Ermagerd! No, seriously, ow, I have GERD. (Diet questions)

WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
edited December 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
I went to the doctor a couple days ago to see about some weird scary things going on inside my garbage body, and the doctor says he thinks I have GERD.

The weird thing is that I actually DON'T get heartburn. Like at all. Zero. But I have a lot of the other problems:
--feeling like a pill is stuck in your throat
--pain in shoulder if I eat too fast or too large (for context: a 6 inch sub from subway is pushing it. I have to eat that size or smaller).
--light-headedness (more like a stupor really) if I eat too much or eat certain things

I never had a problem with ANY OF THIS until like last week. I have been taking antacids and today I just started taking a generic form of prilosec called omeprazole.

Anyway, my question is more about diet, if this is really a thing that I now have to live with for the rest of my life.

The doctor (this was not a family doctor but just like a random redimed doctor) told me that I should never consume any of the following things again, ever, at all, period:

--Anything with caffeine, especially coffee, not even decaf
--Tea, not even decaf herbal teas
--Any citrus/acidic fruits like lemon or pineapple
--Anything spicy
--Anything with chocolate
--Any alcahol of any kind

That sounds very extreme to me. I found out one of my uncles has issues with GERD and he says he takes one omeprazole every morning and he has a cup of coffee every morning and nibbles at some of the other stuff too.

Anyone else have a bullshit garbage stomach that doesn't know how to do its fucking job? What's your diet like?

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I have/had GERD, but I'm managing mine by diet. Mine was so bad I was aspirating stomach acid in the middle of the night. Now it happens maybe two times a year.

    I avoid eating after 7:30 pm, that just encourages acid build up that doesn't leave in time for bed (midnight). I avoid all carb/dairy heavy stuff if I do eat after 7:30 (apples/celery/maybe cook up some veggies really quick). Acids too, yeah.

    The other stuff was a non issue for me, it was almost always the "stop eating carbs and eating after 7:30" that helped me. YMMV though. Spicy kills me specifically, I try to avoid spicy for dinner, but I can do spicy in the middle of the day no problems.

    I've never heard of cutting out caffeine that's a new one, last I knew coffee and tea were recommended because they relax reflux?

    As with all things, moderation is key, and find out what works for you, slowly start cutting back and testing foods that to see what triggers it for you.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    WordLust wrote: »
    I went to the doctor a couple days ago to see about some weird scary things going on inside my garbage body, and the doctor says he thinks I have GERD.

    The weird thing is that I actually DON'T get heartburn. Like at all. Zero. But I have a lot of the other problems:
    --feeling like a pill is stuck in your throat
    --pain in shoulder if I eat too fast or too large (for context: a 6 inch sub from subway is pushing it. I have to eat that size or smaller).
    --light-headedness (more like a stupor really) if I eat too much or eat certain things

    I never had a problem with ANY OF THIS until like last week. I have been taking antacids and today I just started taking a generic form of prilosec called omeprazole.

    Anyway, my question is more about diet, if this is really a thing that I now have to live with for the rest of my life.

    The doctor (this was not a family doctor but just like a random redimed doctor) told me that I should never consume any of the following things again, ever, at all, period:

    --Anything with caffeine, especially coffee, not even decaf
    --Tea, not even decaf herbal teas
    --Any citrus/acidic fruits like lemon or pineapple
    --Anything spicy
    --Anything with chocolate
    --Any alcahol of any kind

    That sounds very extreme to me. I found out one of my uncles has issues with GERD and he says he takes one omeprazole every morning and he has a cup of coffee every morning and nibbles at some of the other stuff too.

    Anyone else have a bullshit garbage stomach that doesn't know how to do its fucking job? What's your diet like?

    I have the same thing, actually. At one point I was hospitalized because I let that "pill in throat" feeling from esophagus erosion get to the point where the inflammation caused me to have trouble not triggering the gag reflex 24/7. Was pretty awful. And no, that list is not garbage. You really should avoid those things. Of course, those are the things that make life worth living.

