GERD to the extreme

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Nomad, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm concerned about my health again. My GERD is REAL bad.
    I've had GERD for many years. I take AXID, which I think is an H2 inhibitor. It is different than the proton pump inhibitors...the purple pills.
    I can't take the purple pills as they give me migraines.
    I've been eating much less meat lately and eating a lot of vegetables, a little more fruit, still not eating bread much, but have added sweet potato and rice. So, I guess my carbs are way up.
    Could that be causing my GERD to flare?
    Last night was horrible. I usually have symptoms after dinner, but yesterday I had some after LUNCH and then I was afraid to eat dinner, so I had saltines and hummus and that bothered me.
    HELP! What has helped you prevent GERD and then feel better once it acts up?
    Many thanks!!!
    PS Any thoughts on this new concept that we don't have too much acid in our stomachs, but too little????
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have GERD. It has gotten a lot better, but it's not fun. I don't ever eat "hearty" meals because I taste them in my throat afterward and then I'm sorry. Also, I was told that losing weight would help, which I did and it has. But when the GERD was at it's worse it didn't matter that much what I ate. Have you talked to the doctor? Has he looked inside your tummy lately to make sure you don't have any ulcers?
    Fats, spices and acidy food like tomatoes used to kick up my GERD really bad. Greasy food too. Apples soothe your stomach. So does ginger. I would put it in my tea.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's unfortunate that you can't take the PPI's since they really are the most effective nowadays. Do you sleep with your top propped? I know that is helpful to my mom - about 6-8" up is really effective for her -- much smaller meals and not eating at least 3 hours before bedtime. Trigger foods do vary from person to person so you will have to figure that one out though I know coffee, tomatoes and chocolate are absolute triggers from my mom - although she will have 1/2 cup of coffee in the morning. Her GERD is also not an every day occurrence unless she eats too much at one seating.

  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    The thing that cured my GERD was having lapband surgery because my doctor discovered that I also had a hiatal hernia and he fixed that. My GERD was horrible and I didn't realize I had a hernia. I thought it was just because I was so fat and hoped the surgery would help. I haven't had a bout of GERD since the surgery.

    You should be checked for the hernia and see if you are a candidate for surgery.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is also something called Barretts esophagus that can feel like bad GERD but can actually be the early sign that you may be getting esophageal cancer. I would definitely get this rechecked and ask about that. I may not be spelling Barretts correctly but Im sure google would fix it for you if you look it up.

    Now I also have ulcers and acid reflux. I take reglan and prilosec. The reglan helps motility. That can be good and bad because everything leaves my stomach faster and I can feel hungry again. I take adderall to help with that and my attention issues. The fact that adderall helps with weight loss is the reason we went with it rather than something else to help my ADD type issues. I never knew I was ADD but I must be because it seems to help me.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Be careful with Reglan. It was given to me when I was in the hospital with severe hyperemesis (uncontrollable nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy). Within a day of starting the Reglan, I began to have a severe reaction to it where my body was literally freezing in strange contortions. I called in the nurse who rushed to call the doctor and he ordered an immediate shot of benedryl which did stop the reaction.

    I read later about the drug and found that it can cause Tardive Dyskinseia:

    It was very scary when it happened. There are reports of people that continued to have problems with tardive dyskinseia even after stopping the drug. I was very lucky

    Nomad ~ I have a close friend that suffers from GERD and I know it is horrible to live with. I hope you can get it under control quickly.

  7. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    One other thought- has your doctor had your gallbladder checked out. I had what I thought was horrible heartburn/GERD and was taking prilosec for 1.5 years before my doctor's nurse insisted I get an ultrasound of my gallbladder. I was filled with stones (some had even lodged in my liver's bile ducts). I haven't had an episode since getting my gallbladder out.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you everyone for your ideas; including the other things to check or watch out for.

    I took Reglan once in the hospital for nausea and had a bad reaction. I could barely breath. It was if my throat was contracting. I'm not sure if they gave me something in my IV to stop it or not. But, it was scary for about 30 minutes and the it subsided. Whew!

    Today, I ate backwards. I had a big breakfast, moderate lunch and tiny dinner. I feel much better. I don't know if I can keep it up, but if it works, I will try.
    Since it has worsened, I will probably see the doctor.

