Wednesday, July 23, 2008

April 2008 - Gastroparesis or Hypochlorhydria?

In April, I sat down with the gastroenterologist to discuss my experiences with the treatment and how I was feeling.

The truth was that I wasn’t feeling that much better. My stomach still did not feel well or normal. We decided it would be best to go ahead and do an endoscopy right away and see if she could discover what was going on. Plus, at the same time, she would confirm whether the H. Pylori had been completely eradicated and whether I was having any Celiac disease issues. The endoscopy was scheduled for that same week.

I went in for the procedure and as soon as I came out of it, sick to my stomach and groggy from the sedatives, Michael informed me that the doctor had told him that I had gastroparesis because she had discovered food in my stomach during the procedure (and there shouldn’t have been any), and that I needed to start a low fiber diet. Gastroparesis is a condition where your stomach does not properly digest the food and the food sits in there too long, eventually causing other problems. Gastroparesis is most typically associated with people who are diabetic; of which I am not.

They had handed my husband some generic paper with lists of foods that I should and should not eat and an appointment card dated a couple of weeks away for me to come have a follow up appointment and discussion about the procedure and results.

I was flabbergasted! How had I gone from a slight case of gastritis, to a terrible case of H. Pylori bacteria, to then being diagnosed with gastroparesis?! And the doctor didn’t seem to be concerned as to WHY I had gastroparesis, just that now I needed to eat a low fiber diet. And then surely in the future she would also be the one to tell me that I had also gotten colon cancer since I hadn’t been able to eat enough fiber. Ugh!

I was totally confused and became quite depressed about the diagnosis for the first few days. The refined diet seemed a horrible thing to me and even more terrible because I had no reasons WHY I was having this problem and good enough reason to eat that way. I am the type of person that likes to get to the root of the matter—treating health symptoms is idiotic! That will never heal anyone; it will only make things worse in the long run.

I began my own research. Thank GOD! for the internet resources that are available to us these days. I researched gastroparesis and read and read. As I read, I didn’t seem to really connect with symptoms and issues that were related to gastroparesis. It just did not seem right at all. I joined a gastroparesis yahoo group and I couldn’t believe how much worse most of the people on there had it compared to me. These people had severe gastroparesis issues—in comparison with them, I had nothing; I was healthy. But I was led to join that group for one email that would spur my search in another direction. Someone mentioned about the fact that often times people who are told they have too much acid production and are given acid reducers are actually suffering from too LITTLE acid production. The symptoms are practically identical to each other.

I switched tracks and pursued learning more about too little acid production, hypochlorhydria. Did I find a wealth of information! Amazing! As I began reading the symptoms of hypochlorydria, I could actually truly relate with them and all that was being said about it. I became SO excited and filled with hope! I sensed that I had hit the jack pot—the root of my stomach problems! H. Pylori, improper digestion of food, stomach pains, etc. all went right along with too little acid production.

Yahooo!!! On to where that search led me and where I am today…

22 comments:

  1. I just found your blog. I too was diagnosed with gastroparesis a couple months ago. I had endoscopy before my gastric emptying test and they found nothing wrong with me. Neither did an abdominal ultra-sound. It was not until the gastric-emptying study that they diagnosed GP. My symptoms are *only* bad reflux and getting full too quickly.

    See my blog for details (first post at the bottom gives the history)...

    http://gpandme.blogspot.com

    I appreciate advice.

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  2. I am SOOOOO grateful for your blog! Your story is almost the exact same as mine! After the h.pylori eradication I was still feeling sick....and now waiting to hear back from my gastric empty test for gastroparesis! Before all this ....antibiodics....PPIs...I NEVER had issues with digestion. Your story has inspired me to make my appointment with the naturopathic doctor I was interested in!!

    I am also going to purchase the YOGI tea you blogged about.

    Thank you for posting inspiring information!! You don't know how refreshing it is to hear positive stories that are similar to mine!

