HealthBoards (
-   Digestive Disorders (
-   -   sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat? (

Melissa, Oregon 08-02-2004 02:05 PM

sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat?
Just read a letter in the paper from someone who's thrown away all her medicine and now just chews a piece of sugarless gum to relieve GERD symptoms. Feedback?

Also, since I'm going through a phase now where nothing seems to be working, would appreciate your list of "safe" or comforting foods. Anything you know you can eat without problem? Anything you can take that helps right away? Am keeping a journal. How long after eating a trigger food do your symptoms occur? If I get an attack in the afternoon, could it be from the coffee I had with breakfast, and not necessarily the yogurt I had at lunch?

If it's helpful, I think I'm one of those with GERD/hiatal hernia that doesn't have heartburn, just chest pain, bloating, strangled throat.

Deda 08-02-2004 05:55 PM

Re: sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat?
Hi Melissa--

I had been told by a close girlfriend of mine, (she read) that gum chewing is supposed to help, as it produces more saliva. So of course I ran out and purchased a ton of sugar free gum. Has it helped? maybe a little, I can't really tell. My GERD symptoms had been super horrible up until about a week ago. Seems to be the nature of the beast, I can be in the worst pain for weeks, (like you, really severe chest symptoms, shortness of breath even, sometimes I even wheeze a little), and then it settles down for a few days, sometimes even weeks, and then starts up again. I think mine is aggravated by my hypothyroid problem, (that's when it started) and now that my thyroid levels are getting better, my GERD is getting better. At least I hope that's what's going on.

Let's see, diet...Well as much as I hated to, I have stopped drinking coffee. Well, at least coffee with acid. I was in so much pain that I gave up my favorite thing in the world--coffee. But I missed it so much after 2 months, (I was depressed w/o it), that now I purchase acid free coffee online. It's acid free decaf, and it's not bad. I have also stopped all citric foods, oranges, O. J., (which I loved), even my vitamin C supplements. Also all tomato products, you know, spaghetti sauces, salsas, barbeque sauces, etc. Oh, and onions, garlic, spices, etc.

I eat very plain, bland foods now. I know, yuk, but you do get used to it. I find that eating apples makes me feel better when my stomach feels acidy. Also scrambled eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, I still eat pasta, but with a little margarine instead of sauce. I eat lean meats, chicken, fish, lots of veggies, salad bars, etc. Baked potatoes are good, lunchmeat sandwiches, tuna. Just avoid the acids, and spicy foods are out of the question too! I take my Prilosec now, (that's what's working this week, sometimes Protonix) as soon as I get up, with a glass of aloe Vera juice, and I also drink about 3 or 4 glasses of that a day. Not big glasses, but like 6 ounces or so. Also I know "they" say not to have carbonated drinks, which I didn't for a long long time, but now I do, and I noticed that diet sprite, 7-Up, ginger ale, little glasses of that sipped slowly throughout the day seem to help it all feel better. I also take Calcium and magnesium. And most of all, I don't go long periods without eating, or it can really get bad. When I say long periods, for me that would be like 2 or 3 hours max. I don't have to eat a large meal either, sometimes just an apple or pear, some popcorn, a packet of instant oatmeal, anything to keep that acid from starting up.

I hope that helps a little. My heart goes out to everyone with this miserable condition, it sucks and it's so painful it's unbelievable!! :eek:
And I pray about it a lot too! :)
God bless you...

Melissa, Oregon 08-02-2004 08:14 PM

Thanks Deda!
I appreciate your suggestions and sympathy. Guess I just need to reconcile myself to having this from here on out. This has all been so weird, as I don't believe I ever had heartburn even once before all this started, and used to be able to eat anything. Walked right on by that whole antacid aisle in the drugstore. I am losing weight, guess that's good, but it's awful being afraid to eat.

Deda 08-02-2004 08:44 PM

Re: sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat?

It sure is awful being afraid to eat. I miss dining out with my husband and eating anything and everything I wanted. I miss sitting around coffee shops and talking while sipping coffee too, that was always a fun and relaxing thing to do.

Hey, don't say this is from here on out. We never know for sure, and I have heard of people getting it under control, I really have. In fact, I really wonder about having had this back in '83, when I was only 28. I was going through a horribly stressful period in my life, my mother had just passed away one year before, we were in the military then and moved from Ark. to N. CA, and having major marital problems at the time. I remember I was having terrible anxiety, I was worried about so many things in my life at that time. Back then I worried TOO MUCH about everything. I remember having these same symptoms...the gnawing pain in my stomach, starving feeling...I had NO idea then what it was!! And I worried about that like crazy! It was for a few months and it finally went away. Now I have those symptoms again, and know that it's reflux. Again, it started when I got this hypothyroid/autoimmune disease, and was so worried at the time this disease started. I'm trying to learn to relax now. (I also quit smoking when this started) Talk about stress! I bought a relaxation CD for women the other day, and I'm trying to put aside time daily for meditation and relaxing, and prayer. Stress and worry makes everything worse, it really does. And I know it's hard to accept this horrible thing, but really try to work on relaxation, deep breathing, what ever helps you totally relax. Try not to let it ruin your life, out think it, if you can. :nono: It won't always be this bad. I know it's hard, but please try.
Good luck..

Melissa, Oregon 08-03-2004 10:45 AM

Re: sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat?
Thanks again, Deda. Don't know what I'd do without this forum. I'm off to hunt for low-acid coffee and ginger ale.

Deda 08-03-2004 12:08 PM

Re: sugar free gum? What the heck can I eat?
Good luck Melissa! And I don't know if you'll be able to find the acid-free coffee in a shop or not. I had searched all over and finally gave up and bought it online. Type it into a search box. I order it and it gets here in a few days. :) I've also started drinking mild teas and they don't seem to bother my stomach. Like chamomile tea. I never was a tea drinker, but at least it's a hot drink, so it's kind of soothing.
I wish you good health, and hope that you're feeling better soon!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:47 AM.