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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board


Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index


I definitely agree on the whole just handing out medicine thing. I got prescribed a 2-week supply of Ambien and I researched that, and all the sites said it shouldn't be taken for more than 2 weeks so I figured my doctor wouldn't give me more. The next time I went he ASKED me if I wanted more. Well, I said yes but the point is.. I don't think doctors should be asking patients what kind of medicine they want lol. All I know is it makes me go to sleep, but I don't know the technical/medical stuff about it.

I also saw a psychologist and at the end of my first appointment he told me I was depressed and asked me if I'd be willing to go on antidepressants. I said no. If I wanted drugs I would have just gone to the doctor and asked for some, but I was there trying to actually resolve my issues. He talked about how I could really benefit from them.. blah blah blah and I said fine. I started taking one and I did feel better but pretty much the only difference was that I wasn't crying all day. After a month my doctor said it wasn't doing "enough" and wanted to put me on a different kind of antidepressant. I said no.. I mean they're messing with my brain here and that's just scary to think about. I've been having problems with my short-term memory so even though I didn't want to take it, I started another antidepressant because I would like for my brain to go back to normal. I'm taking both kinds of antidepressants now + Ambien + Kapidex and I'm tired of all of it. I was really angry after I was given the 2nd antidepressant that I was just going to stop taking everything altogether. I read about people quitting ADs cold turkey and decided against it lol. I want to be off of them soon though.

Anyway, about the bone scan. I'm afraid if I bring it up my doctor will think I'm being paranoid. I've been having a lot of random muscle pain, sometimes my upper back or lower back.. but I know depression makes your body hurt for no reason so I haven't brought it up. If I bring up a bone scan he might think it's the depression talking. I'm 21 so I doubt he's concerned about my bone density.
[QUOTE=mmKay;4195804]I definitely agree on the whole just handing out medicine thing. I got prescribed a 2-week supply of Ambien and I researched that, and all the sites said it shouldn't be taken for more than 2 weeks so I figured my doctor wouldn't give me more. The next time I went he ASKED me if I wanted more. Well, I said yes but the point is.. I don't think doctors should be asking patients what kind of medicine they want lol. All I know is it makes me go to sleep, but I don't know the technical/medical stuff about it.

I also saw a psychologist and at the end of my first appointment he told me I was depressed and asked me if I'd be willing to go on antidepressants. I said no. If I wanted drugs I would have just gone to the doctor and asked for some, but I was there trying to actually resolve my issues. He talked about how I could really benefit from them.. blah blah blah and I said fine. I started taking one and I did feel better but pretty much the only difference was that I wasn't crying all day. After a month my doctor said it wasn't doing "enough" and wanted to put me on a different kind of antidepressant. I said no.. I mean they're messing with my brain here and that's just scary to think about. I've been having problems with my short-term memory so even though I didn't want to take it, I started another antidepressant because I would like for my brain to go back to normal. I'm taking both kinds of antidepressants now + Ambien + Kapidex and I'm tired of all of it. I was really angry after I was given the 2nd antidepressant that I was just going to stop taking everything altogether. I read about people quitting ADs cold turkey and decided against it lol. I want to be off of them soon though.

Anyway, about the bone scan. I'm afraid if I bring it up my doctor will think I'm being paranoid. I've been having a lot of random muscle pain, sometimes my upper back or lower back.. but I know depression makes your body hurt for no reason so I haven't brought it up. If I bring up a bone scan he might think it's the depression talking. I'm 21 so I doubt he's concerned about my bone density.[/QUOTE]

Being 21 right now, I doubt you have to worry about bone density or a Dexa scan for the time being. If you are on PPI's, though, make sure you take calcium citrate and vitamin D3 to increase the rate of absorption. My concern with these medications is that, if we start taking them at twenty or thirty or forty and expect to have a normal life span, how are we then not going to end up with osteopenia or osteoporosis down the line.

I just wish my doctor would have given me literature with information about bone loss, increased risk of fractures and acid rebound so I could have made a more educated choice about taking these medicines.

