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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Surgery for Acid Reflux - anyone have this done?

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Author Topic: Surgery for Acid Reflux - anyone have this done?
Rivendell
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I've been told that I have a loose sphincter which is allowing stomach acids to get into my throat.

I am taking acid inhibitors, but worry about what these are doing to my body.

The reflux is so bad that I am having trouble taking some antibiotics and herbs.

So wondering if anyone has had this surgery, if it helped you and if you had complications afterward?

(I am aware that Bart and parasites can cause stomach issures, but this is so severe that I can't even tolerate medications and herbs for these conditions.)

Thanks

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AuntyLynn
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Yikes!!!

Do you take PROBIOTICS??

How about digestive enzymes?? (Papaya or papain tablets) or ... Hydrochloric Acid??

Most symptoms of acid reflux are actually due to your body not makiing ENOUGH digestive acids!

Taking acid inhibitor DRUGS can give short-term relief - but does nothing for the real problem.
(This is well known among nutritionists!)

So the whole hype about "the little purple pill" is just another sales gimmick - and can actually cause other problems down the road! (Like calcium deficiency and bone/tooth loss.)

It may WELL be that you have a "loose spincter" but before I would submit to surgery, I would try to straighten out my digestive system first.

Get a real good fresh and "live" probiotic - like Bio-K, sold at Whole Foods Market. Eat yogurt and/or drink Kefir daily. Also, a good health food store will have the papaya or papain (pineapple) enzyme tablets I mentioned above - they're tasty, and they're chewable.

If you get a feeling of fullness and discomfort as you begin to get this "reflux" issue, this is a good sign that maybe your problem is low digestive juices, and not so much "physical." So enzyme tablets and/or Hydrocholoric acid supplements may actually do the trick!

Hey, I'm no doc, but I've studied nutrition for decades. And when my BF tucks into any piece of hot red meat, and whips through that fat and protein before even TOUCHING his salad - I know he's going to need his papaya tablets before he ever drops his fork!

High fat/high protein meals are the worst for bringing on digestive issues, because our bodies needs twice the digestive juices and plenty of bile, to break down those foods! Carbs and sugars ... they slip right through the stomach - but meat takes real work.

So maybe be more mindful of your diet, as you try to heal your gut? If you're a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy - try eating more fish and chicken. (But NOT Kentucky fried lol!)

Hope this might help you! Good luck!

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Rivendell
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Well, I've been taking digestive enzymes since the 1970's. Hydrocloric acid makes it much, much worse, so I don't take it.

Anything acidy makes it so much worse.

Yes, I take lots of probiotics and eat helthy yogurt and kefir.

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Razzle
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Have you tried DGL? It strengthens the sphincter. Take DGL 20 minutes prior to meals.

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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kidsgotlyme
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My MIL had to have this surgery and it did help her symptoms greatly.

--------------------
symptoms since 1993 that I can remember. 9/2018 diagnosed with Borellia, Babesia Duncani, and Bartonella Hensalae thru DNA Connections.

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Carol in PA
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I took d-limonene for a while, as it reduced my reflux.
I thought it was great, until I tried PepZin GI, which worked even better.

You can read reviews of each at iHerb.com.


When I began taking Berberine, one of the improvements I noticed was that I don't have as much of a problem with heartburn and reflux.
My bottle of PepZin GI is going to last a while, haha.


BTW, if you're having a problem with heartburn, belching, and reflux, you may have gastritis.
I developed gastritis symptoms after taking Ibuprofen for several years.

I stopped that medication, and it cleared up.

So, if the problem is one of your meds, maybe you should stop the med, rather than go through surgery.

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trimom
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Have you tried diet changes?

I stopped having relux when giving up processed food, sugar and grains. Same happened to my husband.

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Keebler
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Re: Food Additives

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=029690;p=0

Excitotoxins; MSG; Aspartame; & "Natural" Flavors;

GMO foods that destroy the GI Tract; Gluten; Dairy.

You might want to stop ALL DAIRY for a month as well as all gluten. See the DAIRY article in the set above and - most specifically - the reader comments. Eye opening.

Find a dairy-free probiotic instead. Be sure it's casein free, too.

Probably best to also avoid all corn and soy for a month to see how that goes, too. Both can cause tremendous trouble for many folks.
-

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Keebler
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DGL was mentioned above. That (which is CHEWED), and other herbs, can be very helpful.

Carol in PA mentioned PepZin GI. Here's that link: http://pepzingi.com/

LOW DOSE of L-Glutamine, too (but too much can cause anxiety) - best in combination with certain herbs and some diet changes, perhaps. Other herbs: slippery elm bark; marshmallow root; etc.

