Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder

Many years ago I was experiencing a lot of pain whenever I ate.  I also had a lot of aches and pains in my back, shoulders, and one hip.  I went to the doctor.  They told me those were different and I needed a second appointment to deal with both things so I had to choose which one to do first. (And people wonder why I don't care much for doctors.)  I chose the abdominal pain since eating seemed to be more important to my survival than sitting comfortably.  I was actually not nursing a baby at the time (the one break I've had in almost 22 years) and I didn't expect to have any more babies ever (boy was I wrong!) so I was able to take medication without worrying about it.

They did a blood test and found there was no way it was an ulcer because I didn't have the h. pylorii (or something like that) bacteria in my blood.  So they decided it was Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder aka GERD or Reflux.  They ran through the usual "try to lose some weight and eat right" stuff with me.  Yeah.  I weighed 115 lbs.  I don't think I had much to lose.  Then they prescribed something.  I can't remember what it was.  I just know it gave me horrible horrible headaches.  I have survived migraines for the last 22 years without any pain medication because I don't want to even possibly harm the babies I am carrying or nursing.  I give birth without pain medication.  I'm not a wimpy person who cannot handle pain.  But this was awful.  I went back and told them it caused bigger problems so they took me off that and put me on another.  This one also had side effects.  My stomach would knot up like a rock.  You could feel a hard little rock right where my stomach was supposed to be.  I stopped taking that and decided I must need to live with this pain and consider Tums to be a regular part of every meal.

Then I was talking to a friend who asked if I would consider doing anything natural.  Of course I would!  So she sent me to a health food store to talk to the woman who ran it.  She said I had a yeast overgrowth and put me on Oregano Oil and Acidophilus and told me no sugar including fruit and milk.  I decided to try it and was amazed to find that not only did my stomach pains go away, so did all those other aches and pains I'd never made another appointment to discuss with the doctor!  I have to admit though, we gave up fruit, but not milk.  And several years later my symptoms came back and I did it again without giving up milk or fruit.  It still worked.  But other sugars really should go.

Through the years I have helped several other people with similar problems by telling this story.  It has helped people with back pain (especially that ache between your shoulder blades, just off from the center) and people with reflux.  I never experienced any reflux sensation.  Basically I just had a really bad case of heartburn. But it has worked for others who had that reflux sensation.

There are other things that work too.  My favorite, because we always keep it on hand and it works for so many other things AND is safe enough to give children and babies, is Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract.  A dose for an adult is 1 tablet.  But you can get the liquid and the dose for ANY size person can be calculated by taking 1 drop per 10 pounds of body weight.  Never take the liquid straight.  It has to be diluted.  You can mix it in juice, applesauce, or whatever.  It is bitter and seems to taste less strong when cold.

For Reflux, take 1 dose in the morning and another dose at night.  Along with that, take acidophilus.  We like the yummy chewable tablets and have found we're more likely to remember to do this if there's something yummy involved.  But you can take whatever form of acidophilus you want.  Just take it when you take the GSE--one in the morning and one at night. 

The way it works is that the GSE kills the yeast, the acidophilus adds to the good bacteria, and avoiding sugar starves the yeast. 

How long to continue depends on you.  If you stop and the pain returns, it was too soon.  If you stop and feel great still, you don't need it.  Figure at least a couple weeks.  I did it for 6 weeks the first time, stopped and needed to re-start pretty quickly.  Then I just took it once daily for about a year.  I only need it now if I start eating a lot of sugar again.  Then a couple doses later I feel great and quit.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Morning Sickness

I am 7 weeks pregnant with our 12th child.  At almost 43 yrs old, I consider the nausea to be a good sign since I keep hearing of women my age miscarrying.  But it's still hard to keep going when I feel so yucky.

I've experienced morning sickness with every pregnancy, but other than the time I had the flu at this stage, I've never thrown up so I know this isn't nearly as bad as other women get.

I've found a couple of aids so far.  We went on a long drive to go meet our first grandson.  Each time I'd start to feel nauseous I'd fall asleep.  When I woke up, the nausea had passed.  So sleep is apparently a good help.  This was the ONLY day out of 12 pregnancies that this was a possibility though.  Life doesn't let many people just doze off and on all day.

I know that peppermint is supposed to be good for upset stomachs.  So I bought some Altoid mints.  The curiously strong ones.  I LOVE mints, but these aren't my favorite.  They're so strong they hurt my tongue.  In other pregnancies I tried mint candy and mint gum and they work okay and taste good.  The Altoids are working great so far.  Why does it have to be the one I don't care as much for?  But relief is relief.

I will say, nothing seems to take the nausea away completely.  This just helps it be more tolerable.  Ginger is supposed to work well, too, but I haven't tried it yet.  Maybe I'll make some ginger tea this weekend and see how that works.  I'll keep you posted if I find anything.