Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD and The Answer I Found That Changed My Life
My Story and Struggle with GERD
For any of you out there suffering from heartburn or acid reflux or even for those of you who have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), I can completely relate. It was just a few years ago that I woke my husband Chad up in the middle of the night to take me to the hospital because my heartburn and nausea was so intense. That was the night that began my 2 year journey of being "sick" all the time. I was diagnosed with GERD by my primary doctor a few days after that hospital visit. She put me on the medication Protonix and I began taking it immediately. I was also told to avoid spicy foods and the usual recommendations of someone who has heartburn/reflux issues.
Well, the medication seemed to only mask my heartburn issue, but I was still feeling terrible all the time. I never wanted to go out because everything I ate seemed to have a negative effect on me. I was 30 years old, planning my wedding and feeling miserable physically...not a fun time in my life. My stomach was constantly sore, even to the touch and I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life like this. First of all, I don't like having to take any prescription drugs and secondly, I wasn't really even feeling well taking one. My heartburn was alleviated quite a bit, but I still felt just as terrible only in different ways.
I Finally Decided Enough was Enough
Finally, I decided I was fed up and wanted some answers so I made an appointment with a naturopathic doctor, which I had never done before. For those of you who are unfamiliar with naturopathic doctors, they work with you to find the underlying cause of your symptoms, rather than masking your symptoms with synthetic drugs. On my first appointment, which was an hour by the way (not an hour waiting, an hour with the doctor), I explained all of my symptoms and my health concerns and she listened and took notes and asked me some questions also. Once hearing everything I had to say, she decided the first thing to do would be to test me for food allergies as she explained that many of my symptoms can be caused by food allergies.
She ordered the test which was sent to my house; it was quick and easy and non-invasive. Once my doctor had the results from the lab, she called me and scheduled an appointment so we could talk about the results and what to do next. I went to see her a few days later, anxious to finally get some answers.
What Did I Find Out?
I'm allergic to soy? Yup, that was the answer. That was what was causing me so much discomfort for almost 2 years. (By the way, I invite you to check out food labels the next time you are at the grocery store because people are often surprised to see how many things soy is actually in!) Hard to believe something so simple and none of my conventional doctors before had even thought to address my diet or check me for food allergies. What a feeling of relief and frustration at the same time...if only I had known earlier, I wanted to go back and have my wedding all over again. Don't get me wrong, my wedding was perfect :), but just to feel well (it was a destination wedding) would have made the whole time that much better!
Now, I want to point out that I don't think conventional doctors are bad, that is certainly not the point I am trying to make. I think there are a lot of great doctors out there. I personally feel that we have some of the best crisis care in this country, however I feel like we have "missed the boat" when it comes to everyday health and basic needs and nutrition. In general terms, the medical community is trained to diagnose and treat illness, not try to find the underlying cause of the symptoms or illness. What are we trained to do as a society when we get headaches? Take some type of ibuprofren or aspirin or the pain reliever of your choice, not figure out the cause of the headaches and address that.
How This Experience Affected My Life
My husband and I have both learned so much through the experience we went through with my health and we are sharing this story, so maybe someone else doesn't have to suffer unnecessarily. I am healthier now than I was before I got "sick" and I don't get heartburn, no longer take any medication, and eat all the spicy food I want. I was sick for so long that I almost forgot what it feels like to feel "good" and "normal."
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Lynne and Chad
Online Business & Marketing Coaches
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