I had my first case of Gastritis almost 3 years ago. At the time the doctor diagnosed "mild gastritis" and I took Prevacid 30 mg for 6 weeks, which cleared it up. That time, I started getting relief from the symptoms after 4-5 days of using PPIs, either Zegerid or Prevacid. After the 6 weeks, I was fine, and over the next 2 1/2 years I would only occasionally take Prevacid, two weeks at a time a couple times, to clear up mild stomach pain.
A few weeks ago I started getting similar pains again -- upper abdominal burning, also sometimes pain slightly to the left side just next to the rib cage. The symptoms are somewhat different (from 2007) though: laying down or reclining back with little activity -- staying still -- eases the symptoms. Moving around again makes the pain increase, as does bending forward. (Last time, I felt the intense pain during the night while laying down.) I also have excessive burping, also made worse by eating and general movement; I don't burp acid all the way back into my mouth, but it's excessive such that I often have a sour taste in the mouth.
The G.I. doctor ran several tests -- bloodwork and ultrasound all came back normal. An endoscopy also came back normal, no ulcers; the endoscopy did reveal a lot of redness in the stomach, but they claim that the biopsy came back normal -- no h. pylori or other infections; only "mild gastritis" again. Meanwhile .... I started taking some of my old Prevacid capsules for 5 days before seeing the doctor; then the doctor gave Zegerid 40mg samples, which I took for the next 10 days. Yesterday I started taking Prevacid 30mg capsules (two of the 15mg Prevacid OTC at a time) once a day. Unlike the incident in 2007, the medications are not doing anything so far -- 17+ days, and no relief. The only relief comes with lots of rest and avoiding a lot of foods that can irritate. With all the rest over the weekend I thought I was getting better, able to stay away from Tylenol (pain relief) for several days-- but now with more regular work-week activity the pain is back. I'm now also getting occasional leg pains -- which may be a side effect of the PPI drugs?
The nurse could not explain to me why -- if this is just "mild gastritis" with no infection or other problem -- the Zegerid and Prevacid aren't doing anything. She suggested trying Kapidex 60 mg, and so now I'll pick up some samples to at least try that and see if it does anything. If it doesn't do anything soon, I'm thinking to see another GI doctor.
Any advice? Does this sound like gastritis, or not? If it is gastritis, are there any reasons why the same medications worked fine last time and gave relief within less than a week, but this time no improvement after 2 1/2 weeks? Also, any reasons why if it's gastritis this time the symptoms are somewhat different from last time?
Gastro problems are such a pain, literally and figuratively. Doctors just haven't figured out what makes a lot of them happen. Lots of us are lumped under the general rubric of "dyspepsia" and "gastritis" and "IBS." If your GI can't find a problem, you could consider getting a 2nd opinion.
If I were in your place, I would do the following: adopt a restricted, whole foods diet and make it permanent. Keep a good food log so you can start seeing if there are patterns. Just because a food tastes bland doesn't mean it is safe. Some people have problems with eggs, others with wheat, some with dairy, and i've found that when I have gastritis there are certain foods (dairy) that bother me although they don't when my stomach is "normal." I never feel that good after eating some junk foods, which is why I've mostly eliminated them. You just have to experiment with it. There are of course foods that they always tell you are bothersome- citrus, tomato, etc. -- but everyone is different. IMO the best thing to do is to keep a good food log and look for patterns.
Stay in shape and exercise too. If you adopt a whole foods (or mostly whole foods) diet, it's much easier to keep weight off. Processed foods don't do me many favors. Eliminate foods the cause problems. I was surprised to see what foods were causing me problems after I kept a meticulous log-- whole grains were one. I believe some protein supplements I was taking were mainly behind the problem. Food log, food log, food log.
Some people have apparently found that DGL (de-glyc licorice) alleviates symptoms. I have found that a product called Acid Ease helps with symptoms like bloating; it may ease your symptoms too. PPIs knocked out my ulcer-like feelings, but it took a long time for the stomach pain to recede. I'm now off PPIs altogether and hope to stay off them for good. Buyer beware with these "homeopathic" products- you may want to run them by your doctor- but the Acid Ease that contains plant enzymes does help, but I don't know how it works when the gastritis is hitting hard.
Oh, and another thing, if you have gerd consider raising the head of your bed 6 inches permanently. And don't eat at least 3h before bedtime.