To be honest, the rebound and symptoms I am experiencing right now at week six off PPI's are worse than any symptoms I had when I started taking them in the first place. Therefore, I do know that these PPI's have messed with my digestive system.

I had mild to moderate heartburn when I went to see a gastro doctor and had my endoscopy three years ago. Since I got off the Aciphex, I have heartburn, nausea, pain in my gut, diahrrea and all sorts of symptoms I hope will improve with time.

I know many people need to be on these medicines long term. I just wish I had been provided with more information so I could have made a more educated choice.

But I don't think you have to worry about bone loss at twenty one just yet. I did not realize you were that young.
Hi all. I am so glad I found this thread. I've read through all posts and much of the things I am already trying or have tried.

Uggh! Where do I start? I am 41, female and I, too am very frustrated with the medical profession because I feel they do not want to help find a solution to the problem, only put a bandaid on it. My doctor, who I have not been very happy with for a while, always seems to whip out the script pad and pen every time I go there.

I'll try to make a long story short. I've been on Aciphex for about 10 years!!! I was so naive and let them keep prescribing this for years before I did a little research myself and found out what you all already know. I can't really remember every detail from 10 years ago but I DO know that I did not even have any heartburn or burning of any kind or anything I have now. I am a worrier and I was going through a little stressful period then (brought on by myself) and I remember having a little stomach issue. I think (if my memory serves me right) I was prescribed Zantac...at that time it was by prescription only. I had an endoscopy and Barium Swallow somewhere in that time frame and then was put on Aciphex. Like I said, I can't remember why or exactly when but it's something like 9 or 10 years ago. I have had no problems with side effects all this time with the Aciphex. I could eat anything and everything with no problems.

Fast forward to last September. I was going through a stressful time at work and I had two vacations scheduled in two months time. I started having the lump in throat sensation and felt a tightness at times in my chin/throat area. No other problems. I figured it was because I worried myself to death, or sickness...whichever comes first. Now I'm thinking maybe the Aciphex was starting to fail me back then. At the same time, my insurance wanted a cheaper alternative to Aciphex so my doctor said Omeprazole would be OK. So I worried about this. This is when I started my research about coming off of PPI's and the acid rebound effect. I was a little scared but I tried going cold turkey the beginning of this year. I totally reversed my diet. No common trigger foods, no alcohol (don't drink anyway), drink only water, exercise, do not eat with 3-4 hrs of bedtime, etc. etc...you name it. I started taking digestive enzymes with probiotics. I lasted about 2-1/2 weeks. The reason I went back on was not because it was unbearable. The reason I started back on the PPI's was because I felt like I was doing damage. I did not have any stomach pain whatsoever. Only heartburn and chest pain. My stomach never bothered me and I don't have problems at night (knock on wood).

I went back to the doctor and started the omeprazole, which took away the burn but didn't seem to work as good as the Aciphex. Got another Barium Swallow and it showed severe reflux (duh?). I got my insurance to give me the Aciphex again. However, I've been on it for 5 weeks and it does not seem to work like it did before. Sometimes I feel like I'm having side effects of the Aciphex. Is that even possible when I didn't have a problem before? Now I'm thinking...what have I done?

I really want to go off this drug. I'm doing everything I can as far as my diet and lifestyle changes. I am on 20 mg, enteric coated so I cannot split the pill. I've been thinking about weaning myself off starting 3 days on, one day off. I've thought of using Zantac on the off day but it says not to use with other acid reducers. Has anyone done this?

I was thinking I should see a GI doc and tell him what I'm doing but I feel like he's going to give me the "why would you want to do that" speech. I'm just so frustrated.

What I have started in the past week (while still on Aciphex) is:
DGL Licorice, 400 mg before each meal, which seems to help...how much of this is safe to take in a day?
Digestive Enzyme with Probiotics with each meal
I am waiting for my Calcium Citrate Powder to arrive
I have Aloe Vera juice but have only used it once. Is once or twice a day enough for this?

I would appreciate any feedback as this is a frustrating situation....as you all know.

