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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:27 PM   #1
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How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Hello, all. I'm back, and worse than ever. But now I have a new plan.

To recap: Last May of 2007, I went on a long course of antibiotics for a sinus infection. Bloating, belching and shortness of breath ensued. Sometimes my chest felt tight, other times I could draw a breath but not quite "catch" it. It's a sensation like there's a balloon in my stomach that keeps filling with air no matter how much I belch out, and bumps into my diaphragm when I try to take a good deep breath. Sometimes by contorting or pressing on my belly, I could "catch" it.

Oh, and my tummy hurt when I was hungry.

I doubled my Nexium. Got even worse. Went off my Nexium. Ate lots of yogurt and took probiotics. Tried some home remedies (apple cider vinegar). Bleh! Added baking soda to make it palatable.

*Sometimes felt better, then got worse again.*

Went on Zegerid. Got scoped from both ends. Results "normal." No ulcer, no h. pylori, no hernia, no nothing. Took fiber supplements and tried to get more fiber in my diet.

*Sometimes felt better, then got worse again.*

BRAAAAAP!!! all day long. Could hardly even go out in public because of all the belching. But the worst was not being able to catch my breath.

It's been nearly a year living like this. Sometimes it seems unbearable. I've hardly gotten any work done or any projects accomplished. I haven't had any fun. I need to lose weight, but I've been too sick and depressed to organize my diet and exercise program. I know that sounds like a ridiculous excuse, but when you feel this rotten, everything else gets out of control too. You just can't get started on anything new.

So Thursday night, I'm g'gling and g'gling, typing in various symptoms and search phrases, and I come across something called hypochlorhydria. It's LOW stomach acid, NOT ENOUGH stomach acid!!! The first symptom on the list is bloating/gas/belching. The other symptoms include acne, psoriasis and eczema, and brittle fingernails, all of which I have but NEVER EVER in a jillion years would have connected those with my tummy troubles.

So the theory is that when you don't have enough stomach acid, you eat something and the food just sits and sits and ferments and rots before it finally starts moving through your system. Hence the belching and bloat. And I'm pretty sure the shortness of breath is because all the gas has displaced the room for lungs and diaphragm to expand.

I don't know for sure if this is what I have, but it certainly fits. Looking back on my saga, all the things I was doing to try and alleviate my symptoms, such as popping Tums and doubling my acid reducer medicines, would OF COURSE have made it even worse if indeed I actually had low stomach acid.

At this point, I'm sick of doctors and I'm not going back any time soon. I'm going to self-diagnose and self-medicate, or self-non-medicate, as the case may be. So I've discontinued the Zegerid. I've stopped eating Tums. I'm drinking apple cider vinegar again, but I'm not cutting it with the baking soda because that would defeat the purpose. And I'm going to eat lots of spinach and vitamin C because supposedly that promotes acid production. And I'm going to continue eating yogurt and taking probiotics.

There's also something called Betaine HCL that you can get over the counter, but you're not supposed to take it without a doctor's supervision. So for now, I'm just going to try these other natural remedies.

I felt much better yesterday, but today I've had quite a bit of belching again. I didn't mean to write a whole manifesto, but does anybody know how long it takes to get Zegerid out of your system? I'm just wondering how much time I should give to this little experiment of mine.

I will let you know what happens. If it helps anybody else, all the better.

 
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

My best guess is about a week or so after taking your last pill although I got off Protonix very slowly, it took a year of cutting down until I stopped. So far so good I don't need it. Good luck I hope your experiment works.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Thanks so much, taape. That gives me some hope. I had a great day yesterday but then I had some symptoms today. Normally I would have gone running back to the antacids, but I'm going to give it some time and see how I feel. Glad to hear you're doing well.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Texas,

thanks for your interesting and detailed post! It gives us something to think about. I've never heard of this condition - will have to read about it when I have some time. Sounds scary - how many of us would ever suspect LOW acid in our stomach as a cause of various symptoms? I don't blame you for wanting to keep your distance from the doctors at the moment, since they haven't proven to be helpful. Hopefully, you'll be a little better. I took ACV for other purposes for a time last year. It seemed to have worked. It is supposed to be good for a number of things. I hope it helps you a little.

flowergirl

 
Old 04-23-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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Lightbulb Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Just wanted to bump this up to say that after six days of being OFF the Zegerid, not taking any antacids at all, and also swigging two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with every meal and drinking ginger tea, I feel better than I've felt in more than a year! I did suffer a little bit of heartburn at first, but the last two days have been wonderful. Very little belching and bloating at all. I can breathe! I think I'm really onto something with this low stomach acid theory.

The scary thing is that the symptoms of hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) are so similar to those of too much stomach acid, e.g. belching, bloating, heartburn.

I'm not advocating that others stop taking their medicine, just sharing what seems to be working for me. Hope it helps someone else.

 
Old 04-23-2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

I am so happy for you that is ABSOULUTELY fantastic

Will you please keep us posted? I am very interested in what you have to say.

Thanks and keep feeling well

PS: Are you cutting the ACV with (1 tbsp of honey?)

Vanessa

 
Old 04-23-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Thanks, Vanessa!

I am just swigging it straight, no honey and no baking soda either. Yes, it makes my mouth pucker, but it's worth it!

I've also ordered a book by Dr. Jon Wright called Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. I will be very interested to see what he says! I'll definitely keep y'all posted. I am really feeling like a miracle has occurred. Spent yesterday doing deep housecleaning and organizing that I'd neglected for a whole year because I felt so bad.

 
Old 04-23-2008, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

AWESOME

I looked up hypochlorhydria on the internet and found a little self test you can take to see if you might have it. I came back at a 58% possibility. I am wondering if this might be my problem.

Took a course of Prednisone 4 weeks ago - and my body has been a MESS EVER SINCE...

Thanks for all the great information - you have given me some good things to think over - and I may try the ACV.... I will probably try it with honey though - you are braver than me

SO GLAD THAT YOU ARE FEELING BETTER

Vanessa

 
Old 04-23-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

Texas Tomato,

May I ask you one other question - do you believe that low stomach acid was your problem all along - or do you feel this problem was caused my anti-acid and long term PPI usage?

Thanks again!

Vanessa

 
Old 04-24-2008, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: How long does it take to get PPIs out of your system?

That's a very good question. I don't really know, but looking back, I realize I've never actually had a diagnosis of acid reflux. I first went on PPIs about eight years ago after an episode of shortness of breath that an ENT doctor said was probably LPR (the laryngeal pharyngeal form of GERD). But come to think of it, he was just guessing, simply because he had ruled out asthma because I'd passed the breathing test. And I remember that he did a sigmoidoscopy and didn't find anything significant, just some redness.

This latest episode was exacerbated by antibiotics, so I'm thinking that it must have caused both a bacterial imbalance and an acid imbalance. And of course, my primary care doctor's first reaction was "double your Nexium," which actually made everything worse, now that I think about it.

This morning I'm having quite a bit of belching, but still feeling much better than before. I think it's going to take quite a while to get everything back in balance again.

Hope you find an answer to your problems too!

 
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