It was shaping up to be a terrible night's sleep. It had been an incredibly hot and humid July day and though the temperature had dropped some it was certainly not enough. It was late Friday, just before midnight, when I laid down. My body was tired and my eyelids felt like they had cement blocks tied to them. Please let it be night where I go out as soon as my head hits the pillow.
Ah, glorious sleep... but just like that, my eyes are open and I'm awake. How long has it been? Only 10-minutes?! Why?! That's about the same moment I realized I had an awful sensation in my sternum. WTF is it? Am I dying?
I woke my husband up; I can't remember now if it was on purpose or just because of my movement, but it doesn't matter because I was clearly about to die and I had get out my last wishes and goodbyes. I explained the hot, burning feeling that I had and how much it hurt. I also had this weird, almost sour taste in the back of my throat- disgusting.
"So... you have heart burn," he said, calmly.
My husband used to sleep with a family-sized container of TUMS on his nightstand. He would get heartburn several times a week, sometimes days in a row. Popping TUMS throughout the day or right before bed was regular for him, despite how bad for his body that was. That's him, not me. I had never felt anything like that before, and there was no way it was heartburn. There was no way this pain is what he dealt with so often. It was hands-down, one of the worst feelings I've ever felt. This just can't be something so common- there's something really wrong with me!
I was 30-years-old the night I experienced heartburn for the first time. Though the "heartburn" explanation made sense, it baffled me that something that felt SO bad could be so common. It had to be something else. I got up, went to my computer and started searching the web. Eventually I'm searching Pinterest for heartburn home remedies. I tried drinking almond milk and sleeping on my left side. Needless to say, I survived my first night with heartburn, and I was determined to find a way to never go through that again.
For as long as I can remember, I've had a sensitive stomach. It seemed to get much more sensitive the older I got. I used to be able to drink beer, and eat pizza and breads without any issue. Around age 24 I started to experience painful stomach bloating after drinking half a beer, for example. The first time it happened, I was sure it was a fluke, but I didn't finish my beer out of concern. The second time it happened I decided to finish my drink. Wrong choice. I had no way of knowing, but the stomach bloat and pain forced me to immediately go home after that one drink, where I vomited within minutes of returning. The third and fourth time were much like the second.
This painful stomach bloating, and nausea continued to happen to me over the few years, with seemingly no pattern. I saw doctors and specialists and yet there was no cause, no cure, and no end in sight. I guessed at the foods I should try to avoid and I nearly stopped all beer consumption, allowing me to experience the symptoms a little less frequently. I accepted that this was always going to be part of my life.
Heartburn occurs when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus (acid reflux). Medications like Prilosec, Prevacid, and antacids are commonly used to treat the symptoms of heartburn.
Antacids, like TUMS, provide quick relief by neutralizing the stomach acid, though they do not actually treat the cause, nor can they repair any damage the stomach acid may cause to the esophagus.
Medications like Prilosec and Prevacid treat multiple conditions stemming from stomach acid. They bring relief by reducing the stomach acid, and though they take longer to take effect than antacids, their effects last longer.
Like all medications, there's all sorts of side effects to take into consideration before committing to longterm use. Some of the side effects for these common heartburn treatments are:
Prilosec: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, gas, constipation, fever, or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat
Prevacid: headache, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, or constipation
Antacids: depending on the kind of antacid being consumed, there are a number of side effects one can experience, such as milk-alkali syndrome, constipation, or diarrhea. Antacids can also interact with other medications making them more difficult for the body to absorb and use properly.
None of the above is for me. I have had TUMS once or twice before and I can't stand them. I don't like the chalky taste, and frankly, the negative effects outweigh the temporary relief, in my opinion. I knew it wouldn't be an easy task to find a natural alternative, for all I knew, there wasn't one. Like I mentioned before, I was 30-years-old the first time I ever experienced heartburn, so I felt confident that I had time to snoop around hopefully before I'd need it again.
In the fall of 2015 I attended an Arbonne presentation. I was familiar with the company, and was already using a handful of their products so I wondered if I'd even learn anything new. "This next product is called Digestion Plus, it's great for anyone who deals with tummy issues and/or has to take TUMS, or things like Prilosec because of indigestion," the host said.
"Digestion Plus is a daily dietary supplement. It's a blend of enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics that balance the microflora in the gut. Its 11 enzymes promote digestion and nutrient uptake. It contains a patented probiotic, Bacillus Coagulan, which, unlike other probiotics, can actually survive the gastric juices in the stomach to do its thing."
Does it do anything else?
"It supports the intestinal wall that gets damaged by poor diets, stress, antibiotics and other medications, allowing our bodies to absorb more nutrients like calcium. It also manufactures B-vitamins for our bodies to use."
I sampled some, it wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted but the taste really didn't matter to me if it could do what it said it could. I ordered two boxes. One for myself and one for my husband. He used to keep a family-sized bottle of TUMS on his nightstand so he could easily pop a few before bed. We haven't had TUMS in our house for over year. My husband no longer deals with indigestion on a daily basis because he uses Digestion Plus.
I've only had heartburn twice in the two years since that fateful July night. The most recent was just this spring. I had eaten some homemade pizza, only to find out after that it was a beer-dough pizza. Within 15 minutes of eating my stomach became so bloated it was painful to the touch. I had pains all over my stomach. I just wanted to lie in the fetal position; which I did, and almost immediately the heartburn started.
"Is there anything I can do to help," my husband asked.
"Digestion..." I sighed, heavily through some moans.
"Hmm? What was that? If only there was something I could do..."
"DIGESTION! Bring me some Digestion Plus, NOW!"
There was no mistaking me that time. He was back just a couple minutes later, he'd already mixed the packet with some water and I sucked it down without even stopping for a breath.
I was only awake for 10 minutes after that. Within 5, my heartburn had completely gone away and most of my stomach pain was gone. I don't actually know how long it took for the bloat to go away because I fell soundly asleep and was 100% better when I awoke the next morning.
It's rare that I experience the painful stomach bloat that plagued me for years. I'm not worried about getting heartburn again either. We make sure we always have Digestion Plus on hand, especially since we don't keep any kind of medication or antacid around. When we've had guests who experience heartburn, we give them Digestion Plus. It's worked every time.
There are many digestion issues that people deal with on a daily basis. 80% of our immune system is in our gut. Nearly all skin conditions start in the gut. I've met with so many people who have similar stories to mine, and some with completely different issues, but equally as sever. Much like me, these folks have gone to doctors and GI's and other specialists only to be told that "it's autoimmune" or it's "IBS" or that the cause is just unknown.
For example, imagine never having any allergies your entire life. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, everything you eat makes you break out into hives. Literally, everything you eat leaves your skin feeling hot, then these welts start appearing, red and itchy AF. Pictured here is my sister, Amy. This very awful scenario was her every day until she started using Digestion Plus. Several doctors told her they just weren't sure, and that it was autoimmune, too bad for her. Digestion Plus is the only thing that treats her condition.
If you experience any stomach, indigestion or skin issues and haven't found a natural way to address it then Digestion Plus might be for you! This product is part of the reason we decided to carry Arbonne in our studio in the first place. We want to make access quality nutrition products as easy as possible to our clients.
Contact us today if you have any questions, or would like more information on this or any Arbonne product, or visit our Arbonne Nutrition page.
Heartburn symptoms and treamtment www.mayoclinic.com
Heartburn symptoms and treatment www.rxlist.com