Dealing with GERD

It's a given that the older you get, the more your body changes. Although this can be awesome, it can also be extremely tough when you see your body react negatively to what you're normally so used to.

I've always had a sensitive stomach ever since I was a child. For example, there was no way I could drink a glass of orange juice on an empty stomach. Later on, during my years at college, and especially living in Europe, I didn't focus too much on any of this. To be quite honest, nothing could separate me from my cup of coffee in the morning, in the afternoon, and the occasional cup at night when studying for finals.

But, needless to say, for the last couple of years, I was dealing with the worst acid reflux. Anything I would eat would give me an instant heartburn. At that point, it's as if I couldn't eat anything, out of fear of getting a reaction.

I ended up countless of doctors, did 2 endoscopies, and went through numerous "doctor approved" diets.

The funny part is? Nothing worked. They all said the same things, prescribed me with the same medication (I'm sure I was financing Nexium at this stage), and gave me extreme diets, where at this point, was so close to a proper eating disorder because most of the high nutrients foods were forbidden for me.

Anyways, fast forward to this year, and I ditched every advice that the doctors gave me, and switched to Ayurverdic medicine. Guess what? It finally worked! After 5 years of listening to doctors who were just reciting their medical school textbook, the best decision was to stop listening to them!

Ayurverdic: the traditional Hindu system of medicine (incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas), which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.

My Ayurverdic doctor said something to me that none of those doctors ever said. He told me: "The issue isn't with the food that you're supposed to eat. The issue is the lining of your stomach that we're going to fix. So for now, eat everything because your body needs it, while we rebalance your stomach".

So, with proper treatment, although I'm not 100% healed, my stomach has been way better than it ever was before. Also, with my own touch on how I want to my lifestyle to be, people with GERD should consider the following:

  1. Lose a bit of weight. The more weight you have, the more it's heavy to digest food, which would lead to acid reflux.

  2. Consider getting an allergy/intolerance test. I've realized that I'm allergic to gluten. My body doesn't digest it, and therefore would give me major heartburns and anxiety attacks.

  3. Limit your coffee intake. You don't have to cut it out completely. I occasionally have a cup of coffee with coconut milk, but just focus on what time of the day you're having it. The most important thing is to make sure you don't drink it on an empty stomach.

  4. Limit/cut out alcohol. Although a drink or two can be super fun or relaxing. If you think about it, there is no nutritional benefit to it (except for the glass of red wine that's high in iron).

  5. Be mindful of your carbs. When you research about low acidic diets, everyone advises you to eat beetroot and carrots. Although they're very low in acid, they are extremely heavy to digest.

  6. Ditch your favorite painkiller. It's written in the label of any painkiller already - anyone with stomach sensitivities should avoid painkillers as the side effect can be extreme stomach ache.

  7. Ditch the mainstream medication, as they don't fix the root of the issue, they just "mute" the symptoms only while taking them.