The first time it happened was at Summer camp. She was standing there looking at me, I was looking at her. We exchanged smiles, she giggled and then ugh….. My stomach began to hurt with such a heavy and intense pain. I excused myself as I ran to the bathroom not understanding what was happening. My throat began to close up, and I could no longer breath out of my nose . By the time I reached the bathroom, I was wheezing from discomfort. I began to sweat, as a stabbing pain in my abdomen began to come and go in waves becoming more intense with each attack. What was going on? 30 minutes of this pain and finally I placed myself over the toilet seat and violently threw up my morning breakfast.
I felt relief in my stomach, but I was dehydrated, weak and left shaking. I went to the camp doctor and they called my parents. Nobody knew what happened. I thought I had an allergic reaction to something I ate. I rested for the better part of the day and then felt better like nothing ever happened.
A year went by before I had another violent episode. It came the same way, unexpected and out of the blue, and it hurt. My parents were worried and so was I. I tried to recall what I ate compared to the time at camp and nothing made sense. My parents took me to the doctor who said he couldn’t find anything wrong with me. He believed something I ate caused the attack and asked my parents to keep tabs of my diet. For years the attacks would come and go with no direct indicator of a specific cause.
About the time that I reached my post teens I began to notice a constant acidic feeling in my stomach. I self medicated with tums tablets, which gave me temporary relief. I again went to the doctor. This time I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux or GERD. I received a pamphlet titled, what is Acid Reflux and how can you live with it. I finally had a name for my enemy, I was given a pamphlet and a prescription. I thought I was well on my way to recovery.
At this point I was not yet aware that my violent full body episodes were related to my Acid Reflux. The attacks were quick and precise. The Reflux as I came to know it felt different. It would flare up consistently for weeks at a time. Although it was annoying, it was mild, and with my prescriptions I could often keep it at bay. I of course was also well aware by this point that food played a major role in my Reflux. Pizza, cheese, dairy, and mint were all culprits to these flare ups, and I loved pizza!
Over time the constant acid became annoying and I began to change the way I ate. I started to limit my pizza and cheese intake and learned to completely stay away from mint. My flare ups started to lessen with my new diet but never went away completely.
Finally I reached my college years. I had moved out, and started living the life of a young adult. I lived in a beach city where working out was the thing to do. I began to join my friends at the gym in hopes of bulking up and getting those killer abs the ladies loved so much. Like any new activity, my interest peaked and I began to read up and study the science behind being fit.
Vitamin world became my new best friend. Supplements became my new means to achieve my goals. I tried them all, whey, creatine, krealkyline, whole food multi vitamins, and fish oil to name a few. I was amazed at the variety of performance enhancements that were out there and I started to become addicted to feeling good.
This is when I began to realize that my attacks went hand in hand with my Reflux. One night after giving in to my pizza addiction and gorging on a whole Amecis cheese pizza, with olives, pepperoni and extra cheese. Not surprisingly I began to feel the Acid flaring up. I took a tums and went to bed on a full stomach. In the middle of the night, I jumped from my bed, awoken by a stream of projectile acid brushing against my esophagus after jumping out of my stomach. For the first time, the acid led to my throat closing up, my stuffy nose and the stabbing burning waves of pain in my stomach. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were related. This is something my doctors could never tell me.
With a new venue for research, I found two supplements at Vitamin World that began to change the way I approached my Reflux. Apple Cider Vinegar and Pure Aloe Juice. These have been life savers when it came to re balancing the way my body interacts with food. I will provide my instructional down below.
The Bulking up thing never worked too well for me and the gym alone gave me cosmetic muscle, but not much functional strength. I wanted to feel stronger from the inside out. I went through the Insanity workout, and started focusing heavily on training sports Taekwondo. I gave up on the supplements (except for Trader Joe’s multi vitamins) and began to get the majority of my nutrients from eating healthy. I started to eat as much raw foods as possible. A lot of fruit and a lot of veggies. I began to eat smaller portions. I started limiting my breads and supplementing with brown rice and wild rice. I began to limit my red meat, choosing fish over steak, and choosing bison over beef. I can eat Pizza again without flaring up. I do limit my pizza to smaller portions, and quality ingredients. Also, Coffee used to bring on acid. Now I can drink three cups a day with no ill effects.
My life has changed
I have the energy I need to get through my day. I may flare up once every six months for less than an hour. When it happens, it’s directly related to what I ate. I feel stronger than ever. I look better than ever. I never take Reflux medicine.
My Reflux was brought on by years of abuse on my system. It took me years of research, and trial and error to become healthy again. We have a health system that never linked my Attacks to my Reflux, and could only offer me a list of bad foods and a load of prescription drugs.
Our bodies belong to us and only we can take charge of how we treat ourselves. Do not rely on a doctor alone to tell you what needs to be done. Most doctors seem trained to react to symptoms. We must learn to proactively heal ourselves. This is the same reason I refuse to take steroid sprays to fix allergies. There are so many natural ways to bring your body into balance.
(I feel another article coming on)
So Finally…. the Instructional
- Go to Trader Joe’s and purchase Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar and Pure Aloe Juice in the large jug. Both are under $10 each.
- Drink a small glass of aloe juice, once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Whenever you feel a flare up or attack take a swig of Apple Cider Vinegar immediately (mix it with water and rinse, its bad for your enamel)
- Drink enough water throughout the day to reach your daily maximum
- Begin to eat as much raw food as possible, minimize processed and bleached grains
- Do not over eat, research has shown that overeating even the healthiest of foods can cause a flare up
Once your system becomes re balanced, it becomes extremely easy to pinpoint the foods that cause flare ups and attacks. Once you know for sure what they, you can take them out of your diet.
It took me about 3 months to see a lasting change. At this point I was able to slow down on the daily Aloe intake. At the first sign of a flare up I would restart my routine and as long as I kept eating healthy and properly it didn’t come back.
After starting and sticking my routine, I also lost 20 pounds in 6 months.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. All of our bodies are different so you may find variations in my routine that work better for you. With a little trial and error, Reflux can become a thing of the past, leaving you stronger and healthier, ready to take on the challanges of the day
and remember always………
Be your best version of you,