    I'm on a prontix daily and have been for a while (pretty much a prescription version of what you have). I try to limit/avoid how much I eat and drink of my trigger foods, and some are definitely worse than others. I can drink several beers without any problem, but a sip or two of red wine just about tortures me. Avocado is pretty bad for me (and most folk with gerd), but onions (another trigger food) does next to nothing. I can't really drink orange juice or eat a large citrus fruit without complications, but I can have them in food on occasion if I balance things right. White bread and butter trigger mine as well. A lot of it is up to your body but in general anything that metabolizes as an acid and anything that messes with that valve (such as cocoa, coffee, and other things in that plant family) are probably not great.

    I still drink coffee, but waaaaaaay less. I occasionally have chocolate, but only every once in a blue moon (maybe once a month and then something like a few m&ms).

    Best thing I can offer is to just eat less, more frequently, and dont eat within a 3+ hours before you sleep.

    So yes, you should absolutely avoid those things. I generally feel waaaaaay better when I do. If you decide to ignore that diet you will want to be very, very careful and I would suggest staying on the diet very strictly for enough time for the damage you have had done be healed up (probably at least 3 months).

    bowen
  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Thanks both.

    Like I said, I have been eating all of those things for over 30 years and just now started having these symptoms sometime last week. Doesn't sound like I have it quite as bad as you both. (Yet.) No choking on reflux in the middle of the night or choking on my own swollen esophagus. So... that's good? So far?

    It's hard for me to say what my triggers are since up until a few days ago, as far as I could tell, there WERE no triggers. I have been trying to avoid eating in the evening (a thing I always used to do). I have also cut back on coffee to just a cup in the morning, but I make mine 50% coffee 50% milk, so that takes down the amount a little. Spicy food and chocolate I've been avoiding completely. I haven't noticed anything dramatic from chocolate, or very mild spice (e.g. taco seasoning), but hot sauce seems to give me that sorta light-headed/quasi-asthmatic sorta response, so that is probably gonna be a no-no.

    I don't mind cutting some of the stuff. I'm kinda meh on chocolate and honestly almost never drink alcohol anyway. Coffee is the real heartbreaker. If I go to the hospital for anything it will be that.

    WordLust on
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    The safest route is avoiding all of those things; however, some foods are likely to be more triggering of GERD for you in particular than others, so if you don't want to cut them all out, experiment.

    For example, I can drink coffee (espresso, not a big huge cup of black coffee, although even that *can* be ok if I eat bread or something with it), but tea makes me feel pretty bad, which is kinda tragic since tea is like my love and joy. Or it used to be; now our relationship is very problematic.

    I don't have problems eating right before I sleep, but I also must sleep with my head elevated on several pillows.

    Alcohol definitely doesn't help my gerd but I'll still have a single drink when going out with friends every couple of weeks, and it's generally ok.

    So yeah, maybe cut all of these things out for a bit while the omeprazole does its work and you get rid of the pill-stuck-in-throat feeling and other symptoms, and then slowly introduce some of these things (one-by-one) back into your life and see which ones do the most harm; it probably won't be all of them, unless you are very unlucky.

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  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    credeiki wrote: »
    The safest route is avoiding all of those things; however, some foods are likely to be more triggering of GERD for you in particular than others, so if you don't want to cut them all out, experiment.

    For example, I can drink coffee (espresso, not a big huge cup of black coffee, although even that *can* be ok if I eat bread or something with it), but tea makes me feel pretty bad, which is kinda tragic since tea is like my love and joy. Or it used to be; now our relationship is very problematic.

    I don't have problems eating right before I sleep, but I also must sleep with my head elevated on several pillows.

    Alcohol definitely doesn't help my gerd but I'll still have a single drink when going out with friends every couple of weeks, and it's generally ok.

    So yeah, maybe cut all of these things out for a bit while the omeprazole does its work and you get rid of the pill-stuck-in-throat feeling and other symptoms, and then slowly introduce some of these things (one-by-one) back into your life and see which ones do the most harm; it probably won't be all of them, unless you are very unlucky.

    Okay, that sounds reasonable. All of this SEEMS to have started when I started buying a more highly caffeinated/acidic coffee than I usually buy and had been drinking that several times a day for a few weeks, so I probably nuked my stomach that way.

