Sounds like you are doing some good stuff already. There's definitely hope. I didn't have the rebound like you but several weeks ago when I was having some real problems I was having acid reflux after every meal (even if I only had a piece of fruit or a salad) and woke up with it at night and in the mornings as well. It's hard to believe that I went from that to my current condition in a matter of weeks. Now, when I do cheat once a week and eat pizza or something like that I have no heartburn.
I'd take the on demand stuff antacid/acid reducers when you have to and avoid things that are hard to digest (like steak, as you found out the hard way
). I've found apples to be very good and I eat them as an after dinner snack. That seems to help (although I'm pretty damn sick of apples at this point!).
It's true that you need acid to digest things properly but the digestive enzymes will help you break things down (to an extent at least) if you are forced to take an acid reducer. It's a good idea to take a B-Complex and a calcium/magnesium supplement at least when you are taking antacids, especially when you may have been deprived of these things while on PPIs.
Not sure how long you were on PPIs but that could have very well caused you to have intestinal dysbiosis and malabsorption like I have. PPIs can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and I have definitely suffered from this. I'm working on the whole intestinal tract in general and have seen results. But it's going to take a long time for me to get to 100% (It took me a lifetime to get into this position!). I'm going to keep up what I'm doing for a year at least. And then I certainly won't go back to my old ways.
The things I use for healing are:
Aloe Vera juice
Also on a high fiber diet and taking fiber supplements. My intestinal motility was horrible until I did these things.
Hard to tell which of those things are most important or have worked the most for me but the combination has worked along with eating better. It's amazing to me that someone who was on PPIs for a decade (and I even had heartburn on PPIs at times) can totally eliminate the reflux by doing the above and eating better. That proved to me that it's not just some stomach defect that I have that caused GERD. My condition was self inflicted.