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I am an IBS sufferer and have found this bulletin board to be very comforting and informative. After reading about peppermint on this board I started drinking peppermint tea everyday and sucking on Altoids. I went to my gastro doctor today for a visit just because I have had more symptons lately and as a follow up to an urgent care visit from two weeks ago. I mentioned the peppermint and she said to stop with it. She said it causes more problems and an increase in reflux. I told her I have felt better taking it and she said not to continue with it.Any comments on this? I swear I have felt so much better including peppermint in my diet.
 

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quote:She said it causes more problems and an increase in reflux. I told her I have felt better taking it and she said not to continue with it.
Peppermint is a weak calcium channel blocker and hence relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and can lead to more reflux. I am trying to guess why your doctor would be against it. Could that lead to something like Barrett's? I don't know that anyone has studied in that much depth, so I am not sure this caution is really necessary.
 

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I have very irritated stomach lining and esophagus. I have been diagnosed with GERD. Anything minty hurts my throat and stomach. On bad days, even breathing peppermint smell hurts my throat.I have very bad nausea, and have wanted to try peppermint, but cant because of my GERD.
, Marriah
 

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Jess, I take enteric coated peppermint capsules and find that provides modest, short-term relief. The coating allows it reach further into the digestive system (perhaps Flux will argue it still doesn't reach far enough). GERD can be a problem with peppermint so always leave several hours between taking the tablets and bedtime. In fact, I even had a GERD problem a few years ago. I always take the capsules with meals, never on an empty stomach - perhaps that downplays the possible negative effects. A dietitian told me to avoid peppermint, but I trust my experience more.
 

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I also have GERD and heard about the peppermint thing. So I tryed it. It helped alot up until about a week later and my reflux really kicked up and made me feel worse. When I called the nurse to tell her about it she told me that It would help your IBS but is not good for GERD. She did tell me that there is some kinda peppermint that you can take that would help thou because it has some kinda coating on it and won't start getting digested until after the stomach. I don't remember the the name of it and I wanted to ask what it was but I forgot the last time I was there. If you do find out what it is please let me know.
 

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How do you know your pills are enteric-coated? Smell them. If you smell peppermint, I think it is safe to assume they are not coated as the company claims. As long as it isn't a real drug, the manufacturer say it is without actually use any coating.
quote: The coating allows it reach further into the digestive system (perhaps Flux will argue it still doesn't reach far enough)
yeah, I don�t think the amounts they give are sufficient and only certain coatings will work.So I don't think peppermint is useful for much other inducing reflux.On the other hand, you could get them compounded.
 

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I have found much relief with Peppermint Oil Capsules. The ones that I buy are enteric coated and they do not smell like Peppermint and they are in a very thick brown bubble (for lack of a better word) I found that they really help me with spastic bowel contractions or spasms, and helped to alleviate most of the gas pains. I also read that you should not take it if you suffer from frequent heartburn or acid reflux for the same reason that Flux gave. Kari
 

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Kari, I tend to agree with Flux>>>>Peppermint is a weak calcium channel blocker and hence relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and can lead to more reflux.<<<<<<<I've worked with herbs for years. At least 20 that I can remember with respect to my lifes history.While I admit that I don't know everything about herbs even still, I can say that my current knowlege of working with peppermint agrees with the above statement.I would also like to add this bit of herbal info from my perspectvie.Herbs in general are very complex structures and systems all unto them selves.In the new wave of new age alternative care and healing and the greal world of plant medicinals we often forget why the world of pharmeceuticals evolved out of the folk remedies of the past.and that reason would be that plants are some powerful medicine and that plants being so very complex, require an understanding of strengths and dosages and indications and contraindications as much if not more so than the standard pharmaceuticals. Being classified as a suppliment there are virtually no guidelines and rules for plant things unless self imposed by reputable herbal companies who can and do set standards for the use of such things.With peppermint and so many other herbs it often depends on which part of the plant that was processed, Was it just the tender leaf or was it the leaf and the stem? And that's where only a fraction of the mystery begins.How was it processed was it cold pressed or steam distilled? That too makes a difference.How was it handled at packing? What time of day was the root crop cut? In the aromatherapy essential oil business plants are harvested at certain times of day when the pland essential oil is most abundant with in the plant because as we all know, plants store up and release with the cycle of the day and the weather and the soil conditions and so on and so forth.So, what this means is that because herbs and plants are subject to so much speculation because their standards are still being debated between the natural foods world and the pharmeceutical world, we as consumers owe it to ourselves to become our own best researchers for the things we choose to help us handle our maladies.With peppermint so very much depends on dose and strength. On the one hand peppermint can and does sooth a crankey belly. It is one of those plants that depending on how you are taking the substance can either be a soothing herb or an excitant.On the other hand too much peppermint or one too many of those curiously strong altoids and poof there goes nirvana and on comes the gut cramp.Peppermint is used for both diarreah and Constipation. How can that be?Dose and procedure. That's how that can be.It all depends on what you do with the stuff.Peppermint too many day in a row? Yep,it sure can start blockg and affecting other body functions. Pepperment is an agressive plant. stick a sprig of that stuff in the ground and by the end of summer you'll have a yard full of peppermint.So as it behaves in it's natural state so it behaves in your body. Too much peppermint and whoosh there it goes knocking out body systems and making organic chaos.But a little peppermint, a teeny weenie bit of peppermint done well and artfull in a precise cup of ever soothing and gentle tea?Oh, now that's a whole other scenario that can take disaster and head it off at the pass.Also, another interesting peppermint thing here,in addition to having the ability to over ride the body system functions, it is also the counter to many homeopathic remedies.People who are doing homeopathic remedies can't take peppermint because peppermint will over ride the treatment and render it useless.Personally, if I have a need for more peppermintother than a happy cup of occasinal warm tea, then I would find taking a weakly concocted body oil made of the most minute amount of peppermint combined with something like Olive oil, and having it rubbed on the arches of my feet is comforting. However, once again, we would not want to use the dermal application of such a plant medicinalal too regularly because of course as we all know, what goes on the skin gets into the body. Medical science has already figured this out too or else they wouldn't make all those medicine delivering transdermal patches. So that's some food for thought on external applications too.Well, that's my two cents.Sorry that I don't have a whole bunch of links to validate my thoughts on this matter.All I have is my experience and my brain, which since the hysterectomy and emergency colon surgery has admitidedly been a bit foggy.So, if this information so lacking in proof and validation is inappropriate........My apologies.Just sharing what's in my head an not commited to the book of reference.Hope it helps at least someone.Kamie
 

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I do not have Gerd or any reflux problems. I have found however, peppermint helped IBS symptoms alot. I use a peppermint oil.....using just a drop or two as it is very strong added to my water...quite tasty and helps upset tummyies.
 

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This is a classic thing to remember with herbs.EVERYTHING has side effects andEVERYTHING is contra-indictated for someone.Just because it is natural and herbal doesn't mean that it is 100% safe in all doses for every person on the planet.Peppermint has effects.It is an antispasmodic. This is what helps wtih IBS.It ALSO relaxes the sphincter at the top of the stomach besides relaxing spasms.For MOST people this is not an issue. But if you have heartburn problems or GERD peppermint may not be good for you, even if it is perfectly OK for other people to use.K.
 

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Peppermint must help some IBS sufferers because Heather Van Vorhous recommends it in her book 'Eating for IBS.' I do have flux, however, even a small amount of Barretts and take Prevacid too, so maybe that complicates it all. I started keeping a food log as a last resort.
 
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