PPI's and their effect on digestion

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 5/7/2009 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on omeprazole for about 1 and 1/2 years and I am getting concerned that I may be producing no more acid.  Without stomach acid how does one digest food?  I notice that if I eat anything that is solid, it goes through my body and shows up undigested in the toilet.  My doctor thinks this is my IBS and high gut motility, but who knows.  Anyone have similiar concerns or experience?  Anyone on these meds for life?

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/7/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, yes it is easily possible that no more stomach acid is being produced. This is known as achlorhydria. Without stomach acid, pepsin (an enzyme which breaks down proteins) becomes largely inactivated. Hence the first stage of protein digestion is incomplete. However, the body has other ways to digest protein (which the pancreas plays a large part in). You would still easily be absorbing enough amino acids (the constituents of proteins) through pancreatic digestion, but faster bowel emptying may occur because of partially undigested food. This is why one of the main side effects reported on PPI packages is diarrhea. However, the extent in which you report undigested food passing through sounds as though there is more going on, perhaps a comorbid IBS syndrome or similiar. If I were you I would lower your PPI does if possible, or preferentially stop taking them and focus on dietary intervention.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 5/15/2009 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I was taking PPI's and had to come off them after a couple of weeks as my meals were just going straight through, the treatment actually made me feel worse than the actual condition (swallowing probs and acid) and I think caused achlorhydra, with strange breath problem, thankfully temporary. I was on lansoprazole these meds have bad effects on the bacteria in your bowel, I took probiotics to replace flora but to no avail, in the end I ditched the meds and the symptoms diminished. Now I just keep a food diary and I no longer drink tea or coffee, seems to help. It could be gut motility but you will only know for sure if you come off the tablets. Hope that helps.

Post Edited (acidgirl) : 5/15/2009 3:48:36 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/17/2009 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello peasant,

I am on Priolosec and I also have IBS.  I have not problem with foods passing straight through me......in fact just the opposite, they want to hand out way to long.  redface

Do talk with your physician re your concerns.

Take care



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 11/18/2012 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I have started taking Prilosec 20mg twice a day. I hate it, but its helping my symptoms so what else can I do.

Does anyone have any more information on how PPI's limit digestion? If I eat healthy food, does my body absorb the nutrients? What about anti-oxidants?

I would hate to think that my healthy eating isn't really helpful if the Prilosec makes my body unable to digest the good stuff.

Just curious

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 11/18/2012 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I could not take the PPIs at all during the first 1 1/2 years of GERD due to side effects but have recently started to tolerate Aciphex - so I am on it daily now (40mg/day). They definitely keep my symptoms down to a minimum so I am going to stay on them. However, I too wonder about what it might be doing to the "system".

I also wonder why the following is not a good idea:

Use PPIs to shut down the stomach acid as much as possible and then have Betaine Hydrochloride with Pepsin with the meals. This way we get to control the amount of acid that is needed to digest the food and all the while not letting the stomach produce this acid thereby avoiding the GERD symptoms.

Pat Tall
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 11/18/2012 8:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Reading your note reminded me when I visited Internal Medicine Medical Doctor who discussed the Betaine Hcl which is widely available in health food stores and Internet. He told me that it has some hazards and should only be under the care of a physician. He also sold supplements including the Betaine. He required that the patient sign a statement when purchasing it that they understood and read the listed potential hazards. I told him we'd think about it. Have not used it and don't know if his dosage was different then OTC Betaine. Just thought I'd tell about this experience,--for what's it worth. Kind regards. Let us know if you use it and if it helps. We will follow. Thanks.
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