My chiropractor also recommended digestive enzymes. I have been taking Terranizime (not sure if that's the correct spelling...) for about 6 months now. It has helped me a lot for LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux). My chiropractor is also a nutritional expert, and trained in many natural methods of healing including accupuncture. She also suggested probiotics (the "good" bacteria found in yogurts) also to aid in digestion. I take a probiotic from a local health food store. It's the store's own label so I don't know what would be similar in another health food store, but there are many probiotics out there to choose from. Probiotics have helped me even more than the digestive enzymes. I also have done a "colon cleanse" in the form of an "intestinal formula" from a company called American Biotanical Pharmacy, also on my chiropractor's recommendation. It was very beneficial. I have found that if I can keep the digestion moving and functioning smoothly, the reflux is greatly reduced. I also have seriously improved my diet with fruits, veggies, and lots of fiber to keep the digestion moving. I still eat my favorite foods also, even orange juice, and tomatos with little effect as long as the digestion keeps moving properly.
Postive results for me did not happen overnight-it took several weeks for any improvement to occur. I am very glad I stuck with it though! I was on Nexium 40 mg. 2x a day for about 9 months and the LPR did improve with drugs, but I was never symptom free as I am now. I stopped taking Nexium and other drugs in July. Even without the Nexium, I have been mostly symptom free as a result of the enzymes, probiotics, diet changes, etc. I am now living my regular ol' life that I had prior to my diagnosis of LPR last year. I have made these "natural remedies" a routine and thus it is not difficult for me at all. I have posted my results with natural remedies for reflux on other threads on the GERD board, but many others do not seem to be as lucky with it as I have been. Unfortunately, my success does not seem to be the answer for all who suffer with this miserable affliction! Best of luck to you in your journey to feeling better. I hope the digestive enzymes work for you too.
Thanks so much for your reply. I, too, have significantly changed my diet to low to non-fat, and cutting out all the reflux no-no's. It gets a little boring (well, a lot boring) but I'd rather feel well.
The Nexium has helped but I don't want to be on it forever. Do I take the enzymes before each meal, during, or after?
I usually take my enzymes with a meal or just after. I even carry a few in a pill box so I will have them when I am eating away from home. I haven't noticed any difference when I take it (before, during, or after food) just so it goes down about the same time as I eat. I take the probiotics on an empty stomach just before bed.
Please post again in a few week and let us know your results with the enzymes. I am always interested in what other people discover that helps them. I have gotten more information from these boards and my chiropractor, than the medical docs who are supposed to be experts in this!
I am going the same route you are with the enzymes, etc., and have for about 5 weeks now because I can't tolerate PPI's and have found this to be much more helpful anyway. I was curious about the timing of taking your probiotics, before bed on an empty stomach. Did your chiropractor suggest this, because I'd been wondering when was the best time to take these. This is whole mess of GERD and LPR is very life-altering and is just miserable dealing with it all the time. I maintain a healthy diet, walk 2 to 3 miles a day, am not overweight and still this just persists.
Amy, to my knowledge it is best to take probiotics at a time of the least amount of acids in your stomach. The bacteria are live and need to remain that way in your digestive system. If you take them with meals/foods your stomach releases acids for digestion and can kill off much of the beneficial bacteria. I choose to take them before bed as I try not to eat for at least 3 hours prior to going to bed. That's a time when my system has digested my dinner and will remain empty for several hours for the bacteria to "do their thing" of re-populating my intestines with the necessary bacteria to digest our foods. I think they can be taken at any time if necessary, some of the bacteria will probably survive the stomach acids and reach the intestines alive, but I like to give the little critters all the advantages I can!
Have you tried a bowel/colon cleanse? It really helped me. It seems if I can keep the digestion moving downward, rather than refluxing upward, it really helps. Also I have noticed when my digestion is "sluggish" the acids seem to back up more. Eventhough I have never had a problem with constipation, if I can keep things moving properly I usually feel fine.
Best of luck to you too in your quest to figure this reflux stuff out. Let us know what you find!
Thanks for all your very helpful info. I'll definitely try the bowel cleanse. I don't have problems with constipation either, but my gastro. doc. had said that part of my problem is a motility issue, and keeping things moving through me, as you have said, would be a definite plus. I'll be having my probiotics before bed tonight. Thanks again!
i tried digestive enzymes but saw no improvement. i took them before dinner tho, cause i figured it'd be best to take them with the food they're gonna help digest, and cause that's when i get the heartburn the worst during the day. i think the instructions said to do that too.
how many a day did you take? i tried one, and then two.
Gunz-so sorry the digestive enzymes have not had much affect on you! I remember we posted about them last spring and you were just thinking about trying them. From reading your posts in several threads, you sure have had your trials with reflux! I am sure you would be delighted for something as simple as digestive enzymes to work for you! Maybe my case of reflux is milder than yours and thus the natural remedies are working fine for me, but don't do you any good. I really do admire you for your continued efforts to find something to give you some relief. I know you have tried so may things without results, but hang in there--something must out there that will help you feel better, you just haven't found it yet!
Mymeka and Amy-I take my enzymes according to the directions on the label. It says to take up to 3 with each meal. I adjust the dosage according to how I feel and the meal I am having. At first I used 2-3 with every meal. Now I am down to just one per meal, or sometimes just a half if I am eating a light meal--ie, I am not a big breakfast eater, usually just a small bowl of oatmeal (no more than a half cup) or a 12 oz glass of a fruit smoothie. I am not a big person (5'4", 115 lbs.) so l really don't need much food to fill me up and thus try to make what I do eat healthy. I have found that if I fill up on junk foods, I don't have room left for anything nutritious, thus don't eat the healthy stuff, and the viscious cycle starts all over again.
Probiotics are beneficial bacterias that our bodies need to aid in digestion and many other functions. They kill off "bad" bacterias, fungus, candida, etc. When the "good" bacteria and the "bad" bacteria are out of balance it can cause problems until the balance is restored. The most common one is acidophollis, that's the "active bacteria" that is found in yogurt. A probiotic supplement contains many varieties of helpful bacteria, usually including but not limited to acidophollis.
I have had GERD ever since I had my Gallbladder removed in 1999 and have been taking Prilosec ever since. I have tried to stop this but I am having rebound GERD as a result and I am considering taking digestive enzymes now as a more natural approach.
Question - I have a very sensitive stomach and GI tract. Do the enzymes have any side effects when you start them? Nausea or diarrhea? Should I start slowly and also, which ones are best to take? My health food store has quite a selection to choose from.
I love yogurt-especially any vanilla yogurt. I eat it almost daily with berries on top and sprinkled with a little granola. I have no problem digesting it and it does not seem to effect my LPR at all.
Also I have had no problem with any side effects at all with digestive enzyme supplements. I am taking a supplement called Super Digestyme, from a company called Terranizyme. (Sorry the spelling of that may not be correct.) I get them from my Chiropractor and don't know if they are available from health food stores.
As with anything though, you may be different. You may want to do start off with just a little bit to see how it effects your system. Also a general web search of digestive enzymes may give you valuable information, even if it's a site that sells supplements you can glean a lot of knowledge by comparing brands etc. to find something you think is a good fit for your individual life style and what you believe will be the most beneficial for you. Unfortunately, trial and error seems to be the only way to go after you have researched as much as possible, and as with most things you may need to try a few different supplements before you find what works best.