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Gastro doctor said start Nexium for Acid Reflux AND do a gluten-free challenge for one month?


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Hello, everyone!

This is my first post on the forums!

I've read a lot about Whole 30 and really appreciate in advance your willingness to look over my experiences and questions!! Thanks :)

Sooo... I want to start my Whole 30 tomorrow. But it's tricky. Here's the background...

I have had a year + of health issues:

-emergency gallbladder removal

-life-long hep c but low viral loal and good alt/ast

-migraine with aura (I take 100 mg. a day of Topamax that works great as a preventative)

-recurring yeast and bacterial infections, gut and vaginal

-laryngitis, bronchitis, pleurisy this fall (my lung lining is still swollen and still hurts on right side with expansion)

-a couple of harmless rashes

-recurring mouth ulcers (get them every 2 months or so)

Just now, starting in April, I have begun having two NEW symptoms that are really hindering the quality of my sleep, my outlook, my daily life:

-constant body aches, join pain

-indigestion, shoulder blade pain, sometimes constipation, sometimes soft stool/diarrhea, upper stomach pain, gas, bloating, thick swallowing.

This month, I have seen my GP three times and saw my gastroenterologist yesterday.

All blood work is normal.

Stool testing normal.

Negative for blood test for rheumatoid (Lupus, RA, etc.).

Negative blood test for for celiac.

OKAY so here's where my question comes in:

My gastro doc said that even though my Celiac test was negative, my most recent symptoms could still be gluten sensitivity. He said that the shoulder blade pain, upper stomach pain and indigestion were Acid Reflux.

He said to do two things:

1. Begin cutting out gluten entirely for one month. Maybe that's what's causing the joint pain. I have blonde hair/blue eyes, and even though the Celiac blood test was negative, he says that he believes testing will become more advanced in the next few years to reveal more and more people who are intolerant/sensitive to Gluten.

2. He prescribed Nexium for the Acid Reflux and said to take one a day. He did not indicate when to STOP taking Nexium or what was acutally causing the Acid Reflux.

MY TWO QUESTIONS:

- Should I follow this doctor's orders exactly?

- How do I launch my Whole 30 while doing #1 and #2?

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I am confused about #1. There is no gluten in W30. Curious where the hair and eye color come in as well.

DRs orders always come before W30 rules. You may find you don't need it down the road, but you can work with your doc on that.

Welcome. :)

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Not only is Whole30 completely gluten free, it also cuts out the grains and other additives that can affect gut health like carrageenan. So Whole30 would fit perfectly in with the diet your doctor recommends. And yes, always follow your doctor's orders.

Plenty of people who test negative for Celiac still have gluten sensitivity. The best thing you can do is try Whole30 and see how you feel afterwards. Keep us posted ;) !

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You will have some consequences from taking Nexium during a Whole30, but it won't stop you from improving your health. Personally, I would ask my doctor if I could try diet alone before taking Nexium, but I would not make that decision on my own. I might find another doctor to give me the answer I want, but I would not make that decision by myself. :)

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Thank you for your quick replies!

@Susan - About hair/eye color... The doctor said that my genetic makeup made me more prone to gluten sensitivity - the whole Irish thing I guess? I dunno exactly...?

@Tanya - I think my hesitation was - Whole 30 cuts out SO many harmful things... Not JUST gluten. So by doing Whole 30, I'm widening the test quite a bit from my doctor's suggestion. But I suppose I can do the Whole 30 as is, and then do the reintroduction as the book laid out?

@Tom - Yes. Perhaps another doctor or a call to this one to do Whole30 first. (Though this guy was very happy to throw samples at me, that's for sure! :) )

I really want to get OFF of Topamax someday and AVOID getting ON another med for acids! I hate looking up side-effects and wondering what is causing what.

I am SO ready to get healthy!!!!!! I'm willing to do the hard work and get well without drugs!!!!!!!!

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I'd probably try the W30 before taking Nexium or you won't know if you get better because of the diet or because of the medicine. But, you could also do both and then try cutting out the Nexium before reintroducing any food. I suggest high doses of quality probiotics and digestive enzymes, too.

My son has had reflux since birth. We've tried all of the medications, including Nexium. It helped a little at first, but then stopped helping. When we stopped Nexium, started the probiotics and digestive enzymes and then later an elimination diet, not only did his reflux get better (not gone, but much better), but he suddenly grew from 20% on the growth charts to 70% in 6 months. Poor kid couldn't get the nutrients he needed to grow. I'm a big fan of getting off Nexium!

Good luck!

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@pjena - That is just awesome about your son - thanks for sharing his success story!

That's exactly what I was getting to about the Nexium...the not knowing what was working if something does *pretty please!* work.

Either way, I will indeed start digestive enzymes and quality probiotics ASAP.

Thanks for your personal experience with Acid Reflux and W30!

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Kelly Ann - I got his enzymes and probiotics at DrNatura.com. Don't let the rest of the weird stuff on the site scare you. :) We also used Enzymedica enzymes, which worked well. Be careful of the cheaper ones. Unfortunately, they may not work as well. We had him on heavy doses of both at first and slowly weaned him down so that he's now just on a combined kids chewable with each meal. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had issues for years with increased acidity and bowel issues. When I used to eat dairy I had major issues and was suspected to have a peptic ulcer and was put on a similar drug to nexium. When I quit dairy though, my stomach pain went away. Try quitting dairy and gluten, I bet you will feel WAY better.

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Whole30 seems like it could help with a lot of the symptoms you described. I know various people have reported it helping with most of these things. I get fewer headaches now, for example, and my joint aches are generally less frequent and severe.

