Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Heartburn
Old 11-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
Heartburn

A couple months back, my wife, (aged 60, 5'1" ~103 pounds, exercises daily, eats 'right' with small portions, takes no medication), began suffering from heartburn/bloating, (not GERD, as she experiences no reflux).

Our doctor initially/immediately prescribed a proton pump inhibitor to counteract 'high acid production'.......it didn't help. He also scheduled an endoscopy; the results of the biopsy taken at the time of that procedure have just come back from the surgeon as negative.....which is a relief as one always fears 'the worst'.

Between having the endoscopy and receiving the biopsy results, and after reading the book Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman, we attended a seminar on digestive disorders where it was suggested that 'low' rather than 'high' stomach acid can be problematic in this respect, and that the taking of antacids can create a vicious cycle as the body reacts to them and attempts to compensate.

The morning following the seminar she tried a simple 'stomach acid test', (there are instructions online), which indicated that her stomach acid was indeed low........from there it was probiotics & enzymes/HCL, etc, (plus a discontinuation of the prescribed medications), and the heartburn (temporarily) ceased.

However, she still experiences recurrences, although not as frequent as before & during the time she was on the medication, and is currently awaiting a follow up visit with the M.D. to review the situation and to, hopefully, establish a non-medicinal procedure/solution.

So....the intent of this thread is twofold......to see if anyone here has undergone similar experiences, and to ask how forum members react to what I can only call "rubber stamp prescriptions", if-this-that, sort of thing.

Our M.D. is young, and we consider him to be an excellent doctor, who (overall) shares our aversion to medication, (I'm 70, and am also taking no prescription drugs).
__________________

__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Park City
Posts: 101
I found that eating yogurt every day solved this problem for me and DH. Best wishes to your wife.
__________________

__________________
sunsnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsnow View Post
I found that eating yogurt every day solved this problem for me and DH. Best wishes to your wife.
Thank you.

We both have yogurt daily with our breakfast cereal/fruit, (and have done throughout this entire episode), but she's still getting intermittent relapses. Odd.

(She keeps a daily log of everything she's ingested, but there, (so far), appears to be no link to any specific thing eaten.)
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,037
I go through similar episodes. Antacids don't work and actually seem to make it worse. I find that drinking something acidic with my meals helps - wine, carbonated water, soda, etc...
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
I go through similar episodes. Antacids don't work and actually seem to make it worse. I find that drinking something acidic with my meals helps - wine, carbonated water, soda, etc...
- Wine: She drinks it only a couple nights a week now, in an attempt to isolate what is/isn't bothering her....so far it doesn't seem to help or hinder.

- Antacids: Have reproduced some documentation from 'Ultraprevention' below:



Quote:
When digestion isn't working well, the most common culprit is a lack of stomach acid. A number of conditions can reduce the output of these digestive juices.

A primary factor is aging, which reduces the stomach's ability to produce acid. Another is damage to the stomach lining caused by an infection,- for instance, the bacteria Helicobacter* can injure the lining and, if allowed to continue, can severely impair the stomach's ability to produce acid.

There's also a condition known as pernicious anemia, in which the stomach loses its ability to create acid because of a loss of certain stomach cells called the parietal cells (which release the acid). One result is that, without stomach acid, your body can't absorb minerals or vitamin B12 (making
you anemic - vitamin B12 is essential for the proper production of red blood cells by the bone marrow).

Another potential problem: You may not be producing adequate amounts of digestive enzymes to break down food properly. Perhaps you are ingesting foods or medicines that impair digestion, such as anacids. Antacids may relieve some symptoms of indigestion, yet they also impair normal function.

Stomach acid is required to activate the enzymes made by the stomach and pancreas to aid in the digestion process; without it, these enzymes cannot do their job.

Or, if you don't have the right bacteria in your gut, your body can't produce some of the key vitamins, like biotin, or vitamin K, which is actually manufactured by certain gut bacteria.
* This has been discounted in my wife's case, as per the biopsy.


We are not suggesting that the information contained in this book is inviolable, however it does coincide with other documentation that we have thus far 'researched'.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post

So....the intent of this thread is twofold......to see if anyone here has undergone similar experiences, and to ask how forum members react to what I can only call "rubber stamp prescriptions", if-this-that, sort of thing.
Since you asked, I will share with you my experience with my N=1 study.

In summer of 2007, I started to experience Acid reflux, Gerd, Lerd... the whole party. Not bad sometimes and much worse at others. I made lifestyle adjustments to manage the problem; raised my desk so I wasn't hunched over, elevated the head of my bed so the acid would tend to stay in the stomach and not travel up into the throat and other minor things.