A ND may be able to help - many herbs can be formulated in various manners.

Acupuncture may also help to remove "stagnation" and ease up the muscles that could be pulling against you.

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/2/13964

How to find an ILADS-educated LL:

N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor);

L.Ac. (Acupuncturist);

D.Ay. (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine);

D.O.M. (Doctor of Oriental Medicine);

Integrative / Holistic M.D., etc. (Be aware that those in this category can have various levels of formal herbal &/or nutritional education, perhaps even just a short course. Do ask first.)

Links to many articles and books by holistic-minded LL doctors of various degrees who all have this basic approach in common:

Understanding of the importance of addressing the infection(s) fully head-on with specific measures from all corners of medicine;

knowing which supplements have direct impact, which are only support and which are both.

You can compare and contrast many approaches.

BASIC HERBAL EDUCATIONAL & SAFETY links,

BODY WORK links with safety tailored to lyme patients -

- for esophagus problems, VISCERAL MANIPULATION may be of help. Find the UPLEDGER website.
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AuntyLynn
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OK Rivendell - So you've tried that route.

Sorry, this must make eating anything kind of a nightmare.

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Keebler
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-
Different than herbs, you might find a ND who is also trained in homeopathy for a wider choice. Homeopathics melt under your tongue (although milk sugar is in the pellets so you'd want the formulas to be sublingual DROPS instead).

Just one glimpse into this area:


http://www.naturalnews.com/028924_GERD_homeopathic.html

Three Homeopathic Treatments Help Acid Reflux Symptoms and GERD
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Rivendell
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Thanks for all the good info.

I am basically vegetarian, although because I have hypoglycemia, in a pinch I will eat fish, chicken or turkey when the blood sugar drops.

The only thing I haven't tried is gluten-free and dairy-free.

Because of blood sugar drops, I find that having a protein bar handy in those cases is the lesser of two evils. And the protein bar contains whey protein, which is dairy. It seems to help better with blood sugar drops than soy for me.

The fatigue and symptoms of Lyme along with orthostatic intolerance and a low level of income makes it difficult to follow this type of diet.

(Standing in line while buying groceries - dizzy, lightheaded, weak - finding a good protein source that is not meat and can address the blood sugar drops.)

But the gluten-free, dairy-free may be the answer.

As for the the DGL, I take lots of licorice root every day for orthostatic intolerance, and DGL comes from licorice root with the part that causes you to retain salt removed. But I need that part to keep my blood pressure from dropping.

Thanks so much everyone.

And Kidsgotlyme, its good to know that the person you mentioned was helped by the surgery. Did they have any problems with the surgery that needed to be corrected?

Believe me, I don't like the idea of surgery, but also don't want acid in my esophagus.

Thanks all.

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hopingandpraying
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Rivendell - check this website for information about Acid Reflux:

www.homefirst.com then click on "Store" then click on "Bettenaid". It will give you an explanation about acid reflux and what Bettenaid can do to help.

I am in no way affiliated with this product or website - just passing on information like I always do to help.

Btw - if you are located in Illinois, this doctor (Dr. E) has a network of clinics located here where you could possibly go and get a second opinion about the sphincter surgery. Just a thought!

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Rivendell
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Thanks Keebler and hopingandpraying for the links.

I would not be surprised if the reflux could be caused by degenerative disc disease, which I have.

It seems like with that condition, the nerves are irritated or compressed, which can cause problems with your body throughout. And Lyme can attack the discs, I believe. Maybe it attacked the sphincter.

Thanks all. I have a lot to think about.

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Keebler
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Even if the discs are affect, diet changes are very likely to help, at least to some degree.

By your saying: "But the gluten-free, dairy-free may be the answer." (end quote)

It seems that your doctor - the one who suggests surgery - has not even discussed this with you? If not, that is negligence. Sheer negligence.

The Mark Bitman NYT articles about how avoiding dairy and casein helped so many -- and also all the parents of autistic kids who have seen their kids' symptoms improve without dairy, corn, or or gluten . . . well, there is a lot of hope there.

I collapsed in a mall once, had to be taken to ER due to esophagus distress. And this was just one of many similar experiences over the years. NO doctor ever told me to get off of dairy and gluten.

The stomach biopsy for celiac was done the wrong way - and a false negative. Later, a genetic celiac test was right on the money. Since going gluten free, ALL my stomach trouble (that nearly killed me) is gone.