    I am grateful! I have been praying for some positive and inspiring news and I found your blog today.

    God bless :)

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  3. Crystal,

    I am thrilled that my blog may be of help to you in some way and at the very least, inspire you to seek some different avenues on how to resolve your stomach problems. This is the very reason why I decided to have a blog about my experience. I would love to hear back from you in the future and see how things progress after your visit to the naturopath.

    May God bless you also!

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  4. i'm in a similar boat. but i can drastically reduce discomfort by arching my back and laying on my left side. what does this mean?????

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    1. Laying on the left side definitely helps reduce heartburn discomfort! I believe it has to do with the way the stomach positions itself when we are on our left side. I've seen some articles that talk about studies done with people that prove the fact that laying on your left side reduces heartburn discomfort.

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  5. Hello there,
    I was looking up your how to clean a burnt crock pot and noticed H.pylori across the screen. So I decided to click on it since I was diagnosed with this last year after 5 years of suffering and no one able to help me. After that amount of time, my hormones shut down as well as my thyroid. Trust me... I was a complete mess!!! I decided to see a naturalist and he was able to diagnose me after he ran a few test. WOW!!! Finally an answer I said. Although, I had to be put on a very strict diet of no gluten, no dairy and no soy. Pretty much just fruits, veggies and rice. It's been a long process but finally I feel like my old self again... my energy is through the roof and my happiness is amazing. I was put on a list of natural supplements to kill the H.Pylori. I still to this day follow my gluten free diet but I do enjoy a piece of dessert every week :)

    Thank you for sharing and hope all is well with you!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry I just saw your comment! For some reason, I am not getting all the notifications telling me that I have comments on this blog. Please accept my sincerest apologies. I'm not sure if you will see my reply now, but I'm giving it a shot anyway.

      I am so happy for you that you were able to see the naturalist and get the help you needed! Would you be willing to share what supplements you used to kill the H. Pylori? I came across Mastic Gum and it is said to hep eradicate H. Pylori. Did you use Mastic Gum?

      I am doing well at the moment. I began making my own kombucha and sauerkraut in the past year and that has also helped to keep my digestive system functioning well and healthy. I need to take some time and do some updates of my journey. Hopefully, I will be able to do so soon. Thank you for your comment!

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  6. Hi Mary Ann, I have been diagnosed with very mild Gastroparesis (stomach is 25-30 minutes slow) on a gastric emptying scan. I also have a family history of low stomach acid that I have yet to test for.

    How is your gastroparesis doing now that you are treating the low acid?

    Could you please email me at bsbell89@yahoo.com I have been struggling a long time and just cant seem to find an solid answer.

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    1. I have been doing mostly very well since I received that Gastroparesis diagnosis back in 2008 and focused on treating my low stomach acid. Off and on I struggle some with renewed problems with my stomach hurting. I have to be really careful with my diet, what I eat, how much, and when I eat.

      Along with supplementing with the Betaine HCl, I’ve placed more focus on eating fermented foods (like sauerkraut) and drinking fermented drinks (like kombucha and water kefir). Since I’m consuming so much of these products, I’ve resorted to making them myself which saves me a lot of money.

      I highly recommend you do a research on fermented foods and how they affect digestive health. They are truly an amazing help!

      If you would like for me to be specific and give you more info about the fermented foods and drinks, don’t hesitate to email again and let me know. And please be sure to check these two posts with some recommendations

      http://theacidtruth.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-recommendations-for-probiotics-and.html
      http://theacidtruth.blogspot.com/2013/11/email-q-from-november-22-2013.html#more

