violetta

Stomach problems

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I have been having difficulty making it through the night without eating and taking lots of digestive tabs even though I eat a lot at dinner.  My stomach burns after about 4 hours without eating and it makes it hard to sleep. This had not  happened for about 6 months before Whole 30 although I have had acid reflux in the past.  I am about in the middle of my second Whole 30 although I did have to start over a few days ago because of a restaurant mistake (some possible dairy in some scrambled eggs).  I really don't feel hungry, just need to put something in my stomach to calm the burning.  I have considered going back on Prilosec which I haven't taken for almost a year.  I really don't know if that would help either.  It doesn't seem to matter what I eat, I always feel a little hollow by about 2 am.  I am trying not to eat after dinner but lately have been having a little avocado and some extra vegetables about an hour before bed. That doesn't change much though although it might make me last a little longer in bed.  It doesn't go to the level of burping and I can improve it by sleeping on a wedge although I can't sleep much that way.  I feel like I am sabotaging the Whole 30 process by having to eat at night.  During my first Whole 30, this happened for a few days and then quit but it is continuing this time.

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I usually have 2-3 eggs in the morning, fried in ghee or coconut oil with zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms and sometimes some turkey sausage with it or some avocado and usually some baby potatoes.  Lunch is usually some steamed veggies with sweet or regular potatoes and some chicken or tuna fish and some sauce, lime-tahini dressing (ranch) or sunshine sauce (following template).  When I am traveling, I will have some raw carrots and snow peas and peppers or roasted brussel sprouts, chicken pieces and avocado or olives, and usually a baby potato or two.  Dinner is variable, chicken soup, salmon or shrimp with veggies, chicken salad.  I always try to get plenty of fat with avocado, olives, coconut oil. olive oil.  I usually have a little fruit with breakfast or lunch but none after lunch.  I eat as much as I can fit in my belly.  I eat breakfast around 7 am, lunch around noon, and dinner between 6-7 pm.  I stay away for tomato, vinegar and acidy fruits.

If I knew what caused the reflux in the past, I probably could have fixed it but it is probably just genetic. It doesnt seem to correlate with specific foods but after the last Whole 30 in November, it completely went away and just returned when I started the next round this month.  I took prilosec before the first Whole 30 but didn't have to afterwards.  It was so bad a few years ago that I had burning tongue from the acid in my throat.  It is a little different this time in that I don't have burping or burning tongue, just this sort of hollow feeling that gets worse the longer that I don't eat.  It usually goes away after eating for a while, which didn't happen in the past.

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Have you ever removed avocados (can be problematic for a lot of people), and tried adding in some probiotics - kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha etc?

Has the heartburn started up again since you switched to more protein at breakfast in place of fruit/flax etc

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Yes, the heartburn is still there and I do take a probiotic in the morning and drink kombucha before dinner.  I could try no avocado, do you know of people that had problems with avocado?  But I have been eating avocado for years. 

  I did try the wedge raising the head of the bed  last night (didn't sleep very well!) and it helped a little and I have gone back on prilosec.  This pain is quite different from my stomach pain in the past in that it is just a hollow feeling and some pain but not the burping and burning tongue.  Sometimes I think that I have to have dairy to keep my stomach from burning, it sure doesn't seem to happen as much when I am not doing a Whole 30 and that is about the only difference between what I mostly eat regularly and what I eat on Whole 30.

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A large number of people don't do well with avocado, myself included - and I'd been eating avocado for years too, but the volume increased and that seemed to make a real difference. And the pain you describe - that empty feeling - it sounds so familiar.... like eating will soothe it, and it does for a while, but then the pain is back...

Can I ask why you're doing another Whole30? If you've done one previously, and believe that dairy reduces your symptoms, then why not develop your own eating plan that includes dairy? That's kind of the point of the program - to figure out what works for you.

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@violetta The moderator's role is to help people who come to the forums specifically asking for help as well as guiding people to get the best results out of their experience.

jmcbn's question was legitimate in that if you have discovered that the way to ease your symptoms is with dairy and assuming that doesn't cause you other problems (skin, sleep etc), then it would probably be a reasonable next step to create the WholeVioletta and make a plan that works for you.

Please don't forget that the moderators are all  volunteers who are donating our time, effort, skill and care to help people get the most out of this program and change their lives... 

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Just saying, there might have been another way to say it that wouldn't make me want to plant myself face first in a carton of yogurt. I have lots of other reasons for staying on this Whole 30, including a complete cessation of restless leg syndrome (which is huge and I need to figure out what in the diet took it down so much)  and don't really want to blow it.  I think that the LES problem has been helped by sleeping on a wedge last night and I am going to try the marshmallow root suggested in another post.  I could go back to my doctor and get another container of carafate but not yet as it has artificial sweeteners in it and I would have to ditch the Whole 30.

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1 hour ago, SugarcubeOD said:

jmcbn's question was legitimate in that if you have discovered that the way to ease your symptoms is with dairy and assuming that doesn't cause you other problems (skin, sleep etc), then it would probably be a reasonable next step to create the WholeVioletta and make a plan that works for you.

This.

I'm sorry if you were offended by the question, but it was asked out of genuine curiosity as to why you wouldn't include something in your diet that you believe to be of help.

I sincerely hope you can figure it all out...

