As a child, I remember my father getting up in the middle of
the night and stumbling over to the medicine chest for a large blue bottle of
white pellets. He would toss a
handful in a glass of water and hand me one to taste. The Brioschi would fizz and tingle in my mouth, and I would
often be left wondering what would possess someone to drink an entire glass of
the volcanic concoction.
Some readers may identify with my father’s symptoms: an
indescribable feeling of panic caused by an inability to swallow; a burning
sensation in chest; a chronically sore throat. These are very often the warning signs of gastroesophageal
reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux, as it is commonly referred—a
condition that affects an estimated 60 millions Americans. Some may experience an occasional acute
episode, while others can become debilitated by the condition. There is no shortage of “cures” on the
market—from over-the-counter remedies like Tums and Pepcid to doctor-prescribed
Protonics. There are also plenty
of “secret solutions” that can be purchased online for $29.95 or so (I’ll save
you the trouble: apple cider vinegar).
While the occasional bout of heartburn may seem benign on
the surface, it is the body’s way of communicating that there is something
wrong in the digestive process; the cause is often behavioral, as poor eating
and drinking habits usually initiate or exacerbate the condition. There are literally hundreds of
websites that describe GERD and offer treatment advice, so we will spare you
from retelling what a simple Google search can yield. I will however, share with you my personal tale of how to
cope with the disease without using medication or making major dietary changes.
When I was first diagnosed after a series of tests, including
an upper GI exam, my doctor prescribed Omeprazole. Stand in any grocery line and odds are that someone waiting
to check out either uses, has used, or knows someone who is using
Omeprazole. The idea of being
unnecessarily tethered to a medication that could be eliminated with behavioral
modifications didn’t sit well with me, so I tried a host of touted cures (and
yes, bought the vinegar brochure), changed my eating patterns, and even gave
up—dare I say it—coffee. None of
..until I met Chobani.
For those of you who are not familiar with Chobani, it is a
Greek yogurt that contains a dose of probiotics—“good” bacteria that aid in
digestion and maintaining a healthy immune system. After two years of my daily six-ounce cup, I am reflux free
and have been sick only once. Of
course, that bout occurred during a forced three-day sabbatical when my wife
forgot to buy it and I couldn’t get to the store. (We have since reconciled). It is high in protein, low in
carbohydrates, relatively inexpensive, and best of all, tastes much better than
most of the runny blobs in your local dairy aisle.
While GERD is certainly a serious condition and varies in
severity from person to person, those with a mild case may find respite in this
little miracle mousse.Combine it daily with sensible eating habits, a relatively
low-fat, high fiber diet, and exercise, and you might be able to throw away the
medications—and Brioschi—for good.