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Wicked Stomach Problems. Hoping the Primal Lifestyle Will Save Me!

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  • Wicked Stomach Problems. Hoping the Primal Lifestyle Will Save Me!

    Greetings from Chicago!
    I'm really excited to be going Primal. I made the decision today when I saw the 30-day Challenge. I used to be a runner. Run, Run, Run is all I did (hence my username). I had to stop running 2 years ago because I had such bad acid reflux it hurt too bad to run. Since then, it's been 2 years of complete agony. Stomach problems, reflux, inflammation and burning in my stomach, esophagus, spine, etc. How can this be happening to me, I just turned 30! I've tried every kind of diet there is after the medical community completely let me down, trying to push drugs down my throat as a "fix". I've done a lot of research the past couple years and it has lead me to the Primal Diet. A lot of what I've found about GI problems and diet is that grains and sugars are the real culprit leading to inflammation. So, in my quest for a cure, I've committed to becoming Primal to see if this can help me get my life back. If anyone out there has any words of encouragement or has seen their stomach problems helped by going Primal, I'd love to hear your story!


  • #2
    Hey there Run EMC - Welcome aboard! I just started on 8/25.

    I have had GERD and IBS and acid reflux my entire adult life. Ranging in weight from 167 to 255+. Sometimes it is worse and sometimes it is better. Twice I've gone to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. I've been to the doctor several times for EKG or stress EKG because I just couldn't believe that it wasn't my heart.

    I gave up golf due to chronic inflammation of my sternum. I took lots of antacids, proton pump inhibitors and treated the inflamed areas with ice. Nothing really seemed to work.

    I even had an upper endoscopy where they proudly declared that I had celiac's and a hiatal hernia. Only to come back and say that they were wrong about the celiac's but that the inflammation pattern in my GI tract looked like Celiac's.

    One day about four months ago, my chest was killing me. I had been doing p90x and eating low-fat (i.e chicken-broccoli-rice) kind of a diet. I then went on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) which is supposed to be the easiest for your stomach to digest. Still a problem.

    Suddenly, very clearly I had an epiphany - fat is the grease of the body. If an automobile engine is burning and chafing - you add some oil. So that night I went and bought a big fat ribeye and I ate all the fat. You know what, my inflammation in my chest dropped immediately. I could feel it easing. Almost like putting aloe on a burn. I did some googling to see if there was any science behind my hypothesis and found MDA. I was familiar with Mark because of the P90X nutritional work that he did, but I read a little and thought it looked interesting.

    Anyway, I had to work in another city for four months and I kind of forgot about that and kept eating low fat (I know right?) but slipping in some junkfood and lots of diet soda.

    Things steadily got worse until I finally went to the doctor AGAIN worried about my heart and he put me on a proton pump inhibitor (I told him the others didn't work but he gave me some samples and it worked, so I kept at it).

    Eventually that stopped working too. In the meantime I found MDA again while noodling around on the internet looking for information on chest inflammation and this time I read it for nights on end before I went to bed. I decided to start incorporating things immediately, even though I was on the road. I just cut out the starches with dinner and cut down on the bread. I felt better and lost a few lbs. Then I got back home, talked to my wife about it and cleaned out the pantry and went to the store. I still didn't know exactly what I was doing, but I knew it was what I needed to do. I read on the forums someone who described it as "I only eat plants and animals". I decided not to do things that were supposed to taste/feel like bread or other non-primal foods because I just wanted to enjoy fruits, veggies, meats and nuts for a while.

    My inflammation went away instantly. I took my last proton pump inhibitor after the second day of being primal. Forgot, actually, because there were no symptoms and haven't taken it since.

    My GERD is practically gone. It resurfaces every time I eat wheat or fries (which is always junk food, I don't crave anything else).

    I don't know what the relationship is in the gut but in my case, wheat or sugar or corn seems to be the cause of 90% of the problems.

    Oh, I was starting up golf again and had the same inflammation in the old chest. Since I started primal I'm almost completely pain free at that too. Walking and carrying my clubs (9 holes) 3+ times a week.



