Benefits of Coconut Oil for Acid Reflux

A friend of mine reminded me of the benefits of coconut oil when it comes to dealing with acid reflux.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed mixing it in my hot tea, which is one way to get it in your diet.

Image result for coconut oil images

However, I am on a recovery mission so I am taking it straight from the teaspoon three times a day.

Cure Acid Reflux with Coconut Oil

When the esophageal sphincter fails to contract, it allows gastric acids to move from the stomach upward. This causes a burning sensation in the lower chest and throat known as acid reflux. Certain research reveals that acid reflux may be caused by bacteria that grows in the stomach. According to surveys, nearly half of all Americans experience the chest pain, bloating, and burping associated with acid reflux, or heartburn, at some point in their lives.

Various symptoms of acid reflux include gas, chest pain or heart burn, burping, bloating, bitter taste, experiencing uneasiness in lying down or bending.

There are plenty of commercial heartburn medicines available, but their effects are short-lived and they often cause unwanted side effects. Why bother wasting time and money on those when you can treat and prevent acid reflux with coconut oil?

Coconut Oil Helps To Reduce Acid Reflux

  • Coconut oil coats the throat and digestive tract, reducing burning sensations and other irritation caused by acid reflux.
  • The lauric acid in coconut oil is a natural antiseptic that kills the fungus and bacteria that cause acid reflux.
  • Overeating causes acid reflux because our stomachs struggle to break down large amounts of quickly consumed food. When taken before meals, coconut oil prevents overeating by making you feel full. This also helps you lose weight.
  • The medium chain triglycerides (MTCs) in coconut oil are easily digestible and they offer numerous health benefits.
  • Because it is alkaline, coconut oil neutralizes acid, reduces inflammation, and helps repair tissue damage caused by heartburn.
  • Coconut oil triggers the production of chloride, which is essential for the production of stomach acid which helps for proper digestion.

 

This is the brand that I’m using.  I’ll admit that at first taking it straight from the teaspoon is a little strange feeling.  Starting out with a smaller amount or mixing it in a hot beverage will work just fine too.

Image result for coconut oil images

 

If you suffer from acid reflux, try some coconut oil, it has helped me and it probably will help you too.

Till next time,

Lori

Day Three – No Prilosec

For more than 20 years I’ve taken prilosec (or the generic, omeprazole).  I was prescribed the medicine when I went to the doctor for stomach pain. He suggested that it could be stomach ulcers and ordered some upper GI testing.  Back then you drank this horrible thick pink liquid and then lay face down on a table that tilted you back and forth like a lava lamp.  It was a very awkward procedure to say the least.

Thankfully no ulcers were found, but the pain persisted so we continued with the testing and finally found that my gal bladder was full of stones and needed to be removed.

After having my gal bladder removed I tried to stop the prilosec but by then it was in my system and trying to stop it caused terrible reflux and heartburn.  It was easier just to stay on it and the doctor agreed.  Remember this was more than 20 years ago…

Fast forward to today and I am on my third day of not taking prilosec.

It’s been seven weeks since I began this process of weaning myself off the drug.

I started this process after going to the doctor a few months ago for stomach pain.  Ironic huh 🙂   My doctor wanted to run some test but I couldn’t be seen by the specialist for about six months and in the mean time “we could up the dose of prilosec if I wanted to”   That’s when I made the decision to look into options for myself and do what I could on my own.

Last week was the last step down dose of the prilosec of each week removing 25 of the 200 little balls in a 40mg omeprazole (generic prilosec) capsule.  I have spoken to other people with the same dosage but their capsules have only 36 little balls.  They made the decision to reduce it by 6 little balls each week.

Side note:  I have to admit that I chuckle a little bit every time I type “little balls”  It’s just funny.  Yes I’m 12 years old. 🙂

Anyway….  I have had some moderate discomfort with heartburn and a couple instances of reflux, but in total disclosure I have to admit that I’ve been a little bad in regards to my diet (pizza and wine) and lets go ahead and add portion control to the mix too, all of which is probably more the cause of my discomfort instead of the absence of the medicine.

I’ve also decided to add probiotic to may daily regimen.  Following is a list of the supplements I’m taking now and I’ve included some information on all of them from Dr. Amy Myers with mindbodygreen.