      Wishing you the best,
      MaryAnn

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  7. hi mary ann. I am 24 year old female. back in feb 2014 I got h pylori. I took the prevpac and successfully eradicted h pylori via breath test and then an endoscope done about 6months later. I still have problems with my stomach. my gi doc wouldn't listen to me when I told him I thought I didn't have enough stomach acid. after the 4th dr..I just gave in and started taking a PPI, what every dr was telling me I needed to be on. So I got on it and im on the 12th day and I feel worse. been starting to get bad stomach aches a couple hours after eating and almost to the point where I vomit. I feel like the ppi is making me start to have gastroparesis. my symptoms before the ppi were heartburn, stomach upset, sometimes couldn't eat after 6 without feeling like I had some type of food poisoning.

    can you please email me. ksierra6557@yahoo.com

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    1. I am so sorry to hear about your struggles! And I want to offer any help I can. I will email you very soon. I am currently about to put my house up for sale and things are crazy and stressful. Thank you for your patience. I will email you soon!

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    2. I'm so sorry I couldn't give you a proper reply last year! Life was overwhelming. Have you found the answers and help you were looking for? Let me know if there's any info I can provide now. Again, my greatest apologies for not being able to help last year.

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  8. So do you treat your gsstroparesis completely naturally? I am so excited if.you do! I have seen great improvements with hcl but not 100percent yet.

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    1. I'm glad you were able to connect with me in Messenger. I hope you are getting the answers you are desperately seeking. Let me know if I can offer any other info.

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  9. I'm so confused! Like you, my gastroparesis was diagnosed after my gastroenterologist saw food in my stomach during endoscopy, despite it having been 19 hrs since I had eaten. But I've been wondering if my problem is really low acid, though, instead of GP, and just not digesting well due to lack of adequate acid. But then I read the following excerpt from a GP article on a very credible digestive disease facility website: "Drugs to reduce acid secretion may also alleviate some of the symptoms of gastroparesis. When the stomach remains full, acid is produced almost continuously. Fluid is also secreted into the stomach along with the acid and may contribute to fullness, bloating and vomiting. Tagamet, Zantac and other H2RAs (Histamine receptor antagonists) are usually not potent enough to turn off the acid in this condition. Most patients require a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, or Protonix, sometimes in rather high doses." I know that the extreme fullness I feel for hours and hours after eating too much is often relieved when I take 300mg of Zantac, so I could truly have GP, making the info in the above excerpt a lot of sense. What do you think of this relative to your situation and theory re low acid? I just don't know what to think about too little or too much stomach acid, and which way to go about treating myself! My endoscopy also showed mild chronic gastritis and 3 minor ulcers (scratches the doctor said), so the thought of supplementing with betaine HCL scares the begeebies outta me! Your thoughts?

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  10. I'm so confused! Like you, my gastroparesis was diagnosed after my gastroenterologist saw food in my stomach during endoscopy, despite it having been 19 hrs since I had eaten. But I've been wondering if my problem is really low acid, though, instead of GP, and just not digesting well due to lack of adequate acid. But then I read the following excerpt from a GP article on a very credible digestive disease facility website: "Drugs to reduce acid secretion may also alleviate some of the symptoms of gastroparesis. When the stomach remains full, acid is produced almost continuously. Fluid is also secreted into the stomach along with the acid and may contribute to fullness, bloating and vomiting. Tagamet, Zantac and other H2RAs (Histamine receptor antagonists) are usually not potent enough to turn off the acid in this condition. Most patients require a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, or Protonix, sometimes in rather high doses." I know that the extreme fullness I feel for hours and hours after eating too much is often relieved when I take 300mg of Zantac, so I could truly have GP, making the info in the above excerpt a lot of sense. What do you think of this relative to your situation and theory re low acid? I just don't know what to think about too little or too much stomach acid, and which way to go about treating myself! My endoscopy also showed mild chronic gastritis and 3 minor ulcers (scratches the doctor said), so the thought of supplementing with betaine HCL scares the begeebies outta me! Your thoughts?

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  11. Hi Jo! Thank you for commenting. I will give you a very thorough reply tomorrow afternoon after work. I understand your concerns and hope what I've learned and share with you tomorrow will be of help.

