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Acid Reflux and How I Overcame It

August 12, 2014

Body pH Levels and What It Means

Our ideal body pH balance should be at 7 - around neutral.  See this article and chart for more details.  The spectrum of pH levels ranges from 3 (most acidic) to 10 (most alkaline).  Basically, this is what the article states:

- When your body is in an acidic state, your body is susceptible to diseases including: digestive disorders, circulatory and cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, respiratory issues, cancer, and arthritis.

YIKES.

My Acid Reflux Story

In Spring 2012 I was diagnosed with silent reflux.  Silent reflux is acid reflux that does not produce heartburn or indigestion.  So basically, I didn’t know there was anything wrong with me until I literally was unable to speak!   The silent reflux had caused vocal cysts, which is why I was unable to talk.  (Not being able to talk when you’re a music teacher can be pretty challenging!)  I spent the summer going to speech therapy and voice therapy at Philadelphia Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates (who were awesome therapists, BTW) as well as being on vocal rest and talking very minimally.  Emotionally, it was incredibly difficult to try and hold back talking.  However, the vocal rest was the best thing I had done for myself.  The cysts died down to a barely visible size - no surgery necessary-  and with proper speech training, I was learned to speak without pounding on my vocal chords.  (I knew how to sing without harming my voice, as I have been a vocalist my whole life and studied music education and voice in college, but I never applied it to speaking.  I had no idea how harsh you can be on your own vocal chords just from talking. TEACHERS, I’m sure you understand this).

Coffee CupKicking the Acid Reflux Meds

When I was first diagnosed with silent reflux I was given pharmaceutical grade medicine from the doctor.  They helped at first, but about two months later I noticed that my throat started to ALWAYS burn no matter what I ate, drank, or did.

After some research, I found some (very few) articles on the negative effects of acid reflux meds.  In summary what I discovered was:

- Your stomach NEEDS acid to digest properly (the good kind)
- You may experience acid reflux symptoms because your body does not have enough acid production in your stomach (contrary to what you may hear)
- Acid reflux meds blocks the productions of acid in your stomach
- No acid in your stomach is NO good; the meds are only a temporary fix and may eventually do you more harm

What I did -  Quit the meds and started taking Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar to bring the good acid back into my stomach that I need.  In two weeks the burning in my throat stopped. Huh!?

Other Things I’ve Done that Alleviated My Acid Reflux Issues

Drank Aloe Vera to help sooth my throat and help heal it
- Added Apple Cider Vinegar to my diet to put good acid in my stomach
- Put lemon in my water for the same reason above
-Took Green’s First pH alkalizer that I found on the web
- Ate more alkaline foods for a better balance (fruits and veggies) to balance out the acidic foods in my diet (meat, coffee, grains, alcohol)
- Took Gaviscon (on rare occasion) after I drank something very acidic (coffee or wine) to keep the acid down and keep my throat from burning
- Fall 2012, after a summer of speech therapy, I finally said out loud that I didn’t want to be a teacher and was unhappy doing what I was doing.  STRESS was probably the biggest cause of my acid reflux.  Living unhappily and doing something you don’t want to do creates more stress and provides an unhealthy and acidic internal environment.  To be honest, I’ve barely had any acid reflux issues since I built up enough confidence to say that I was unhappy. When I started to try and figure out what I truly wanted in life, and not what I thought I should do in fear of disappointing others I found my symptoms go away. THIS bullet requires a blog or book on it’s own.

Things You Can Do to Help Control Your Acid Reflux and Create Healthier Habits

- I dare you, quit the meds and start drinking apple cider vinegar (diluted in some water) every day to bring back the good acids in your stomach
- Eat balanced meals (eat something alkaline for every acidic piece of food you eat)
- Put lemon in your water
- if you’re gonna eat something you know will upset you, take Gaviscon after you eat or drink it
- Try the Green’s First pH Alkalizer, it seemed to help me at the time

Remember: Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Happy Life

Healthfully Yours,

Hilary