Friday, February 26, 2010

The Acid Test: Results of my Limited-Carb Day

Readers know that I am trying to avoid acid reflux without going back to acid blockers. Today, I tried a limited-carb approach to controlling reflux. Here is what I ate today:

  • Vanilla Spiru-Tein shake with berries (about 1/2 cup) and 1 tablespoon of oat bran
  • Mixed unsalted, unroasted nuts
  • Salad with ham, a boiled egg, spinach, grated ginger, cucumbers and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, green beans
  • Same as before but without the green beans
  • Chai tea (straight)

The breakfast shake and chai tea either gave me slight reflux or just caused throat irritation. (I never had much feeling in my esophagus below the neck, so it's a little hard to tell.) Nothing else caused a reaction. So far, the limited-carb, low-glycemic approach gets a thumbs-up.

Other foods I've had good results with:
Sardines, salmon, chicken, romaine lettuce, orange bell peppers, sunflower seeds, pistachios (unroasted, unsalted), red wine vinaigrette (homemade with just olive oil and red wine vinegar), gouda cheese (about a tablespoon added to salads for flavor), basil, parsley, cauliflower, green olives, red wine (to cook with--does anything smell better?), mayonnaise.

Irritating foods:
Peaches, granola, onions, chocolate, snow peas (raw), chai tea, chamomile tea. The teas seemed to be throat irritants, not reflux-causers.

I've also been trying some other remedies for reflux, with varying results:

DGL. This made my stomach feel better, but using it as a lozenge made it hard for me to swallow. I didn't use any today.
Throat Coat tea. I've tried this before, and just thought it tasted bad. Besides, it has cinnamon in it, which is a mild irritant. If I want tea with cinnamon in it, I'll drink chai.
Milk thistle. The theory is to taste something bitter, and this will activate your digestion. It didn't seem to hurt anything when I took it, but I didn't bother with it today.
Manuka honey. Irritated my throat.

Various remedies I've seen online:

Somebody said he (or she) was trying juicing.
Someone else was avoiding meat.
Apple and vinegar cure (only $40).
Taking vinegar before meals (some people say this works for them, though).
Probiotics.
Jumping up and down for a hiatal hernia.

I can't roll my eyes too much at these quack remedies since I was paying $400 a year for acid blockers.

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