Severe reflux, no end in sight
Hi. I'm a 29 yr old male, 150 lbs., and I started experiencing acid reflux when I was 20. By 22-23, I had graduated from taking an occasional Tums or Pepcid to needing a PPI (Prilosec at the time) to remain symptom-free. 2-3 years later, Prilosec became less effective, and I needed to switch to Prevacid. Up until November 2012 (4 years), 15mg daily of Prevacid allowed me to eat whatever I wanted without any symptoms.
In November 2012, however, I began randomly getting a sour taste in my mouth. This would soon be followed by an increased amount of saliva being produced. (I would literally need to spit at least once an hour). I read online that these were reflux-related, and I assumed my symptom-free Prevacid days were numbered. Sure enough, after about a month, the burning reflux was in full effect, and Prevacid seemed unable to stop it. I quickly made an appointment with my regular Doctor, who gave me samples of Nexium (40mg daily) and Dexilant (60mg daily) to try out. To my horror, neither of these made any difference, and the burning was constant all day long. Iíve now been taking Protonix (80mg daily) for a few weeks, and even it does very little to help.
In my desperation, Iíve made drastic changes to my diet these past 4-5 weeks: no processed foods, no dairy, no wheat, and Iím eating very small, frequent meals: mostly fruits, veggies and poultry. In addition to the 40mg Protonix twice a day, I have to take a single Tums (1000mg) about every two hours just to keep my sanity. Ironically, however, the reflux doesnít bother me at night! Somehow Iím able to lie perfectly flat, and sleep great. But once Iím up the next day, itís like the acid over-production gets right back to work. Iím certainly not complaining about the acid calming at night, I just find it very bizarre and counter-intuitive. Perhaps itís because I stop eating hours before ever going to bed.
Anyway, Iím writing all this because my very first GI appointment is still 2 weeks away, and my imagination is running wild with possible causes. So here are my questions:
- What would cause all PPIís to abruptly stop having any effect on my condition?
- Is it possible to develop esophageal cancer while taking PPIís and being symptom-free? Could this be the cause of my sudden unstoppable reflux?