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Gastritis, Reflux, CFS or Food Intolerances

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by wonderoushope, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. wonderoushope

    wonderoushope Senior Member

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    Hi there,

    I am just wondering if anyone can offer me some advice in regards to Gastritis, Reflux or food intolerance's and if that could be part of the fatigue issues for me, rather than CFS?

    I'm not sure exactly if I have gastritis. I had my first bout of gastritis probably about 6 years ago (diagnosed with a colonoscopy). I did okay for a while after having a course of PPI's, but eventually similar symptoms came back over the years. I at one point did the RPAH elimination diet with a dietitian, and it did seem to help (but I didn't do it properly) and well just stayed away from most of the food I thought was causing trouble. I felt like I kept on getting different results each time I did the challenges (but I now realise, that's probably because I should have gone on the strict diet, because I had so many issues with food). I didn't understand the diet enough, and the dietitians I saw, where probably not as well versed in the diet as they needed to be. For example I now know that on the Failsafe/RPAH elimination diet you are not meant to probiotics because they are high in amines and the dietitians never told me that. As it turned out, probiotics seemed to make me very, very ill at the time.

    Anyway, for the last few years I have followed a pretty fail-safe diet, but did introduce certain foods and for a while I was fine. Apart from getting bouts of chronic fatigue issues (which I didn't even realise could be to do with food intolerance's or gastritis ) and stomach issues (that were not as magnified as the gastritis symptoms but similar). However, at the end of last year I started getting burping, extreme bloating at the top of stomach, occasional pain in top stomach, stomach cramping, tiny bit of reflux (I usually have silent reflux) and Costochondritis.

    So my new gastro said "lets do another colonoscopy" because it's been 6 years since you had one, we had tried other things before that and symptoms kept reappearing. I thought when I came out of the procedure that my gastro said I had mild gastritis. And she did put me on nexium for 4 weeks at 40g and then told to reduce to 20 for two weeks. It seemed to clear up and then in the last months I noticed similar issues again, but nausea as well. I also have this horrible problem where I get really really hungry all day, no matter what I eat (I can eat protein, carbs and it doesn't make a difference). I then get the opposite at times, where I can eat just a few spoonfuls of something and feel full for the whole day. So I went to GP and said I think I have gastritis again and she looked at gastro notes (from the end of last year) and the results didn't mention anything about gastritis this time around, just reflux/gerd. I said I was so sure the gastro told me I had "mild gastritis".

    But GP said lets put you on nexium anyway for another 6 weeks, because of your symtoms. So I took it for a few weeks with not much improvement and so I decided I don't like taking PPI's and maybe it really is food intolerances, so I decided to really try the failsafe/RPAH elimination diet, but really do it properly this time.

    Well it's been about four weeks on the diet, and I have improved (without taking PPI's). I have good and bad days, but I certainly see an improvement. My stool is regular and formed, it is more consistent, my fatigue has lifted on most days (unless a food aggravates me), depression has lifted, and I can think more clearly and my stomach has settled down a lot and not getting overly full or overly hungry, aches and pains have reduced and I now am able to wake-up between 7:30- 8:30 am rather than midday! Unfortunately, insomnia is still on and off, but it could get better as I get more and more down to baseline. It still not perfect and I haven't been able to challenges properly, as I haven't completely been able to get down to baseline with the diet. I still also seem to react to failsafe foods on the diet, like white fish (but might because my body is still getting down to baseline).

    So I wondering if I do in fact have gastritis and this diet (as it is pretty simple) is just helping it or I in fact I do have food intolerance? Or could it be that I am just going through a CFS type flare-up and becoming more sensitive to foods? Or perhaps I keep getting gastritis because of food intolerances?

    I also conflicted as to whether I should take PPI's while doing the diet? I just feel like, how on earth would I know if I have intolerances if I am taking PPI's while doing this diet? The other thing is though, if I do have gastritis can it heal by itself with a diet, or do I need to take PPI's for it to actually heal? Would diet just be suppressing the gastritis, rather than fixing it?

    Also would a Gastroenterologist put someone on nexium for 4 weeks if you have reflux or just if you have gastritis?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  2. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @wonderoushope - think it's quite possible that food intolerances caused or contributed to your gastritis because this diet is helping you and so apparently you are avoiding foods which cause you problems. It sounds very good to me that you are being helped by this diet. The less drugs the better.

