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  • GERD new issue, need some help

    Hi Primal Friends,

    I have a question about GERD symptoms.

    I discovered Mark's website on September and immediately felt it was THE thing for me. I bought the book and started eating primal 80%... I thought I would never be able to eat so much for breakfast since I never could eat in the morning. I found out eating properly is easy when you provide what your body wants. I felt really better.

    Then I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and discovered going gluten free was THE thing which explained why I had been feeling better on Primal diet. I found out being gluten free and doing Primal diet were complementing each other perfectly.

    Since I am gluten free, the pain in my chest from GERD has subsided so I no longer need acid reduction tabs and sleep better at night. I thought I would no longer need IPP but that wasn't so simple.

    The problem I have is that I felt as if something was stuck in my throat. I went to a doctor who didn't even watch my throat and deduced I was anxious (he wanted to put me on anti-depressant tabs for 6 months and anxyolitics!!!! which I refused). I was still left with that thing in my throat, feeling as if I were going to stop breathing, forcing food down my throat, eating became a torture.
    Then I started feeling as if my tongue had doubled and could no longer fit in my mouth but there was nothing apparent. Then it started itching and burning some time during the day.

    Now here is my question: the doctor put me back on IPP but I know it soothes on one side and destroys on the other. My stomach needs repairing. Acid is required to have a proper digestion.

    Has someone ever felt these new symptoms and managed to get rid of it? Does it require some time before my stomach is completely healed from gluten inflammation? What complements shall I take? Can I stop IPP or should I do the one month treatment completely until the symptoms subside then repair my stomach function???

    Please, I hope someone can help with it, living with the feeling you're going to choke is painful and too much stress for my anxious brain. I would be totally happy without it, it is the only shadow on my life right now...

    Hope you can help!

  • #2
    I used to have a similar feeling in my throat just like you described. I felt like I was going to choke. GERD would normally hit me hardest when I was in bed obviously because I was laying down. I tried a lot of things and my doctor told me to do yoga and to just relax. I used to have a "perfect" CW diet which turned out to be the culprit. I changed it up and stopped gluten and dairy all together. I ate completely clean (organic fruits and veggies and lots of saturated fat). I also cut out caffeine. All of those things did the trick and I am GERD free now. I never even get the slightest symtoms anymore. I don't ever feel the need to belch, I am never bloated, my IBS is gone and my allergies are gone. I haven't even been sick in over a year when I used to get sick routinely every month. I am very strict on the primal/paleo diet and the reason I won't fall off the wagon is because I know what the consequences will be if I do.

    Oh and you asked about how long it took to heal the stomach. I think everyone is a little different. I used to eat oatmeal or whole wheat cereal every day along with a sandwich with whole wheat bread. I did this for at least 3 years. I also used to do a lot of chronic cardio. So I did a lot of damage. I followed a GAPS diet which is a lot like paleo with a big emphasis on bone broths, and removing gluten/dairy completely. I think my gut healed in a little over a month. But even during the first week I felt progressively better day by day. You must be totally compliant though and if you revert back to your old diet it will just make it that much harder to regain control of it. Good luck.
    "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

    People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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    • #3
      thanks for your comment,

      I've been completely gluten free for 2 months and a half now which is when this feeling of choking appeared. My tongue tends to get itchy whenever I eat dairy so maybe I'll try being dairy free too... and see what happens...

      I do feel better though, no stomach aches, no full nose and I haven't been sick for a while which like you I used to do every month (ensuing problems at work due to sick leave, I can no longer work when sick), no headaches, less vertigos... I got a gastro-flu (I didn't even know that thing existed, it IS strong) but I work with 600 kids so viruses I share with them a'plenty. I've lost 40 pounds and everyone tells me I look way better now.

      I find being gluten free is very easy when you were feeling like shit and suddenly feel better. People usually have pity when I tell them I can no longer eat this or that but I'm not the one to be pitied. My diet has also improved what our son eats and I love this deeply.

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      • #4
        I had GERD and a feeling of a lump in my throat, and asthma, until I gave up gluten. The GERD was horrendous, 24 hrs a day with acid coming right up my throat so I had to keep gulping it back down, and I felt like if I coughed I might vomit.

        I an 3 years of gluten, 5 months off grains and legumes and a few weeks off dairy. I have had a couple of spells of GERD lately which were after I ate vegetable oil containing foods.

        If your tongue itches when you eat dairy I think going off dairy may be important for you. That sounds like it could be an allergy rather than an intolerance which could lead to swelling and even anaphylaxis. I don't want to add to your anxiety but that rang alarm bells for me.

        I am working on healing gluten damage using a protocol I devised from info on the Gluten Doctors blog (this was before I found paleo). My most recent addition is kefir, I am dairy free so I am trying water kefir. I don't know if that helps the stomach though, or just the intestines. The most important thing is to be 100% gluten free, even a trace every now and then can maintain damage and inflammatory issues.

