I had an episode of horrible reflux last July, ended up in the ER several times and was put on double strength Protonix. I was referred to a GI for evaluation and had an EGD and barium swallow, which were both negative. I also had some swallowing issues prior to the reflux. The GI said I did not have GERD and to stop the Protonix. I had been on it 3 weeks. I was able to stop with no problem and began feeling better overall, although I was still having problems with my voice and swallow. My PCP referred me to an ENT. He took a quick look at my throat, said it looked a "little red" (I had just had a virus with sore throat the weekend before seeing him) and diagnosed me with laryngopharyngeal reflux. He put me back on Protonix, double strength, and said to stay on it for 8 weeks. He also gave me dietary and lifestyle changes to follow. I started having symptoms with the Protonix use and at 6 weeks started developing joint and muscle pain. I saw my PCP, who said to get off the PPI and go to Zantac. By this time, I had done some research and wish I had never started those horrible medicines. I did have to use the Zantac for about a week, as I was having some acid rebound. Since that time, I have had horrible GI symptoms off and on. Gas, bloating, belching, alternating diarrhea and constipation at times, feeling full very soon after beginning to eat and loss of appetite. I have lost 40 pounds due to the dietary changes, loss of appetite, and early satiety. I NEVER had GI problems before this happened. I do not have GERD/LPR symptoms, but I do still follow some guidelines, eat small meals (of course, right now I can barely eat anything at all before I feel totally full), no fatty/greasy foods, don't eat within 3 hours of going to bed, and have the head of my bed elevated 6 inches.
I am miserable with the GI symptoms. I feel like my life has been stolen. I have horrible sleep disturbance when the GI stuff is flared up. I've only had about 10 weeks of feeling well out of the last 9 months. I've now had the last 6 weeks of GI symptoms without much relief. How I wish I had NEVER taken the Protonix. I feel that somehow it has damaged my digestive system. I'm still undergoing many tests by the GI and they can't find out what is causing my symptoms. I've had a CT of the abdomen/pelvis, gastric emptying study, gall bladder ultrasound, HIDA scan, which were all negative. I just had a CTE of the small bowel and a hydrogen breath test, I'll get those results on Monday. I've had blood testing for Celiac (all negative, except for the anti gliadin IgA antibody) and stool test for C. diff, which was negative. I've just gone gluten-free and lactose-free, which I think has lessened the gas and bloating, but done nothing for the loss of appetite and early satiety or belching. I just want my life back!