    I would not take PPIs if at all possible. they create their own problems, malabsorption among other things, and don't really resolve anything. If your gastritis is caused by food intolerances (which it appears may be the case since you are doing better on the diet), then the gastritis should be helped by avoiding those foods. Diet would not be suppressing gastritis, it would be addressing the root cause. It's the PPIs which would be suppressing rather than fixing the problem.

    This is interesting: http://universityhealthnews.com/dai...ng-for-genuine-relief-for-gastritis-symptoms/
     
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  3. wonderoushope

    wonderoushope Senior Member

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    Thanks @Mary for your feedback.

    Yes I want to try and not take PPI's as I too heard the create their own issues and personally think they are just putting a temporary band-aid on the issue. I suspect it is food intolerance's of some sort.

    One thing though, is I didn't realise you are not really meant to go on and off PPI's cold turkey, or take them the way I was taking them. About a month or two prior I was taking PPI's when I thought it was necessary (so might take them a few days and then leave them for a few days), and then I stopped, as I didn't like the thought of taking them everyday. But when things got worse I went to the doctors and decided to take them for about 2 weeks at 40 mg and then had them sporadically on days that I thought were the issue. I now realise that could of also made things worse and given me withdrawal type symptoms. Anyway, I am a bit sceptical that I would get such extreme withdrawals from going off them. If I did have withdrawals it was increased nausea, increased stomach cramps and increased sensitivity to all foods right after stopping them, even though I was eating very strict. It seems a lot better on diet now, but has taken two weeks for symptoms to die. I have been off Nexium completely for about 2 weeks.

    I'm hoping food intolerance's are the issue too. It would help make sense of a lot of things.
    The only thing is the last time I did the diet rather strictly (about two years ago), I noticed I felt great on the diet, but it was also the first time I noticed not being able to sleep. I got insomnia for the first time. I'm guessing something on the diet or the extremity of it caused insomnia, and since then I have struggled with insomnia. It's not too bad at the moment (even before going on this current diet, it was a bit better), but still I feel like the diet triggered something in body to cause insomnia. I stumbled across this artcile last night about someone who had the same issue on the GAPS diet http://reclaimyourhealth.com.au/why-the-gaps-diet-can-mess-with-your-health/ and I wonder is something similar has happened to me on the RPAH diet?

    Thanks for the link to article, it was very good. Unfortunately, I have to be careful with probiotics as it's one of the things that made me very ill in the first place. I am not saying it was the main cause, but when my immune system was down (like where it is at the moment) I think it tipped it over the edge. Usually, I can't take herbs either when my stomach is like this. It is very sensitive.
     
  4. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    @wonderoushope ~
    I agree with Mary's comments. In addition, I do think it is a good idea to rule out major problems via endoscopy and colonoscopy if you are concerned. I've had both done and the endoscopy showed mild esophageal irritation due to acid reflux (which I've had for a few years). I don't take over the counter or prescription meds, but I am trying to get to the root of the issue.

    You might be interested in this blog post on heartburn....but even more importantly, people's suggestions of what helped them in the comments section. https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/05/23/best-foods-for-acid-reflux/

    I also have LOTS of food intolerance issues.....It seems I have a histamine intolerance (can't eat animal protein except very fresh fish).... quite possible a benzoate intolerance (cherries, berries and grapes give me headaches), and I also have to avoid oats, wheat, corn, seeds, nuts and it appears dairy.

    Most probiotics don't work for me, but I am retesting some now and we'll see how it goes. Just a small amount of kefir (1 tsp a day) did seem to help with the heartburn, so I suspect that part of the problem is an imbalance of bacteria in my gut. However it *seems* the dairy was possibly giving me other issues, so I am stopping that for now and trying probiotics in a different form.

    Manuka Honey has helped me a lot GI wise, but it did not help with the heartburn. I write about it here in my blog post.

