I have suffered from digestive issues since I was really young. I was diagnosed with GERD and a Hiatal Hernia at the age of nine and was immediately put on Aciphex (a PPI) and was on that until I was 18 years old. I started having severe bouts of abdominal pain and days where I could literally not leave the bathroom. The pain was so bad that I eventually could not go to school anymore. It was so bad that I did not even want to leave the house. I had such panic surrounded around my stomach that I was afraid to do anything. I became severely antisocial and really did not leave my house for over a year. The doctors found that along with Endometriosis I also suffered from Celiac Disease and a sensitivity to Dairy and Soy. I stopped eating Gluten, Dairy & Soy immediately and still do not eat it. I will occasionally I eat Soy from time to time now but when I do I notice my symptoms get a lot worse so I try to stay away from it entirely.
It took the doctors years to figure out what was causing my severe abdominal bouts and then finally they found that I had a Spastic Colon(IBS) as well as Gastroparesis which means “Paralyzed Stomach”. My food does not digest as fast as it should and so the food starts to ferment and cause bloating, pain, heartburn, etc. I still suffer from GERD (and take Prilosec daily but am trying to wean off of it) and have been working hard to figure out what diet is best for me as I was a Raw Vegan for a year and realized it was not the best thing for me as I have a very difficult time digesting raw vegetables. I also find that my body reacts better to some meats. (lean and organic). I also have found that Food Combining (Which I learned through the Raw and Vegan lifestyle) helps immensely. It is very hard to stick to but I notice that when I do follow it, it helps so much.
Food Combing Chart:
Other things that I have found helpful over the years for heartburn, digestion, pain, bloating, etc:
Probiotics (amazing for digestion and over all health)
Activated Charcoal (helps with bloating and gas)
DGL (amazing for heartburn)
Aloe Vera Gel (for constipation, heartburn, digestion)
Iberogast (I made an entire post about it here: https://britaniefaith.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/iberogast/)
Betain HCL(Food can not be digested without stomach acid and after being on acid blockers for so long I believe that it has contibuted to my slow digestion so taking 1-2 tablets of HCL during meals helps to speed up the digestion process.)
Lemon Balm (amazing for gas, abdominal pain and digestion in general)
Ginger(for nausea and increased stomach emptying)
I wanted to make this post because I know there are millions of other people out there who also suffer from a lot of the same digestive issues as me and I know how hard it can be and how painful. It’s not something that is easily fixed but I truly believe with enough determination and knowledge that it can get better. I make sure to learn as much as I possible can and I suggest making a diary of what you eat and how you feel after you eat it. It helps to figure out which foods could be contributing to some of your discomfort. I would also look into a lot of the supplements I recommended above and try to eat a properly food combined meal and take note if you notice a difference in how you digest your food. Also, hugely important, STAY POSITIVE. Mind has a lot to do with how your stomach reacts. The more stressed out you are, the worse your symptoms will be so no matter how hard it gets just please try to stay positive and not give up. I know how hard it can be but you have to always keep on keeping on.