    Will see if one cup of lower caffeine / lower acid coffee a day keeps it from flipping its shit.

    WordLust on
    credeiki
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    WordLust wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    The safest route is avoiding all of those things; however, some foods are likely to be more triggering of GERD for you in particular than others, so if you don't want to cut them all out, experiment.

    For example, I can drink coffee (espresso, not a big huge cup of black coffee, although even that *can* be ok if I eat bread or something with it), but tea makes me feel pretty bad, which is kinda tragic since tea is like my love and joy. Or it used to be; now our relationship is very problematic.

    I don't have problems eating right before I sleep, but I also must sleep with my head elevated on several pillows.

    Alcohol definitely doesn't help my gerd but I'll still have a single drink when going out with friends every couple of weeks, and it's generally ok.

    So yeah, maybe cut all of these things out for a bit while the omeprazole does its work and you get rid of the pill-stuck-in-throat feeling and other symptoms, and then slowly introduce some of these things (one-by-one) back into your life and see which ones do the most harm; it probably won't be all of them, unless you are very unlucky.

    Okay, that sounds reasonable. All of this SEEMS to have started when I started buying a more highly caffeinated/acidic coffee than I usually buy and had been drinking that several times a day for a few weeks, so I probably nuked my stomach that way.

    Will see if one cup of lower caffeine / lower acid coffee a day keeps it from flipping its shit.

    Yeah, different brands or different types of coffee can make a huge difference, even though you would think they wouldn't...like at work we have these vertuoline/nespresso pods. I can drink an espresso a day and I'm fine. I can have a 0.5-1 cup of the instant coffee in addition and be basically ok, although I probably shouldn't and if I do it all week I'll have to take zantac in the evening in addition to omeprazole, and also I'll have to counteract it with tums. If I have one of the full cups (especially the ones listed as strength 10) from the nespresso pods I end up feeling like complete garbage, bloated, no appetite, acid feelings, the works. It's totally weird! Definitely mess around with the brands/varieties/quantity of coffee and see what happens.

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  • Zombie HeroZombie Hero Registered User regular
    So yeah, I also have GERD. Some tips

    -Tomatoes are like, enemy #1 for me. I try and stay away from all red sauces.
    -Spiciness definitely hits me too, which hurts my soul. I love spicy food
    -If I drink, I have to do it early. Like, over a board game afternoon or watching football. But it does put me strongly in the 'quality over quantity' camp.
    -Fried food and some cheese set me off as well. Tortilla chips are pretty brutal, and that's another sad, sad loss.
    -Garlic bothers some folks, but not me. Hooray for something i can have flavor with,

    The #1 tip is to eat early. You generally have more leeway on going over the line the earlier you eat, even some stuff will drop the hammer. Just experiment to find out what you can eat etc.

    Steam
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    bowenEnc
  • RiboflavinRiboflavin Registered User regular
    I had this for a long time but its under control now. For reference I would wake up throwing up at night.

    Currently, I take pantoprazole in the morning. I was prescribed tagamet at night as well but I no longer need it. I used to sleep in my chair when it was bad. I no longer have to.

    These are the things that helped me most.

    Don't eat anything 3 hours before bedtime. Zip.

    On the advice of a friend I started probiotics which I thought was voodoo and hokum. After about a week on them I seemed improved. I continue them to this day not sure if they are helping or not but unwilling to take the risk.

    Lost 45 lbs. Weight seems to aggravate it. I can eat Jalapenos now. I had given up spicy food altogether. I don't do it often but sometimes I can't resist. When I was at my worst I wouldn't have dreamt of it.

    I drink regular coffee now. When it was bad I drank low acid Kava? I think it was called. Also low acid Orange Juice.

    Alcohol can still aggravate it but I have a beer(or 4) on occasion.

