I have a weak valve (the valve between the esophagus and stomach), and thus have had GERD my entire life. I've been on different types of acid reducers since my teens; then progressed to the H2 blockers (Zantac etc.); then progressed to PPIs. I've probably been on PPIs for at least a decade.
It seems that after I've been on a particular PPI for a long time, after awhile it doesn't seem to work as well. So then I switch to a different brand of PPI and I again find some relief. (Currently I'm on Zegerid and it works well for me.)
I have a fantastic GI doc, and he's not at all concerned about long-term use of PPIs. He is aware of the osteoporosis link, and suggests regular use of calcium supplements. He also had me do a Dexa scan in 2007 to check for osteoporosis. At the time I had the scan, I didn't have osteoporosis, but had some PRE-osteoporosis in one hip. That doesn't necessarily mean that the PPIs caused it though. ALL the women in my family had osteoporosis, so it tends to run in my family---and they weren't on PPIs.
Definitely paying attention to what foods cause you reflux, and then avoiding those foods, helps!! And don't eat 3 hours before bedtime.
54 year old female;
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for over 9 yrs. My first small bowel surgery was on 7-30-09.
On Humira since Dec. 2008. Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.