Still battling heartburn daily

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sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/23/2011 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on Prevacid 30 mg twice daily for nearly a month now and am still having to use additional antacid treatments throughout the day. I have already been on Zegred, Nexium, Aciphex, and Dexilant but the Prevacid has worked the best. I have paired the Prevacid with 300 mg of zantac but that doesn't seem to make a difference. Also, at night I am still having a lot of reflux up to my throat. The doctor gave me Regaln to take with dinner as he thought the problem was my slow gastric emptying that was confirmed with testing. It has improved my appetite and I am eating more, but it did not stop the nightly refluxing altogether. I also have some of this regurgitation during the day if I drink too much or drink my protein drink too quickly.

Right now my line of attack is:

30 mg Prevacid 2x's daily
10 Reglan once at dinner
Carafate nightly and before lunch
Bed raised 7 inches
Do not lay down until 4 hours after dinner
Do not drink 2 hours before laying down - this did slow down the nightly reflux some
I eat very small soft meals
Digest Gold digestive enzymes
just added a probiotic


Another thing is that when I was taking the other PPI's I was not using the other antacid treatments but depended on the ppi and zantac alone. I'm thinking that some of them could have been just as effective had I used the Tums, Maalox and Gaviscon when necessary.

So is this typical to be having this much trouble with meds? Does it just take longer for some people? The new doc I have wants me using Gaviscon for the breakthrough HB. I guess I'm starting to get a little concerned and feel I may be running out of options. Now that I know I have gastroparesis I'm not even sure I could be a candidate for surgery if it were necessary. confused

Any ideas????? I'm always listening!

Thanks bunches.

Edited to correct typo in title.

Post Edited (sewfun) : 6/24/2011 6:10:10 AM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/23/2011 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Try the gaviscon.
And discuss with the GI if there's a chance of having the surgery. Maybe having a partial wrap will help?
Joy

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/24/2011 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Joy,

Thanks for your response.

Yesterday I did try the Gaviscon midday. I did not have anymore heartburn the rest of the day. I had only been using the Gaviscon at night. The problem with using it daytime is it means I can't be slowly sipping on my protein drinks throughout the day like the doc wants. confused I've lost 15 pounds in the last 2 months putting me 27 lbs underweight. smhair I didn't realize I was underweight to begin with until this happened. I think I may be eating/drinking too much right now for the GERD recovery and need to concentrate on just recovering from the GERD and not worrying about trying to put weight on too. yeah I did have about a week of feeling pretty good, and when I look back I was eating less. I will just try not to lose anymore weight.

Thanks again for being there,
Sewfun

P.S. I will be talking to my GI again in about 3 weeks and see what else he has to say.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/24/2011 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Sewfun

Even thow I take Prilosec daily I carry Tums ( fruit flavored)  with me at all times.  I can go for long period without needing them and then I will have days where I use them 3-4 times in a day.
 
Thinking of you.
 
Gentle Hugs,
 
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/25/2011 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Kitt,

Good to know this is probably just a little set back. I am doing better with the Gasviscon. All in all I have to remember that I am tons better than I was just 2 1/2 weeks ago. turn After a full week of set back I had gotten maybe just a tad bit worried. rolleyes

Oh, and thanks for the hug too!

Have a great weekend,
Sewfun

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/25/2011 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,

Sorry to hear you're suffering! I was also one of those who could take 40mg Protonix before breakfast and dinner, as well as 300mg Zantac at bedtime, and still have breakthrough heartburn. I didn't even have bad regurge, but the heartburn was something I did have trouble with. As Kitt said, it wasn't constant, but there were times when I needed Tums or Maalox often. I never went anywhere without antacids...to this day I carry Tums, just in case! I even have a bottle in the car.

Does your doctor think you're having gastritis and that's why your reflux has increased? I did have experiences like that...gastritis would kick up the acid in my stomach and it would reflux into my esophagus, burning the tissue and killing my lungs.

If you're having a stomach flare-up, it's common to have an increase in reflux and weight loss. I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but when I had those flare-ups it took a long time and a lot of patience to get them cleared up.

It would seem to me that the protein drinks would coat your stomach and make it feel better.

I agree that it would probably be best not to worry as much about weight gain when you're struggling with the GI issues. (Could you run that thought by your doctor?) If you feel better with less food, then it makes sense to give your GI tract a little rest and let it heal. Deal with gaining weight later. (Wow...there are a lot of us here who would love to have that problem!)

I did not have what would be considered severe reflux by any stretch of the imagination. I had to push and push to get my GI doc to refer me to a surgeon. My asthma was reacting badly to the reflux I was having, and I needed to try surgery to see if it helped.

Even though I didn't have constant or severe reflux, and I was on lots of anti acid prescription drugs, I still went through LOTS of antacids. It's not uncommon at all. I would suggest you do whatever works.

Sorry to hear you're struggling!
Feel better...
Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/25/2011 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Yes, I do have gastritis as well. I remember thinking that my stomach seemed to be hurting worse during the worst of the refluxing. Maybe too much food sitting in my stomach too long. Also, I was adding new foods. It might explain the flare ups as well. I didn't realize if I ate something wrong it could take several days to recover from the mistake. I'll add more new foods more slowly. Right now sticking with the tried and true.