Thanks!
I thought I'd provide a quick update on my divorce (from PPIs). About 3 weeks ago now I had a GI virus and took nothing at all over the course of a weekend. After this "cold turkey" stop I decided to not go back on the omeprazole and see what happened. So far, so good. No big acid rebound, although I may be refluxing and not noticing it. There are times when I feel a slight tightness in my chest right around the area of the LES, but I've decided I'm just not going to medicate for that (if it even is reflux). If I start noticing alot of reflux, my plan is to take an H2 blocker occasionally and only as REALLY needed, but I've not needed it yet. I am eating very healthfully and getting alot of exercise and so far my body is holding steady. It may be that I haven't had the bad acid rebound that some of you have experienced because I wasn't on the omeprazole all that long (just about 4 months when I stopped). I'll post an update if anything changes.
[QUOTE=abbydabbydew;4206447]I thought I'd provide a quick update on my divorce (from PPIs). About 3 weeks ago now I had a GI virus and took nothing at all over the course of a weekend. After this "cold turkey" stop I decided to not go back on the omeprazole and see what happened. So far, so good. No big acid rebound, although I may be refluxing and not noticing it. There are times when I feel a slight tightness in my chest right around the area of the LES, but I've decided I'm just not going to medicate for that (if it even is reflux). If I start noticing alot of reflux, my plan is to take an H2 blocker occasionally and only as REALLY needed, but I've not needed it yet. I am eating very healthfully and getting alot of exercise and so far my body is holding steady. It may be that I haven't had the bad acid rebound that some of you have experienced because I wasn't on the omeprazole all that long (just about 4 months when I stopped). I'll post an update if anything changes.[/QUOTE]

That's great. Hope it continues for you.

Like you I am eating very well and getting exercise. Even when I did do my "experiment" going cold turkey a couple months back it wasn't unbearable, but I wasn't doing the things I'm doing now. I'm doing every other day with the Aciphex and like you, I get that tightness too in that area and a little heartburn but not bad. A little Gaviscon here or there but I'm not doing that regularly.

I hope to beat this thing!
Hi, everyone, I just found this thread, and I can't believe I didn't realize what I was putting in my body for the last few years. I was diagnosed with acid reflux 5 years ago, and was put on ranitidine (Zantac) for a month. After the month was up, my symptoms returned. I was prescribed with another month (higher dose) with the doctor suggesting I move to omeprazole (Prilosec) if the ranitidine didn't work. The ranitidine didn't work again, but i continued to take it and stopped going to the doctor since she had mentioned the drug was OTC, and I could self-prescribe.

About 2 years ago, I switched to omeprazole when it started being available OTC because I'd had to continue to increase my ranitidine dosage while also taking Tums every few days. I've now been taking omeprazole for 2 years without supplementing calcium!!! :eek:

I do no eat fatty/acidy foods and am a healthy eater, but I do drink coffee daily. I started looking online for alternate treatments because my acid reflux seems to be worsening lately. I wasn't sure what could be causing the increased acid, but I don't like taking omeprazole anyway because I feel like the food I eat sits in my stomach without being digested fully.

I am in my early 30s, and I realize I need to find an alternative to the omeprazole, but, like everyone else who has posted, everything else I have tried has been without success (ranitidine not being strong enough even with healthy eating). I actually recently had a spinal x-ray at the chiropractor due to some back pain, and the chiro said I had phase 1 spinal decay and this usually doesn't show up in someone as young as I am. I'm wondering now if it's the omeprazole! :(:(:(:eek::eek::eek:

Has anyone tried an alkaline diet < edited >? Does anyone have any advice for how I could start weaning myself off of omeprazole? I think I'm going to buy Aloe Vera juice and DGL tablets and start eating alkaline, but should I just go cold turkey with the omeprazole - maybe switch it to a high dose of ranitidine (I tried making this switch last year with no success, felt nauseated all the time and had a lot of acid reflux)?
[QUOTE=seebrown;4217766]Hi, everyone, I just found this thread, and I can't believe I didn't realize what I was putting in my body for the last few years. I was diagnosed with acid reflux 5 years ago, and was put on ranitidine (Zantac) for a month. After the month was up, my symptoms returned. I was prescribed with another month (higher dose) with the doctor suggesting I move to omeprazole (Prilosec) if the ranitidine didn't work. The ranitidine didn't work again, but i continued to take it and stopped going to the doctor since she had mentioned the drug was OTC, and I could self-prescribe.