Probiotics
Our gut is full of “good”and friendly bacteria that help us properly break down and digest our food. They help keep our gut in check and prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from overgrowth. Unfortunately, these friendly bacteria can be depleted and disrupted by taking antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, eating a poor diet, and many other factors. Taking a highly concentrated dose (25-100 billion units a day) of probiotics on a daily basis can help you regain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is fundamental to the well-being of the digestive and immune systems. Glutamine is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by leaky gut, and reducing sugar cravings. I recommend 3-5 grams a day.

Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are plant or microbial-based supplements that support the breakdown, absorption, and utilization of macronutrients. Taken with meals, they work with the body’s own reduced supply of enzymes to achieve maximum digestion and support intestinal repair mechanisms.

Slippery Elm
It might have kind of a strange name, but slippery elm has been used as an effective gut healer for centuries in the United States. This supplement both contains mucilage and stimulates nerve endings in the body’s intestinal tract to increase natural mucus secretion, which is an instrumental part of the stomach’s protective lining and helps combat ulcers and excessive acidity in the digestive system. It also contains important antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel symptoms.

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
DGL is an herb that has been used for over 3,000 years in the treatment of digestive issues including ulcers and indigestion. It’s made from whole licorice, but the manufacturing process includes the removal of glycyrrhizin, which can cause an elevation in blood pressure. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum.

 

Like I said before, this will be a lifetime process of being aware of my diet and the triggers that cause discomfort.  Also managing portion control, properly chewing my food and not eating two hours before bedtime.

These are things I should have been doing all along and I suppose we can chalk that up to being another side effect of the PPI drugs.  Being able to over eat and basically eat anything I wanted because I could just take a pill for any discomfort it caused me.   Think about that for a minute.  How crazy is that?

It makes me wonder if there was a pill that cured cancer how many people would start smoking (again).

Now that I’ve had to pay attention to the foods I eat and when I eat them I have learned that if I start my day on the “right track” then the rest of the day goes well.  The “right track” for me is a breakfast of mostly protein and very little, if any grains.  Luckily we are blessed daily by our chickens with fresh eggs and I have a freezer full of sausage and bacon from our hogs.  Cereal, over night oats and muffins for breakfast are out (for now anyway).

The most important factor about dinner is timing and portion control.  I try very hard to make sure that dinner is finished at least 2 hours before bedtime and I also make sure that my portions are in check by using a salad plate as my dinner plate.  I also drink very little fluids with dinner usually just sipping on some water.

This is my plan for the next 30 days…  Now that I’ve stopped the prilosec I will continue the L-Glutamine and probiotics in the  mornings, DGL licorice before meals, digestive enzymes after meals and slippery elm as needed.

The anxiety…  I’ve said that this process hasn’t been that difficult, and I’m proud of myself for doing it the right way and including the supplements allowing me to wean off the drugs and heal my gut at the same time.  What I haven’t talked about in my blogs is the anxiety associated with it.   If you’ve taken any of these PPI medications, then you know how effective they are in preventing heart burn and reflux.  And I’m betting you also know how painful the heartburn and reflux can be when you miss a dose.  It can be excruciating!  I don’t know one person who isn’t to some degree afraid of pain.  This is what can cause the anxiety.  I’ve asked the Z Man many times… what if it doesn’t work… what if I make it worse…. what if I can’t do it…  what if……

This is where I need to say Thank You to the Z Man for his support and encouragement through this.  Thank You My Love! 🙂

While I was worried about the possible discomfort and pain, what’s worse is the fear of the terribly damaging side effects of these drugs that made me want to finish this.

I’m sorry this post got so long and I want to thank you for letting me share my experience with you, it has inspired me to do the research, to learn more and to make better choices for us.   Thank you! 🙂

Have a great day,

Till Next Time,

Lori

 

 

Omeprazole Update

Today is the beginning of week 7 of weaning myself off Omeprazole.  I have to say that it really hasn’t been bad at all.  I believe the L-Glutamine and digestive enzymes have helped it go smoothly.  After reading the book Eat Dirt by Dr. Axe I have self diagnosed myself with leaky gut syndrome.

Here is a little information on leaky direct from Dr. Axe’s book Eat Dirt:

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through. Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system. 

When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability), the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to.

Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your bloodstream causing an immune reaction.

Leaky Gut Symptoms and Progression

This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain
  • Syndrome X

Dr. Axe also states in his book that leaky gut can be attributed to long term usage of medicines such as Nexium, Prilosec, Omeprazole (generic Prilosec).  Well hello, I’ve been taking Prilosec or Omeprazole for over 20 years.