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    I got diagnosed with GERD a while back, but I kept telling my doctor that I didn't really have any symptoms like heartburn or anything that I would consider outright painful I was just having these strange...sensations for lack of a better term. My esophagus would twitch/spasm randomly and sometimes my throat would feel tight and it took more effort to swallow. I would also get these mild, but unnerving bouts of anxiety. Doc had me on omeprazole (prescription form of Prilosec) for years. I drink coffee, tea, and yeah, I like my spicy foods, but I never thought I had them to excessive amounts. Again, all my symptoms were certainly...annoying or just downright unsettling, but nothing truly painful, but my doc said that all my symptoms were indicative of damage to the digestive system.

    Long story short: I'll just offer one piece of advice. Coffee beans do not keep indefinitely, even if they're sealed up and/or frozen. Throw them out after a year max. I've been symptom free since August and I went off the omeprazole after Thanksgiving.

    (I was also diagnosed with Crohn's two years ago, but the symptoms for that have been extremely mild as well. I haven't ruled out the possibility that diagnosis was in error too...I think I just need more healing time now that I'm not poisoning myself anymore). My doc is still pretty skeptical about my discovery, and hey, so was I when I realized what I was doing. But I don't seem to need GERD medication anymore, and the med I take for Crohn's isn't even for Crohn's, it's for IBS, that's how mild things are. So I'm going to give it another year and then I'll try going off that med too and see what happens. I can get back on it pretty quick if I'm wrong.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    So yeah, I also have GERD. Some tips

    -Tomatoes are like, enemy #1 for me. I try and stay away from all red sauces.
    -Spiciness definitely hits me too, which hurts my soul. I love spicy food
    -If I drink, I have to do it early. Like, over a board game afternoon or watching football. But it does put me strongly in the 'quality over quantity' camp.
    -Fried food and some cheese set me off as well. Tortilla chips are pretty brutal, and that's another sad, sad loss.
    -Garlic bothers some folks, but not me. Hooray for something i can have flavor with,

    The #1 tip is to eat early. You generally have more leeway on going over the line the earlier you eat, even some stuff will drop the hammer. Just experiment to find out what you can eat etc.

    oh yeah red sauce and tomato based things are fucking killer

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Enccredeiki
  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    I have/had GERD, but I'm managing mine by diet. Mine was so bad I was aspirating stomach acid in the middle of the night. Now it happens maybe two times a year.

    I avoid eating after 7:30 pm, that just encourages acid build up that doesn't leave in time for bed (midnight). I avoid all carb/dairy heavy stuff if I do eat after 7:30 (apples/celery/maybe cook up some veggies really quick). Acids too, yeah.

    The other stuff was a non issue for me, it was almost always the "stop eating carbs and eating after 7:30" that helped me. YMMV though. Spicy kills me specifically, I try to avoid spicy for dinner, but I can do spicy in the middle of the day no problems.

    I've never heard of cutting out caffeine that's a new one, last I knew coffee and tea were recommended because they relax reflux?

    As with all things, moderation is key, and find out what works for you, slowly start cutting back and testing foods that to see what triggers it for you.

    There is no such thing as relaxing reflux. Reflux is in fact caused by a valve relaxing too much, which allows stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus. The foods they tell you to avoid are foods that are known in most people to cause that valve to relax. For most people tomato products are the worst offenders.

  • mare_imbriummare_imbrium Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I get heartburn, bad. The first time it happened I was googling "how to tell if it's heartburn or a heart attack." It radiates to my back too. I'm on pantoprazole twice a day right now. I do still drink coffee. My gastro said it was fine if it was minimal, and I only have a cup per day first thing in the morning. I realized quickly that having a second cup later in the day was a bad bad idea. I do still have a drink occasionally. Neither of those things seem to cause it to happen. For me it seems like it's a lot about portion size, time of day, and possibly what else I have had that day, (or maybe the night before as well, still figuring it all out). Also, annoyingly, I can't not eat, either. I went through a really bad time when eating just had no appeal and found that skipping meals could do it too.

    My doctor echoed others here about not eating at all for a few hours before laying down. I mean even middle of the day naps I have to worry about.

    I totally get the frustration of having this suddenly happen. I had never had pain like this (only an occasional acid taste in the back of my throat during late pregnancy, nothing like this feeling of a beam burning a hole through the middle of my chest) until i was nearly 35. They did an endoscopy and found no cause. No cancer, no ulcers, no hernia. And I didn't suddenly change my diet (the no eating time was about a year into this). Damn system just decided to give up, I guess.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    WordLust wrote: »
    Thanks both.