About 2 years ago, I switched to omeprazole when it started being available OTC because I'd had to continue to increase my ranitidine dosage while also taking Tums every few days. I've now been taking omeprazole for 2 years without supplementing calcium!!! :eek:

I do no eat fatty/acidy foods and am a healthy eater, but I do drink coffee daily. I started looking online for alternate treatments because my acid reflux seems to be worsening lately. I wasn't sure what could be causing the increased acid, but I don't like taking omeprazole anyway because I feel like the food I eat sits in my stomach without being digested fully.

I am in my early 30s, and I realize I need to find an alternative to the omeprazole, but, like everyone else who has posted, everything else I have tried has been without success (ranitidine not being strong enough even with healthy eating). I actually recently had a spinal x-ray at the chiropractor due to some back pain, and the chiro said I had phase 1 spinal decay and this usually doesn't show up in someone as young as I am. I'm wondering now if it's the omeprazole! :(:(:(:eek::eek::eek:

Has anyone tried an alkaline diet < edited >? Does anyone have any advice for how I could start weaning myself off of omeprazole? I think I'm going to buy Aloe Vera juice and DGL tablets and start eating alkaline, but should I just go cold turkey with the omeprazole - maybe switch it to a high dose of ranitidine (I tried making this switch last year with no success, felt nauseated all the time and had a lot of acid reflux)?[/QUOTE]

I think the consensus is to NOT get off the PPI's cold turkey. I almost did that and have suffered a lot. I tapered off a bit and then went from the PPI to Zantac and experienced a heck of a rebound.

I have good days and bad days on Zantac. I don't know at this point how much of what I am experiencing is still rebound and how much is just my GERD. I have experienced nausea and heartburn today on and off on the same dose of Zantac (150 mg twice a day) after three or four pretty good days.

I am like you. All the natural remedies seem to help a bit, but do not seem to have the same impact they do on others. I have tried aloe juice and capsules, orange peel extract capsules, cutting carbs, taking DGL, etc. with limited success. I read all the different posts about using probiotics and then feel frustrated when I am throwing everything and the kitchen sink at my heartburn and it seems to have a mind of its own. I now follow a pretty predictable diet of foods that typically do not produce reflux for me and I still have days of pronounced heartburn regardless of what I eat.

I frankly still don't know if I'll be able to make the permanent switch to Zantac or I'll have to return to the PPI eventually. I don't mind followig a strict diet and I no longer drink coffee or alcohol and I still experience symptoms. Therefore, it is frustrating.

I am on my second month off PPI's and I said I am going to give it three months before I decide whether I can stay off the medicine or will have to return to the PPI.

My suggestion to you would be to cut off the coffee to see if that has any impact on your symptoms and start cutting back on the Omeprazole very slowly and gradually. Going cold turkey is probably going to be painful and not effective if in the end it forces you to go back on the PPI.

I will keep posting here until I finish my three month experiment and make my decision to stay off the PPI or go back on it. I would like the other members who are struggling with this to know the eventual outcome of my situation.
At this point, it appears that I can have two-three good days and one day of reflux and heartburn regardless of what I eat or don't eat and in spite of using Zantac. If that is the course of this disorder for me, I will then eventually have to decide whether I will continue to live with these symptoms or go back to the PPI.

As you know from reading these posts is that what got me to quit the PPI was the discovery that I had developed osteopenia in both hips after two years of using Aciphex. The Aciphex worked great, only I did not know it was not allowing my body to absorb calcium.

But please, do not go off Omeprazole cold turkey. I think that is the one mistake I made and others have also posted about that in here through the years.

Rose
Hello Rose,

I wanted to thank you for your detailed posts and I do appreciate the fact that you are following this through until the end so that other members can find out the outcome after a period of time, rather than just at the beginning of their journey.

