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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Hi All,

I developed severe acid reflux about a year ago. I had hearburn ALL DAY, virtually EVERY DAY. It did not seem to matter that I stayed away from all common trigger foods. I elevated the head of my bed so much that I used to slide off the end at night. I did everything I was "supposed" to do and nothing helped. So my doctor prescribed me lansoprazole. It definitely helped - but I still had daily lumps in my throat, bloated feelings, and some milder heartburn. I went back to see her - she said "well, you'll probably have to be on lansoprazole all your life then". I got a second opinion. Second doctor echoed the first. I tried to wean myself off the meds - TERRIBLE acid reflux. I was 31 and was prepared to be on acid meds the rest of my life.

Then I began to research - to which I found that there are some serious long-term effects going on with these meds. Osteoporosis? Calcium/magnesium deficiencies? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies?? Of course then it occurred to me that we NEED stomach acid to digest food - to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. If we reduce the stomach acid, it naturally follows that other conditions might appear relating to deficiencies of some sort. This really scared me - but I was terrified of weaning myself off the meds again. I should also mention that I started experiencing some other digestive issues - bloating, abdominal pain (sometimes severe), constipation/diahrea - my doctor told me I was likely developing IBS. :(

I started doing some research and found out about Primal eating/lifestyles. Lots of people reported to primarily have relief from acid reflux, so I figured I would look into it further. Essentially it means eating grass-fed meat, poultry, eggs, tons of low-starch vegetables, and fruit and nuts in moderation. Animal fat and olive oil and coconut oil are a-okay. Honey and maple syrup in small quantities, but no sugar or other sweeteners. Essentially - completely stopped eating grain, sugar, dairy, beer, legume (bean), processed food and potato products. I also ate smaller meals (this happens naturally).

I thought I was not going to be able to do it. It involved COMPLETELY rethinking the way I ate. I started this about 2 months ago, still taking the meds. I got over my sugar/carb cravings and got better at packing lunches and not eating out (preparing food in advance). During this time, I also started researching alternative supplements to try. I bought Digestive Bitters, DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract), acid neutralizing tissue salts (NAT PHOS), mastic gum, high-quality probiotics, and a high-quality digestive enzyme (had to get this from a naturopath).

I started taking ALL the supplements at once, and a few days later, stopped taking the lansoprazole cold-turkey. I got some heartburn. I stayed the course. I got more heartburn. I cut out the digestive enzymes, which contained betaine hydrochloride which increases the acid in your stomach. My heartburn got better, slowly, day by day.

It's been three weeks since I went off the pills and I feel AMAZING. I am still taking most of the supplements but find I forget to take them sometimes because I feel so good. I will stay with Primal eating forever. What I have learned is that grains and legumes are seeds - and were not ever meant to be digested. If you think about it, animals eat the grains (whole), they travel through the gut (whole) and come out the other end, where they are then fertilizer (sorry). ALL grains and legumes, especially gluten, have natural substances (enzymes, whatever) that make them difficult or impossible to digest. Processing them heavily does not remove these substances. Keeping them whole does not remove these substances. I had to just stop eating them altogether.

I know that acid reflux is actually caused by not enough stomach acid for some people, but when I tried apple cider vinegar and digestive enzymes (betaine hydrochloride) this actually worsened my symptoms. My problem was the reflux itself. I have been able to integrate a little high-fat dairy (mmmm plain greek 11% yogurt with maple syrup) but some people will not be able to do this.

Good luck to everyone!!

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