    Like I said, I have been eating all of those things for over 30 years and just now started having these symptoms sometime last week. Doesn't sound like I have it quite as bad as you both. (Yet.) No choking on reflux in the middle of the night or choking on my own swollen esophagus. So... that's good? So far?

    It's hard for me to say what my triggers are since up until a few days ago, as far as I could tell, there WERE no triggers. I have been trying to avoid eating in the evening (a thing I always used to do). I have also cut back on coffee to just a cup in the morning, but I make mine 50% coffee 50% milk, so that takes down the amount a little. Spicy food and chocolate I've been avoiding completely. I haven't noticed anything dramatic from chocolate, or very mild spice (e.g. taco seasoning), but hot sauce seems to give me that sorta light-headed/quasi-asthmatic sorta response, so that is probably gonna be a no-no.

    I don't mind cutting some of the stuff. I'm kinda meh on chocolate and honestly almost never drink alcohol anyway. Coffee is the real heartbreaker. If I go to the hospital for anything it will be that.

    Mine emerged over a short time (like 4 weeks, half of which I was sick with the flu) so It can pop up quickly. The fact I was throwing up a ton with the flu contributed to my throat damage at the time but GERD continues to this day when I eat poorly.

    To clarify: chocolate and coffee don't actually cause acid reflux considerably. Instead they (along with things like chamomile and peppermint) cause the little fleshy seal between your esophagus and stomach to twitch and open, allowing stomach acid to go upwards along with gas.

  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Thanks again, everyone, for sharing all your experiences and giving me some more perspective.

    I've got a couple omeprazole in me, have cut back on coffee, am drinking a lot more plain water, and am woooorking on weaning off the late night snacking. It is mostly going okay, but the way this dumb disease works (as you all surely are familiar) is that when you eat you start to feel full really fast. Apparently even when your body is not actually completely satisfied. So I will try to get all my eating in before 7:30-ish but then come 11:00pm my stomach starts rumbling. T_T

    I had a piece of fudge (PB, not chocolate) and washed it down with antacids and a tall glass of water. Seemed to not cause too much of an issue when I went to bed (still a little hungry) around 1am.

    Symptoms seem to be gradually but steadily improving. I even have continued to have a cup of coffee (softened with milk) in the morning and at the very least, it doesn't seem to be making things worse.

    WordLust on
    bowencredeiki
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    In my case weight loss and diet seem to be helping the most.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Enc
  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    Another thing that can apparently contribute: tight belt / tight pants that squeeze at your stomach, especially when you sit.

    I have put on a few pounds the past couple of years, but just got a little soggy around the belly. Otherwise I'm skinny as a rail. But I have noticed the belt and pants purchased by a younger twenty-something me are starting to squeeze a little, especially when I sit, and I've been refusing to buy new ones mostly because I don't want to pay for them. But could be contributing as well.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    how high do you wear your pants?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    bowen wrote: »
    how high do you wear your pants?

    Not high at all. Below the belly button, above the hooha, right around the pelvis. Bread basket zone.

    *edit*

    I should clarify that this isn't just me theorizing, but googling more info about GERD brought up one reference that says tight pants or a tight belt squeezing your stomach can help force acid up into your esophagus, irritating the condition.

    */edit*

    WordLust on
  • MaggieTheCatMaggieTheCat Registered User regular
    My GERD story is a long and involved one! Feel free to read as much or little of it as you'd like.

    For many years I had "heartburn." I self-medicated with over the counter omeprazole which mostly relieved the pain. Then I started getting these frightening attacks at night; shortly after I'd fall asleep, I'd wake up coughing and choking with an intense burning pain in my chest. No amount of water, milk, antacids, or anything else would reduce the pain and it would linger for hours, keeping me awake.