I am adverse to the PPI meds as well, but I do take them for limited times to get my esophagus to heal. There are 6 or so different kinds, so I needed to try them all to find which ones worked for me. Some clearly do not have any affect.

( I have many paragraphs of various experiences of 5 years of various associations between acid reflux and various foods... I will skip that for now).

Fast forward to summer 2012. I always think about the suddeness of the onset of my acid reflux condition. I remembered back in 2006, 2007 reading the south beach diet. It was educational and I made some diet changes; Eat more salads and eat less sugar.

Healthy choices right? I started eating salads and found that spinach salads were pretty good. So, I started eating spinach nearly every day starting in 2007. I reduced my sugar consumption by giving up my daily, morning glass of OJ. I had been drinking morning OJ for 16+ years... hardly missed a day. I rarely had OJ between 2007 and summer 2012.

So, this summer I gave up Spinach and started drinking daily morning OJ once again.

Withing 2 weeks, my acid reflux improved significantly. This ties in with your low stomach acid observation. I was aware of the low acid "theory" as I read about it on the internet. But the solution was to drink Apple cider vinegar. Drinking Vinegar just does not appeal to me, so I never tried it. You can also try HCL tablets which drops acid directly into your stomach.

The bottom line is you should explore your food triggers. Its a hassle, but you need to keep a daily food and effect log. It helps to go back weeks and months to see what was and was not working.

I also recommend a food allergy blood test to find out what foods you might have allergies to. I discovered that I had a low grade allergy to corn. Eating corn once a week presented no problems. However, in the summer when corn was ripe and sweet, I was eating corn products nearly every day.

The toxins (allergens) build up and reach some tigger point where the body reacts.

The specifics listed here are unlikely to help anyone directly. But the process of finding cause and effect of dietary choices might be beneficial. Hard work, but better than taking the meds.
__________________
UtahSkier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
UtahSkier: Thanks for your input; she's taking Apple Cider Vinegar capsules periodically at present, and says that they help 'somewhat'. She's also taking HCL tablets daily, and the food intake log has been ongoing for about 6 weeks now, (but with no obvious links as yet).

Salads? Eat them all the time, often spinach.....and she's foregone her morning OJ for a couple weeks now.....perhaps she should reverse that...will give it a try.

The doctor's nurse suggested to my wife that a food allergy test was something to be considered so she'll raise the topic at their next meeting.


Quote:
But the process of finding cause and effect of dietary choices might be beneficial. Hard work, but better than taking the meds.
100% agreement there!

Any more information/suggestions you may have will be gratefully received......and if we find the all-purpose 'magic bullet' you'll be the first to know!

Edited to add: Forgot to mention in the initial post that for the past 3 weeks she's had an ache in her mid back on the right side, (around the gall bladder, but the gall bladder had previously tested out OK).
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
I've got what is probably a pretty normal GERD I guess. I did the home test and it did indicate excess acid. Tried a few OTC PPI's that didn't do much. I mainly have to avoid hard chocolate/tomato/onions/multivitamin/peppermints/vinegar/artificial sweeteners. And probably a few other things since I'm not quite down to zero yet. GERD can give you a pain on the right side due to the proximity of something or other that I forget. I'm much better sleeping on my left side and curled up instead of stretched out.

Do the food diaries. Everyone seems quite different.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
I'm not sure if my symptoms match your wifes. I don't think it's heartburn for me, but I definately have abdominal cramping, inflamation, stomach upset, nausea, etc. I have had this for about a year and a half and have had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, ultra sound, and a stomach emptying study. They took biopsies during the 'oscopy's and tested for Celiac, Sprue, and other stuff. All was negative. I have been to a gastroenterologist and primary doctor 8 to 10 times. Have had 4 different prescriptions - 2 antibiotics, a low grade antideprressant, and Liberax. Of all of the medications, the Liberax (generic) seems to help the most, but it doesn't go away completely. My PCP told me last week to try a probiotic (OTC) medicine for 30 days to see if that helps. The gastro guy said to come back to see him in 60 days.

It seems almost impossible to isolate any of this to foods or drinks as the symptoms seem to come and go on a daily basis. Neither doctor seems to know what it is, and neither think it's serious - just another form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Perhaps something I will just have to live with.

I did identify with one point from Utahskier, in that my symptoms get worse when I am on the computer for hours at a time. Perhaps the "slouching" contributes to my problem.