You're right that it cuts out more things than gluten, but if you do the full reintroduction, you'll really know where you stand. It seems like it would basically be taking your doctor's advice to do an elimination diet up a notch. I think checking with your doctor regarding the medication is right, but hopefully he'll be ok with you trying to tweak your diet before trying the prescription -- I find they often prescribe things because people are so uncomfortable with symptoms that the doctors want to offer some immediate relief (valid, but perhaps not ideal in all cases or for all ailments).

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I just love how a person can come on here and get so much caring and thoughtful feedback.

Im equally impressed with the stories I have read in the Forum of such great changes in health

from adopting the whole 30 concepts.

I wish you more of the same great success

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  • 1 month later...

Kelly, can you update us on how you are doing?  I too had my gallbladder removed and was diagnosed with acid reflux.  I was on acid reflux medication for a while but it didn't help me.  I cleaned up my diet and my acid reflux went away and so did the residual digestive issues that were continuing after my gallbladder surgery.  This is before my Whole30, which I started on June 3rd. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just MO, but unless yo have barretts esphogaus you should avoid nexium, it will make you have rebound acid reflux and you will never get off of it. Did you have an endoscopy (tube down the throat to look at the esphogaus and stomach).

 

Some of your symptoms sound like Crohns (the mouth sores). I've been told I have IBS or Crohns, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

 

You should definintely try the W30 for IBS and eliminate FODMAPS as they cause problems for IBS/Crohns. For the reflux, try taking HCL along with the digestive enzymes.  As far as celiac, many people who test negative still have issues. It could be the gluten, but the sugar most grains are FODMAP and you might be reacting to that rather than the gluten.

 

Good luck.

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  • 5 months later...

I would also love to know if you experienced relief from the acid reflux on Whole30. I have GERD and am really hoping for some relief through doing this...I've tried many other things (medical and alternative). I would love any stories from those who found relief from acid reflux on Whole30...

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I would also try diet as well before taking Nexium. Nexium is a proton-pump inhibitor, which basically just shuts off most of the little glands that secrete acid into the stomach. Because you then have less stomach acid to digest proteins, those proteins can pass into the intestines and lead to food sensitivities and allergies. 

 

I have found that the best thing to stop heartburn is to drink a tablespoon of lemon juice or something else acidic (kombucha works great too!). This might seem counter intuitive, but the real problem is not too much acid, it's not enough. Before you eat, your stomach probably has too little acid. Then you eat a large meal with a lot of fat and protein and starch. Your stomach panics because it doesn't have enough acid and starts dumping acid in to compensate. By drinking something acidic, you signal to your stomach that it has enough acid and it can stop producing more. Every time I get heartburn (which is very rare now, and only when I eat something I shouldn't) I drink a glass of kombucha and it's gone instantly.

 

Having your gallbladder removed can also slow things down because now your liver has to produce bile on demand to digest food, rather than having a convenient little storage pouch full of it to access. 

 

I would try changing your diet first for 30 days before taking the Nexium, eat slowly and consciously so your liver has time to produce the bile you need, and have a glass of kombucha with your meals to signal your stomach to stop producing acid, and to help boost your gut flora, which is just a good idea no matter what.

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I will look into Whole30 compliant kombucha. I've tried PPIs in the past and was very reluctant to do so for the reasons you gave, and I do think I had a rebound effect. I've also tried Betaine supplementation to increase stomach acid. Going to look into Kombucha...

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I just threw kombucha in there because it's a great fermented probiotic, and it's very acidic, but any acidic drink will do. You can drink a tablespoon of vinegar, lemon or lime juice, etc. But I find kombucha to be much tastier :D

 

GT's is usually whole30 compliant, just make sure the ingredients don't have sugar. Sugar has to be used for the fermentation process, but it's all eaten up by the bacteria. During the second ferment (to make it fizzy) they should add only fruit juice as a source of natural sugar. If sugar is listed on the ingredients, it means they added sugar during the second ferment, and some of it will still be in the kombucha. Or you can make your own http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/10419-kombucha-makers-unite-where-to-ask-and-be-answered/

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I am just coming back to this post after my first W30 back in August. I was diagnosed with "silent" reflux, which is basically a constant sore throat and post nasal drip, but no heart burn, but still because of acid.  The doctor had also prescribed me Prilosec and I started the W30 to avoid having to take it.   I took HCL's, pro-biotics, ate lots of sauerkraut (bubbies, of course) and while it didn't make things worse, I'm not sure it made my throat any better.  Don't get me wrong, the W30 was worth it for a whole host of other reasons, but I'm now on my second one,  and I'm starting the Prilosec and seeing what happens.  

 

@Tom- I know that you said it back in April, but what consequences do you know of with taking the Prilosec while on the W30? Reduction of acid making all the protein hard to digest? I was a little nervous about it, but it is providing some relief as I can hopefully stay on the W30 for longer this time, and I'm also incorporating live culture dairy products.  

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@Tom- I know that you said it back in April, but what consequences do you know of with taking the Prilosec while on the W30? Reduction of acid making all the protein hard to digest? I was a little nervous about it, but it is providing some relief as I can hopefully stay on the W30 for longer this time, and I'm also incorporating live culture dairy products.  

 

I don't have any specific knowledge of Nexium, but all drugs have consequences and most of them are harmful to health in some way. That doesn't mean that we should never take drugs. Sometimes the good they do outweighs the bad, but I think it is always good to take the drug free route if possible. 

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From one Irish Kelly Ann to another, I had several symptoms you describe: migraines, gut and vaginal yeast issues, and body/joint aches. All of these things were really helped by the W30 plan. I have done the protocol several times now; 2 or 3x per year. Even when not doing a W30 I stick fairly close to the plan.

 

Even if you must take Nexium for a while, I personally believe the program would be worth your while. It may shorten the duration that you need the medication.

 

Good luck to you.

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