Hi, I am Amy Shouse LAc. This is my story.
Starting in the summer of 2014 I began to experience what I now know to be “silent reflux” or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). I began to feel some irritation in my throat and a mild cough. Within a few months, my throat irritation and globus sensation started happening constantly. I went to my local ENT and I was diagnosed with silent reflux and prescribed a 3-month trial of PPIs which I did not take.
I had already been trained in natural medicine and as a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner, I had a feeling there may be a better answer. I had heard from a colleague that a low-carb diet could help reflux.
My colleague pointed me to Dr. Norm Robillard’s book on heartburn and the Fast Tract Diet.
The book made sense to me, so I began to implement some of the principles of the Fast Tract Diet in the Spring of 2015. I immediately had a mild reduction in symptoms, but admittedly, I was impatient and I would later understand that I actually wasn’t following a lot of the principles in the book even though I thought I was. I learned that I had to be patient and that sometimes for LPR sufferers particularly, it can take up to 3 months of following the diet to finally get a resolution to symptoms. But in the meantime, I had seen a surgeon who claimed to be a heartburn specialist. He diagnosed me with a hiatal hernia, slow motility due to damage to the nerves in my esophagus and cellular changes that were started to occur as a result of my reflux.
This diagnosis scared me…
The surgeon offered me a surgical solution called a Nissen Fundoplication. After about 3 months of contemplation and admittedly, a less than stellar commitment to the Fast Tract Diet, I underwent surgery to correct my hiatal hernia and had the Nissen Fundoplication done in January of 2016.
I felt great!!! I had zero reflux!! However, I did have pretty debilitating gas and bloating for about 6 weeks after surgery. At the 6 week mark, when I was almost all healed up from surgery, I began to burp again. When the burping started again, my reflux came back and it was just as bad as ever.
I was devastated. I thought maybe the surgery had failed. So I went and had barium imaging and impedance tests done. Nope, the fundoplication was perfectly in place. My surgeon released me and suggested I see a GI doc for further answers. UGH! At that point, I was done with going to doctors and I knew what the problem was.
The answers were in the Fast Tract Diet Heartburn book that I had read so many months before!
I did a ton more research and started REALLY implementing the Fast Tract Diet principles. I went hardcore and my symptoms really started to dramatically abate.
Here is the deal. The Fast Tract Diet works. In my case, I knew that The Fast Tract Diet made sense and I did initially have some symptom relief before I went for surgery. However, I had a hard time being patient and I had a hard time accepting that I would have to abide to a certain way of eating forever. I also don’t think I really understood the diet until I went through a failed surgery and realized that changing my diet was really the solution to the root cause of my reflux. This is embarrassing to admit as a natural medicine practitioner, but it was a good learning experience for me and it also is an example of how we all have our own journey!
Today, I routinely prescribe the Fast Tract Diet to my patients who have IBS, SIBO and reflux.
I have seen dramatic results with those who adhere to the Fast Tract Diet principles, understand the diet and have the patience and discipline to change how they eat. My own journey with reflux and my return to the Fast Tract Diet has also made me very empathetic to those who start this journey. I understand it well because I lived it. Lifestyle change can be hard and it is always a bit of a process. But if you believe in yourself and you stick to your guns, you can do it!
That said, as I understand the diet more, I also have realized that the Fast Tract Diet is not only healthy for me but it is a delicious and wonderful way to eat! Once you adapt to this new normal you will never feel deprived. You will feel healthy and energized, you will be symptom-free and yes, you will be able to go out to eat again at your favorite restaurant!
Action steps to get rid of LPR and beyond:
Read the Fast Tract Digestion Heartburn book
Get the Fast Tract Diet Mobile App for Android or iPhone/iPad