Gastritis and GI problems


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Hi

Firstly I would like to say I love the Whole30 and am so happy a forum has started. I wanted to ask advice on anyone who has or is suffering from gastritis. I was diagnosed with it in November 2011 and I am struggling to get rid of it. I am a paleo eater have been for over 5 years and a crossfitter. I have terrible burning in my stomach and it feels like I have a sore there everyday. There are days I am bloated, pains down the left side of my stomach and the feeling wind is stuck on my stomach and I know this sounds weird but if I push on my stomach to release the pressure their and burp it feels better, but not for long.

My gastro specialist has put me on nexium but I refused to take it but now I take somac 40mg at night. I don't seem to notice much of a difference. I am under the guidance of a naturopath and I am taking potato juice before meals, tumeric capsules, stress capsules, Vit D, marshmallow powder before meals and I have a warm water with lemon every morning upon wakening.

As mentioned I am paleo I avoid all wheat, gluten but I was having a bit of cheese here and there and dark 85% chocolate and wine which was only 1-2 glasses on a weekend. I have stopped all this and have started the whole30 to see if it makes any difference.

I would like to hear anyones advice if they know how to get rid of gastritis forever and advise me on what I can do. It would be much appreciated. I have introduced sweet potato again, and I am making my own sauerkraut and bone broth. I don't drink any coffee have even ditched decaf.

Look forward to your replies.

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Hi PGP (I'm into brevity). How were you initially diagnosed with gastritis? Have you ever had a positive screen for H. pylori? If you have, my worry is that the Somac is making it worse by further suppressing your stomach acid. If not, work with your doc to get screened.

I highly recommend you take a look at these articles from Chris Kresser's site. He has tons of experience dealing with digestive issues and conditions like yours.

http://chriskresser.com/more-evidence-to-support-the-theory-that-gerd-is-caused-by-bacterial-overgrowth

http://chriskresser.com/how-your-antacid-drug-is-making-you-sick-part-a

http://chriskresser.com/the-hidden-causes-of-heartburn-and-gerd

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Hello TLC thank you for your reply. I had an upper endoscopy done. I was tested for H.plyori and negative. My results came back with severe gastritis on top of my stomach. Everything else is fine. I hate taking the somac but I'm told I need to help reduce the stomach acids to stop it irritating the gastritis. Even though I don't have excess stomach acid!! I don't know if it's the somac or potato juice but down the left side of my stomach I have awful pains and sorry for this so much wind!!! I just wish I can wake up feeling 100% and stay like it

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Farts are hilarious, never apologize.

Very important question: did the gastritis symptoms present before or after you went Paleo 5 years ago? If it was after, refer to the three potential causes here: http://chriskresser.com/can-you-be-healthy-if-you-dont-eat-a-paleo-diet

If it was before, then you may be dealing with something more advanced like an genetic or autoimmune condition.

Here's my hypothesis: you were eating a typical Western diet, weren't producing enough stomach acid, went Paleo, and the higher fat and protein content is too much for your limited stomach acid and pepsin to handle, so you started experiencing reflux, ulcer-like symptoms and excess gas. The addition of Somac further lowered your stomach acid, which turned your symptoms into full blown gastritis.

I'm already fairly confident that you have really low stomach acid, but if you're curious, you can run this test: http://balancedbites.com/2009/10/your-stomach-acid-is-a-good-thing-really.html

My suggestion (but please double-check this with your GI doc and naturopath) would be to wean yourself off the Somac, while supplementing with Betaine HCL and/or apple cider vinegar at meals (it is critical to stop the use of any anti-inflammatory medications before doing this). You can read more about that here: http://balancedbites.com/2012/01/why-you-want-more-stomach-acid-not-less.html and here: http://chriskresser.com/get-rid-of-heartburn-and-gerd-forever-in-three-simple-steps

Now, if you don't see improvements within a few weeks, that may indicate the presence of a gut pathogen or dysbiosis.

Lastly, you may find some answers in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Stomach-Acid-Good-You/dp/0871319314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271434728&sr=8-1

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

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Hi

Yes gastritis did come on after starting Paleo but not until 4 years later. Before Paleo I was a very strict body builder diet! never had stomach problems then. I believe the gastritis did come on due to stress. It's very interesting that you say about low stomach acid because I have read a lot about it, I asked my GI about it and he just pushed my question to one side. Interesting I went away at Christmas, drank red wine, ate chocolate, cheese, gluten free crackers and my stomach was fine, come home to a paleo diet it flares up again. And I am super strict on Paleo.

Do you think I could start with the apple cider vinegar now and ask my GI about the tablets when I go to see him? I've only been on the somac 1 week, I refused to take them but when I went back to my normal doc in a lot of pain she said to go on them. The pain is in the pit of my stomach, like I feel a sore there.