    After a couple of these attacks, I finally made an appointment with a gastroenterologist (GI doc) and we started with doing a scope down my esophagus to check out my stomach (endoscopy.) We discovered a couple of things from that procedure. The first was that I had a very weak esophogeal sphincter, the muscle that connects the esophagus to my stomach, and it was allowing food and stomach juices to pass from my stomach up into my esophagus and then down into my lungs, which is what was causing the intense pain during the attacks at night that couldn't be lessened by anything I was ingesting. I also had a hiatal hernia, which was exacerbating my symptoms. The second was that I was producing an abnormally high amount of bile. I had my gallbladder out years ago, so my liver produces bile that flows directly into my stomach, and I have a lot of it. So I didn't so much have stomach acid as stomach base. Third and worst, is that they diagnosed me with gastroparesis (GP), a stomach diseases that literally translates to "paralysis of the stomach." Basically I don't digest food as well or as quickly as normal people. Imagine: I had my endoscopy at about 11am one morning and hadn't eaten anything since before 8pm the night before, but I still had parts of my dinner sitting undigested in my stomach when they sent the scope down.

    Let's deal with these one at a time. To treat my GERD, I ended up having surgery to correct my defective esophogeal sphincter and hiatal hernia. The name of this procedure was a nissan fundoplication, and besides correcting the hernia, they also took a flap of my stomach and wrapped it around the base of my esophagus to strengthen the muscle so that I could swallow and food could pass into my stomach, but nothing could come back up. It has worked remarkably well; I have been GERD-medication free and haven't had heartburn pain for one day since I woke up from the surgery (which was going on 4 years ago, I believe). I also am not able to vomit, which is sort of less convenient, as I have dry heaved like a champ with food in my stomach and nothing comes up, and that is rather painful.

    The downside to this is that my GP took effect full swing after the surgery. Before, food couldn't go down very well (due to my disease) but it could go up (due to my weak esophogeal sphicter.) After the surgery, it couldn't go down or up, so my GP became much, much worse. I was sick for about a year after my surgery as I basically re-learned how to eat. A lot of food made me sick, but as I said, I couldn't vomit, so I dry heaved a lot. There were days where all I could eat were crackers, and there were days where I didn't eat at all. I had very little energy and spent hours curled up in bed unable to move. I lost over 100lbs (I was overweight to begin with, but losing that much weight due to not being able to eat is a horrible, horrible sensation.)

    As I mentioned, GP is a disease in which you don't digest food as well or as fast as a normal person. Symptoms of it include feeling full very quickly after eating a small amount of food; nausea or vomiting after eating; and abdominal pain or bloating. I sometimes also get a lightheaded/foggy feeling after eating (or going to the bathroom.) Some foods can trigger it worse than others; raw vegetables, undercooked meat, and whole grains, just as a few examples, are foods that are difficult to digest to begin with, and can be especially hard on a motility compromised stomach. Some people have other "trigger foods" that set their disease off.

    I finally figured out that my biggest trigger food is dairy. I can't eat an ounce of it or I will be incredibly, gut-wrenching sick. There are others that I have learned to cut out as well, but dairy is the biggest one for me. I also eat much smaller meals than I ever used to and basically try to pack those meals with as may calories as possible since I don't actually eat any more often than I ever did (I usually eat 2-3 meals a day, but at less than half the amount I used to.) After my drastic weight loss in the first year, my weight hasn't fluctuated more than about 5lbs in the last 3 years. I still have bad days where I am low on energy or my stomach gets incredibly sick... but they are much, much fewer now than they used to be and I feel like every month and year I am getting better so long as I keep a tight reign on my diet.

    I will say that it took a lot of willpower to give up dairy. No more butter? No more ice cream? No more cheese?? (I'm from Wisconsin, for reference. I lived on cheese.) I didn't think I could do it or that it would be worth it. But then I decided to try it for two weeks and see how I felt. After two weeks of no dairy, I decided to have some milk chocolate with caramel (I remember distinctly because it was over Valentine's Weekend and my husband had gotten me assorted chocolates.) It was HORRIBLE. I was so incredibly sick and that's when I knew that it was not worth it. No food is worth feeling that way, and this is coming from someone who loves to cook and bake and eat. I love food. But I hate feeling sick and having no energy and no life. No food is worth that.