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  12. Hi Jo!

    All my thoughts, comments, and suggestions I share here come from everything I've learned from personal experience and personal research and holistic education. I am not a doctor. I am a life and nutritional coach.

    I encourage you to follow your instincts about your stomach and lacking adequate acid. Do more research and try some things and see how you react.

    You did not mention what website you quoted from but typical sites talking about GP or acid reflux are going to be full of mainstream medical/pharmaceutical thought. Thoughts highly influenced by pharmaceutical companies' encouragement that too much acid causes acid reflux and therefore must be treated with acid reducing drugs. Drugs, that by the way, were not safety tested for the extensive long term use by which the general population is taking them today. Recent articles have even come out stating that long term use of acid reducing medications can lead to dementia or Alzheimers.

    When I felt so awful and actually followed my doctor's orders to take Protonix back in 2007, my stomach did feel somewhat better, though I still felt there was something off. However, after doing all my research I came to believe that even though Protonix was being a temporary band-aid, it was not going to help the root of my problems and that eventually it would only worsen them or lead me to some other poor health condition.

    It definitely sounds like you need healing in your digestive tract. One of the most important things we can do for that is to take note of our diet and what we are eating. It is helpful to keep a food journal and write what we eat and then how we feel right after and a few hours after. That helps us start to discover which foods aggravate our digestive discomfort so that we can avoid them. Our bodies are sensitive to certain foods and we can also have developed food allergies that do not make us break out in hives or have anaphalactic shock, but they makes us feel sick from within.

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  13. Aloe vera is very soothing to the digestive tract. I love the Lily of the Valley Whole Leaf aloe juice without any preservatives. Try taking an ounce in the morning and another ounce in the afternoon or evening. Be aware that taking too much aloe will lead to diarrhea.

    You can also try DGL before meals. That is deglycyrrhizinated licorice. It is very soothing to irritated stomachs and ulcers. I use the Enzymatic Therapy brand. it's a chewable tablet.

    Avoid eating too much food at once and getting "stuffed". It makes our stomach work harder.

    Avoid eating too late in the afternoon or evening. I do not eat past 6:30 p.m. Our digestive system works best earlier in the day and begins to slow down in the afternoon and evening.

    If you are afraid of starting with Betaine HCl (I'm now using the Pure Encapsulations brand), you can start by using some digestive enzymes. I'm to the point now where I mostly use the enzymes and use very little Betaine HCl. Digestive enzymes help your stomach break down the food, especially while it is compromised with low acid or ulcers or inflammation (gastritis). I use the Garden of Life Qzyme Ultra. I do take more than the recommended dose. If my meal is heavy, like dinner with lots of protein and or fats, I take 3 of them. You will have to experiment with your dosage and what helps and works for you.

    There are SO many things you can try at first other than the Betaine HCl. Before you try Betaine, you can do more research about it and using it. And whenever you do decide to give that a try, take it easy. Always take it with your meals. Start with one pill at a time and see how you feel. If you have been using acid reducing medication regularly, you will have to wean off of it or you will experience negative withdrawal symptoms and intense feelings of acid reflux.

    My other suggestions to you are to do your own research outside of the mainstream medical system, therefore also outside of pharmaceutical companies' influence:

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    1. Thank you for the info and suggestions. I will start with digestive enzymes and see what happens.

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    2. You're very welcome! Hope you saw my other two replies after this one. I had to post separately.

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  14. Read the book Why Stomach Acid is Good for You

    Go to website https://chriskresser.com and search for "acid reflux" and "gerd" and "leaky gut" and get his free e-book on acid reflux

    Go to website mercola.com and do a search on "acid reflux" and "gerd" and "leaky gut"

    Read a couple of articles at this link: http://functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/category/acid-reflux/

    Go to website http://scdlifestyle.com and search "acid reflux" and "gerd" and "leaky gut"

    I hope this info helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

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