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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

This is my first post, so a little about me. I'm a medicinal chemist and I've suffered from overproduction of stomach acid my entire life. Through my 20s, I managed it with lots and lots of Tums. Into my 30s, I started taking H2 antagonists and eventually graduated to sporadically taking PPIs.

This takes me to about 8 years ago when I had a serious cough that wouldn't go away and a lot of pain and my abdomen. On a recommendation from my GP, I saw a gastroenterologist who performed an upper endoscopy. He said my esophagus looked great, but he found about a dozen areas of erosions (he said they weren't quite full blown ulcers) in my stomach and small intestine. He also said I tested negative for H. Pylori.

He put me on Zegerid and sucralfate for a month and that cleared everything up. I tried to get off the PPI, but every time I did, I would feel the rebound effect (and not knowing about the rebound effect at that time, I would just end up back on a PPI).

If I took the same PPI for more than a month, I would also start getting breakthrough symptoms, so I developed a strategy of rotating Prilosec for two weeks, Prevacid for two weeks, then Zantac for a few days to a week (as long as I could manage). That worked the past 8 years and I've been relatively symptom free (as far as the too much acid production goes). But I was getting severe atypical migraines, muscle cramps, tension headaches, heart beat irregularities etc, all likely caused by magnesium deficiency. I tried supplementing magnesium, but it just didn't seem to help much (and due to symptoms from taking magnesium, I was somewhat limited in how much I could take). Around this time, I finally read about the rebound effect caused from quitting PPIs and figured if I could just get past that rebound period, maybe I could quit them for good.

So I developed a strategy with my physician. He put me on sucralfate while I was getting past the rebound and it worked! At first, it was a little rough, but I got through it and after a month was able to wean off the sucralfate as well. That combined with taking magnesium supplements also alleviated most of my other issues as well (the only one that remained was preventricular contractions, but I went from having about 15 per minute to 1 every 3-5 minutes). I thought I had finally beat this, but after a couple more months, I started having nasty pains in my chest and liver area as well as my gut. I was also hacking up my lungs. I seriously thought I might have cancer, but after talking to my doc, he thought it was probably just my stomach acid problem coming back, so I went back on PPIs and within a week all those symptoms went away. I'm simultaneously relieved and disgusted at the same time.

Anyone have any thoughts? I've read recent research that suggests acute use of PPIs may be just as successful as chronic usage, so I may just go that route. Use it for a couple weeks, and stop and stay off as long as I can, then go back on, etc.

In any event, I was wondering if anyone had any other thoughts. I'm open to anything that has a scientific explanation. I don't believe in magic, so no weird mumbo jumbo, please.

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