Omeprazole-Induced Hypergastrinemia

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 5/21/2007 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Two years ago this month I had my gallbladder removed.  Since about three days after the surgery I have had severe epigastric/stomach problems.  When I get up in the morning if I don't eat within a certain time I am in severe stomach pain and then eat breakfast and with 1 1/2 hours am in pain again so eat a snack and by lunch time same thing again.  In between my stomach hurts all the time.  It gets the point when I get the least bit hungry, it becomes URGENT to eat something or down 5-6 Tums.  I was diagnosed with gastritis about 6 months after my gallbladder surgery and doctor put me on Nexium and I took that for 4 months with absolutely no relief at all.  I finally stopped taking it as it was just making me sicker.  I have been taking Zantac for over 7 years every morning (cause of the antihistamine in it that I used along with Allegra to control chronic hives).  I have been doing a lot of research on the net and found the above subject.  Could this be my problem?  I have been to my gastro doc every couple months with the same complaints of nausea, severe stomach pain, etc. and he keeps saying it is NOT the Zantac causing my problems and he doesn't know what it is.  Anyone here have any advice or ideas?  Anyone here had similar experience after having gallbladder removed?  I've tried stopping the Zantac and within a few days am miserable with feeling like I need to belch constantly and if I eat the wrong thing I have reflux.  I just don't know where to turn.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  Have suffered longterm from constipation type IBS and have cut out red sauce, garlic, onions, peppers, spicy foods, fatty foods, pepper, etc. from my diet many years ago, so that cannot be the cause of the stomach pain either.

I try to now eat a high protein low calorie diet as I heard that protein can stave off hunger and stays with the body longer in order to try to avoid eating 10 times a day from the gnawing stomach pain.

Diane (ocean1)
Soft tissue joint disorder 2007 (can't spell or pronounce the name), Lupus Sept. 2006, IBS 2004, Chronic Hives 2002.
Medications:  Allegra and Zantac; Xanax PRN; Lunesta and Ultram PRN.

Post Edited (ocean1) : 5/21/2007 10:31:37 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 5/21/2007 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Diane,

I would definitely try to see if you can tolerate some aloe vera juice. I'd also try DGL (licorice). It will soothe your digestive tract and help build the mucus layer that your stomach and esophagus need. I'd look into slippery elm as well.

Are you taking digestive enzymes? If you aren't, you should start ASAP. I think you should maybe try both plant and animal based enzymes since you have no gallbladder. One might work better than the other and there are multi-enzymes that have some of both.

Have you tried to stop the Zantac and see what happens? I'm NOT a doctor, but I would try to find alternate solutions if I were you. You might want to try aloe vera juice and DGL for a while and then back off of the Zantac to see what happens. I have no idea about the hives part, though. You might need zantac to control that but it's a shame to have to solve one problem while potentially causing others in the process. Low stomach acid opens your stomach up to pathogens, including bacterial like H. Pylori. Have you been tested for that?

I'm assuming your doc thinks that stomach acid is your problem. But has he/she ever tested that or have they just assumed that you'd be better off with less/no stomach acid? Getting rid of stomach acid can sometimes benefit healing by removing the stomach acid while you heal your stomach or esophagas but zantac certainly isn't something that will necessarily help solve the root cause of your problems. Aloe vera juice, DGL and slippery elm might help with that. You might want to add L-glutamine (free form) as well.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 5/23/2007 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   


I was on ppi's for about 5 months - tried 'em all.  I had constant acid pain.  I suspected that the meds might be causing hypergastronemia so I stopped taking them cold turkey.  Though I do have some acid pain, depending upon what I eat, I am MUCH, MUCH better than I was when I was on the ppi's.  Do try the natural methods e.g. aloe vera juice (tastes awful) and DGL licorice.  You might be surprised by the results.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 5/23/2007 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   

I still have my gallbladder, but have been taking PPIs for over 4 years now.  I have the same problem as you, with the horrible pain and nausea that gets worse when I need to eat.  I've also noticed that I can only eat a little amount or the nausea will return with a vengeance.  I think it is gastritis.  I've been diagnosed with gastritis twice (via biopsy with upper endoscopy); I was taking double dose PPIs at the time.  I'm currently seeing a GI doctor to find out about this stomach pain.  I figure either the aciphex I'm taking isn't working as well as it should and the acid is causing the gastritis, or since I've had this consistently for the past several years, something else is also contributing to the gastritis?    An h. pylori infection can also cause gastritis, as can other things besides acid reflux.   I think it is something you should definitely investigate further.



Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 708
   Posted 5/26/2007 7:12 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Everyone.

I have tried going off the Zantac and am much more miserable without it.  The burning in my stomach is sooo much worse if I don't take it.  How long would you say it takes for your system to get used to not being on the PPI's?  I've only been able to go for about 2 days and then I break down and take the med again.  If I get in the least bit hungry, I have a gnawing pain in my epigastric region so always have to carry food/Tums with me whenever I leave the house just in case my stomach starts hurting.  I'm also wondering can gastritis be a chronic long standing condition?  Could it be that the gastritis that was diagnosed over a year ago is still there?  I was tested for all of the usual type stuff like H pylori and everything was negative.  I've had every stomach test done and all negative except the upper endo that showed chronic active gastritis.  Can Zantac heal that?  I know the Nexium did not do a thing for me.  I have tried the aloe vera juice and couldn't stomach the taste.  What is DGL licorice -pill, juice, herb?

I want to go off the PPI's but the miserable symptoms that return are soooo bad.  I don't know if not having enough stomach acid is what is causing my pain or not.

Thanks for all your help.

Diane (ocean1)
Soft tissue joint disorder 2007 (can't spell or pronounce the name), Lupus Sept. 2006, IBS 2004, Chronic Hives 2002.
Medications:  Allegra and Zantac; Xanax PRN; Lunesta and Ultram PRN.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 5/26/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
have you had your serum gastrin measured? an easy blood test which any PCP can do. this will easily tell you if you suffer from hypergastrinemia
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