Who among you are suffering from acid reflux which causes heartburn or have been diagnosed with GERD (Gastro-Esophagial Reflux Disease)? I want to share my personal experience with this disease and how I shifted from taking medicines to natural supplements to manage my GERD.
DISCLAIMER: This is solely based on my personal experience and might not work for everyone – please make sure to consult your doctor on how to manage your reflux or GERD.
I was diagnosed with GERD more than 15 years ago and I have tried all of the PPI (proton-pump inhibitor) medicines like Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole, and the last one I was taking for a loooong time was Lansoprazole. I took one every morning before breakfast along with other meds like Domperidone taken 3x a day before meals and also Lactulose to prevent constipation. If for some reason I forgot to take my PPI in the morning, my whole day would be ruined by very uncomfortable heartburn caused by my reflux. So I would take it everywhere with me, and treated it really as my maintenance medicine. Unlike other people whose GERD can be treated in short cycles (1 to 3 months), I have chronic GERD and have been living with it for years because I have what the doctors call Hiatal Hernia, meaning the sphincter at the bottom of my esophagus is a little loose – which causes the acid in my stomach to regurgitate to my throat and cause heartburn. It became so bad that I actually lost my voice due the acid reflux.
FULL DISCLOSURE: For GERD sufferers, you know that there is LONG LIST of things and foods to avoid if you have this disease. I have to be honest with all of you that during the long period that I took my PPIs and other meds, I was still drinking 1-2 cups of coffee a day, and I used to smoke (I quit in 2014), and I would eat anything I want. The only things I avoided were alcohol, spicy food, too much of tomato-based food, and hot chocolate because these were my “triggers.”
Fast-forward to 2018 when my husband sent me a published medical study that shows that prolonged use of PPI’s (‘prazoles) may increase your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Since at that time, I was already a mom of two, of course I was concerned about my health. I started researching on alternative or more natural remedies to control GERD or acid reflux. Here are some that I tried:
- Apple cider vinegar taken before breakfast
- Baking soda in water before breakfast
- Digestive enzyme supplements
In the period that I tried these natural remedies, I completely stopped my medicines “cold-turkey” (again, please don’t do this without consulting your doctor!). Before I did this, I went back to my GI doctor and had an endoscopy done, he said everything looks ok! But unfortunately, these natural remedies did not work for me. And the acid reflux got so bad that it starting to affect my voice again and I got nodules again! This is bad news for a singer like me. But I was determined to try to manage my GERD without meds so I stopped drinking coffee and avoided all the “triggers.”
I had a shoot with Metro Dot Style one day in 2019 and while chatting with the make-up artist (the very nice Ms. Verna Marin), our conversation shifted to GERD because we both have it. She shared that she has been taking Sante Barley NZ to manage her reflux and it was been working wonders for her. I was curious of course so I tried it. I bought a box from the drugstore started taking it, and finally! I found a remedy that worked for me too! This is currently what I take to manage my GERD:
- 1 sachet of Sante Barley NZ in cold water before breakfast
- 2 tablets Ultra-Zyme Digestive Enzymes before breakfast
- 1 capsule Kyo-Dophilus 9 Probiotics (or any probiotic brand will do!)
- Lactulose 15 to 30ml at night (only as needed to manage constipation)
And this combo works for me! I started drinking coffee again (something many moms cannot live without) maybe a couple of months after I started this regimen and now I can say that I got my voice back, and my acid reflux is controlled without meds! Yey!
Again, I have to reiterate that this regimen might not work for everyone, and be sure to consult your doctor if you have serious GERD symptoms! Remember, if you don’t treat your acid reflux, your esophagus might get damaged enough that it might even be a cause of esophagial cancer. Consulting with a gastroentorologist and getting a physician-ordered endoscopy or colonoscopy is the best way to check how bad your GERD is, and what treatment is best for you.
I want to share this Instagram Video I made last year. It has been more than a year since this video and so far, this regimen still works for me. I am pregnant by the way so it is even better for me to be on natural supplements vs. medicines that might be harmful to my baby.
I was so happy with my experience with Sante Barley that Mr. JP Marcelo who is the brother of Mr. Joey Marcelo, CEO of Sante Barley got in touch with me. I became a member of Sante Barley and has been a proud user ever since. And you know what? Sante Barley is a purely Filipino company, with their barley grown and processed in New Zealand. Makes me extra proud!
Lastly, I want to share with you that the total cost of this regimen is significantly lower than what I used to spend on my maintenance meds. With the PPI, domperidone, etc I used to shell out around 200 plus pesos a day. Now all of my supplements costs me less than 100 pesos a day. It used to be 100 plus pesos but since I became a member of Sante, I have a significant discount!:) But of course, more important than the money saved is the health benefits of going natural, and living a healthier life for my kids!
I hope I was able to help some of you by writing this blog. Please comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have more questions regarding this topic. Thanks for reading this blog!