Gerd & Nexium No More!
Getting a patient off NEXIUM due to chronic digestive issues:
"I've been seeing Anna since 2009, so this testimonial is VERY long overdue. She and I have worked on many things together over the years, but the biggest impact she's had on my quality of life is the work she's done to reduce my stress levels, and more acutely, repair my digestive system.
This may get lengthy, but I think it’s important to convey how long I’ve suffered from digestive issues, to what extent they’ve interfered with my life, and just how big of an impact Anna has had.
I’ve had stomach trouble for most of my life. In 1998 , at the tender age of 14, and after a couple months of excruciating pain, I finally told my parents just how bad I felt. They took me to a gastroenterologist, who after performing a battery of tests, finally diagnosed me with GERD. He indicated was likely stress-induced… I'll spare you the details of why I was under so much stress at 14 years old, but you should know that I’ve always been a bit of an anxious person, which is something I occasionally struggle with even today. The doctor prescribed me Prilosec to manage it back then, and it helped. Once I consistently felt better, I chose to go off of it. I was more or less “okay” for the next 10 years, nursing Maalox, Tums, Rolaids, Pepcid, and even revisiting Prilosec, intermittently when I felt pain or discomfort.
All that changed in 2008. I had gotten married the year prior, and my then-husband and I were buying a house while we lived with my parents and commuting to work. It was a long, stressful process that sent my stress levels through the roof and digestive system into a tailspin. I spent the next year in and out of my gastroenterologist’s office. No OTCs worked anymore and neither did any of the drugs they prescribed me, and I was suffering excruciating stomach pain most waking hours of every single day. My gastroenterologist said there was one drug that he had experienced a high success rate with, but my insurance wouldn't cover it until I had (unsuccessfully) tried EVERY other drug on their list to treat GERD. It took a year and a dozen doctor visits, but I eventually received the prior authorization I needed from my insurance to try Nexium. Lo and behold, it worked!
I started seeing Anna around this time. Initially, we focused on my stress and anxiety. She helped me realize that some of my current anxiety was career-related, and some of it was tied up in my marriage, so while I tried to work through those on my end, she worked her magic with needles. I experienced a significant number of stressors during the 3 year period that followed — I got divorced, lost my house, and went back to school, all while working full time — any of which on their own could have sent my stomach into another tailspin. Nexium protected my stomach while Anna protected my mental and emotional well-being. Sure, I was still stressed at times, and there were still foods that aggravated my digestive system, but by and large I felt fine....at the cost of about $80 for a 90 day supply of Nexium and the going rate for weekly acupuncture visits.
In June 2012, I decided to quit my full-time job to pursue graduate school full time, and because I couldn't afford COBRA, I lost my health insurance benefits and learned that my beloved Nexium would cost me $10 PER DAY to maintain, even at Costco pharmacy pricing. I may have been able to find a way to obtain it at a reduced price, but I decided that I didn't want to rely on a drug to feel pain-free everyday for the rest of my life. I went into Anna's office in June 2012 with a freshly refilled 90 day supply of Nexium and asked her if she could wean me off of it. She told me she believed so as she had weaned patients off different prescription drugs before (never Nexium), but I’d have to commit to doing my part - weekly acupuncture visits and herb supplementation. I was totally on board, especially since I was seeing her anyway and the herbs were much less expensive than Nexium.
Over the next 6 months, not only did she wean me off of it, but I had 7 pills remaining that I never even took! I visited her weekly for acupuncture and incorporated GI Care into my routine. I relied on the herbs more heavily at first and then gradually tapered those down — I currently take a low dose only once a day and still try to see Anna weekly. I’m now drug-free, and my stomach is 98% pain free. I still have bouts of stomach disturbances, which I can usually attribute to a specific food or a particularly stressful event. Anna and I deal with those as they pop up randomly, but overall, my digestive system is a million times better than it was before going on Nexium, to the extent that I almost never take those antacids I used to rely on.
I’m 100% confident that I couldn’t have weaned myself off Nexium and maintained a healthy digestive system without Anna’s help!"