Many older folks suffer from all kinds of gastro problems. Once you have ruled out the potential serious stuff, they sometimes think the best you can do is try to control it with diet and exercise, and whatever else gives relief. Good luck.
__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
ohyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 649
Do not suffer from heartburn, but do have ulcer flare-ups and that kind of yuckky stuff.

I swear by aloe vera juice...3 oz. in AM and PM. A friend who did experience GERD and an RN, to boot, has had great luck with this. Cutting way down on dairy/meat (months later) also helped me.

Tastes nasty, but only for the couple secs it takes to drink it. It has made a huge difference...hope your DW tries it.

No prescription meds here, and i hope to keep it that way as long as possible.
__________________
ohyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 11:28 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,243
I've had ulcer, GERD, and chronic gastritis. Once we got rid of the ulcer, doc had me take Prilosec for a while. GERD came under control and then I took maybe 3-4 two week courses of the Prilosec per year to keep it under control. At the next physical, I had the scope again to check on the gastritis. It was still there, and pretty bad, and it did hurt, but not every day. The pain was felt in the back, not in the front. Doc then put me on a strong dose of AciPhex for about 3 months, and then reduced it to a very weak maintenance dose. Just did the scope again...tada, no more gastritis, and I haven't had GERD in a long time (except two or three times in a two year period on nights that I had very high calorie Mexican food with high levels of carbs and fats combined). For me, keeping the carbs and fats to a reduced level in the evenings is pretty important, in addition to the meds, to keep GERD at bay. Heavy on one or the other is not so bad, but all hell breaks loose when I combine them in heavy portions.

This is not a low-acid problem, but it is another data point.

R
__________________
Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2012, 11:34 PM   #12
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,150
Not to be alarmist, but has she had a uterine ultrasound recently? Bloating is a known symptom of ovarian/uterine cancers. And has she had screening colonoscopy? Hopefully neither of these is a factor but I would rule them out by testing. Good health to you both!
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 08:08 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
Some one also mentioned food allergies. Gluten seems to be coming up more and more as something that causes many folks digestive issues.
__________________
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Some one also mentioned food allergies. Gluten seems to be coming up more and more as something that causes many folks digestive issues.
Understanding one's sensitivity to Gluten (and other wheat proteins) is probably worth the effort.

I've been wheat free for 14 months. But, being gluten free did not affect (improve) my Gerd/LGR issues at all.
__________________
UtahSkier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 07:14 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
We were discussing the issue this morning, following an uncomfortable night for my wife.......perhaps the biggest problem, (due to the fact that her symptoms could be indicative of a number of situations, a small number of which could be life-threatening), is the lack of a definitive diagnosis at this time.

If she knew for sure what it was, and what she could do, or not do, about it, it'd be, as Julius Caesar used to say "Combibo is sursum ranunculus"*......but it's the not knowing, (yet), that bothers her.



(*"Suck it up, Buttercup.")
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
My wife just got off the phone, first with our M'D.'s nurse, and then with him.......the nurse called to confirm that the biopsy contained no 'irregularities', and my wife gave her an update of the symptoms she is experiencing, what she's done and what we've researched.

The nurse's immediate reaction was that my wife should continue taking the prescribed drugs, (even though they weren't doing a damn bit of good, and were for high, rather than low, stomach acid......back to the 'one-size-fits-all' approach).......my wife countered with the observation that the drugs might simply contribute to a 'vicious cycle' and either accomplish nothing or even be detrimental.

After subsequently speaking to the doctor and outlining her concerns, (i.e. she doesn't want to merely treat symptoms, she wants to know what the 'cause' is and what, if anything, she can do to counteract it), he is going to investigate low stomach acid and its ramifications, and will get back to her.

Now, we have a great deal of respect for this doctor, and appreciate that one cannot know everything about everything, but this situation does highlight our concerns about the apparent 'if-this-give-them-that' approach seemingly promoted at medical school.

To be continued........
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 09:52 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
Nemo,

Has your wife been tested for pernicious anemia? Might also be time to see a gastro specialist vs GP
__________________
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 10:23 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Nemo,

Has your wife been tested for pernicious anemia? Might also be time to see a gastro specialist vs GP
Blood tests came back fine on that one.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 10:27 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
While we were working out the Dr left a message on our answer machine to the effect that there are no 'medications' he can find, (ignoring the fact that she doesn't WANT medications), and basically that she should continue with independent research and a probiotic 'trial & error' approach.

Back to the drawing board......
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,308
We found the video in this section quite interesting:

http://drhyman.com/blog/conditions/3...d-acid-reflux/
__________________

__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:45 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.