    If anyone has any more ideas...Please keep them coming. It is awful...and what makes it worse is the lack of sleep...almost always worse at night. UGH!
  9. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Nomad, try caffeine-free Diet Coke in the can. First thing in the morning if your stomach is upset, and after meals if needed. It must be brand name Diet Coke, and it has to be from the can, or it doesn't work. No ice. Drink it from the can. A physician told me that might be working for me because of the acid in the Diet Coke. There was a time when I used two to three cans a day. As I got better, I used less and less. Now, I rarely need it. For those times when I have been eating things I shouldn't, I keep Pepto Bismol around. That will coat the stomach and stop the pain. If you are experiencing an episode of GERD-related pain now, try the Pepto Bismol. You will feel it coat the area as it goes down. Blessed relief!


    I no longer use any of the H2 blockers. For me, the problem was too little, not too much, acid.

    Another thing you might try is 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with every meal. This works. Diet Coke works best, and I hope you try it. The vinegar works too, and on that same theory that we are dealing with too little, not too much, stomach acid.

    I cannot eat canned fruit. I cannot eat anything flour-based. Cold cereal, whether wheat, corn, or rice-based, is bad for me, and I cannot eat it. I also get into trouble with rice, quinoa, and cooked cereal. Very strange...but not so hard to avoid these foods, once you realize the problems they are causing. Cheese, or dairy of any kind is bad for me.

    What I do love is stir-fried chicken with lots of spinach and broccoli, with pecans and garlic and onions and celery. Lots of carrots. Mangos and apples I can do. Bananas I cannot do. Sweet oranges, but not orange juice. Fresh beets. Canned pumpkin ~ just a tablespoon will help the stomach and soothe the digestive system. I learned that on a site for dogs. It works for us, too!

    I cannot do any kind of beans, isn't that strange?

    I can do fresh salmon, or fresh tuna, but not canned.

    No crackers of any kind.

    Eggs, I can do. No toast, no pancakes, no nothing like that. Just eggs....

    No ham.

    Try eating differently, Nomad.

    Pumpkin is very good for the digestive system in general. No rice. No hummus. No bread. No cookies. No butter. No dairy. No ice cream. No chocolate ~ especially, no chocolate. No cereal. No rice cakes. Try a basic diet of eggs in the morning, cold meat with veggies from the night before for lunch, and meat and veggies for dinner. Snacks: unprocessed pecans, walnuts, almonds. No popcorn, no chips.

    It works, for me. I hope it helps you too, Nomad.

    You were right to eat lightly in the evening, and not to eat at all, before bed.

    If you do try this, will you post back about it?

    Diet Coke in the can. It's the best thing I've found.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Soda, including Diet Coke, makes gerd worse. It is highly acidic and will stir up the acids in your stomach. It may work well for someone, but it is one of the first things the docs tell you to avoid if at all possible.

    When looking at stomach problems, many of us forget to look at what we drink. Coffee, tea, soda, etc... are generally high in acid and can greatly contribute to symptoms.

    Have you tried other proton pump inhibitors besides the purple pill? That is nexium, aka esomeprazole magnesium, and is only one of the available options. It may be worth trying omeprazole (prilosec) or lansoprozole (prevacid) or one of the rx ppi's. I have more than a few types of medications where one causes severe migraines but another does not. Bad as migraines can be, I understand if you are leery of this.

    Ask your doctor to rx carafate (sucralfate). Ask for tablets specifically because there is a generic of the tablets but the liquid only comes in brand name and is expensive. The tablets can be taken with a full glass of liquid or else dissolved in a few ounces of water. I firmly believe that carafate should be in the medication cabinet of anyone with gerd symptoms. It is incredible for stomach problems related to too much acid in the stomach because it will coat the stomach completely, giving it time to not be irritated and damaged by medications, stomach acid, etc.... It is not well absorbed by the body so it works in a mechanical way by providing a barrier between the stomach and it's contents. You do have to time when you take it and when you take the rest of your medications and when you eat, but you can set your phone, computer, etc... to help. It is taken 1 hr before or 2 hours after a meal or medications.

