ACID REFLUX FEELS LIKE . . .
A fireball in your chest
Hot coals in your throat
A volcano rising from your stomach
Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my most predominant symptom was acid reflux; which I had for years and thought it was just mucus draining from my sinuses or coming up from the bronchial tubes due to allergies. Then I decided I had finally developed asthma. I went to an allergist to get my “asthma” diagnosis; but when the asthma meds did not work successfully, and he later gave me an acid reliever instead, I thought he was nuts! I tried the medication, anyway, and surprisingly saw a huge difference in only a few days. He sent me to a GI to find the cause of the reflux. I began taking Prevacid on a regular basis and followed the SCD 100% to get those precious enzymes from the lactose-free SCD yogurt into my stomach and the probiotics into my intestinal tract to maximize the digestive processes. I was free of symptoms in about 2-3 weeks; then gradually tapered off of Prevacid.
Months later I came down with a very dense pneumonia. My doctor gave me two rounds of broad-spectrum antibiotics to kill the infection. After the second round, I began coughing up blood. He didn’t want to give me another round so sent me home to rest and drink a lot of fluids. After two months and still coughing bloody mucus, he gave me a third round of antibiotics, during which time the bloody mucus increased. I then had x-rays and Cat Scans on my lungs, then a broncoscopy to look at the lungs and all the airways, and an endoscopy to look at the esophagus and stomach to locate the source of bleeding. The only thing found was a very inflamed esophagus that looked like a piece of raw, bloody meat and a damaged esophageal ring (the valve between the esophagus and stomach).
I again had experienced firsthand what the “vicious cycle” is all about. The antibiotics had upset the digestive process in my stomach and relaxed the esophageal sphincter, causing stomach acids to leak into my esophagus. They had also killed off both the unhealthy and healthy intestinal bacteria. The unhealthy bacteria (which are stronger) were having a banquet on the foods that were sitting in the tract waiting to be digested. The unhealthy bacteria gained a toe-hold and again had overpopulated the gut, produced toxins that inflamed the intestinal lining and caused intestinal discomfort, slowing the digestive process even more.
I also discovered that the reflux medication the doc had put me on contained “maize starch” which I have allergies to and that likely added to the banquet.
My doctor prescribed Prevacid for the reflux, and that was that . . . just like before . . . no explanation . . . just pop a pill. I’m thankful I had already found the SCD and knew how to heal with foods, or I would likely still be “band-aiding” my symptoms today while the damage continued and caused more serious health problems due to the inability to break down foods and absorb nutrients.
So for the third time, here is what I did to eliminate the reflux and intestinal overgrowth, heal the intestines, and wean off the Prevacid:
1. Took 2 Prevacid caps per day (before meals morning & evening) for a few weeks . . . until all symptoms were gone. Then cut to one per day before my heaviest meal. After there were no symptoms for a couple of weeks, I went “cold turkey”. I noticed a little burning occasionally; but continued on with the following until the burning was gone.
2. Followed the SCD FANATICALLYto get the intestinal “ecosystem” rebalanced! I read Breaking The Vicious Cycle again and found I had forgotten some things.
3. I ate 2 cups of homemade 24-hr. lactose-free yogurt per day to rebalance the bacterial flora, heal the intestines and replace digestive enzymes. When symptoms were gone I went back to the usual 1 cup per day.
4. Cut down on fruits, honey and juices, which helped to starve out the bacteria faster.
5. Ate smaller meals 4-6 times a day to eliminate pressure and leaking of the valve between the esophagus and stomach.
6. Avoided highly spicy, acidic, fatty foods, and all caffeine that relax the esophageal valve.
7. Ate only pealed and soft-cooked veggies and fruits.
8. Avoided tight fitting clothing at the waist.
9. Elevated head of bed about 10” at night.
10. Slept on my left side to move gas out easily.
11. Didn’t slump when sitting at the computer.
12. Didn’t eat 2-3 hours before bedtime or reclining in my recliner.
13. Squatted instead of bending over to eliminate pressure on valve.
14. Chug down 8-10 full glasses of water per day (after eating and between meals) to wash back any acids.
15. Avoided sipping water during a meal; which can interfere with the production of digestive enzymes. Drank water after the meal instead.
16. Chewed every bite of food 20 times (to aid digestion) before swallowing.
17. For the OCCASIONAL acid stomach . . . I drank 1/3 cup of water with ¼ teaspoon baking soda added. This should only be used 2-3 hours before or after meds and supplements to avoid interfering with absorption . . . and should not be done on a regular basis.
Within a few days I was noticing fewer symptoms and had more energy and breath control. Within about three months I was totally healed and able to discontinue the medication and go back to all SCD “legal” foods. Success once again!
When reflux has occurred for some time and the esophageal ring at the base of the esophagus is damaged, some individuals must continue with some of these seventeen tips indefinitely.
All prescription and over-the-counter acid reducing medications suppress acids that are critical for absorbing nutrients from foods. It is common to develop osteoporosis, anemia, and pneumonia from taking them. Many will get on an acid reducer and stay on it indefinitely; thinking they are cured since their symptoms are gone. While symptoms are only “masked temporarily”, damage continues until a more serious digestive disease develops, such as: stomach ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s, UC, Diverticulitis, Celiac, etc.
Only a diet change can CURE these diseases and the CAUSE of these diseases. Chronic inflammation in both the esophagus and intestines causes thickening of the walls, strictures, blockages, and cancer. When this occurs in the esophagus, periodical stretching of the esophagus is necessary to keep from choking/strangling on food. Esophageal cancer is one of the fastest growing types of cancer today.
“Heartburn sufferers shouldn’t be too quick to reach for the antacids; heartburn medications do more harm than good.” . . . http://www.naturalnews.com/019756.html