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NGonzales
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/4/2013 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone,

My name is Nina, and I have had GERD/LPR for just over two years. It began just after I started treatment with a Naturopath for severe Hashimotos's Hypothryroidism. He had many natural recommendations for the incredible burning in my chest and throat, but nothing worked. Ultimately, he was unable to help me manage my symptoms and I left his care. Over the next couple of months the burning was nonstop; all day and all night. I couldn't sleep. I had stopped eating. I chewed large chunks of ginger throughout the day and into the night, I tried alginate powder, and a natural acid blocker, all with no relief.

The sleepless nights and painful days without relief caused me to withdraw from my family, become reclusive, and unresponsive. I searched for an integrative gastroenterologist and found one in Los Angeles, a three hour drive from my home. My husband and I own our own business and do not have health insurance, we had to use our savings to see him.

He assessed me as having GERD/LPR with suspected esophagitis. I was put on Zantac and eventually Baclofen. I think he would have suggested a PPI based on his comment about how he was helping another patient at the time, but I refused to even consider it. Over the coarse of a few months I found a handful of foods that I could tolerate without burning and learned to live with the limitations, but slowly I began to lose some of these as their use gave way to heartburn. I lived for months on foods that I can count on my fingers believing that my thyroid was to blame, and at some point the burning would subside with thyroid treatment.

After my GERD diagnosis, I visited a primary physician for my Hashimotos. He felt that there was a possibility that once I am on a therapeutic dose of thyroid hormone my symptoms would subside. He also recommended I try HCL to see if it would help. With the horrendous burning still fresh in my mind, I refused to take the pill, cleverly reminding him that I was on an antacid. He told me to take it before my antacid the following morning. (I waited a few weeks before trying the HCL, and I broke it into a smaller piece. Thank God I did, the burning was intense, and lasted the rest of the day!)

OK, now to the present....
The Zantac was losing it's ability manage my GERD and we didn't have the money to visit the gastroenterologist in LA, so I made the very difficult decision to start taking Prilosec OTC. I had such high hopes for this drug. I really felt it would make a big difference, but as some of you may have experienced, I feel like I have more frequent heartburn now, just not as intense. I worry that I am still so limited, tolerating only a handful of foods, and many foods and supplements cause the kind of GERD that seems to exacerbate the burning to the point where it is escalated and constant instead of an intermittent simmering, which is my usual experience.

The question I have is....
Is it realistic to even think that getting a prescription PPI will be any more effective than the OTC? I just don't know what to do from here. I've lived a limited diet for years due to another condition, but I'm worried; one of the main foods I can tolerate is rice. Have you heard there is arsenic in rice? So what am I supposed to do? There is not a vegetable that God has provided that I can tolerate. Raw, juiced, steamed, pureed, no shape, no form...All cause significant heartburn. Rice and a few protein sources keep me fairly stable, that's it. Even with these I will have daily heartburn, just more tolerable.

So, this is me. I'm sorry for the long introduction. It's hard to figure out what is relevant and what isn't.

Thanks to all here for making yourselves available and providing support. I've read many posts over these last couple of weeks, and I have been touched by all of them.

Take care,

Nina

Diaas2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 12/4/2013 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Prescription doses of the acid reducers tend to have twice the (same) active ingredients as over the counter ones. I was never impressed with zantac, I've found things like Lansoprazole (Prevacid) were much more effective for me. The prescription doses are more helpful, I even found myself taking it twice a day. Before I had my surgery I was actually taking three on some days. Nexium is the most expensive but a lot of people, including my gastroenterologist swear it is the most effective of all of the acid reducing medications. When cost becomes an issue I like Prevacid personally. My GERD controlled my life too. I had some drastic measures (surgery) done that have made at least 95% of it go away. Some days I don't have it at all.

Welcome to the forum, I've found everyone to be really helpful here.

Post Edited (Diaas2) : 12/4/2013 2:34:05 PM (GMT-7)


jamosca
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 12/4/2013 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi hopefortoday,

I just want to clarify, I don't know where you have heard that rice has arsenic but people have been eating it for thousands of years , my grandma is 90 plus and eats it 3 times a day, it is the staple food of the east. My grandparents lived until their mid 90s on a staple diet of rice and salted fish ... I have gerd problems due to a hiatal hernia, rice is my staple diet with jacket and roast potatoes sometimes ... I have gerd issues due to a hiatal hernia, I take 300 mg of Zantac at night with 15 mg of lansoprasole . I think it is important to see a primary care doctors for them to prescribe what's right for you but yes it can be a matter of trial and error . I don't think OTC omeprazole would make much difference than prescribed except the dosage would be stronger eg Zantac over the counter is 75 mg whereas doctors will prescribe you dosages in the range of 150 to 300g. The higher the dosage the more relief you would get but ultimately what is causing your reflux ?

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/4/2013 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I think the rx strenth might help you. OTC strength was no where near enough for me. I do believe you need to get an endoscopy, possibly ph testing and manometry, as well - to provide a proper diagnosis.

It's so hard trying to deal with it naturally. I wish we could - but you will find many of us have had success with surgery to fix the root problems. \

Good luck!
Laurie
Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 10, 2013

gunner4565
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 12/4/2013 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
HopeforToday,

I have taken many PPIs over the years. I finally just took Prilosec for the last few years. I think there is little difference. However, its really important to follow the instructions about how and when to take the meds. Absorption is a problem with PPIs. I found taking 30 minutes before breakfast worked for a while, when it stopped working, I took it before bed. I had to change every 4 months or so for it to be effective. My doctor told me to take two 20mg OTC prilosec, which he said is an adult dose. But it made no difference. If you look a the studies, dosage is important to a point at which increasing the dosage does not change your stomach PH significantly.