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Surprisingly enough I had something that sounds sort of similar.  It was an intense burning in my stomach - but not refluxy at all - it was like mid-gut almost - and only when I was hungry.  You mentioned kombucha - that always helped me when I was going through my "flare" (which lasted about 2 months, ugh - mine was mid-GI cramping/burning - during a cramp it would burn like crazy and come in waves).  Could you keep some kombucha in a bottle (maybe in a bowl of ice) near your bed and try a few sips in the middle of the night (if you find it helps you)?  

I started making the SCD yogurt when I was having my issues.  At the end of the day I'm not sure what finally ended the flare... but I kept the SCD yogurt in for a few months and symptoms never came back.  Lots of kombucha too.  

I guess I'm not sure what your question really was - are you looking for tips instead of eating at night?  Ideas for what this problem might be?  

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What is SCD yogurt?  And looking for ways to solve the burning stomach at night that makes we want to eat to make it go away which only lasts a couple hours after I eat.

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So after a few days on prilosec, I am trying to not get dependent on it, tried papaya enzymes-not much, digestive enzymes-they had sulfites in them so I couldnt take them, the wedge-works but uncomfortable, and am finally back to glutagenics that I have used before.  They are great but very expensive, we will see if they do any good this time.

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Violetta, I think we did Whole30s last year about the same time, so I've read a lot of your posts and have commented about acid reflux and have noticed your ongoing digestive issues. 

I would consider finding a good gastroenterologist. This might take some time. 

Right away, I'd get tested for a pyloric ulcer. Your internist can do that. 

And if I were you I'd consider stopping all the herbs or supplements until you get a handle on the food in your diet as jumping back and forth trying all sorts of remedies may make it harder to diagnose the problems or to consider how specific foods effect you. If you're going to eliminate a food, give it a good test--2 or 3 weeks at least. 

And if you have reflux (and this may be in addition to other things) raising the head of your bed can help tremendously but you have to give yourself time--again, 2 or 3 weeks--to adjust.

As I've noted before, proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Prevacid can be necessary to treat acid reflux but you really shouldn't take them for a few days, quit, and start again as they have a rebound effect and must be tapered off very slowly. 

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There is not supposed to be any rebound with prilosec unless you take it long enough to reduce acid production for a while.  That is why I am testing to see if it helps, not to continue taking it.  It is obvious that days that I take it that it makes a difference immediately, despite what the literature says.  And yes, I was googling gastroenterologists just before I read your post.  I have raised the head of the bed but it doesn't help, the wedge does but is very uncomfortable to sleep on all night.  

I have decided to go off Whole 30 ( it has been 30 days with one slip about halfway through with some cornstarch in something and some questionable eggs) and reintroduce such as it is with the ongoing stomach problems, I may not get a lot of information.  I am testing dairy today as that is the thing I seem to need most to help my stomach out.  Before the last Whole 30 I was completely off of any digestive medications or supplements, so this is more than a little frustrating.  I gained no weight when I was off of Whole 30, I mostly got back on to work on my restless leg syndrome and body pain.  It certainly worked for that but is unsustainable right now.  I am going to give it a couple weeks on the glutagenics and prilosec, which is what worked last time, before I go the gastroenterologist route.  I will see my naturopath next week who may be able to help out. Thanks for your post.

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My reflux was completely gone last night after 3 days of glutagenics, kind of a miracle cure but one I don't use much because it is so expensive.  Now I can get on with a very slow reintro.

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Nurse practitioner here. Maybe get tested for helicobacter pylori (h. Pylori) ? 

Or idk if it is program compliant but if it is, try drinking some aloe Vera juice daily? I have had patients who wanted to avoid traditional GI meds do pretty well with it.

but yeah, with your described history I would ask for a gastroenterologist referral.

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The glutagenics has powdered  licorice and aloe, and it is working.  I feel mostly better, have added a spoonful of yogurt to my reintro and that has been very helpful. I know that is not how it supposed to work but rather desperate.   I am pretty much back to normal.  I have been eating a small bit of potato and a piece of turkey before bed and that seems to get me through the night without getting too hungry.  I also stopped eating all brassica and I think that it was really a problem.  On Whole 30, I was eating tons more brassica in order to get the 3 cups of veggies in and I read that broccoli was one of the big triggers of reflux. I have been tested for H. pylori in the past with negative results, probably worth another test but I am pretty sure this is reflux.

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So, I have been through an endoscopy and nothing!  Although I don't have the results of the biopsy yet.  But no H. Pylori.  And the PA did give me something called FDguard which is combination of peppermint and caraway seed oil in a capsule that gets into your stomach before it dissolves.  I was able to stop the prilosec immediately (it wasn't doing much good anyway) and have slept through the night 3 days in a row.  However, it is seriously expensive.  But the effect on bloating is practically miraculous.  Something to get on and find a cheaper alternative that works.

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Here is my update after visit to gastroenterologist.  No problems visible in my stomach, biopsy fine.  The GE suggested that my problem could be bile leaking into esophagus so gave me sucralphate, the generic for Caraphate, and it has been wonderful.  No more stomach burning, burping, stomach aches, getting up early to eat and make it better.  I feel like a regular person and think I could begin another Whole 30 soon.  It coats my stomach and keeps the burning from happening and seems to have few side effects.  She said I could use it forever, unlike PPIs that are time limited and have huge side effects.

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