    • #3
      Hey there Run,
      I suffered from similar problems and going primal really does help. Unfortunately, I continue to have some GI issues that pop up, so I searched on the Paleo Physicians Network and found Turner Chiropractic in Glendale Heights, IL. They have been great! They are chiropractors and primary care physicians who take a very holistic approach. It turns out that I am suffering from an ulcer that has been causing reflux, inflammation, etc. Usually nasty antibiotics are prescribed, but they were able to give me a form of zinc that is not available over the counter. I noticed a huge difference just within a few days. I'm not sure where in Chicago you are located, but if your issues are not resolved completely by going primal it might be worth a trip to Glendale Heights. Good Luck!


      • #4
        Wow we drummed up some fellow chicagoans!

        I am in Vernon Hills and my PCP lead me to primal eating... I started late December 2010 and have been pretty much off bp meds and Nexium for GERD since around March... 4 months and my bp normal w/o meds and no more heartburn. However, I find if I cheat, esp w/ things like pizza it can really kill me. You can do it!
        sigpic My goal pic...

        Sugar is a damn drug. It's a sick and evil cycle that I must break permanently. GROKETTE ON! (My personal designs & creations of quality handcrafted jewelry. Items for grokettes AND groks of all ages.)


        • #5
          Wicked, eh? I would've guessed you were from Boston =P I found that cutting out wheat/gluten/grains stopped the chronic heartburn I was experiencing. It only happens now when I have pizza!
          Depression Lies


          • #6
            Acid reflux is what led me to the Primal Blueprint. I was having non-stop problems (including sleep issues from my stomach problems). I took antacids several times a day and knew I had to do something or go on prescription drugs for it for the rest of my life. I did not like that option, so I started tracking everything I ate and how I felt. I decided to eliminate certain foods until I found my problem sources. As luck we have it, I found the number one culprit right away: wheat. Wheat in particular (but possibly other grains as well), contains a protein (a lectin) that can bond to the cells in your stomach and turn off the regeneration of the mucus lining that keeps your stomach from digesting itself.

            My stomach was healing within 4 days. Two weeks wheat-free was the last time I ever took an antacid. That was mid-January.

            After that I read The Primal Blueprint, learned a lot, and went completely grain-free. By February I noticed my asthma seemed to be improving. By the end of April I was off my asthma medications after thrity years.

            I also add muscle easily now with negligible effort and dropped about 28 pounds with no dieting.

            And it all started with a bit of acid reflux...
            Life is short: Void the warranty.


            • #7
              Thank you!

              Thank you for all the responses! It definitely helps knowing I'm not the only one out there with these problems and it's so encouraging to hear success stories. It makes me so happy to know that there are people no longer suffering due to going Primal. We need to find a way to spread the word to more people....way too many people are suffering every day and gulping down the antacids and PPI's.

              After reading these, I am even more determined to stick with a Primal lifestyle. I'm still in the first week, but I think things are starting to feel better. I think I still eat too many potatoes and cheese, which is going to be the hardest part for me in all of this. I've been gluten free on and off for about 6 months and I notice it helps when I stick to it. Consistency is key, right?!

              I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on eating potatoes on this diet....I know there's some disagreement as to whether they are "allowed" or not. Any thoughts?

              Also, I need to vent this out real quick: GOD, I MISS ICE CREAM!


              • #8
                I will look into that for sure. I work out near Glendale Heights, so that is perfect. Thanks so much!


                • #9
                  Cardiologist Dr. Wm Davis in his new book, "Wheat Belly," blames wheat directly for GERD and a host of other problems including:
                  * Joint pain
                  * Heart Disease
                  * Obesity
                  * Diabetes
                  * Allergies
                  * IBS, celiac disease, colon cancers, colostomies & ileostomy.
                  * Mental problems
                  * Wheat impacts every organ in the body.
                  He includes his research and plenty of references.

                  My son develops joint pain every time he eats wheat products. The problem with Modern Wheat is that it is a Frankenstein Monster created by scientists in the lab through gene splicing, DNA changes, etc, and is nothing like biblical wheat. Dr. Davis explains in 2 chapters what has happened to wheat.

                  Wheat Belly Book Review:
                  Low Carb Age Wheat Belly Book Review Low Carb Age

                  Even the book review author says:
                  "After suffering from painful GERD for over a decade, I noted a rapid decrease in symptoms when I started a low carb diet. My GERD does not return when I have the occasional indulgence of ice cream while on a cruise, but comes back with a vengeance when I consume wheat products...."
                  Within 1 week of publishing his book, the Food Industry is already attacking him.

                  I recommend this book for everyone in your family.

                  Last edited by Grizz; 09-16-2011, 07:39 AM.