Dairy affects me, too, but in other ways. Still, the reader comments for that NTY article are stunning, just stunning at the huge, remarkable turn-arounds many welcomed by avoiding dairy.

It's sure worth at least a couple month try. My guess is that, by the end of week one, you will notice a huge difference.

In the meantime, even if you take licorice for your adrenals and low blood pressure, taking DGL - and chewing frequently will bath that esophagus tissue. It is very soothing to me.

Best to avoid all Rx proton pump inhibitors as they can actually make matters much worse in the long run. I hope you can see a doctor who is really educated in this matter.

A LL ND who might also work with autistic kids would be the best start regarding the diet changes that are likely to be the best benefit.

Best of luck.
-

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Talktel
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Hi,

I had surgery for the acid reflux, after I got sick in 2003 but before I got diagnosed in 2004.

I had had relux most of my adult life, which was very controllable with diet and med.

After I got sick with the mysterious sx, my reflux went out of control, and no amount of meds helped.

So docs were telling me first have the surgery, and then we'll see what happens after.

Had the surgery, and my neuro Lyme sx were still there and worsening. And I'm still taking meds for the reflux.

So I now wonder if I really needed that surgery, as now in hindsight, I realize it was caused by Lyme.

THere were no complications after that surgery that needed redoing. Just Lyme sx kept on worsening.

--------------------
RI

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Talktel
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But please be clear that I was not being treated for Lyme at that time, because I didn't know that I even had it.

--------------------
RI

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ESG
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some of us seem to get reflux & other digestive problems with the Lyme, as a result of the Lyme.

Seems to be a common problem with my Lyme friends & family, and trying various approaches has made
no difference at all. Even after being treated for the Lyme, the symptoms remain. I am pulling together many persons' stories here, so not going into details - just that this is common for many.

Word of caution, I tried going off the Nexium recently and ended up with some other terrible problems, so I would never say Nexium is "hype" and I am back on it much to my dismay and despite having tried many of the things already mentioned here.

I know 2 other people who also tried to stop Nexium and had to go back on. For some people, it is not that easy & the reflux problem is very serious.

So you really have to know what your own situation is what is best for you. As for the surgery, you may have to do some internet research on that subject?

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ESG
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Foods that weaken the muscle valve & aggravate reflux:
fatty foods or fried
whole milk
chocolate
mints
oils
creamed foods or soups

Foods that irritate or inflame lower esophagus:
citrus
coffee

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Razzle
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Allergies and Sulfite Sensitivity can also cause acid reflux.

I get horrendous heartburn/acid reflux from sulfites. Treated primarily with avoidance of sulfites and things to which I'm allergic (a really, really long list in my case), plus for sulfites that I can't avoid (car exhaust, protein foods, etc.), I can take Molybdenum and Vitamin B12, along with an extra calcium supplement and that usually kicks out the reflux from sulfites.

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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Rivendell
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I cannot go off the proton pump inhibitors. The acid that goes into my throat feels as if someone has poured acid down it.

I mean extrememly painful and the damage to the esophagus that must be occuring is so scarey. But the pain. And I even was bleeding. Could taste the blood.

No. I can't go off the inhibitors. It is quite serious.

And thanks ESG for the validation of how serious this illness can be and how going off these meds can be so dangerous.

Anyone else have the surgery?

Any other suggestions.

Thanks all.

Thanks Keebler about the gluten-free diet and how you improved. I want to try it, just difficult for me.

Thanks Talktel for the input on how the surgery didn't help - my fears.

Also thanks for the info about allergies and sulfites.

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Keebler
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A gluten free diet is a breeze for me. I just don't even have to think about all the foods that contain it by eating foods in their natural state.

A gluten free diet is much easier than surgery. Same with dairy-free.

I came back because I had seen some good reflux articles over at Mercola's site a while back. Here are some articles for your study:

http://search.mercola.com/search/Pages/results.aspx?k=Reflux

Mercola's site, search results for: REFLUX
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Keebler
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We all know that lyme and other infections can cause all kinds of GI trouble.

Backing up, though, be sure to consider H Pylori. Did you have a repeat test for H. Pylori?

I assume you had at least one lately (ANY doctor should know to do that) and that it must have been negative -- but it should be repeated. Certain labs also do a better job than others.

H Pylori could be the root cause. That is addressed here:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/25/News-Flash-Acid-Reflux-Caused-by-Too-Little-Acid-Not-Too-Much.aspx

Do You Need Surgery for Heartburn?

(the link takes you to a different title, just scroll down)

Excerpt:

. . . in the early 80s, an Australian physician named Dr. Barry Marshall did some pioneering work on acid reflux.

