I'm new to this board. I joined for a few reasons, one of which is to share some new techniques that I have discovered that have improved my symptoms.
First, let me share that I have non-acid reflux. I am on 20mg of Omeprazole twice daily, and 40 mg of Pantaprazole once daily. This is a very high dose of proto-pump inhibitors which does the job of minimizing my stomach acid.
My problem right now is that I still have severe reflux. My LES does not close any more, and so stomach contents routinely enter my throat causing serious discomfort and all the symptoms you all already know about.
The most serious of those symptoms is that for 13 days I was unable to sleep because I would aspirate reflux just as I was drifting off. (I got a total of 13 hours sleep over 13 days).
As you can imagine, I was desperate! I tried some things, and amazingly, I found some that worked. I have now slept well for a few weeks, and I wanted to share my findings. After that, I'll share a few funny things I tried that didn't work
Many people have talked about fiber. When I was first becoming symptomatic, I stopped taking my daily Fiber supplement, and I got some relief. Since then, I have been afraid to take any fiber, fearing a worsening of my symptoms. Here's what I tried that actually helped
I did these 3 things, and my symptoms are gone (not always gone, but gone around midnight, and until I eat in the morning, so I have relief enough to sleep):
1 - For a while, I had stopped eating anything after dinner. I didn't, however, stop drinking water.
The first thing that helped was that I started to drink water ONLY on an empty stomach. That means, when I wake up, I drink a bottle of water, wait 20 minutes, then have breakfast. I don't drink again until 20 minutes before lunch.
I drink my last sip of water 20 minutes before I eat dinner. By midnight, my reflux is much less severe than it was before I started this.
2- FIBER - when I lie down, I take a capsule of Metamucil (Psyllium Husk, soluble fiber). I take this WITHOUT WATER (I actually have a tiny tiny sip of water to swallow it). I know that one is not supposed to take psyllium husk without ample water, but the purpose of my taking it is to absorb the excess liquid in my stomach.
I then wait 10 minutes, and repeat with a second capsule. I then wait 10 more minutes and repeat if necessary with a third capsule. I've done this 4 times now, and I've needed 2 capsules once, and 3 the other 3 times.
I had been afraid to take fiber for years, but I realized that the fiber forms a gel in my stomach, and drinking water AFTER I take the fibre causes reflux, but if the fibre is the LAST thing I take, it actually does absorb the acid and stomach juices and somehow creates a barrier so they don't come up into my throat when I lie down.
This post is already very long, and there are many parts of my story that I would like to elaborate on, but these 2 things were the main things I wanted to get out both to help others and to see if anyone else gets relief trying this.
3- The third thing that I have done, which is much less important but has provided relief, is that I got a medical marijuana card, and I have smoked some pot for the purpose of drying out my mouth and throat. When I was a kid, I had smoked pot, and I always hated the pasty mouth. Now, with all the phlegm that my reflux creates, I wanted to see if getting rid of saliva would help. It is uncomfortable, especially with my new rules about not drinking water after dinner, but it also does dry out my stomach, and seems to make the other two suggestions work a bit better.
I'd suggest that #3 is not necessary, but I put it out there because I know that many of you are as desperate as I was/am, and it does somewhat help me. Final thoughts
I am on such a high prescription dose because I am getting a Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication next week. I'm very scared. I can't go on with this regiment for managing my symptoms, because at the very best, I know all the medication is bad for me, and I am still symptomatic all day.
I've not done myself any favors, I think, by reading the posts from other users about their surgery that have gone wrong. I guess I hope that at least someone will benefit from the experimenting I've done. I've suffered for years. At least this phase will come to an end soon. I hope it's the right decision.
Best! (I'll post some other funny ideas that I tried that DIDN'T work, later