Thanks for your advice

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I hope you understand that I can't make that call for you. I don't know your full medical history, and I'd feel awful if there were some reaction between the Somac and the ACV (there shouldn't be, but I don't have the clinical experience to back that up). If you're able to call or email your doc, then get their advice. Also, if your GI is not respecting your questions or supportive in seeking alternative treatments, find a new GI. You really need someone who is going to take an active role and be a partner in your health. Cheers.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey there!

I have severe gastritis as well. They found an ulcer at the top of my stomach through a scope and on top of that I have GERD and when things flare up pretty bad, I get spams and sometimes even heart palps. I completely sympathize for you!

I definitely agree with the low stomach acid. I have been off of my PPI's for 2 months now and have been eating a Whole30 diet...minus the meat. We are slowly adding meats back in to see what protein is causing all the bloating and flare ups. About 4 weeks ago I started taking a supplement called Zypan. It contains pancreatic enzymes and Betaine HCL. Like you, I had asked my GI about low stomach acid and she practically laughed it off.

After 4 weeks, I still have some flare ups, but last week was teh first week in months that I had with NO GASTRITIS symptoms! I usually get a burning, almost like a throbbing in my chest with pressure.

I definitely suggest asking your naturopath about the Zypan. I was introduced through my chiro/wellness doc. All the reviews I have read are fabulous!

Good luck!

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  • 5 months later...

I've been taking the Superenzymes and Betaine HCL supplements with meals and already I feel quite a bit better, the burning/gnawing pain has decreased as has my bloating and stomach upset.

I would like to thank the people in this forum: I NEVER would have considered low stomach acid as a possibility but I saw this article that TheLazyCaveman linked to about low stomach acid and thought WOW THAT IS ME. I went to the doctor and he dismissed the idea of low stomach acid and just prescribed PPIs but I am not taking them. I had tested negative for h. pylori as well

Anyways thank you, thank you, thank you- this is the 3rd time in my life that this problem has flared up (I think it's a seasonal/stress related thing too in combination with increased meat consumption) but this is the first time I've found something that actually makes me feel better without waiting it out.

I recommend anyone who is having GI problems or stomach pain to consider low stomach acid a possibility before taking the PPIs!

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As a very longtime user of PPIs (hiatal hernia and GERD), I definitely agree that anyone who is on them or having issues with GERD, reflux, gastritis take the time to read up on the Chris Kesser series on heartburn. I've been taking probiotics and enzyemes for about half of my first whole 30 and have started on the Betatine HCL and I'm using ACV in water when I still have a reflux flare up. I've been off the Prilosec for 5 days now and doing really well.

It's pretty crazy that Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tsp in some water actually alleviates any reflux in a few minutes.

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I have no experience with GERD or any related problems. I do sometimes feel a slight gnawing sensation in my stomach after a particularly high protein meal. That's all.

My digestion overall has definitely improved since starting the Whole30.

Anyway, I have been following this discussion with interest, and yesterday saw this article, posted the day before:

Betaine HCL: What's the deal? Does it increase stomach acidity? Does it help GERD? Improve digestion?

http://huntgatherlove.com/content/betaine-hcl-whats-deal-does-it-increase-stomach-acidity-does-it-help-gerd-improve-digestion

Thought it was an interesting opposing view.

(I love to read opposing views. Helps to keep an open mind.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm so thankful for these forums and the blogs I've found by reading them. I am post Whole45 now, but since the middle of my Whole45, I had been feeling worse in the stomach, and was thinking,"I gave up all these bad foods! Why do I feel worse eating better?!?!?!" Every day just felt like there was a baseball sitting in my gut below my rib cage, which would swell and feel acidy after eating (full meal or more modestly). Feeling uncomfortably full all the time. The kind of feeling I would usually get after overeating/binging on bad foods. The kind of off feeling that makes you want to lie down and eat rice and saltine crackers. (Very new to Paleo, can you tell?) Bought the Now enzymes Friday night (It's now Sunday morning) and I already feel about 30% better. I never would have thought about LOW stomach acid. Wow.

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  • 5 months later...

Hey everyone! It has been awhile since anyone has posted on this thread but I was hoping someone could update me with any information that might have helped them! I have suffered from GI problems and digestion issues for about a year and have been following the autoimmune protocol. However I am still suffering from severe stomach pain. It is a chronic intense burning that doesn't seem to get better with/without food and happens no matter WHAT I eat. I have tried digestive enzymes but they haven't seemed to help. Does anyone have any information that could be helpful? I am so lost and I feel like I have tried so much to no avail!! Thanks!

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