Tapering off PPI

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imlily
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/25/2014 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi can anyone tell me how long after making a move tapering their PPI they felt somewhat better? I have been switching from 40mgs Nexium to 20mgs Prilosec for at least 10 days. day 1-6 wasn't bad at all but since the 6th day I have not felt well at all. I get a throbbing in my chest and can't sleep, so feeling exhausted isn't helping at all. Do I keep on going and will it all improve. I am so sick of being sick it is making me depressed along with being tired not a good mix. Thanks anyone - Lily

javery
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 3/25/2014 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Lily,
It took me about 3-4 months after getting off the PPI's that any of the rebound effects wore down. The first 1-2 months is going to be the hardest but if you stick to it and have strict eating habits to not eat things that make it worse, it will eventually get better. Your body just needs time to re-adjust and heal itself. It takes a little time. Hope it works out for you and good luck.

imlily
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/25/2014 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Javery, What were your rebound symptoms besides some burning and throbbing. I get headaches and feel off balance and just don't feel well. My stomach rumbles often. How long did it take you to get off the PPi and what strength did you start off with? Did you do it on your own or with a doctors help. I am getting very discouraged and want to feel well and be able to plan things again. I eat very carefully and well before 3 hours of bedtime but still not sleeping well. Thanks for your support. Lily

javery
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 3/25/2014 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
The symptoms I had were a lot of burning in the throat and upper stomach, bloating, gas, felt like something in the throat, post nasal dripping, dizzy feeling, and low energy. I had symptoms that aligned with GERD, LPR, and IBS. I was on 40mg of Protonix once a day. My doctor wanted to up the dosage as my GERD symptoms were getting worse. I decided to do some research as I knew I didn't want to be on PPI's the rest of my life, let alone up the dosage. I decided that instead of giving more money to the doctor's to take matters into my own hands and get off of them on my own.

In a nutshell, here's the steps I took to get off the PPI's, although not recommended. I cut cold turkey and the first 2-3 weeks were a living hell. Non-stop heartburn plus all the symptoms I described above. I don't remember the exact supplements I was taking, but I tried almost everything that has been tried. I ate a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits and small servings of meat. I ended up losing a bit of weight even though I wasn't even close to being overweight. I started juicing about 1 month after stopping the PPI's and I think this was a big help. I then decided to start taking an H2-blocker (Pepcid Complete) at about the 4 month mark. I now juice every morning and take 2 of the H2-blockers a day. I rarely get heartburn anymore and don't have any side effects. I also drink alkaline water daily. I buy Alkazone drops and put that into filtered tap water. I sleep on a wedge too at night and think that it helps as I don't feel any heartburn anymore through the night or in the morning.

I think that if you taper down it will mitigate some of the more sever rebound side effects. I can't tell you the steps you should take as I am not a health professional, but in your shoes, I would slowly taper away from the PPI's and replace with an H2-blocker as an H2-blocker will allow acid production to break down the food. Once your body is properly breaking down the food and you can digest it, I think this will help with some of the side effects. I believe that some of the side effects are due to your body not getting all the nutrients it needs because it's not producing the acid it needs to break down the foods properly. You may also want to see if you can find a doctor who is willing to try and find the underlying cause of the problem in the first place and then work on fixing that. I can't tell if these steps will help you or not as you may have other health issues that I did not. One thing I do know for certain though is that in order for our bodies to heal, you need to give it the proper nutrition. This is where juicing comes into play as you give your body a boost of phytonutrients that helps heal the body.

I am currently at a little over 6 months of being off PPI's and I would not want to go through that again. This is why it is very important to stick with strict eating habits as it is your diet that creates a lot of these health problems. Once your body gets back on track it is very important to keep it there if you don't want to go back through this again. I can't stress enough how important this is.

