Eleanore Vs. GERD

Dear squishy, sentient things with tummies in the center,

I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. Lately, not even Benadryl can keep me asleep, but that is a quibble for a different time. Today I must express my woes with my new enemy – my uncooperative belly. Well, let me be honest; when I was 17 and diagnosed with Celiac disease, for a while my abdomen and everything within it were all against me. However, after I got my Celiac under control, despite chronic nausea and my 13 other allergies, I was getting the hang of eating again, enjoying my food, and everything seemed great.

BUT THEN!

In January I got a terrible stomach virus that lasted a month and a half because I couldn’t completely fight it off. After weeks of nothing but Ruffles, soup, and plain bread, I started to heal…until I began to have symptoms of another kind. My throat always felt half swollen, my abdomen was always in pain, I was constantly running to the bathroom and I was altogether a miserable lumpy lump. I finally went to the doctor and I was given another diagnosis; I had GERD, which stands for Giraffes Eating Ridiculous Diets. Just kidding- it stands for Gastroesophegeal Reflux Disease. The Giraffe thing was much more pleasant, don’t you think?

I was given medication and told to change my diet in order to avoid GERD triggers. Change my diet? Again? After ten years of being gluten free by force as well as avoiding all my other allergens, the idea of changing my diet seemed like a nightmare that I was not willing to live through.

At first I was defiant, hoping that it would only be a temporary thing, so I didn’t change my diet at all. I was still consuming a good deal of spicy foods, tomatoes, and everything else that I loved to eat within my former restrictions. This of course was a tremendous mistake and I was getting worse and worse by the minute. After a few weeks I waved my white flag, surrendering to the chaos within my belly, and started to make alterations to my eating habits.

According to the magic internet, having GERD means taking away acidic and fatty foods. It also means having to cut back on chocolate (this hurts my soul) and no longer having citrus fruits. The past month I have done pretty well at cutting back on most of these foods, but this morning I lay in my bed, looking for recipes to make for my friends on Easter 2: Revenge of the Bunnies this Saturday. Though I have developed a slight Pinterest addiction, I’ve come up empty handed.

I find myself exasperated with my diet, my adoration for food waning. I want to be able to enjoy my food and eat healthy, but between all my restriction and being without much money, I feel utterly stuck. I still have hope that I will not be stuck with GERD forever, not to mention that I’ve been told that it can be aggravated by stress. To say my life is stressful is a severe understatement, but maybe as I work to improve my stressful life, my body will benefit along with everything else. Here’s hoping that I may regain some of my health back in the future.

Readers, do you have GERD? If so, how do you manage it, and what do you eat that is wonderfully delicious?  Give me your advice, my tummy is dying to know!

Oh, Please don’t go- we’ll eat you up, we love you so!

~Where The Wild Things Are

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8 thoughts on “Eleanore Vs. GERD

  1. I’ve had GERD for years, but I wouldn’t be able to give you GERD-friendly meal suggestions because I’m really bad at minding my illnesses restrictions… Oops. Though I have found the no pulp, low acid orange juice is much easier on my throat than the normal no pulp OJ! As long as I drink some water after I’m done with breakfast (which is when I generally have orange juice) my throat barely hurts later.

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    1. I have actually just started using Pinterest and am wowed by the amount of GERD and gluten free recipes I am finding! I love to cook, I just don’t know *what* to cook, but I’m practically addicted to that site now. If you like to cook and have Pinterest you can follow it and see all the stuff I’ve found! Search Eleanore Marie or Sickly Stardust 🙂

      That is also interesting that you aren’t triggered by OJ that is pulp free, I thought that would still mess you up for sure! That’s certainly good to know. I was craving lemonade today but my body was like, “You’re joking, right?”

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  2. I have leaky gut. It’s horrible. I wake up at night with acid reflux, I sometimes puke out every after a meal… I’m trying to correct it with probiotics and prebiotics. It’s very hard to heal your gut when u get antibiotics at least three times a year. I drink bicarb and water when the acid reflux hits. I have to drink something whenever I eat so I don’t choke. I should also stop carbs and sugar… But I’m getting there

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you struggle so much with GERD and leaky gut. I had leaky gut as well as a teenager, and it was terrible, so I know how difficult that is. My leaky gut syndrome was even part of the reason I had idiopathic anaphylaxis! Do you eat yogurt at all? I have GERD, Celiac and IBS and eating yogurt each morning has helped so, so much. I wonder if that might help you too, of course everyone is different.

      As for the carbs and sugar, I have definitely cut back though as I said in the post, it definitely took me a while to get there. I’ve also found eating healthier carbs helps too. Like switching brown rice for white rice is a really simple thing that made a world of difference. I hope you can heal, dear friend.

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  3. I have had GERD since a teenager and found a few things helpful. 1) Eat small meals regularly during the day, and not eat too late at night. 2) Moderation is key. If its too spicy or oily, avoid it altogether if in a flare state, or eat less of it if the GERD is fairly well controlled. 3) I have to be careful with alcohol as that can trigger acid reflux. 4) Ranitidine!

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    1. Thank you for all the tips! I don’t drink alcohol at all so that isn’t a problem, but I did hear that it can be a major trigger. I have definitely cut back on the spicy and oily (a bummer for me since I love spicy food!) One thing that has helped is trading all cooking oils for coconut oil. It has made a world of difference. I also learned the hard way with the eating late at night thing, I’ve gotten horribly ill that way, but I’ve learned my lesson!

      Lastly, I was taking omeprezole for a while and it ended up making me MORE sick. I had horrible abdominal cramping and my GERD wasn’t controlled at all. I switched to Ranitidine and it has been so much better. Horaay for Ranitidine!

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  4. I have taken omeprazole before. Thought it was OK, didn’t notice a massive difference. Found a combination drug with pantoprazole and domperidone to work much better when my GERD was out of control! I don’t think the latter is legal in the US though. (I used to take it when I lived in India.)

    With any luck, you may not have to give up on spicy foods completely and forever. Just ease up on it until your stomach settles back down a bit, then aim for moderation in the amount of spice you put in the food, and how much of it you eat. Also, not all peppers are the same! I find jalapenos can be bad for acidity but red pepper power to be less bad. So you can experiment a bit to find what peppers suit you best. Wish you the very best!! 🙂

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