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.


  1. Interesting post! I 've been trying to treat this myself and have on hand gse so I will add this to my regimen. My one down fall is coffee. Even with the pain I will sacrafice to have my coffee unless it gets extremely bad. By any chance do you drink coffee? Were you able to get better and still drink this?

    Blessings, denise

    1. Hi Denise,

      I do not drink coffee. I learned years ago that my body does not handle caffeine well at all. I had to give up even chocolate. But I survived it! And a bonus was that my occasional migraines disappeared for a long time. Now I only seem to get them for hormonal reasons.

      Let me know how it goes with the GSE!

  2. I have a similar story. I was diagnosed with GERD and given Nexium. The Nexium gave me even more acid reflux attacks. One of my MIL's friends told me about Aloe Vera Juice. For a whole year, I took one ounce of Aloe Vera juice in the morning and one ounce at night, before I went to bed. Aloe Vera has healing properties and the juice coats your food pipe and stomach, protecting and healing it from the acid.

    This was in 2008. I also changed my diet by eliminating carbs, like anything made from wheat flour, white rice and potatoes. I can eat them once in a while now and not get acid reflux. French bread however is my downfall. I can't resist it and I end up eating too much and have to take a dose of Aloe Vera when I do.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I remember the herbalist suggested aloe vera juice. I took that for a little while, but didn't remember it often enough.

      Another thing that is supposed to help is slippery elm bark powder. You can't take it as a capsule though. It seems to work nicely on tummy aches at my house if we mix it with a little applesauce.