    Ginger is wonderful for your stomach. It is highly effective for treating nausea and is safe for morning sickness. you can either stir powdered ginger into a drink or food, or you can use fresh ginger. I prefer fresh ginger as it seems to work better and taste better. It is sold in the produce section near the sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, etc... At first buy a small piece, maybe half the size of your palm or smaller. Break a piece off of a larger piece if you don't see the size and quality that you want. You want it to be firm, not shriveled or moldy. It definitely should NOT be squishy. Around here the price is three to five bucks a pound, but the small piece I buy is generally maybe fifty cents. So it is super cheap to try.

    To use the ginger, take a knife and cut off slices about the thickness of a dime or penny. You can peel it, but I don't unless I am using it in a recipe rather than for tea. I do wash it when I bring it home, then I dry it and store in the fridge. Put 2-4 of the rounds of ginger (should look roughly like a coin) into a cup and pour boiling water over. Let sit a couple/three min and enjoy. You can add honey, lemon, tea (put a tea bag in iwth the ginger) or anything else that sounds good. I leave the ginger in my cup and add more water if I want more tea or it gets too strong. The coin size pieces can be used for several cups of tea, at least for me.

    If you are a big iced tea drinker at home, try putting a few pieces of ginger into the tea when you start it? It makes a very refreshing iced tea when used with either regular or herbal tea. Even thank you likes it, and he doesn't eat anything new/wild/foreign to him, lol.
    One last thing, gas. Sometimes if you have gerd you also have problems with gas. If you do, or you eat a lot of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, etc...) or you eat sweet potato (the musical fruit because it makes you toot, according to my mother), you will have gas. Beano may help if you can tolerate it. GasX is also helpful. Walmart sells two bottles of 72 gelcaps for around $6-7 and it can be a big help. If you eat much dairy, give lactaid a try. I won't buy the milk. It is crazy expensive. I get the walmart version of the tablets that is called Ultra Dairy Digestive Enzyme. You chew one with the first bite of food, or two if it is a big serving, and it can make a HUGE difference. Even if milk was not a problem before, humans lose the ability to make the enzyme as we age, so it may be a problem you are just not aware of yet. A trial of a few days generally will give you some idea of if you have a need fort this. Be sure to try it with a glass of milk, serving of instant pudding, etc... and not just with yogurt, cheese, etc.... Sometimes the process to create yogurt, cheese, etc... can actually help it b digested, so trying it with uncooked dairy products like milk or instant pudding can give a truer picture. Or so I have been told repeatedly.

    I hope something of this helps.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    How about... wrong kind of acid?

    Give up soda. Our bodies "tolerate" it when everything else is running right. Otherwise... kick the habit.
    Ginger, as Susiestar mentioned, is a good thing. Even candied ginger... it's hot but sweet, nibble on a chunk.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you again, everyone
    Insane...was that link to another thread? I didn't see anything when I clicked on it.
    I don't drink soda anymore. Once in a GREAT while, I'll have a few ounces of ginger ale.

    was wondering if greatly reducing meat and eating more rice etc influenced it...happened about the same time. I still didn't eat flour, but much more starch.

    So, tonight I had a tiny portion of plain chicken and a medium salad. I feel ever so slightly better. We'll see how the evening goes.
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm tired and haven't read all of the responses. I apologize if I'm just repeating what others have said.

    I take generic Protonix (proton pump inhibitor) twice a day. I started on Prilosec, then a higher dose of Prilosec, then switched to Protonix. If I still get breakthrough, I'll sometimes use Maalox, sometimes Tums. It mainly depends what I have on hand, but Maalox is supposed to be better - according to my doctor - because it coats the stomach. If I still can't get it to go away, I eat apples. I'll eat apple slices all day long sometimes to keep it under control. There are all kinds of home remedies that sound really gross, but apples works for me. It doesn't take it away, but it does bring it down, but I do have to keep eating apple slices for a few hours or more.

    If you can't take PIP's, you may want to talk to you doctor about switching brands, or maybe supplementing with Zantac or something. Also, the entire head of your bed should be raised, not just your pillows raising you up. My biggest trigger is stress - especially stress and if I eat chocolate, which I tend to do more of when I'm stressed.

    If you're on any new medications or even old medications that are known to be bothersome to stomachs, try taking it with food if you don't normally.

    That's all I have. Hope it helps some.
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Oh - and reglan jacked up my blood pressure and I *had* to move the one time it was given to me. At first, it was kind of cool because I had so much energy and I never do, but then it became like really intense restless leg except all over my body.