IBS, Acid Indigestion, side effects from Rxs? These R 4 ways to treat symptoms that have worked for me and can for you too!
#IBS #Probiotics #Kevita #HealthyGut #ChronicIllness #SpoonieLife #FibroProblems
As if us #Spoonies don’t already negotiate a laundry list of symptoms, many with Fibromyalgia also battle IBS or persistent acid indigestion. Per the Mayo Clinic Irritable Bowl Syndrome combines abdominal pain with bloating, and an alternating cycle of constipation and diarrhea. Oh! And don’t forget the excessive gas.
I’m lucky not to suffer from IBS as part of my illness. But, I am super lucky to combat acid indigestion/reflux for about a week each month. It is intense. Burping, burning in my stomach, a perpetual hunger sensation, and tender ab muscles can make 7 days seem like a year. I don’t sleep at night given laying flat makes it worse, and can’t get comfortable during the day because my belly is sore from bloating. The whole thing just ain’t a pretty situation.
In my struggle to handle this condition, I’ve tested over-the-counter medicines, cut out individual foods, exercised more, and tried yoga poses meant to ease stomach issues. I even went through an endoscopy and biopsy by my Gastroenterologist to only have the results indicate I have a sensitive gut. That was incredibly helpful, and new, information. (Said with considerable sarcasm and an eye roll.)
IMPORTANT: These remedies work to combat symptoms of an issue my doctor says, for me, cannot be cured. But, these suggestions are NOT A SUBSTITUTE for communicating with your own physician about your situation. Your acid indigestion may just be a side effect of medications and nothing about which to worry. But on the off chance those symptoms could point to a more serious underlying condition, check with your doctor before assuming everything is attributed to your #Spoonie illness/Fibromyalgia.
1) Ah, Sweet Relief!
Over the years I’ve come upon a few remedies that serve to give me respite and/or shorten the bouts of reflux. Reducing the burning sensation is the most immediate need. Enter my saving grace: Peppermint Spirits. These Spirits aren’t an essential oil, differing from the peppermint you drop into your diffuser. Spirits are extracted from the dried leaf and blended with the much stronger essential oil to increase therapeutic benefits, or so I’ve read. The truth is, I don’t care what they are; they work for me! When I blend about 30 drops with 8 oz cold water, I have something to sip on for gentle relief.
I can buy Peppermint Spirits online through Amazon, HealthyPlanet (Free Shipping), VitaCost, and many other sites. But, it’s available at Whole Foods Market, some CVS stores, and practically any Holistic or Natural Grocery store. I keep a bottle of this in my kitchen, my purse, and on my nightstand next to a carafe of water. It’s that effective.
Tip: The Spirits can bead up like “oil in water”, making it hard to mix. Putting the drops in your glass first and pouring the water over top solves the problem. Then just sip slowly and relish in the cooling sensation.
More information and advice on Fibromyalgia:
2) A Dry Mouth Remedy That Eases Nausea?
Sometimes drinking Peppermint Spirits isn’t an option because water isn’t available, or is but I’d prefer not to be up peeing throughout night! Luckily, there’s a backup. TheraBreath Dry Mouth Lozenges contain just enough peppermint to cool my stomach and throat. I began using them for chronic dry mouth from taking Lyrica, but quickly recognized them to be effective in treating some of my belly symptoms. When I’m out in the world and nausea or reflux hit, I can dip into my purse and grab one of these individually wrapped lozenges. Other than their loud plastic wrappers, they’re terrific as an under-the-radar remedy when I’d rather not draw attention to my illness and symptoms.
3) Kombucha & Vinegar Tonics; Apparently Not just for Hipsters
After getting immediate relief from Spirits or a lozenge, I can then focus on making my stomach an overall more peaceful place. I’ve been told having reflux throws good bacteria in the gut out of whack. But this knowledge, even though true, is NOT why Kevita became the next piece of my regimen.
One day over the winter, while dealing with the acid at the start of yet another round of this dreadful belly pain, I had an awful taste in my mouth. Normally I drink little other than water and tea. But while at the grocery store with my husband, he suggested I try this Mojito flavored sparkling beverage. It was nearly 90° in December, so lime and mint sounded refreshing. (I also find it important to support local businesses, and Kevita is from my hometown area.) So, I gave the lightly sweetened, low calorie drink a shot.
Sipping on it over the course of a couple hours, I watched TV trying to keep my mind off the upcoming week of misery I expected. After a few episodes of Real Housewives of Somewhere, my husband came in to ask how my stomach was doing. It dawned on me: it had stopped burning. I was surprised, but so thankful. The billions of probiotic were doing their job, balancing my gut and calming things down in there. I don’t entirely understand the science behind these good bacteria and don’t need to for me to appreciate these drinks are still helping me nearly a year later.
As we drove back to Chicago from SoCal after the winter, I was overjoyed to find Kevita at many stores along the way. Whole Foods, CVS, and others carry many of Kevita’s tonics and kombucha. I always have 2 or 3 in my refrigerator and try to drink 1/2 a bottle every day. If I forget to keep up the regimen or go a little overboard on donuts and deep-dish pizza, Kevita is there. I can sip on one of these and usually “head it off at the pass”.
4) What to eat?
When every bite carries with it the potential to produce a worse belly grumble or increase the acid bubbling in my throat, finding nutritional food can be challenging. The healthy foods I prefer are high in fiber, tangy acids, and nourishing proteins. Each of these being tough to digest. Yes, the “B.R.A.T” diet of bananas, rice, apple, and toast is an option. But unless you choose brown rice or a hearty piece of toast, you won’t get much protein, adding to feeling weak.
I have come up with a solution that works for me: a small serving of my favorite Annie’s Deluxe Mac & cheese, topped with a “chicken” (chick) patty from Morningstar. Who doesn’t love Mac & cheese? I forego my usual Crystal Hot Sauce over the pasta, but still get enough flavor to satisfy. The Chik Patty provides me the ideal balance between bland and beneficial. The vegetarian chicken patty is gentle on my stomach and gives me the digestible protein my body craves. As a bonus, they’re frozen. This way I can always have a bag in my freezer ready to go when an episode surely occurs.