First, I am not a doctor and do not claim to know more than doctors. In fact I encourage you to go to a doctor to make sure there is nothing more serious than reflux going on and so you can see firsthand how they treat acid reflux. Most people find this website because they are frustrated with the current medical treatments for reflux. I am just putting what I learned the hard way out there so you can better help yourself.
I've never been a health conscious person. Raised in the rural Pennsylvania, I always ate a lot of fried foods. Breakfast was sugary cereal and toaster pastries when I was a child and fried eggs, home fried potatoes and sausage or bacon when I was older. Through my teen years and into my twenties and thirties my diet just kept getting worse, way too much fast food, potato chips, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, onion rings, pizza and subs, all washed down with soda or beer. I could eat or drink anything without problems.
When I was about 32, ( I'm now 49) I began to notice after breakfast I would burp or rift a lot for the next few hours. It was just annoying and didn't seem like it was doing me any harm so I ignored it for 4 or 5 more years.
The year I was 37 or 38, I just didn't have any energy the whole first half of the year. Meanwhile I began noticing that I couldn't really get a full breath into my lungs. The small burping after meals turned into the feeling of pressure in my chest. This made breathing worse. The more tired I got, the more coffee I needed for the caffeine.
Finally I went to the doctor. To my surprise I was told it was acid reflux. I still didn't think there was anything wrong with my digestion; the problem was in my lungs. I was in bad shape by this time so I took this pill (Axid I think was the name).
This pill really ripped me up, my chest hurt so bad after a week of this; I went back to the doctor. This time I was put on Prilosec, I was told you have to keep trying pills until you find the one for you.
My breathing got better which was a big relief, but at the same time my chest and heart area, all the way through to my back, really hurt. After awhile I knew this pill was killing me but I was scared to stop taking it because I was afraid my breathing problems would return. When I burped, I could taste the food I ate for breakfast in the late afternoon!
All this time, I stopped eating everything I was told was no good for me. I tried to figure out what I could eat and what gave me trouble. The problem was, sometimes I could eat a food, say oatmeal, and it didn't bother me. The next time I ate it, it did bother me. I just couldn't figure anything out.
As long as I was logically trying to figure this out and was making progress, I had hope and confidence that slowly I was going to get a handle on this problem. When I realized I couldn't figure this out, I got depressed. I remember thinking that I could not do something as simple as eating.
I went back to the doctor. I wanted to know what I could do to stop taking these pills, how could I heal myself. I was told there is no cure for reflux and to keep taking the pills for the rest of my life!
I went to a specialist. I wrote a list of questions on a paper so I wouldn't forget anything. After waiting over an hour and a half past my appointment time, I finally got to ask some questions to this guy. He kept looking at his watch, didn't give me any satisfaction, told me he could give me a real big prescription so I wouldn't have to go back to my regular doctor for a while and informed me he was running late and had to run (he was going to North Carolina to play golf that weekend).
This is when it hit me, my health was my problem. No one else was really going to help me. I began reading and researching everything I could find about acid reflux. I threw the pills away. I had some set backs but learned to control it better and better. Life got better. For over a whole year before this, while on the pills, I drank no soda, beer, coffee, chocolate, no hamburgers or fries, chips, pizza or spaghetti. I ate oatmeal or cereal all the time. In short, it was the blandest, most boring diet ever.
Today I can eat everything I once did, except I cannot over do it. Some things I really loved before I just don’t eat or drink at all, not because I can’t, but because I just don’t want to. I look at my food and nutrition from a more mature point of view.
I can’t possibly know what your specific problems are, but if you have reflux, you are having problems with your digestive system. You must try to fix what is wrong, the underlying cause, not mask it with drugs.
Are you planning on taking pills or antacids forever? It’s time to take responsibility for your health. I can save you time, money and a lot of misery because I went through it myself.