WHERE I STAND NOW
- food in throat/lump in throat feeling (sometimes I wonder if I am imagining it…but there is always a subtle sensation of this)
- waking up and 5-10 minutes later experiencing acid reflux (rarely am I woken up by this; it happens shortly after waking)
- increased acid reflux throughout the day (it comes in the morning and stays, or goes away and returns; I am definitely seeing an increase in "reflux," something I haven't had in the past)
- constant belching
- the occasional heartburn
- feeling too full too soon
- feeling like everything I'm going to eat is going to be a trigger (let's not underestimate the psychological effects of dealing w/our chronic gastro issues!
WHAT IS WORKING?
I need to step back and assess the past few months, during which I've tried:
1) a GERD Elimination Diet for 7 days (really helpful and I felt empowered afterwards! this felt like a "cleanse" to me -- to just jumpstart good habits overall)
2) slow mindful chewing (also helpful; I haven't been practicing this for a few weeks due to guests, busy schedule, forgetting to be mindful)
3) reducing/changing my tea consumption overall (some days I don't have any tea! most days, I start with low-caffeine teas like twig tea or herbals and may have black or green tea later in the day -- this does help and many times I don't feel tea is a trigger when I stagger it like that)
4) small portions (breakfast and lunch are set but dinner remains problematic…how to divide into two meals? I'm not sure…)
4) trying to de-stress with more exercise, more efforts at "relaxing," more tai-chi (yes, yes and yes)
TRIGGERS FOR MY REFLUX?
- eating too much at a sitting
- tea (ugh! I hate to admit it. But I do see a difference in drinking tea after having eaten something, or later in the day. It does not bother me as much, or at all.)
- sweets (sometimes they can trigger heartburn)
- constipation (this is a definite correlation and problem…when it happens, it's a major issue for me; one preventative is a cup of tea in the morning, but this is also a trigger!)
Note that I have NOT been experiencing much nausea lately...
Carry on but listen to my positive experiences?
Should I again try a GERD Elimination Diet, this time being even more rigid about certain foods? (I "cheated" once or twice on the last one.) In any case, this might make me feel better, even psychologically.
Should I go on a Food Elimination Diet? I recently spoke with a woman who tried this and discovered her gluten reaction; she ate some of one type of trigger food each day for a week, then gauged her body's response when she eliminated the food. A different tactic than the "don't eat it for weeks and then introduce it." Hmmm.
Should I blog/log another food diary for a week with a focus on this morning reflux? I don't think I tracked my moods and activities as well as I should have in the past entries, and this is something that I would do this time with more precision.
Am I sure I am experiencing GERD and not something else? (Gallbladder issues? Hernia?) What about slow motility issues? Could this be a factor? Do I need to swallow those radioactive eggs?!!
Thinking about all of this -- and already feeling more empowered. :)