    I will also add that I eat everything on your list of avoidance foods, but in very regulated amounts. I don't drink coffee but I do drink tea and soda that has caffeine. I love spicy and citrus foods and eat them relatively often but in small quantities. I eat chocolate but only dark chocolate with no dairy. I drink but only on special occasions.

    I guess at the end of this post, what I'm saying is:

    1) consider finding a GI doctor and asking about an endoscopy, if you haven't already.
    2) ask about gastroparesis. It's very rare but never hurts to ask and I try to spread awareness when I see posts like this because so few people have heard of it.
    3) if anyone is considering cutting out food (be it for GERD or lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance or anything else) because they don't feel well but doesn't think they can do it, please try it for a couple weeks and see how you feel. If you do try it, make sure you do it right; cut everything you are avoiding 100%, don't half-ass it. At the end of the two weeks, see how you feel and if you want, try eating some of your avoidance food again to see if you feel worse. It was completely eye-opening for me.

    I hope you feel better and feel free to ask me any questions.

  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Thank you for sharing your story. Again it sounds like your symptoms are a lot worse than mine, like so many who have shared their stories, and this is all making me feel like just a big crybaby. =P

    Heartburn is something I never really experience, though I do feel full very quickly and get the burps/hiccups almost immediately when eating. And when I drink anything, especially while eating, I swear I can feel some backwash coming back up the pipe here and there, though it doesn't burn.

    I was taking the omeprazole for several days, but I started to get nauseous and develop a sore throat, which are among the listed side effects, so I stopped taking the omeprazole to see if that's what was causing it. Turns out I just caught a cold from my family over christmas (thanks, family!) but I haven't noticed any huge difference not being on the omeprazole.

    I am starting to wonder if the issue actually is GERD and not some other gastric issue. A hiatal hernia is something I was wondering about. I notice that if I sit slouched I get a really uncomfortable feeling right under my sternum around the area called the xiphoid process. When I slouch in a chair, I feel this slight dull ache that extends from the xiphoid process area up into the esophagus, but there are no other symptoms associated with it. It only happens when I sit slouched. If I sit VERY upright with my shoulders drawn back a little, it goes away, and it goes away if I lie down. Apparently GERD gets worse if you lie down, but I kinda feel BETTER when I lie down? At least that's how I've felt the past few days. So I am starting to wonder about other possibilities. Apparently you can get a hiatal hernia without necessarily realizing it, and some of the symptoms/effects can be similar to GERD, so that is something I'd like more opinion on.

    My GERD diagnosis is an initial diagnosis based entirely on my reported systems, but first thing in the new year, I am going to start seeing a doctor more regularly about this situation and get to the bottom of what's truly going on, if it's actually GERD or something else.

    I have been coffee, citrus, and spicy food free for several days. I may allow myself a coffee (with lots of milk of course) this weekend and see if there is any dramatic effect. I'm so new to this I don't even know how long it takes for stomach inflammation to calm down. I still get full quickly, so I am not assuming I am "all better" or anything.

    It is really strange to me that almost everyone I have spoken to about GERD talks about the heartburn, though, which I 100% don't have despite all the other stuff, so I am really curious to get another doc to take a closer look.

    WordLust on
  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    UPDATE:

    I finally saw a real doctor and got an opinion from him. He said he also thinks it is a GERD issue, so I have continued taking omeprazole and watching my diet. Everything is going just fine, I've healed up quite a bit, and I can even eat small amounts of a few of the inadvisable foods without too much trouble.

    I discovered that some inadvisable foods don't seem to bother me at all, such as chocolate, tomatoes, or spicy food.

    Three things that trigger a noticeable negative response almost immediately: coffee, alcohol, or ginger.

    Medium negative response from things like onions and radishes.

    I discovered my local Fresh Market sells several flavors of low-acid coffee. It's a little more expensive than I'd like, but it tastes just like normal coffee (unlike decaf), still has caffeine, and my stomach is 100% fine with it. I even tried pushing it one day and drank 3 or 4 cups in a row to see what would happen, and it was absolutely fine. So happy that I still have a coffee solution!

