About six years ago, I was very uncomfortable talking with people. I had bad breath I didn’t know how to get rid of.
I had been going to the dentist for cleaning every 6 months. I had flossed after every meal. I used mouthwash. I used menthol candies. Nothing helped. The candies were able to mask the odor for some time, but it didn’t last very long.
Fast forward three years after, I still had the same unmaskable bad breath plus a couple of other symptoms so I knew there was something deeper.
I Googled my symptoms several times and the results were the same: GERD.
What is GERD?
The name stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Some people refer to it as acid reflux but actually, acid reflux is just one of the symptoms.
GERD occurs when the contents of our stomach reflux into the esophagus because the muscle at the end of it doesn’t close properly. This then causes irritation in the lining of the esophagus.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
There are quite a number of GERD symptoms but I will share with you what I experienced as it may be more relatable.
Bad breath. As I mentioned earlier, my mouth produces a foul odor no matter how carefully I took care of my oral health. The bad breath won’t just go away even just after brushing.
Unpleasant taste in the mouth. It was not very often, but there were days when I would randomly have this unexplainable unpleasant taste in my mouth. And no matter what I eat, it just wouldn’t disappear. I would try brushing my teeth over and over then gargle with mouthwash but they wouldn’t help.
Heartburn. A weird, painful feeling in my chest would also appear from time to time. It was like my chest would go hot and tight. There were several times I had to unhook my bra so I could breathe properly.
Dysphagia. During the latter days of experiencing GERD, I had difficulty swallowing. And it was the most uncomfortable period of having that disease. Every time I eat, it was like something would get stuck in my throat.
The only way to relieve the feeling was to force myself into burping. Sometimes, when it’s very, very uncomfortable, I would shove my finger as deep as I could in my throat and try to find the “stuck” food. I wouldn’t be able to find it, but it would make me burp really hard and that would be a huge relief.
How to cure GERD
There were several ways I tried to get rid of the illness. Most of which are from other GERD sufferers who shared their experience online.
Apple Cider Vinegar. I read it somewhere that ACV is a powerful solution to cure GERD because it neutralizes stomach pH. There were those who said it won’t work because acid cannot combat acid reflux. I tried it nonetheless.
I mixed 1 tablespoon of organic ACV to 1 glass of water. I drank it before bedtime. The result? Even more burning sensation in my throat. Plus the fact that it smells bad made me decide I would not take it again.
Carrot juice. Because carrot is rich in alkaline, it is also touted to neutralize stomach acid; hence, relieving the reflux and heartburn.
Using my juicer, I would extract the juice from 1 carrot and add 1 apple to make the taste sweeter. I would take carrot juice every morning on an empty stomach. The result? Mixed. There were days it would alleviate the symptoms; there were days it wouldn’t. I stopped after two weeks after seeing no improvement.
Proton pump inhibitors. Desperate, I sought a medical doctor’s advice and she gave me some medicines I took for a week. If my memory serves me right, I had to take two tablets every day.
The result? There was slight improvement in the reflux, but it was not in any way helpful for the dysphagia, which was my main concern. I stopped after a week.
Activated powdered charcoal. I heard someone testifying how potent an activated charcoal is. So I decided to give it a try.
I mixed 1 tablespoon of the activated charcoal into 1 glass of hot water. I let it sit for about 15 minutes or until the temperature is tolerable. I drank it before bedtime. The result? I would burp really hard after, causing instant relief to my throat discomfort.
However, I noticed that I constipated after a few days of taking it. So I stopped after a week. Nevertheless, I detected a significant improvement in my symptoms. In fact, I would say that all of them disappeared slowly.
It's been a year since I took the activated charcoal drink, and I haven’t had problems with GERD anymore. Yes, there are times when I would still get heartburn and reflux but that’s because of eating too much.
What are the benefits of activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is commonly used as the first-aid medicine for people who were poisoned because it can remove toxins from the body. It is touted to be a powerful decontaminant of the gastrointestinal tract because it absorbs poisonous substances.
It is also known to whiten teeth so some people brush their teeth using it. Some companies include it in their beauty products to get rid of toxins on the skin’s surface.
Did activated charcoal cure my GERD?
I wouldn’t answer a definite yes or no, but based on the many solutions I tried, it is the only one that got rid of my GERD symptoms altogether.
Perhaps, because of its decontaminating power, it was able to absorb the toxins that has built up in my stomach, which caused GERD to happen in the first place.
Suffering from GERD or know anyone who does? Share this story and let them test it. There’s no harm in trying anyway.