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DrNowicki, Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 687
Experience:  >7yrsPrivate practice, gen'l family practice;focus on treating the cause of symptoms w/natural meds
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immediately after eating, mucus starts to accumulate in my

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immediately after eating, mucus starts to accumulate in my throat making me have to clear my throat -- then I start to cough as pressure seems to build in my upper middle chest. I cough so hard I often gag and sometimes vomit. A recent endoscopy showed that I have a small hiatal hernia. I have been prescribed Prilosec and Protonix but do not want to be on them the rest of my life as I am a 61 year old post-menopausal women with a family history of osteoporisis. Where do I go from here?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrNowicki replied 8 years ago.

Hi there.


Post nasal drip is a sign of immune reaction most likely secondary to allergy. Although the hiatal hernia may also be causing some acid reflux as well. The Prilosec or Protonix would help if it were acid reflux. If they have not helped, the symptoms may be more likely secondary to allergy.


I have found much success in my practice after running a specific type of food allergy testing. Often people are experiencing food sensitivities and do not realize it. Although you may have made dietary changes you may still be eating foods that cause you a problem. You can find more information about this type of testing here:

ImmunoLaboratories in Ft.Lauderdale Florida offers food sensitivity testing. This lab has been shown to be the most reliable and reproducible lab for this type of testing in the US.

Chewing your food is very important as this begins the digestive process. Be sure to chew your food a minimum of 20-30 times before swallowing. Drinking excess fluids with meals decreases hydrochloric acid and enzyme strength and may also aggravate your symptoms.


Food senstivities often present with a variety of symptoms. Conventionally they are not tested for although research indicates that approximately 95% of individuals in the US suffer from some type of adverse food reaction.

Digestive enzymes may help, however, this should be discussed with your doctor before starting. The addition of digestive enzymes (such as protease, lipase, pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, etc) aids in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and sugars. Hydrochloric acid production also begins decreasing as we age which can lead to bloating and decreased food breakdown. In addition, probiotics (good bacteria) may also help as they are essential for proper digestive function. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the main bacteria along with bifidobacteria. Saccharomyces boulardii is another important GI bacteria. I often suggest my patients take 9-20 billion colonies per day. Make sure the probiotic is dairy free as some individuals with dairy sensitivities may not improve with probiotics because they contain dairy products (such as lactose). In addition, omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties that may help. Good brands include Nordic Naturals and Carlson.


I have found many of my patients respond well to a drink called Kombucha. This is a fermented beverage containing many bacteria which help recolonize the digestive tract and improve digestive function. One half bottle per day has worked well for my patients.

It is important to discuss testing as well as treatment options with your doctor.

I suggest you see your doctor for testing to rule out infection including bacteria and parasites.

If you experience increased abdominal pain, fever, blood in your stool, pale colored stool, back pain, or vomiting see your doctor immediately.

I hope you find this information helpful.


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