Healing the gut

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Hello all. I'd like to offer encouragement and an overview on some practical suggestions on how to heal the gut and get over acid reflux. I consider myself healed, but for about 4 years my life was hell. It got so bad that I even considered ending it all. But now I'm healthy, active, happy, off all meds, and have my life back, and I'm thinking that my journey may be of some assistance to someone out there. I just got back from a road trip around Australia, living off pub meals, restaurant food and take away and my gut feels great.

Just a little rundown of my symptoms. 24/7 burning esophagus, sore throat, sore lungs from acid vapor, acid stinging in ears and eyes, enamel of my teeth destroyed by acid, sore lips and gums, the list goes on and on. I was considering surgery and am so glad I didn't. Also considered a feceal transplant but couldn't find anyone healthy enough to consider. I was desperate.

I tried meds but they didn't really work for me, or if they did the side effects were pretty bad. My body developed tolerance to PPI's very quickly, so the only thing I could do was increase the dose weekly. Obviously you can't go on doing that for ever. H2 blockers worked great for awhile but then they started to give me constant headaches and tinnitus, the tinnitus I still have but vastly diminished.

I eventually came to the conclusion that that I better work out how to heal myself or suffer the consequences. After lots of research I figured that my gut micro biome was out of wack and set out on a journey to heal it. So here's a list of some of the things I did and still do, and some of the things to avoid. The 21st century is very hard on our gut and the only way I got healthy was to give the gut what it has evolved to thrive on, so no rubbish like packaged, canned or take-away foods which are full of additives and sugars that are really bad for our guts. I went on and remain on organic foods so can't comment on conventional, but it is worth considering that conventional foods are now full of chemicals that our gut never evolved to handle. Things that really help our gut biome (bacterium) are sauerkraut, the best probiotic you can afford, kefir, I use a coconut water one, kombutcha, etc. No need to buy Kombutcha as it's so easy and fun to make your own. Eat ginger every day. In some people it works better than meds. There's research to back that up. I gave up anything that was hard to digest and my diet became incredibly bland. No red meat or even chicken. Fish is a lot easier to digest but it's now contaminated with chems and heavy metals, so it's suss in my opinion. If you're going to eat fish then try the ones at the bottom of the food chain like mackeral and sardines. Anything dairy effected me badly. I ate lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. I couldn't tolerate spices but maybe that's just me. All the usual culprits like coffee, acid veggies like tomatoes effected me. Keep a food diary and keep track of what food you can and can't tolerate. As your gut begins to heal so will the foods you will be able to tolerate.

Things to avoid are obvious. Any food that causes discomfort. Chlorinated water kills bacteria and since you're trying to get the guts bacteria balanced and healthy, chlorinated water is not a good idea. I'm lucky to live near a mountain spring. On my journey around Australia I drank only bottled spring water. Antibiotics will nuke your gut so only consider if really needed. Stress is really bad for the gut and a problem for me. I thought I was a pretty cruisey guy, but after awhile realised I had stress issues. I have a great easy going life but every time I'd turn on the TV and watch the news I'd feel my gut tense. There's probably no way to remain stress free in this crazy, stressed out culture we live in, but we can manage it. Walks in nature, meditation and yoga really help me stay calm and centered, and consciously staying away from stressful situations. Lots of ways to handle stress.

Live well and prosper.

Mick

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Great Mike. Thankyou for putting your experience on here.....it's great to hear from someone who has found a way to get through what is a terrible illness.

    ive taken on some of your tips and I'm going to add them to my own.

    im hoping to come of the meds as well. I don't want to be takeing them daily and where ever I go having to remember them, have I got enough etc

    Debs

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks Mick this couldn't have come at a better time. I'm certainly going to try some.

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  • Posted

    Hello Mick I appreciate you taking the time to share some of the things that have worked for you. I was diagnosed a couple years ago with Grade D erosion of the esophagus. I had tried a variety of PPIs but they didn't work very good for me. Nexium worked the best but still had many symptoms. I had Nissen fundoplication surgery on June 14 of this year. I'm doing so much better but still have to watch what I eat so I know I'm still not totally healed. I know some people can eat what ever they want after surgery but I am not one of them. I'm off my PPIs for the most part and take one every now and then. I will work on some of the things you mentioned as I would love to be completely healed. I feel for everyone out there that is dealing with this as it is no fun. Take care of yourself and I'm so glad you are feeling better. Thanks again for sharing that with us. It's much appreciated. Lorray

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    • Posted

      Hi guys, a couple more things I think are worth a mention. One of the things I couldn't tolerate was bread, which I love. I cut out all gluten from my diet which helped. I read somewhere that celiacs can handle sourdough bread with no problems, so tried some crusty organic sourdough and my gut was fine.

