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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

I had NSAID induced heartburn, the first heartburn in my life, at age 65. Was on aspirin and ibuprofen (Alleve) for 3 months due to back and leg pain. The minute I stopped the NSAIDS, the heartburn went away and has not returned. But because of the damage to my stomach lining the Dr wanted me to take omeprazole to reduce stomach acid while it healed. When I had an allergic reaction to it, he said to try Zantac instead, which I am now taking.

Healing the stomach lining can take a very long time, but taking acid reduction medicines for a very long time is not a good idea. You'll notice that all the antacid medicines say to not take for more than two weeks, "without a doctors supervision". That last part gets the pill makers off the hook if you mess yourself up from taking these things long term.

The proton pump inhibitors, like Omeprazole, are the worst. They prevent 90-99% of stomach acid from being produced, which may be good for healing your gastritis, but also prevents proper metabolization and absorption of critical minerals, mainly calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This is why the most common side effect of long term use, and the only one the drug makers admit to, is osteoperosis. Anecdotal evidence also indicates gall bladder problems with long term use.

The H2 blockers, like Zantac, prevent about 70% of stomach acid from being produced. Not quite as bad for you as the PPIs, but still not good. It is essential that you supplement your diet with these three minerals while on either PPIs or H2 blockers.

But just as important is dietary changes. You'll need to restrict spicy and acid foods. Try some anti inflammatory things like green tea, honey, carrot juice, boswellia extract. If you can prevent further irritation with just diet changes, then do it. Avoid Zantac if you can, or just take it, or one of the milder antacid drugs like Tums, when you have an issue rather than daily.

It only took 3 weeks to cause your problem, but there's no telling how long it will take to cure it. The first prescription for Omeprazole my GI doc gave me had a years worth of refills on it. Good luck.

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