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Are acid reflux, nausea and microscopic collagen colitis related? Is there a holistic treatment?

By Anonymous July 12, 2010 - 11:45pm
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I have suffered from acid reflux for several years now and take medication which makes it manageable. Recently it has worsened and is accompanied by nausea. Earlier this year, I had a horrible few months of extreme diarreah which left me exhausted, discouraged and incapacitated. Eventually, I was diagnosed with microscopic collagen colitis. Between, diet and pepto bismal I am managing the colitis ok. My doctor acts like the acid reflux/nausea and the colitis are unrelated but everything about it feels very related to me. I would like to find a wholistic view of this...and a wholistic treatment plan. I'd like to hear from other women with a similar condition.

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Hello I am 24, I recently have been diagnosed with acid reflux and I have a hiatial hernia, I also have recently been diagnosed with an unspecified colitis.. I believe the GERD and colitis are related. I often have pain under my right rib cage which my doctors have assured me it is not my gallbladder. I have noticed that when it's time for my period I flare up. About a week before my period, I get weak, have very soft stools almost like diarrhea, and I get a very bad hunger in my stomach and eating frequently is the only thing that helps solve the hunger. I don't know if having GERD can make me hungry like that or if it is my colitis. Other times I often just don't feel good and I don't have an appetite and I feel weak, sometimes nauseated. I have tried a diet change and I have been taking prilosec for the GERD and asacol for the colitis. I have not noticed any benefits from the asacol. I really want some relief as I have dealt with these problems off and on for the past year..

June 6, 2012 - 9:23pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Lindseyfj)

My daughter had similar issues. She was diagnosed with Celiac. You may have gluten sensitivity at the least.

March 5, 2015 - 8:28am
EmpowHER Guest

I have the exact same problem as yours. The order is different though. I first had chronic diarrhea which was eventually diagnosed as microscopic collitis, then I started having GERD and nausea. My dr seems to imply the gerd episodes are stress related...
I am interested in looking at alternative/natural remedies to address the problem. I eat very carefully (no alcohol, smoking, or lactose, fried, spicy food - eat lots of vegetables, fruits) but that is having no affect whatsoever. The dr also thinks that is not the solution for me (he says eat whatever you want but keep it simple, never says don't eat x, y or z). Also do yoga regularly.
So theoretically I am doing all the right things but am still not going through a particularly bad episode. At this point I am pretty desperate to try anything.

December 15, 2011 - 1:04pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I was diagnosed with collagenous colitis 5 years ago. I started having GERD and nausea symptoms about 2 years after my diagnosis. Please have a scope performed to examine your stomach, an insist on tissue samples taken. It turns out that I had H.Pylori. After taking the prescribed triple antibiotic, my GERD stopped completely. I take Entocort on a regular basis as I have no remission since the colitis began. I had tried Asacol, but this was not effective and I found it caused my symptoms to get worse. My doctor told me that there is a coating on the Asacol that some patients are sensitive to. I'm going to try alternative therapies as long term use of Entocort is not suggested. So far, mixing bottled water and making a solution of slippery elm, marshmallow root, probiotics, combined with a powder packet of Cholyestramine has helped immensely. I have been told scientists are not even working on a cure for this disease, but it is linked to Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

November 4, 2014 - 1:31pm

Pat provided you with some wonderful information, and I wanted to add one resource for the "holistic" approach that you are looking for.

1. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has research-based information on what has been proven effective regarding holistic and natural remedies. Regarding bowel conditions, this is what one study has shown:
"Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's Disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Conventional medical therapies for IBD typically involve the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation, including reducing the production of pro-inflammatory proteins including cytokines and chemokines. However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the currently available therapeutic options can have limited benefit or unpleasant side effects and many patients eventually require surgery. Now researchers have found that bromelain — an enzyme derived from pineapple stems — might be able to reduce inflammation in IBD."
Source: http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/070108.htm

2. Have you sought the care of a homeopathic physician?

3. What other lifestyle changes have you made? It seems so simple, but you can never underestimate the impact of:
- managing stress (meditation classes, yoga, deep breathing)
- taking care of your emotional well-being (remove stressors in your life, avoid toxic people, do things that bring you joy)
- exercise
- sleeping well

Let us know if you would like any additional resources or information on any of the above-mentioned topics!

July 13, 2010 - 7:57pm
HERWriter Guide

Anon - You've asked some good questions about dealing with two different conditions affecting your digestive system. I bet the combination of the two is pretty stressful.

Let's start with some basics.
Colitis means inflammation of the colon (also known as the large intestine o large bowel) which is the last part of the digestive tract. The colon receives undigested food, removes water, stores the remaining contents and then eliminates that from the body during bowel movements. There are several different types of colitis. Microscopic colitis is only visible when viewed under a microscope. According to Medicine.Net, There are two types; lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis. In lymphocytic colitis, there is an accumulation of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) within the lining of the colon. In collagenous colitis, there is an additional layer of collagen (scar tissue) just below the lining. Some experts believe that lymphocytic colitis and collagenous colitis represent different stages of the same disease.

The inflammation and the collagen probably interfere with absorption of water from the colon, and cause the diarrhea. The primary symptom of microscopic colitis is chronic, watery diarrhea.

The treatment of microscopic colitis has not been standardized because there have not been adequate large scale, prospective, placebo controlled treatment trials. I suggest you read the following article which provides a lot of information on various treatments that are being used at this time: http://www.medicinenet.com/lymphocytic_colitis/article.htm

Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs when acid in the stomach rises up into the esophagus. This occurs because the valve separating the contents of the stomach from the esophagus does not function properly.

This article provides a lot of information on GERD treatment, and may include information you haven't gotten from your physician.

If you go to our Colitis Community you will find information posted by other women who are also dealing with digestive disorders as well as multiple news articles. http://www.empowher.com/condition/colitis

It's not clear from your comments whether you feel your doctor is ignoring your concerns about the nausea that is now coming along with the GERD. If so I'd suggest finding another physician who will address this for you and help you find relief.

There's a lot to learn in trying to manage these conditions, and I hope you find this information helpful, and that you also hear from other women.

Take care,

July 13, 2010 - 5:31pm
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