      If you go the route of getting your guts micro biome healthy again, it's worth mentioning that everything we eat and do regarding things like exercise, stress, medications, etc, are reflected in our guts biome, so a holistic approach is probably needed. The study of the gut is an exciting new science and there's lots of material online. Googling “acid reflux- gut micro biome” is a good place to start. I tried all the supposedly miracle products that are said to help, but none worked for me. What did work was learning to live as clean, healthy and stressless existence as possible.

      Lorray, PPI's take awhile to get into the system and work, so not sure taking an occasional one to handle a flair up is the best option. When I was transitioning into good health, but still had the occasional acid attack, I'd take Gaviscon Dual Action, sometimes for a few days. Works fast and is a lot safer imo, but whatever works for you.

      The thing that caused me to hold off getting an operation was that I had stomach pains, which I assumed was a symptom of my gut being out of balance. I was worried about how the operation would effect the pain and made me question the prevailing wisdom that my esophageal sphincter was the problem. When my gut healed the pains and the acid stopped.

      More power to you all.

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    • Posted

      Back againsmile I keep thinking of things I've missed.

      Only 10% of our body weight are human cells, the other 90% is a mad dance of bacterium, viruses, and whatnot, all trying their best to keep us balanced and happy. They effect everything, from our emotion to physical health and well being. Makes me reflect on who I really am. Everything we do in our lives effects this balance, including pollution and the chemicals we come into contact with in our daily lives. One area that often gets overlooked are the homes we live in. They have become incredibly toxic, from the chems we use to clean, carpets (I recently tried to buy untreated carpet and gave up), paints, the list goes on and on. I only use 1 eco friendly and safe cleaning product for everything, but then my standards may be a bit lax. We really don't need all this toxic crap that's making us sick in our lives.

      When I eat I'm conscious of feeding the bacterium 90% of me. I'll just give you a little taste of the food I eat that I found helped with the healing. For breakfast I'll have an avocado and a cup of Earl Grey Tea with some honey. The avocado's for my gut and the tea's for mesmile Everything I eat or drink is organic or biodynamic. A bit later I'll have a banana or 2 and maybe an apple later on. For lunch I'll have a couple of soft boiled eggs on crusty soughdough bread with good quality salt. I use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter as I find it easier to digest. I've got used to the taste and now prefer it. Alternatively I might have some Spelt Pappardella pasta with extra virgin olive oil and some veggies with lots of herbs from the garden. I'll eat some fruit in the afternoon and have an early dinner of salad and maybe some marinated goats cheese. Simple food but yummy. Eat like this and your gut will love you. Some of this I couldn't eat when sick, like cheese, and cooked food may be easier on the digestion, but everyone's different, compliments of our gut micro Biome.

      I wish everyone the best in their healing journey.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mick thank you for your continued help and advice to us with this. Yes I will try the Gaviscon when I need help for the pain. I did use Nexium for two years but then had the surgery. I can still feel that my gut is not healed as many foods etc set off the pain. I need to try cutting out so much like you did so that I can feel good again. I've had to be off work for a few weeks due to the pain and continued problems even after surgery and my surgery was just three months ago. I know the surgery has helped many but I need to really work at cutting out what my triggers are and eat a bit healthier. Thanks so much for your continued help and the knowledge that you share with us. It is very much appreciated. Did you ever take ginger pills? Take care and I'm so glad you are feeling so much better. I would love to get there. 😊 Lorray

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    • Posted

      Hi Lorray, I've never used ginger pills. I love lots of fresh grated ginger on just about everything.

      Have you heard of the Elimination Diet? It would help you to know your triggers.

      All the best.

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  • Posted

    Did you become vegan? Did you eat grains?

    Thank u Dom 😊

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    • Posted

      Hello Dom, for a while I was almost vegan, except for the odd egg. I did go off all grains for a period of time, even non gluten ones like amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. It definitely didn't hurt. It was a long slow road back to health, kind of a journey of self discovery. One day I woke up and realised I was well. I still steer clear of wheat, except for sourdough. Spelt is an ancient wheat grain that seems to be gentle on the gut, for me at least.

      Good luck.

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