A few things I’ve learned while weaning off of the Omeprazole are:

  • Daily stomach pain, cramping and bloating is not normal.
  • Portion control of every meal is important in eliminating acid reflux.  This was especially hard for me because I’ve never specifically portioned food, I just filled the imaginary sections of the plate.  I also ate untill I was full, which by that time was too late, I had already overeaten.
  • Drinking a good amount of water through out the day, but limit beverages during meals.
  • Allow plenty of time for digestion before bedtime and try to prop yourself up a bit when sleeping.  I start out that way but end up always sliding down in the bed during the night.

So this is where I am in the process.  Last week I did experience some discomfort but it was directly related to some foods that I ate.  I can add white pasta to the list of things that are difficult for me to digest.    I did fine with the honey wheat bread I made, and honestly I didn’t have any issue with the buns I bought for our hamburgers, so I don’t believe it’s a gluten intolerance.  But something about boxed white pastas causes me discomfort.  Looks like I’m going to need the pasta attachment for my kitchen aid. 😉

I’ve been putting some probiotic fermented whey lemonade in my morning water.  I got my recipe for fermented whey lemonade from http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/ I love her website as it is filled with a lot of great information and videos.

This is going to be a long, well actually it’s going to be a lifetime process for me.  Changing my diet from where it was to where it needs to be with organic real foods, quality over quantity and eliminating the chemicals from our lives as much as possible.

Today I started the lower dosage of removing 175 of the 200 little balls in the 40mg Omeprazole capsule, which means in next week I’ll start the every other day process for a week and then hopefully I’ll have completed the weaning process ( I hope, I hope, I hope).

Have A Great Day!

Till Next Time,

Lori

 

 

April Goals and Little Balls

It’s time to start thinking about April’s goals.  As I mentioned in a previous post a group of friends and I set goals for ourselves each month.  Monthly goals for me are easier to focus on rather than 3 or 4 or 12 goals for the entire year all made on January 1st, which are usually forgotten about and / or given up on by the end of March.

My big goal or resolution if you will for 2016 was to quit smoking.  I had also set a smaller goal to get some exercise in to try and offset the 20# “quit” gain.  So far so good with those goals.  And on a side note, I have to admit that the smell of cigarette smoke disgust me so much now that it’s hard for me to believe that I ever smoked.  How cool is that?

My April challenge / goal is to kick the Omeprazole.  If you’ve been reading my blog then you know I started my April challenge in March.  But I’ll be refining it in April to include daily exercise, keeping a food journal of what I can and can’t eat, when I can and can’t eat, and slowly lowering the dose of the medicine.

All the research that I’ve done so far indicates that there really isn’t one diet that fits all, especially in this area of trying to heal the gut and prevent GERD.  There are many different opinions out there about what foods to eat and what foods not to eat.   But one thing that does seem consistent in the research is eating habits that will help.  Such as smaller portions, eat less but a little more frequent, drink plenty of water, but don’t drink beverages with your meals, go for a little walk after your meals if you can, and don’t eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.  Also there is a consensus that there are specific triggers for GERD and should be avoided.  Chocolate, Alcohol, Mint, Coffee, Caffeine and Smoking.

There is a lot of information out there on different ways of lowering the Omeprazole dosage.  This is what I’ve done.  Each of my capsules is 40mg which has approximately 190 to 200 microscopic little pain in the ass to count balls in them.

Yes, I did that, I opened a capsule and counted the little microscopic balls of one pill and decided that it would be a fair assumption that every pill would have the same number of balls in them.  Think about that for a minute.    You probably have the same look on your face that the Z Man was giving me.  That side eye look like “what the hell is she doing now”

Anyway… I removed 50 of the little microscopic little balls and closed the capsule back up.  Then I repeated this process for 6 more pills.   See where I’m going with this?  This is what I have in mind….

  • 3/27 – 4/2  capsule with 150 little balls
  • 4/3 – 4/9  capsule with 125 little balls
  • 4/10 – 4/16  capsule with 100 little balls
  • 4/17 – 4/23  capsule with 75 little balls
  • 4/24 – 4/30 capsule with 50 little balls
  • 5/1 – 5/7  I will take a capsule with 50 little balls in it every other day.  Then DONE!

And I am fully aware that after I’ve counted out all these microscopic little balls for a month that I will probably be in need of some other form of medication for my insanity, but hey, we’ll cross that bridge then.

So, that’s my challenge for April.  I’m going to be playing with a lot of little balls all month.  WOW, did I really just type that?

What’s you April challenge going to be?

Till Next Time,

Lori