Monday, November 28, 2011

No More Heartburn

I’m afraid to jinx myself, but I think I’m finally free from heartburn! It’s been a couple weeks since I took my last Prilosec and I feel fine :) Although the pills worked well, I was fearful of their side-effects and of staying on them long-term in general. I didn’t stop on purpose, really. I just forgot to take them for a couple of days and realized I had an opportunity to try and get off them. It just felt right. There was something about taking those pills every day that really got me down. Eating low carb and especially Paleo, seems to be the ticket for many with this problem. It bugged me that I still had to deal with it, even with my great diet.

The only things I changed during this period were to add a lot more gelatin and probiotics to my diet. I also have made a concerted effort not to drink water with meals and to slow down and make sure not to overeat at all. I wanted to do whatever I could to help my poor gut heal itself and not irritate it unnecessarily. I also stocked up on TUMS just in case (I have not popped even one, as of this writing!)

I have struggled to find a way to incorporate probiotics into my diet. I don’t like sauerkraut or many fermented foods at all. Pickles are pretty much it, on that front. I’ve also not had much luck with yogurt. The dairy still seems to bother me. I’d like to try coconut yogurt, but I could only find it pre-sweetened in the store, so that was out. As a result, I’ve tried to get my hands on some real, lacto-fermented pickles. They have Bubbies brand at the health food store, and those are good. I’ve also discovered the joys of kombucha. I like the cranberry flavor that I found in the store (the fermentation process brings the carb content way down so it doesn’t spike my blood sugar). I very much want to learn how to make it myself and will be following this guide from Wellness Mama soon to try it out. Buying it by the bottle at the store is expensive! I’m also taking one probiotic supplement every couple of days, especially when I don’t get any from food. Who knows if it’s helping? But it doesn’t seem to have any ill effects, either.

My saving grace, though, is gelatin. It is the most soothing substance I have come across. Its health benefits include helping to heal the gut lining and it’s also good for aching joints, arthritis, etc. I’ve been putting it in everything from soup to tea, having it several times a day. Whenever I feel the smallest twinge in my tummy, I drink some tea with it mixed in and I feel instantly better. Is it the placebo effect? Do I care? I also have been making homemade bone broths (chicken, turkey, beef) using good quality bones, which are a natural source of this healing substance. The only advice I have about gelatin is that quality matters. I’m not talking about Jello brand desserts, with all kinds of additives. I get Great Lakes brand, which is sourced from grass fed animals.

I don’t have a clue if any of the above strategies are doing much to make this happen or if I’m simply healing on my own. It doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’m just glad to be feeling better and less dependent on pharmaceuticals for my daily comfort.

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