        "I find being gluten free is very easy when you were feeling like shit and suddenly feel better. People usually have pity when I tell them I can no longer eat this or that but I'm not the one to be pitied." I love this and absolutely agree. I have been ill to some extent for my whole adult life and particualrly so for the years 2004-2008. I get so much "Oh poor you" but I was just thrilled when I found out what was going on after years of misery! I just hope that through paleo I can one day get back to feeling I am truly in good health again.
        Last edited by Horsewoman; 01-16-2011, 03:05 AM.
        Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

        Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

        Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

        "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
        Harold Whitman

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        • #5
          The fact is that the results of going gluten free are so obvious that other people around me are thinking about doing it too, my other-in-law had been thinking about it. She suffers from arthritis and doctors told her repeatedly this would help but she kept saying she couldn't impose this on her husband (a false reason of course).

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          • #6
            I'm interested in a solution to this as well. I've been having similar issues with GERD (at least I'm pretty sure it's GERD), and I know how awful it is. I've been primal for about four months now, and while plenty has improved, my digestion is still a painful mess. Worse than when I started. It's very frustrating, and I'm not too sure what to do at this point. I'm completely free of grains, gluten, and dairy (except butter), I've had tests done in the ER and they couldn't find anything wrong, and I just plain don't trust PPIs and the like.

            I get the same horrible chest pains / tightness and feeling of choking upon laying down, plus burning and cramps all over my abdomen. I've been an anxious mess for the last couple of months and I know that this discomfort is one of, if not the major contributor. Meal times are especially bad, occasionally just cooking will be enough to trigger a full blown panic attack. I know that eating while anxious only serves to worsen indigestion, but I have to eat some time. I've already decreased my workout load because I just can't get enough food in me to support the kind of activity level I was at before.

            I feel like my life just has this constant sludge over it. Or, as you put it, a shadow. Pretty draining, really. I wish you the best of luck.
            Last edited by Styrofoam Jones; 01-16-2011, 03:50 AM.

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            • #7
              I don't think you can have an anaphylactic reaction with milk when you've been eating it all your life on a daily basis... signs would be more intense but I'll check into ti

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              • #8
                GERD=(Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease).

                Grizz

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                • #9
                  Thanks,

                  We're on the same boat or at least a similar one I see. Doctors would like to put me on antidepressant but I'm not depressive and my anxiety comes from feeling like I'm going to choke half the time I eat. I love to eat but it spoils the charm, really it does. I don't see what antidepressants would change if it comes from GERD apart from turn me into a vegetable, which being a teacher I can not really do. I remember being on antidepressant before and I didn't feel bad feelings, but neither did I feel good ones. I was jsut oblivious to things around me. I will never again accept that damage and losing a few months of my life to drugs.

                  I do have panick attacks too. Maybe the symptoms are close. Magnesium and Calcium could do the trick. I'm done with magnesium, I should check calcium... but god knows what my body can use with the IPP

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Styrofoam Jones View Post
                    I'm interested in a solution to this as well. I've been having similar issues with GERD (at least I'm pretty sure it's GERD), and I know how awful it is. I've been primal for about four months now, and while plenty has improved, my digestion is still a painful mess. Worse than when I started. It's very frustrating, and I'm not too sure what to do at this point. I'm completely free of grains, gluten, and dairy (except butter), I've had tests done in the ER and they couldn't find anything wrong, and I just plain don't trust PPIs and the like.

                    I get the same horrible chest pains / tightness and feeling of choking upon laying down, plus burning and cramps all over my abdomen. I've been an anxious mess for the last couple of months and I know that this discomfort is one of, if not the major contributor. Meal times are especially bad, occasionally just cooking will be enough to trigger a full blown panic attack. I know that eating while anxious only serves to worsen indigestion, but I have to eat some time. I've already decreased my workout load because I just can't get enough food in me to support the kind of activity level I was at before.

                    I feel like my life just has this constant sludge over it. Or, as you put it, a shadow. Pretty draining, really. I wish you the best of luck.
                    Have you tried taking digestive enzymes?
                    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                    Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                    Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                    "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                    Harold Whitman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nossar View Post
                      I don't think you can have an anaphylactic reaction with milk when you've been eating it all your life on a daily basis... signs would be more intense but I'll check into ti
                      As far as I am aware as a biochemist, an allergy can develop any time. For example I took penicillin for the first 16 years of my life with no issues, then suddenly developed an allergy causing painful swolen joints. If I have it again I am at risk of anaphylaxis.

                      Allergies to things you are exposd to regularly can start or worsen at any time. I have developed new and worsening allergies since i was about 15 and first developed hay fever, dust allergy and allergy to animal dander. Lately I have difficulty even finding natural skincare products I don't react to. Let's just say allergy and intolerance is a bit part of my life!
                      Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                      Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                      Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                      "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                      Harold Whitman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm a new member, but just thought I would chip in with my experience of GERD. I has pretty bad reflux for a couple of years and I just learnt to deal with it. After I became more and more sick I decided to visit the doctor. Of course they gave me a tablet that reduced the reflux, which I took for a couple of months. I found that taking the tablets removed the acid issue but I still felt unwell, so I decided to investigate this myself.