    What foods do and don't work for you? Here's my blog post on what I eat and what I avoid. Wishing you answers and us less heartburn! :thumbsup:

    Best,
     
  5. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @wonderoushope - that's too bad about the insomnia - I have a LOT of experience with it unfortunately! I'm afraid I can't help you there, perhaps another post about your insomnia and the link you think it might have with your diet might get you some helpful replies - good luck :)
     
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  6. wonderoushope

    wonderoushope Senior Member

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    Hi @Timaca, Sorry I just published a reply before seeing your post :)

    I had a endoscopy and colonoscopy end of last year with the same kind of issues (so I think it means everything is okay). I thought my gastro said after the procedure that I had mild gastritis, but the notes to the GP did not indicate that, just GERD/reflux. Biopsy for H. pylori came back negative. I actually don't even get that much reflux. I think I have silent reflux, as I have never had heart burn, and very occasionally (maybe every 3-4 months) I will get a bit of reflux coming up. I do sometimes wake up with a bad taste in my mouth, so I think acid is coming up, but it's just silent. The one thing I get which is exacerbated by silent reflux is Costochondritis. I am getting it in the night only now (never use to get while I was sleeping), where I wake unable to move because my chest has spasmed and cramped up and painful to move.

    I've been starting to suspect it could be histamines.

    I react to lots of things, but different foods seem to give me different symptoms.

    Things like beer, soy, vegemite, nuts, tomatoes, probably yeast, msg give me terrible cramps. I also got the same cramps lasts night potentially from taking magnesium chelate tablets for the first time a few days ago (I thought it might help Costochondritis and stiffness), or could be something else I introduced in the diet, like eggs whites.

    Tea, gives me terrible bloating and makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    Meat and fish could be a problem if it is not very fresh. For example I got a terrible reaction to white fish on the diet, nausea, burping, reflux etc, but again could be because my stomach is very sensitive at the moment and not back to baseline.

    Diary, might be a problem, although I could be getting bad results because of other food items. Giving me false positive results. I have kept them out of diet, and will challenge them at a later date.

    Beans/legumes could potentially cause too much painful wind.

    It seemed withdrawing from wheat gave me terrible mood issues (so angry and impatient), but also bloating, nausea, fullness (could still be gastritis I suppose), I also seemed to get joint pain, and tingling sensations as well.

    At the moment I seem to be reacting almost to everything, unless on strict RPAH diet foods, even some of those I am still reacting too, but symtoms are a lot better at least.

    Oh that's good to hear you got results from Manuka Honey. I will have to look into that. Sounds like I react to similar foods as you.
     
    erin likes this.
  7. wonderoushope

    wonderoushope Senior Member

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    On thing that also I had noticed for the last year is I had an increase in sneezing (not hay-fever - just sneezing). I would sometimes sneeze up to 5-6 times a day. I always suspected it had something to do with intolerance. Since on the RPAH diet, sneezing has died down where i have days without any sneezing at all and when I do sneeze it's once a day now. Making me think it has something to do with histamines. I also get very itchy in places in my body, which goes up and down, but there is an improvement on this diet, but not completely gone.

    Thanks @Mary :) will post query about diet and insomnia in another thread.
     
  8. wonderoushope

    wonderoushope Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, my fatigue returned :( Still on the diet. Just finished amines challenge and no major food intolerance issues with amines (maybe slight issues that dietitian will test with me at a later date).

    However, my mood and fatigue wasn't the best on amines and yesterday I had rice puffs and rice milk with a bit of maple syrup and then when for a walk a few hours later and got really dizzy and exhausted (I found it hard to walk home). My dietician also thinks the amine challenge with cocoa probably didn't help.

    My dietitian has now explained I had a high glycemic breakfast which is not good for people with CFS and I need to take some food just before going for a walk and eat something within 1/2 an hour after walk.

    I had no real clue about eating low glycemic foods for CFS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  9. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    Hi wonderoushope~
    The only issue I have with the glycemic index of foods is it messes with my lipid levels if I eat foods with a high glycemic index. And I'm talking about whole foods like short grain brown rice and dates and melons! It is annoying to have to reduce wholesome foods to get a good lipid level, but I did it and it works. You can read about it on my blog post if you want.

    I'm sorry that your fatigue is back. I've been doing pretty well lately that way (less fatigue). However, I'm still trying to figure out how to get my fairly constant heartburn (low level) to be gone! I just now tried 1/8 teaspoon apple cider vinegar in some water after my lunch. I started with such a small amount because that is what I'm comfortable with since I seem to be so sensitive to so many things....
     

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