I hope this information helps and if you have any more questions let me know. Thanks.

imlily
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/25/2014 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Javery. Wow you did a courageous job of quitting the PPI's. I honestly blame myself for not investigating my PPI usage sooner than I have. I have been on them for 10years now. I didn't know how to get off them first of all. I had tried to quit a couple of times but the pain was so bad I just couldn't. It all started with a stressful job and I was popping aleve every day. then I started with nausea etc and ended up in the emergency room. they thought it was my heart but then dismissed me as it wasn't. I ended up seeing a GI doctor that was little help and after an endoscopy said I had inflammation and 'mild gerd' and unexplained nausea. I think the 'mild Gerd' was just something he put on there to justify everything. He told me to 'keep on taking the medicine'. After around 3months I was feeling better but stayed on the PPI as I was not informed enough about it and I didn't do any research. I just thought I had to stay on it. I have had different ones over the years ending up on Nexium for several years. Just this February I started with the nausea and off balance sick feelings again. I went to see my GP who said 'Nexium can cause the very symptoms it is trying to cure'. Since the beginning of February I haven't felt well and I have been on and off Nexium which didn't help the situation at all. Not until I saw the GI doctor, he gave me some Prilosec 20mgs to try to wean myself onto which I have done. Like I said before I have been on the Prilosec 20mgs which is half of what I was on which I suppose is progress. I still don't feel too well even though It has been 9days. Your post has helped me to not feel so hopeless and to continue on in the hopes I do feel better daily and can get to a point where I can reduce the PPi even further. I had a gallbladder scan last week even though I don't have any pain or symptoms to my knowledge. the only thing I know about that is the tech said the ejection was maybe around 50%. Not sure if that is good or not.
Again thank you for posting.
lily

javery
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 3/25/2014 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thought I should also mention that I was on different PPI's for about 8 years as well. Like you, I wish I would have done more research and been more educated on everything that I am now. I wouldn't have had to go through all that if I would have known about it in the beginning when I first got put on the PPI's. I also tried to quite multiple times but this time I was able to mostly because of this forum along with other information that stated what to expect. There were many days I wanted to just start taking them again but kept reminding myself that it will be worth it in the end.

Just to give you a little education on how the body works and how PPI's affect it and the reason you get rebound. The body produces a hormone called gastrin which regulates the amount of acid your body is supposed to produce. When taking the PPI's, it stops or nearly stops all acid production so your body thinks it's not producing enough acid. This makes your body produce more gastrin that in effect tells your body to produce more acid. When going off the PPI's, the acid is now able to be produced so that is where the rebound comes in because your body is now able to produce the acid, but in high quantities. It is important to let this happen because the body will regulate itself over time to bring the gastrin levels and the acid levels back down to normal as you slowly get off the PPI. H2-blockers essentially do the same thing, but block less acid. The healing process does seem to go quickly the first few months, but as your acid levels get closer to the normal without medicine levels, it tends to take longer for it to fine tune itself for proper acid levels. But to bring things into a perspective a little more, when I was on PPI's and I got heartburn, I could take 4-5 TUMS and I'd still feel the heartburn. Now being on H2-blockers, if I get heartburn at all, 1 TUMS will make it go away. That kind of tells you just how much acid my body was probably producing while on PPI's vs. now. I really hope that you have the success that I have had because it does make life much more enjoyable.

Hope you keep us updated as to how you are doing with your progress. I'll answer any questions you have the best I can.

imlily
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/25/2014 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Javery thank you for all your input on this reducing PPI's matter. Other than this problem I appear to be in good health. I think my body was trying to tell me I need more acid as I am getting older. I have some famotidine I could suppliment with the Prilosec but I really want to be off all these acid suppressors If I can. I have read and read and have seen what people are going through with PPI's and it really is an awful thing that we are not educated when we start. I think we just want to have a comfortable life and be able to eat what we want. I am eating very bland light foods and staying off all the triggers. I really should not complain about not feeling well but I have a lot of the symptoms you had except for this nagging throb in my gut. I have low energy. I was very active up until last month going to the gym at least 3 days a week. I don't have the heart for it just yet as I am not sleeping well and feel tired all the time.
What did you doctor say about you discontinuing the meds and did you have an endoscopy. I know when I go back to see the doctor that is what he is going to push.
thank you for taking the time - Lily

javery
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 3/26/2014 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My dr. was very adamant about me staying on the meds and getting an endoscopy but I didn't want to pay for one since my deductible is so high. I ended up switching dr.'s though since my insurance has changed since then. I'll be going in for my yearly checkup in September and will see what my new dr. has to say then. After doing a lot of research though I have found that a lot of traditional dr.'s don't know much about GERD and just want to put you on the meds because it reduces the symptoms. What they don't understand though is that it actually masks the symptoms as the problems continue to get worse. Dr.'s are supposed to be there to help treat a problem. I think if they were more educated on how to find the underlying problem and fixing that, then there'd be less health problems. There are some dr.'s who are out there and do care, but they are harder to find than the ones that think that meds are the only answer.
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