He discovered that an organism called helicobacter pylori (initially called campylobacter) causes a chronic low-level inflammation of your stomach lining, and is responsible, or at least a major factor, for producing many of the symptoms of acid reflux. . . .
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Rivendell
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I read Dr. Mercola's article. I do need to switch back to natural sea salt. I'm just overwhelmed with everything right now.

All the antibiotics the LLMD has given me should have killed the pylori. These are LLMD's words, not mine.

But absolutely no hydrocloric acid for me. Done that. Gave me terrible terrible acid reflux.

Yep, I have a hiatal hernia.

LLMD thinks that surgery might be able to correct both the hernia and the sphincter.

I'm going to research websites where the forums discuss this surgery.

But, I'm like you. I like to do things naturally.

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Rivendell
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Keebler,

Sorry if I sound frustrated. I am just overwhelmed with too much to deal with at one time. And that is true for many of us.

If I didn't have the hypoglycemia and the autonomic dysfunction, it would be a lot easier.

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Talktel
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Rivendell,

The surgery did help to a certain degree.

I wouldn't have been able to take any oral meds because of the reflux. Even though I was still taking proton inhibitors.

Now I can't take oral meds, but nothing to do with esophagus. but with my colon.

I'm not necessarily advocating esophageal surgery.

Of course, first try everything else before you consider surgery. Surgery is definitely a last resort.

--------------------
RI

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Rivendell
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Thank Talktel.

I am wanting different opinions on how the surgery helped. And your post is is good info.

I appreciate everything people have posted.

I know that consuming more raw food helps to make a body more alkaline. Since I have trouble eating raw food, I could chop it up in a blender.

I love juicing, even have a juicer, but now days groceries are so high, and I takes a lot of veges to get enough juice. Money Money.

And I have difficulty standing that long because I get weak and lightheaded and seriously fatigued.

But these are all very good goals for me, including possible surgery.

Thanks again.

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MichaelTampa
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Have you tried a product like Xymogen's GlutAloeMine to help heal that up. I also theoretically have acid reflux, had some fancy test that turned me in all sorts of directions with radioactive barium in me that showed the problem. But of course from treating lyme and using GlutAloeMine to heal the gut, the problem seems to have gone away.

Perfect Balance has a products called pHenomenal and Alk-Align that theoretically will help make things more alkaline, if that's really what would help. I am finding the pHenomenal product good for me, but not the other one.

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Keebler
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Rivendell,

No worries about sounding frustrated. Quite frankly, given all that so many here face, I'm surprised we all don't come off sounding downright snarky at times -- so any degree of frustration is certainly allowed and understood.

And, hey, if I had all the answers, I'd be out do so much other stuff right now (I could not stop listing so had to delete that paragraph).

I do think, however, that going gluten-free (from even a mere trace) and dairy & casein free could hold a huge payoff - at least worth the experiment of 4-8 weeks. Based on my experience and rewards from such. Again, just my experience and based on what I've read from others with similar gains.

Same with all food additives and GMO foods. That GMO film was eye opening, indeed. The best I've seen. Who knew?

Whatever you decide, the very best of luck to you.
-

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Rivendell
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What was the GMO film? I haven't seen it.

I find it hard to find foods with high protein to eat every two hours. I'm hypoglycemic and bsically vegetarian, and Whey protein, especially in protein bars can really help when I am feeling weak and not able to prepare foods. Soyy doesn't do it as well.

Get lightheaded when I stand very long.

So, these things make the gluten-free diet difficult. Also can't eat raw foods because of dental work. Although maybe the blender would work.

Anyway, maybe my brain will evetually figure out how to do it, but in the meantime, maybe I can cut down some on gluten.

Thanks. You are so informative.

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Keebler
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Unfortunately, just cutting down on gluten will have little effect. It's not like calories, even a TRACE of gluten can cause some very serious effects not just in the stomach but also in the brain and nerve function, for those sensitive to it.

Even lip balm needs to be certified gluten-free, it's that important. And so worth it.


I could not sustain a vegetarian diet without passing out. I tried for years, with the best legumes and it still left me flat on my face.

My body just really needs eggs, fish and meat - from the best sources. At least twice a day, with legumes, nuts and still LOTS of veggies to round it out. WILD SALMON & SARDINES are the best foods I've found for my body.

The protein bars and supplements are often loaded with additives. Their typical sweetness also short circuits our brain and pancreas function.

Not sure why you are vegetarian but you might want to reassess how that is or is not working for you at this point in time.