    Thanks again, everyone!

    WordLust on
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  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    One thing you could do if you want coffee is just get an Aeropress. It cuts down on the acidity by a fair amount.

  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    Dark roast coffee is supposedly lower acidity. And of course, there is always creamer to neutralize the acid. I try to go very light on the half and half though

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Hmmm, this sounds similar to what I went through in my 20's when I was overdoing it on alcohol, spicy food and caffeine. Basically once I moderated on them and took his advice of "only 2 in a day" things pulled back significantly.
    When things start to crop up again, I quit alcohol or caffeine for a month. Only issues I've encountered since are weird reactions to certain yeasts in beer (such as Brettanomyces).

  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    VoodooV wrote: »
    Dark roast coffee is supposedly lower acidity. And of course, there is always creamer to neutralize the acid. I try to go very light on the half and half though

    I always put milk in my coffee. I actually do it pretty close to 50% coffee 50% milk, so I cut the edge off of it significantly, but still have a negative reaction to it. Only recently, though. I've been drinking coffee for yeeeeaaaaars.
    schuss wrote: »
    Hmmm, this sounds similar to what I went through in my 20's when I was overdoing it on alcohol, spicy food and caffeine. Basically once I moderated on them and took his advice of "only 2 in a day" things pulled back significantly.
    When things start to crop up again, I quit alcohol or caffeine for a month. Only issues I've encountered since are weird reactions to certain yeasts in beer (such as Brettanomyces).

    This is probably maybe what is going on with me. I suspect I've always had reflux and just didn't know it because I don't feel heartburn as strongly as others do. But I do get the occasional wet burp after eating and the past couple of months I can feel the reflux in my throat when I wake up int he morning, even though it doesn't wake me up at night or anything like that.

    The reason I think I have probably always had it is that, for as long as I remember, my throat has always made these weird croaking and squishing type sounds. I always just assumed it was literally a croak, i.e. just air, like a burp that imploded in the throat. That's what it felt like. It was audible, though, to the point where if a girlfriend laid her head near my chest/throat, she would hear the croak and sit up like "WTF was that?!"

    But probably it has been reflux this whole time and I just never knew because I am one of those odd cases that experiences reflux in a more atypical way.

    I have never been a huge alcohol drinker, but I definitely overdo it on the coffee. Even though I soften my coffee quite a bit with milk, I drink out of a 16oz cup, so that's still one 8oz serving per cup, even with the milk, and I would start drinking coffee as soon as I woke up and keep drinking it until I went to bed.

    I don't think it was the actual AMOUNT of coffee that I drank, though I did drink a lot. As much as 6 to 8 cups a day. But the real problem was probably that I was ALWAYS sipping it. For over a decade there was never a moment when my stomach/esophagus were not coffee-soaked.

    WordLust on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    3-4 cups of milk a day are probably bad for your stomach, too. People often get a little lactose intolerant as they get older.

  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    3-4 cups of milk a day are probably bad for your stomach, too. People often get a little lactose intolerant as they get older.

    Most of my discomfort occurs in the esophagus right around where my neck meets my collar bone, so it is definitely reflux. But due to some of the other symptoms I had (which I'll spare you all), a slight lactose intolerance as I'm getting older ON TOP OF the reflux is very possible.

    I actually really like almond milk just fine--though I've never tried it in coffee. I suppose I could see what low-acid coffee plus almond milk does.

  • Zombie HeroZombie Hero Registered User regular
    Almond milk tastes weird in coffee. It has too much almond flavor and it overpowers the coffee. Maybe i just tried with the wrong coffee, though.

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  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    It might also depend on your coffee preferences, though. Some people hate milk in coffee period. Some people are okay with milk but hate flavored coffees. I'll probably be sticking to almond milk anyway, so might as well see what happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    if you're doing almond milk get the unsweetened version, it's basically an earthy milk taste

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    VoodooVschuss
  • WordLustWordLust Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    I tried some almond milk in coffee yesterday. It wasn't a BAD taste, but it also didn't taste like coffee, alas. I still like just plain almond milk just fine, though, for sure.

    WordLust on
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