I hadn't thought about the protein drinks coating my stomach. That may be why I am tolerating them so well. Thank goodness for some luck, especially now that I am having more of the drinks.

Anyway, thanks for your insight, it was greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend,
Sewfun

Chuck T
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 6/25/2011 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Did your gastritis start after the heavy use of ppis? I started 60mg of dexilant 3 months ago, and right after starting it, I got gastritis and daily indigestion. Right now I'd say I get indigestion 4-6 hours a day. I started taking the meds for lpr. Seems like my throat has gotten a little better, but now I have a whole new issue. I forgot my medicine on a trip last week, and the indigestion stopped, but throat burn was back. Seems like I can't win.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/25/2011 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,

If you're having gastritis, you'll want to be SUPER careful with what you eat. Nothing rough/hard to digest, nothing spicy or acidic. Your esophagus and stomach are likely inflamed, and you'll want to baby them. When your stomach digests food, its muscles mash the food, so it scratches against the stomach surface.

I seem to remember you're taking Carafate...is that right? It helps if you can fit it in between meals and meds.

When I had gastritis, I asked my GI when I could start eating normally again and he said..."Wait until you feel perfect for two weeks, then try your normal diet and see how you do." Patience. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix.

Good luck!

Hi Chuck T,
I have a very reactive stomach, and I generally got my stomach roaring after taking antibiotics or pain meds. I never found PPI's to cause me a problem...quite the opposite...they helped me heal. The problem with stomach issues is that it doesn't respond very quickly, and takes a long time to heal.

I hope you both feel better soon!
Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/26/2011 4:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chuck T

My original diagnosis was gastritis and acid reflux. I actually started on Zantac first. I have gotten worse since I started treatment, but I think that is because it took so long to find a med that would work for me and to take effect. It was almost 5-6 weeks from diagnosis until we found a med that was somewhat helping, then another 2 weeks before I was able to cut back some on the antacids. I think my gastroparesis is partly ppi induced. I was having lots of indigestion and lack of appetite that I had not had before, or at least not as badly. The Reglan and not overeating has helped that. Overeating being a relative term for how much my personal stomach can handle. rolleyes

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Denise

I think I've learned the hard way to be super careful what I eat. I started feeling better so added foods too soon. Right now I am on the protein drink and smoothie plan. smilewinkgrin I only get 2 doses of Carafate a day, 3 if I split the midday dose. I can't handle more than that before the side effects get me.

I had another good day yesterday. Just taking life in the slow lane and trying to be patient. yeah

Hope you're having a great day.

Sewfun

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/26/2011 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,

Just out of curiosity, what are the side effects you get from Carafate? I've taken it forever, and don't feel anything...maybe I'm missing something! smilewinkgrin
Hope you're having a good day!

Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/26/2011 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise

Well I thought the Carafate gave me this super feeling of fullness and upset tummy. Now that I think about it again, it could have been that those symptoms could have come from eating more than my gastoparesis tummy could handle. I seem to remember it getting worse, but it's possible it wasn't the Carafate at all. At that time we did not know about my slow stomach. I also got a really nasty metallic taste in my mouth. I could have dealt with that though. I will talk it over with the GI at my next appt.

Also, you have said before that at the first sign of pain you would take a dose of Carafate. I always thought you meant for the esophagitis. Did you also mean for the gastritis? Today I had a gastritis attack without heartburn. I first took antacid and then I thought of the carafate and did that too. The gastritis pain subsided pretty quickly. I'd been dealing with mostly HB and esophagitis pain. My esophagus bothers me less and less now, however, I can tell the gastritis is still alive and kickin'.

All in all it was a good day. I've had much worse. In fact this time 3 weeks ago, I was thinking I was ready for the surgery. Now I'm thinking I just need to give the meds and diet a chance to work. Patience is a virtue that must be practiced. I guess I'm going to get a lot of practice. yeah

Hope you had a good weekend.

Sewfun

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/26/2011 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,

Carafate was developed to heal ulcers in the stomach. If you're having gastritis, it's good to coat your stomach as much as possible. I've been known to take a dose in the middle of the night (when I wake up anyway), since it's the easiest of all to keep away from eating and meds.

You aren't supposed to take Carafate within an hour (I believe...could be a half hour, but I think I'm right that it's an hour) of an antacid. Apparently they can interact. Also, if you have food in your (slow, slow) tummy, the Carafate is used up coating the food, rather than the stomach lining.

When you take Carafate Suspension, you get a double-duty...it coats your esophagus as well as your stomach, so both are benefited.

It's such a long process to heal both...I hope you continue to improve! You're right...patience is definitely a virtue!

Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/27/2011 5:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Thanks for the insight and your time! I'll probably have to stick with my 2 doses a day.

Have a great day.

Sewfun

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7185
   Posted 6/27/2011 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,

Unless I was in really bad shape, I generally never got more than 2 doses in. It's that challenging!

Feel better,
Denise
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