Be sure to supplement TAURINE for it's vital and missing in a vegetarian diet. CLA (conjugated lipoic acid, from grass grazed cattle), too.
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Razzle
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I've also read that herbs or foods that stimulate bile flow can trigger acid reflux for some people. These are things like dandelion root, burdock root, ginger root, artichoke (the vegetable), and other "bitters."

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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mr al
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Buy this book before it gets too dangerous. This is the lady that discovered Laryngopharyngeal Reflux or LPR.

http://www.amazon.com/Dropping-Acid-Reflux-Diet-Cookbook/dp/0982708319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351473309&sr=8-1&keywords=dropping+acid+the+reflux+diet+cookbook+%26+cure

She lists foods based on their acid. Stick to the diet. Unfortunately your meals won't be great. But i had to do it. 2-3 weeks has helped stop the acid without meds (which really don't work on LPR).

Unfortunately it's a lifestyle change. There is no fix.

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MannaMe
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My sis-in-law used coconut milk for her son with acid reflux. Just a small amount at a time. The coconut milk soothes and coats the esophagus protecting it from the acid.

She buys the plain coconut milk - no sugars or extra bad stuff added. I think one brand WalMart carries - but I don't know the name of it. sorry

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rivendell:

The only thing I haven't tried is gluten-free and dairy-free.


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Try it!!!...esp dairy!!!

Read about bone broth here ..

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/120910

Lymielauren's post on the thread. It's very healing. Have you also tried homemade ginger tea? Grated from the root?

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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David95928
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IMO if you really have acid reflux (GERD) it's a mechanical problem and not a dietary problem. It's also a significan medical issue as GERD is associated with esophogeal cancer. I've actually had the surgery twice. Thee first time hepled quite a bit for a while but I ultimately developed a hiatal hernia. When it was re-done four years ago I became symptom-free.

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Dave

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Rivendell
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Thanks David. I agree that it is a mechanical problem. And I was wanting to know who had the surgery and what their experiences are. Thanks for letting me know yours. I am glad that it has cleared up for you now. I already have a hiatal hernia, which can play a part in it.

I guess I am afraid that the surgery won't be successful and am afraid of the complications. Thaat's why I am wanting to hear from those who have had the surgery.

I am a vegetarian, not vegan. I eat eggs, fish and the foods that were suggested, except the meat, which I eat when nothing else is available to stop blood sugar drops.

The fatigue and inability to stand for longer than 3 minutes and having to lie down seriously limits my ability to have the best foods available at all times, also money.

Hypoglycemia can strike suddently, even with my best intentions to keep it under control. And when I am in a weakened condition such as described above, a good ole protein bar does the trick. Gets my blood sugar back on track and I feel so much better.

I follow a very strick diet regarding acid reflux, avoiding the triggers.
And you are right bitters can cause symptoms.

I have added pepcid, and the combination of meds is doing a better job.

Thanks for all the many suggestions.

I am looking into the coconut milk, D-limonene and other suggestions.

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Rivendell
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After careful thought, in my case, I don't believe the reflux is being caused by gluten or dairy.

I am very careful to avoid reflux triggers such as spices, onions, tomatoes, bitter herbs, etc.

But, it is difficult, and if I over-do-it on any of these trigger foods, the reflux starts.

When the reflux is severe and the med doesn't stop it, I add bananas which help to alkalize the stomach and EAT LOTS OF BREAD which has gluten. This helps to mop up the excess acid. The bananas, alone, won't do the trick. I also need the bread.

This combo will stop the severe reflux which causes blood in my throat.

And then to keep my stomach calm for the next few days, I eat very plain meals with whey protein.

This will keep the reflux from coming back until I have fully recovered.

If the gluten and dairy were causing it, I would probably be bleeding profusly from the throat when adding these foods during a severe attack. Instead, these foods stop it.

So, it must not be the gluten or dairy.

Those of you who are not gluten-intolerant, might try this if you are prone to severe acid reflux attacks. It helps stop the attack and the damage that might be ocurring in the esophagus.

But, I don't doubt, that a gluten-free, dairy-free diet can help people in general who have intolerances to these foods.

I just realized this, so had to post.

Thanks all.

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dogmom2
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Hi Rivendell, wondering if your ever had the surgery for your hiatal hernia? And if it helped you.

I have one too an cannot get the heartburn under control. when I had a chiropractor adjust it, it worked for a few days but came back. Trying to adjust myself isn't the same.

becoming dependent on baking soda which makes me feel sick. Would do about anything at this point to stop it.

thanks

Posts: 857 | From northern california | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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