The important thing is to find what works for you. It may take some experimentation on your part.

If you take PPIs, be sure to take magnesium chloride, calcium citrate + D3 and B12 (methlcobalamin) supplements so you can avoid the most probable side effects of PPIs.

Gunner
Fifty years with GERD

NGonzales
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/5/2013 2:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Diaas2 -

Thank you for the idea to try the Prevacid instead of the Prilosec. Maybe a different formulation will work better? I don't know, but it's worth a try. I'm trying to manage while I wait for my finances to allow for another Doctors visit. I do pray that the surgery worked out for you. I tried to see if you had a recovery journal but couldn't find the thread, many of the journals do not list the author in the title so it's hard to find a specific one unless directed to it.

jamosca -

I know it sounds incredible but a quick Google of rice and arsenic will show that many areas that we grow rice here in the U.S. are contaminated from years of arsenic based pesticides. Especially in the south where cotton plantations have given away to rice fields. The arsenic leaches up from the contaminated soil.
I agree that seeing a doctor to help with finding the correct prescription is the way to go, I just don't have the money right now. As for what is causing my reflux, I have no idea. I thought it was my thyroid, but with an autoimmune disease and years of colitis, my health hasn't exactly been stellar!

lajenner -

I do think that I will ultimately have to go back to the GI doctor after the holidays. I know that he will want to do tests, and I am trying to prepare myself for those costs. I had put off a Barium Swallow this summer for my GI doc in order to pay for the very expensive blood work for my Hashimoto's that has been left untreated for years. I thought for sure if I could just get that squared away, I would get better. I no longer believe that to be true. Maybe I should have done the Barium instead. I don't know anymore.

gunner4565 -

I agree that it is really important how you take the Prilosec. I know from experience that eating too soon after taking it I will have problems for the rest of the day. I also have learned that I can see improvement in coverage if I eat protein for breakfast than say a piece of fruit. I appreciate the vitamin suggestions. I wish I could take magnesium in any form, but it seems to cause severe burning; some forms more than others, i.e. glycinate is much more painful to take than citrate, but both cause burning for hours. For now, I try to use Epsom Salts in my bath. I know, the jury is split; some feeling that you can't absorb the magnesium through the skin, while others claim you can. It does seem to help with the foot cramps, so I will continue to use it.

Thank you all for your replies.

Diaas2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 12/5/2013 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2922489

Part one of my journal is included in that link. I seriously do feel great. I had a bit harder time going from liquids to soft foods than some of the others, but all of the horrible symptoms I used to have are pretty much gone! I'm not actually convinced that Prevacid instead of the Prilosec is going to work out better than the other, I think of those as being similar. I just was never a fan of Zantac because it didn't work as well for me. I'm really glad I had the surgery. The results are wonderful. Even the after surgery eating is no big deal. It's a temporary adjustment and I've found just like everyone has said that our bodies readjust and you feel like normal again. Only this time without reflux! So you literally feel a thousand times better than you have before. It may seem like some of it is negative but honestly it's never been a big deal.


Here is Laurie's journal

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2847294

Here is Stephanie's journal

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2813866

Post Edited (Diaas2) : 12/5/2013 2:28:18 PM (GMT-7)


gunner4565
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 12/6/2013 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
HopeforToday,

Have you tried Slo-Mag tablets? They are coated to not dissolve in the stomach. I have no trouble with them at all and it seemed to solve my cardiac palpitations completely, so I know its being absorbed.

Find at Wal-Mart.

Gunner
Fifty years with GERD

NGonzales
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/7/2013 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
David,
Thanks for the link. Your journal is very encouraging! I wish you continued success in your healing and recovery. Surgery is a Looong way for me. I feel like I have years to deal with this, and I need to figure out how to best manage the residual LPR and GERD symptoms after the Prilosec. It would be so much easier if it did't seem so unpredictable at times. I'm not holding out too much hope for additional relief with prescription PPI, but I will probably contact my GI this spring to seek his advice.

NGonzales
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/7/2013 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
gunner4565,
Thanks for the suggestion! These foot cramps are concerning me, they make it uncomfortable to walk or stand on my feet for any length of time. I know they're from lack of Magnesium and I've tried many varieties with the same result, hours of painful reflux. I thought I'd tried them all. So again, thank you for the suggestion.

Hmmm, Slo-Mag tablets... I will look for this today! Knowing me, I will get to Walmart, look for them and not find them. It's just my luck. Thanks for checking up on this thread.

phil-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 12/7/2013 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
After all this time it's important to concentrate on getting your existing symptoms under control to avoid secondary problems with your oesophagus.

Contact your primary healthcare to try prescription strength PPI's. It seems to me that your dosage with OTC meds may be too small.

Once you have controlled symptoms, then work on the causes.

I take 2x20mg Omeprazole daily and this controls my symptoms quite well. No one likes taking regular medication, but sometimes it is necessary. As time goes by it is quite possible other options will present themselves.

NGonzales
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 12/7/2013 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Phil-uk,

You know, I think you're right. I've tried for two years to manipulated my diet and take the least amount of antacid. It's not working. I've pulled everything out that causes me intolerable pain, and I have lived on a handful of foods that still provoke symptoms.
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