I have been taking Nexium for almost 3 years, 40mg 1 x day. It worked very well for my heartburn. I had been thinking about trying to stop taking it as I don't like to take medicines indefinately if there is a way to treat otherwise. So I started googling about stopping Nexium and I could not believe some of the information I found. I had several side effects that I thought were a result of other issues. I suffered anxiety a few years ago and have that very much under control. However, I learned through that process that your body can react to stress and have physical symptoms. I thought that was what was happening to me until I read some of this information. I had one trip to the ER last summer due to swelling and of course, they came up with nothing.
I also had not been supplementing with calcium.

The side effects I have had over the past 18 months include:
-tingling in hands and feet
-extreme swelling in legs and ankles
-muscle spasms
-eye twitching
-skin eruptions
-joint pain
-nerve damage

I decided to stop the Nexium cold turkey (which I may not have done if I had read all of your information first). Today is day 21.

I have been using Tums and have taken Zantac 150mg as needed. I have had raging heartburn at times, felt quite nautious, exhausted and some sour taste in the morning in my mouth. At this point in time, I would just like to feel better. Every day I feel I am walking on eggshells in terms of how I am going to feel.

I am confident I made the right choice to come off the Nexium. I would also like to have 6 - 8 weeks of this under my belt before I discuss with my doctor (although I know he will say I should have discussed it with him first).

How do you know if it is rebound or reflux? Are you having futher tests done?

Thank you again for your commitment to this and I look forward to your continued progress.
[QUOTE=LMF123;4224113]Hello Rose,

I wanted to thank you for your detailed posts and I do appreciate the fact that you are following this through until the end so that other members can find out the outcome after a period of time, rather than just at the beginning of their journey.

I have been taking Nexium for almost 3 years, 40mg 1 x day. It worked very well for my heartburn. I had been thinking about trying to stop taking it as I don't like to take medicines indefinately if there is a way to treat otherwise. So I started googling about stopping Nexium and I could not believe some of the information I found. I had several side effects that I thought were a result of other issues. I suffered anxiety a few years ago and have that very much under control. However, I learned through that process that your body can react to stress and have physical symptoms. I thought that was what was happening to me until I read some of this information. I had one trip to the ER last summer due to swelling and of course, they came up with nothing.
I also had not been supplementing with calcium.

The side effects I have had over the past 18 months include:
-tingling in hands and feet
-extreme swelling in legs and ankles
-muscle spasms
-eye twitching
-skin eruptions
-joint pain
-nerve damage

I decided to stop the Nexium cold turkey (which I may not have done if I had read all of your information first). Today is day 21.

I have been using Tums and have taken Zantac 150mg as needed. I have had raging heartburn at times, felt quite nautious, exhausted and some sour taste in the morning in my mouth. At this point in time, I would just like to feel better. Every day I feel I am walking on eggshells in terms of how I am going to feel.

I am confident I made the right choice to come off the Nexium. I would also like to have 6 - 8 weeks of this under my belt before I discuss with my doctor (although I know he will say I should have discussed it with him first).

How do you know if it is rebound or reflux? Are you having futher tests done?

Thank you again for your commitment to this and I look forward to your continued progress.[/QUOTE]

I, too am experiencing what I think are side effects of Aciphex. I have been taking it for 8 years. The beginning of this year I did my little "cold turkey experiment" and although it was bearable I felt like I may have been doing myself harm. So I went on Omeprazole (due to insurance wanting a cheaper alternative) and that didn't seem to work. Although, thinking back I think it did. Anyway, my GP got my insurance to fill the Aciphex and now I'm back on it. So I was off Aciphex for about 6 weeks and a week or two after I went back on it, I started getting these muscle spasms/cramps/twitches....whatever they are. They are mostly in my abdominal region however I have little spasms in my upper thigh at times. They are not constant and some days I really don't have them. Yesterday I took Zantac instead and didn't have them. I really didn't have them all the years I was on it but I did have headaches more. I am going to see a new Gastro and explain everything and hope I can beat this thing.





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