I’m so happy to share that I’ve finally cured my GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) / Acid Reflux after suffering from it for over a month. Disclaimer, I’m not a doctor or an expert about health. I just want to share my journey so it could help people who are experiencing the same thing.
First, here’s my story. I was in Japan to visit my family and assist my grandparents for their trip from March 8th to May 19th. We initially picked March 8th to June 8th as our original travel plan but I decided to go back earlier. I’m perfectly fine during the start of our vacation in March. I already know that my stomach is kind of sensitive since I get some body reaction whenever I drink strong coffee or unfiltered water. I think since my blood type is O, I’m naturally acidic but I’ve never really experience heartburn or acid indigestion before. Although when I was younger, I always feel suffocated whenever I’m stuck with huge crowd (example, in a train or a market) but I didn’t think of it as a sign of being acidic. Few years ago, I also stopped wearing bras with underwire which I thought one of the reasons why I couldn’t breathe whenever I’m with a huge crowd. So, I was fine. I was also not a regular coffee drinker until recently, which is one of the said triggers of GERD. I was only drinking tea and water for a long time.
Going back to my main story. Around May, I was stressed out a lot since I wasn’t able to sleep properly. Our house in Japan is tiny (compared to regular houses). It has two rooms and I had to share a room with my grandparents whom I assisted for their visit. We had a double deck type of bed and I had to sleep on the top bed while my grandparents sleep on the bottom. And I tell you, my grandparents couldn’t sleep well. The usually chatted before going to sleep, pee in the wee hours and talked again when they woke up. Whenever they’re awake, I’m awake too. It totally changed my sleeping routine which is either 12:00am-8:00am or any time but has to be 8 hours straight without waking up in between. I also usually sleep in a very dark room without any lights or lamp and in complete silence (no music, nothing). So I was so stressed because I couldn’t sleep so I talked to them about it and they tried to change habits like not talking so much anymore and not turning on the lights when they pee (we just have a lamp instead). Since I was stressed, I was also getting migraines a lot. I took some medicines to relieve pain. That was probably the start of my GERD journey. When I traveled from Osaka to Manila last May 19th, I already couldn’t eat well and my stomach is acting up. I tried experimenting home remedies like drinking 1 table spoon of apple cider which made it worse since I’m already having acid reflux symptoms and I took it like a cough syrup without mixing it with water. When I’m already feeling the acid from my chest to my throat, I decided to go see a doctor (haha, I don’t really like going to the doctor since it makes me feel anxious but I really have to since I’m feeling worse). He explained to me what GERD is but he said there’s really no explanation about it’s causes except it’s probably because of stress, the meds I took when I had migraine or food triggers (coffee, tomato, etc.). So he asked me to take some meds (which I won’t disclose here since they’re the normal prescription medicines that doctors give you when you have GERD). I took them and it immediately relieved my throat from acids but I felt really thirsty and dry all the time while taking them. I was drinking meds for two weeks, not regularly (sometimes I forget and skip it). I felt a bit better but I can still feel the acid was going back. I had a major heartburn attack after eating pizza which happened at the time I was still taking meds. I literally couldn’t breathe, I thought I was going to die and I panicked. From there, I thought I have to do more. If I only take the meds and still eat all the food triggers, it won’t help me.
From there on, I started changing my lifestyle. After sleeping 8 hours a night, I wake up and drink turmeric tea on an empty stomach. Then I forced myself to exercise. I cycled (we have a stationary bike at home) while watching Fight For My Way or any k-dramas I could find. I eat my meals on time (breakfast, lunch, dinner and small snacks in between), no skipping! I didn’t drink coffee but I still drink tea that I bought in Kyoto once a week. I also had yogurt at least once a day.
I currently tried Pascual Creamy Delight Yogurt in Mixed Berries and Vanilla. My favourite is Vanilla. <3
Next, I skipped all the food triggers (tomato, lemon) for a while. I also bought some pure aloe vera and drink half cup a day. For a week, I only eat easy to swallow meals like tinola (it’s a Filipino recipe for chicken soup with ginger, I’m sorry I don’t know how to explain it properly) or chopsuey. I also stopped eating oily food for a while (no katsu, fried chicken etc.). Sometimes I’d make ginger tea at home. My usual snack was an apple (An apple a day keeps the doctor away haha). I also asked help from me people through Facebook and thankfully, their tips worked well!
Here are my awful mistakes: drinking pain reliever (aside from Panadol), drinking apple cider like a cough syrup (always add water and honey!), allowing myself to be stressed (I should have went home even earlier when I was not getting proper sleep! Prioritise your HEALTH. It is more important than helping other people. You can’t help people when you’re also sick and weak. I have to remember this since I always think I could do everything but I can’t.), lying down after meals (you have to avoid this!!), eating tomatoes for breakfast (if you’re acidic, just don’t) and skipping meals (try eating small frequent meals instead).
I’m finally okay now. I can go out without worrying that I might have heartburn attacks or any GERD symptoms. Hope this could also help you if you’re currently experiencing it as well! If you’ve overcome it, hope you could give us more tips on how you did. Thank you!!
All photos taken by Anagon at Pascual Greek Yogurt Event held at Pinto Art Museum