I think I finally have a regimen that is working to naturally control my reflux post-c-diff. PPIs and H2 blockers are risk factors for recurrent CDI, and since once is enough for me, I ditched the heartburn meds I’d been previously taking. And yet, the heartburn didn’t go with it. But with a combination of diet & lifestyle changes and natural remedies, I’ve mostly been able to control it. So here’s the combination of strategies I’ve been successfully using:
- Diet: In keeping with Ayurveda, I avoid or limit foods that increase Pitta. I miss you, tomatoes. I really do. And all the spicy things, I miss y’all too. SN: other Ayurveda habits that may or may not contribute: I gave up cold beverages and only drink room temperature drinks. I make lunch the biggest meal of the day, and I always walk (I try for 20 minutes) after eating. I have mostly given up snacking between meals. I traded lemon in my water for lime in my water (better tolerated by Pitta).
- Eating: I’ve slowed it down. A lot. I take my time eating. A lot of time. I’ve found practicing mindfulness while eating or doing meal meditations have helped me retrain myself (Buddhify is a free app that has 3 eating meditations). I try to taste and savor every flavor in every bite. Even if I’m just eating a sweet potato. No more eating on the go. No eating while standing. I sit, and I sit up as straight as possible, lengthening my torso. I schedule my lunch time, and I use it all. I breathe deeply between bites. Speaking of breathing…
- Breathing: I focus on deep, belly (diaphragmatic) breathing in a lot of situations. For example, this helped me when I was struggling with pain during my treatment and healing, and it still helps if I start having digestive problems. Obviously, breathing is a part of both meditation and yoga, both of which I relied on heavily during my active infection and initial healing. It’s great for stress and anxiety too. And then I discovered that if I started focusing on deep breathing during discomfort, it actually helped. Does it also help with reflux? I think so. As this article says, “Heartburn relief could be as easy as sitting up straight and learning to breathe a bit more deeply and slowly — an approach that has no side effects. And best of all, you can give it a try right now.”
- Aloe Vera juice: I take a shot glass of it and dilute it into 16 oz. of water, and I drink it 30 minutes prior to mealtime.
- Goli ACV gummies: If I do feel some heartburn coming on despite all my other efforts, I eat a gummy, and that usually takes care of it.
- (ETA) Maty’s All Natural Acid & Indigestion Relief – Safe & Effective Heartburn Relief Made with Ginger, Turmeric & More: this helps in a pinch if I get heartburn despite my other efforts.
- (ETA): Kefir: it’s good for the gut, and it’s good for acid reflux too! I sip some whenever I start experiencing a little acid, and it can quickly help neutralize it. The long-term health benefits are good too.
Remember when I shared with you the idea of a “sacred illness,” “an illness that educates us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way.” Well, I’ve definitely learned a lot on my c-diff journey. And some of what I’ve learned is helping me be a better, healthier person. I’ve made significant lifestyle and diet changes.
ETA: A new study shows:
💊 “Use of PPIs was associated with moderately increased risk of community-associated CDI. The risk remained elevated up to 1 year after PPI treatment had ended.”
💊 “Previous observational studies have reached varying conclusions. This large study with thorough control for confounding significantly adds to the body of evidence that increased risk of CDI, even in the community setting, should be considered when prescribing PPIs, although the underlying biological mechanisms need to be explored.”