                        I found some interesting articles, which led me to buy a book (can't remember the name, but if anyone wants the title, let me know and I will get it when I'm at home) that solved my problem. Apart from a couple of tips regarding avoid late night meals, don't drink whilst you are eating, avoid chocolate, the most interesting bit was the fact that 9 out of 10 cases of reflux is due to TOO LITTLE acid not TOO MUCH. The author recommended an acid tablet called Betaine Hydrochloride (you can buy it in health stores or pharmacists, no prescription required) which you take before you eat and kick starts your acid production. It worked 100% for me. I feel much better and I can eat without fear of reflux. I still avoid late night meals etc, but apart from that I can manage it very well and I feel much much better. I no longer take what the doctor gave me, as I have no need to.

                        Interestingly, I told a woman at work who suffers from the same thing. I gave her all the info etc, but she chose to stick with her prescription tablet. Having undigested food sitting in her stomach seemed to appeal to her more that having the acid clear it up.

                        Hope that helps.
                        Last edited by Captain Scarlet; 01-16-2011, 06:25 PM. Reason: Added more content

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                        • #13
                          If you are having trouble swallowing and it feels like things are getting stuck in your throat, the problem may not be GERD. If this doesn't clear up fairly soon, I would advise a trip to a gastroenterologist for an evaluation. Tumors in the neck area or the esophagus itself can impede swallowing, which is the first symptom. It is fairly straightforward to check for them - a CT scan can find them. Some people develop problems with the smooth muscle of the esophagus so that it doesn't propel the food properly down into the stomach and it literally gets "hung up" in the esophagus.

                          There are various swallowing tests to see how food travels down the esophagus. A barium test has you swallow some food with contrast dye while having a series of xrays taken to track the food passage. They can also do muscle fiber testing of the esophagus.

                          If you are not having any sternal area pain, just swallowing difficulties, it doesn't really sound like GERD. In any case, a tumor is easy to check for and best treated as early as possible. I work in a hospital where we treat all the head, neck, oral cavity, and esophageal cancers and other tumors. They are becoming increasingly common, even amongst younger people. Risk factors are using any kind of tobacco and higher alcohol intake.

                          If you have GERD that is not responding to treatment or proper dietary habits, you may have a physical problem such as a hiatal hernia that impairs the esophageal sphincter from functioning properly, allowing digestive acids to continually wash back up into the esophagus. This causes very painful reflux symptoms - constant burning and aching pain after eating in the sternal area. If you aren't really having that kind of pain, you probably don't have that kind of physical abnormality.

                          Primal eating is very helpful for improving health. However, it is not a cure for everything. Swallowing difficulties are generally not a common symptom of GERD, but they can be symptoms of other problems that primal eating will not improve. IF it doesn't go away, please have it checked out by an expert, not someone who will just tell you take a some anti-depressants!!!!! That sounds like malpractice to me.

                          Take care and best of luck! Barb

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                          • #14
                            Aloha from Maui. I am having the same issues. I have been eating primal and living super healthy all my life and never had anything like this. I've been growing my own food for years eating it right out of the garden and enjoying fresh fish now and then (mostly vegetarian). I take vit D and fish oil everything organic... all the right things. I am a yoga instructor, surfer, happy person who always slept like a baby. Then I turned 48 and suddenly I was feeling tightness in my chest and having trouble sleeping and sometimes breathing, couldn't sleep on my side, would loose my voice and sometimes get a choking sensation at the top of my throat. It scared the crap out of me. None of my doctors suspected GERD because of my healthy lifestlye. Never thought I would have GERDs but that's what it is. Some have said it is a symptom of hormone changes. That hormone shitf change the bodies ability to digest food completely and when there is too much undigested food in the system, the body's auto immune response causes loads of acid to be produced in an attempt to digest the food. What happens is the over production of acid starts "digesting" our insides. YIKES!

                            I've been treating the symptoms with aloe vera juice (sipping it all day long) but the intensity comes and goes. Even when I juice fast the tightness is there. I have done all the Dr. Shultz cleanses, colon hydro therapy, loads of pro-biotics, etc. and have only got temporary releif.

                            Visited a web site called digestaqure.com that has some great information on the root of GERDs and other autoimmune digestive disorders. Have ordered a product called Digestaqure that addresses auto-immune digestive disorders naturally. Some one else suggested the PB micro organisms for intestinal flora so I ordered that too. Will let you know how those help.

                            Would love to hear what Mark has to say about this.

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                            • #15
                              Nossar, have you been taking NSAIDS (Aleve, etc) for a long time or on a regular basis?
                              Durp.

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