full stomach acidity levels, then your stomach will start to empty properly and everything starts to go in the right direction, bile gets flushed down into yourt intestines with your food.
You need to get excercise to promote digestion and combat anxiety, even if it just means walking, only eat foods which are very easy to digest, eventually all these problems will be a distant memory and your digestion will return to normal and you can start eating and living normally again, all it needs is for you to break free of the catch 22 and give your digestion a chance to return to normal function and all the other problems will go away at the same time, it is a chain reaction, one small complaint can turn into a serious illness by using western medicine.
Break the cycle, stop all medication, sleep in a reclining chair for a few days if you have to, put up with the discomfort of gastrirtis, as soon as the esophageal reflux dies down you know it is starting to work, as it can only mean that your stomach is starting to empty properly again, build on this by cleansing your system, full detox, digestion will get even better, go for colonic irrigation and find out what foods disagree with you, there may be quite a few, it will start a chain reaction in the opposite direction, you will start to feel better, the anxiety and stress will go, the pains in your esophagus will be eliminated, your energy will return and everything will just keep getting better and better, the only thing you will be left with is a discomfort in the stomach wall due to gastritis, this will also eventually go away as long as you can keep the stomach emptying properly.

Avatar universal
Hello sickboy1
Please advise what did you eat to get the bile out of the stomach
Did you use any vitamin for healing your stomach
Please help
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