Acid Reflux / Esophageal Spasm
Since I was a kid, I've had Esophageal Spasms. The crazy thing is that I didn't know what it was until a month ago. It feels like a heart attack. The heart appears to race uncontrollably. However, it is really just a muscle spasm in the esophagus. Now that I know it isn't my heart, a load has been lifted from my shoulders. So, now the question is how do I fix it? There isn't a lot of information on the topic. I've read Primal Body, Primal Mind and I've talked with my chiropractor. My daily regimen consists of the following:
- Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
- Natural Calm Magnesium
- NOW L-Glutamine
- NOW Aloe Vera Gels
- NOW Super Enzymes
This seems to work pretty well, but I still have occasional bouts. Intense workouts seem to bring out the worst too (even though I do them in the morning) with an empty stomach. It's a bit frustrating. I wanted to know if anyone in the community has experienced this problem and if they found any long-lasting solutions.
Do you eat primal?
A friend of mine had life long GERD - discomfort after every meal since childhood. He had been to all sorts of doctors and had all sorts of tests done - though no fix and not one mentioned diet.
I suggested he eat primal/LCHF - which he outright dismissed. Later he came back asking questions and started eating like that. That was six months ago - not a single episode since then.
I have been eating primal for about 18 months now. And you are right, the GERD has improved significantly. It's really just the occasional esophageal spasm that slows me down. It might be something I have to live with, but it would awesome if there was a cure.
From my book I'm Writing:
JUST A THEORY: Capsaicin Might Help with Palpations and Vagus Nerve Digestion Problems
Your body has receptors for capsaicin (this is what makes spicy foods taste hot) in the digestive tract and on the skin. The receptor it is associated with is called TRPV1. TRPV1 is also a receptor that deals with the detection and regulation of body temperature, and it also provides the sensation of heat and pain. This is why you sweat and your body temperature rises after consuming spicy food, this is also why capsaicin has been proven to dull pain receptors.
This is also explains why marijuana works on pain, because the endocannabinoid anandaminde works on TRPV 1 receptors. This explains why Tylenol is a weak pain reliever, but an even stronger fever reducer it also binds to TRPV1 receptors just not as strong.
Stimulation of TRPV1 also greatly reduces anxiety and increases hippocampus function and restores memory. Simulating the receptor also might mediate long term depression and PTSD. This is why spicy foods and marijuana have been shown to elevate the mood and eliminate both depression and PTSD.
Now to the vagus nerve problem at hand, and the reason that most patients feel heart palpations with upper digestive problems. CCK is an important peptide hormone that helps with both digestion and feelings of satiety. The problem is people with stomach, gall bladder or pancreas problems; their body stimulates the release of TOO MUCH CCK. This causes the nervous system to be constantly under attack when one eats. This causes the vagus nerve to fire off like crazy and causes anxiety, a poor functioning LES, and heart palpations. Capsaicin inhibits the effects of over production of CCK and increases gastric emptying. This might also be why people report feeling hungry one hour after eating a spicy meal!
Also try the LES Protocol:
Now Calcium Citrate Powder – 500 mg twice a day with water.
L-Glutamine Shake – 4,000 mg of L-Glutamine with 1 Scoop of Grass Fed Whey, 2 x Day
Jarrow R-Lipoic Acid – 1 Capsule Twice a Day with a meal
Enzymedica Digestive Enzyme Gold – One with Every Meal
Thorne Research B Complex #5 – 1 Capsule a day
Pure Encapsulations Zinc Carnosine – 1 Capsule with a meal, 2 x a day
Don’t Wear Tight Clothing or Tight Belts This Increases Pressure on the LES.
Melatonin Life Extension Extended Release – 3-10 mg before bed
If all else fails to help:
Jarrow 5HTP – Follow Instructions on bottle. Only take for at most two weeks.
<Calcium Citrate in theory should strengthen the LES, when it comes into contact with it when you drink it mixed with water in a powder. One of calcium's roles in the body is to be used as a strengthener in muscle contractions. This is just a theory tough, no In Vivo studies have been done.
R-Lipoic Acid has multiple benefits in the body but in this role it works by insuring that the LES has little nerve damage and also strengthens the vagus nerve.
Digestive enzymes help break down the food in the stomach which reduces gas and pressure on the LES.
The L Glutamine and Grass Fed Whey help rebuild the integrity of the gastrointestinal system and the LES as well.
Melatonin and 5HTP have been shown to increase LES strength.>
Thanks, Ron. Outside of the 5HTP, are the other supplements daily for the rest of my life? Or will the digestive system repair itself so that I can slowly phase off of these supplements?
Have you heard of the Autoimmune Protocol catfish? Here is an explanation of the basic theory and reasons behind it, and how to follow it. I don't know if it will help, but it could be worth a shot. I still have occasional severe heartburn/acid reflux after having been paleo for a few years now, so in the past week or so I've started to follow it myself. Just a thought... Hope you can find something that helps!
Thanks Joyfulsong and I do not take Ibuprofen or Anti-Inflammatory pills. Actually, I don't take any OTC or prescription drugs since going primal.
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