I was recently diagnosed with chronic GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus over an extended period of time. GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation because the stomach’s digestive juices contain acid.
I had an endoscopy done, which showed that part of my esophagus is damaged from the acid reflux. The week following the endoscopy I really paid attention to my body… every time I ate I had reflux. I simply never paid attention to it or thought about it.
A little history:
I never feel well. My stomach has been upset for as long as I can remember. As a kid I couldn’t eat certain foods because they made me feel ill. I always had crackers with me and Rolaids, then it was streamlining Pepto. I remember my mom buying me reduced acid orange juice and all the other kids had regular OJ, but I don’t remember why we decided that I needed reduced acid foods… Also, I have chronic hiccups. If I eat too much, I get hiccups. After almost every meal, I get hiccups. Sometimes I get hiccups when I haven’t eaten anything. Most of the time they are only 1-3 hiccups. It just became a natural thing. In the last year on occasion I haven’t been able to breathe while eating – I would take a bite or two of something -say pizza – and it was like there was a block or something in the middle of my chest. It prevented me from breathing or being able to get the food to go down. Really scary.
1 week after the endoscopy I started Nexium (don’t read the ingredient list – it will freak you out). I have been on Nexium for almost 3 weeks now… I take 1 pill every morning 1 hour before I eat anything. I haven’t felt ill, had a stomach ache, or reflux since I started! It’s amazing to actually feel good for a change.
Of course, Nexium isn’t the cure all and I’d like to be able to live life without the need of taking drugs to just get by day to day. GERD means I need to change my eating habits. Of course this isn’t completely simple, bc I have also been diagnosed with IBS (Bull Shit for I don’t know what is wrong with you), which also means a change in diet.
With the GERD I am supposed to stay away from spicy and greasy food, citrus, caffeine, coffee, chocolate, peppermint, dairy (I’m lactose intolerant anyway), alcohol, and carbonated drinks.
For the IBS I am supposed to stay away from red meat, dairy, egg yolks, dark meat poultry and poultry skin, fried foods, coconut, oils, shortening, butter, fats, solid chocolate, coffee (even decaf), caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners (not a problem there!). And eat insoluble fiber items sparingly, not on an empty stomach, and with soluble fiber items. These include whole wheat, wheat bran, granola, seeds, nuts, popcorn, whole beans, lentils, berries, grapes, raisins, cherries, pineapple rhubarb, melons, peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, citrus, apples (safe if peeled), dates, prunes, peas, garlic, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, fresh herbs.
There goes my social life. I have to be one of THOSE people when we go out now… 😦 So I have to really pay attention to what I’m eating, what I’m eating it with, and in what order. Yay.
Anyway, so I’ve been off the coffee for 3 weeks now, except for this past Sunday I tried a cup. It gave me heartburn even with the Nexium. So I’m cutting it out. The problem is a lot of tea has caffeine so I’m exploring what I can get away with here. I really want a yummy, hot morning drink to replace my coffee and make me as happy as coffee did. This morning I tried a cup of warm green tea (I know – caffeine) with about a 1/3 cup of warm almond milk, 1 tsp local honey, and some cinnamon. So far it is yummy! I just don’t know about the aftertaste…
If you have any suggestions on yummy, hot morning drinks to replace my morning coffee I am all ears!
I’m sure I’ll also be experimenting with foods for the next few months, so it should be an interesting time for me.