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  • struggling to get off meds!

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    Old 03-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
    HateGERD
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    Unhappy struggling to get off meds!

    I've had GERD for four months now. I'm 48, slim, active, and in good health otherwise. Up until developing GERD, I'd literally never had heath burn before ever!

    I was prescribed 600 mg Zantac for one month. After the treatment period I tappered off dropping 75 mg/day. In a week, I was off the zantac but I started having some heartburn so I went back on a low dose of 75-150mg, and then came off that dose and was fine for about two weeks.

    While I was on the Zantac, I tried many alternative treatment: ACV, DGL, digestive enzymes, ginger, vitamins/mineral supplements, and briefly HCL tablets (I was so scared I'd get one stuck in my throat and that it would burn me that I couldn't stick with it). During first week off meds and trouble free, I was still taking my natural cures, but dropped them, and also started drinking tea again the second week. When the heartburn returned, I figured it was from dropping the natural cures, and drinking tea, so I resumed the natural cures, and stopped drinking the tea, but the heartburn continued and was worse.

    I went back on the meds several times for a few days at a time, and then quickly tried to get back off, but in a few days, the heartburn was back, and worse. So I tried getting back on for a week and then very slowly tapering off. I was down to a half 75 mg pill/day, but the next day when I tired no meds, I had awful heartburn (still using natural cures whole time).

    It seems like when I start refluxing it won't stop even with a dose of Zantac that used to control it. Once the reflux starts, I have to go back on a relatively high dose for several days before my heartburn stops. Also, I'm now having nighttime reflux, which I never had before.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Specifically the:
    - Once heartburn gets going its extra hard to stop.
    - worse heartburn than before.
    - heartburn now occurring at night, when it only used to be during the day

    Thanks, for any advice.

    Desperate and confused!

     
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    Old 03-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #2
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Hi,
    When I was prescribed Nexium I was told to take it for 4-8 weeks.
    I think you have been taking too many different things. If I was you I would stop all the alternative things and stay with the recommended Zantac dose for at least a month. You can also use Gaviscon at this time. If after a month there is no improvement you should see your Dr for further investigation.
    Have you had an Endoscopy to see what is going on as a Hiatal-Hernia spring's to mind. I have one and can suffer similar symptoms when mine play's up.

    Solofelix.

     
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    Old 03-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
    HateGERD
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Thanks for the advice. I was on the Zantac for a month initially, but maybe I need to get on it and stay on it for another month.

    I'm just worried about the long term effects of these acid suppressing drugs. I believe that must people with GERD are actually suffering from too little stomach acid which then causes poor digestion which then causes heartburn. So I'm anxious to get off the meds as soon as possible. Right or wrongly I feel like the longer I stay on these meds the less chance I have off ever getting off of them.

    I'm scared that this is what my life is going to be like from now on.

    No, I haven't been scoped yet. Frankly, I don't want to. I'm so afraid they'll find cancer or at least Barrets. I'm going to wait for a while before I have it done. I'm just to anxious right now. My anxiety is through the roof!

    Thanks for your response!

     
    Old 03-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Thanks for the advice. I was on the Zantac for a month initially, but maybe I need to get on it and stay on it for another month.

    I'm just worried about the long term effects of these acid suppressing drugs. I believe that must people with GERD are actually suffering from too little stomach acid which then causes poor digestion which then causes heartburn. So I'm anxious to get off the meds as soon as possible. Right or wrongly I feel like the longer I stay on these meds the less chance I have off ever getting off of them.

    I'm scared that this is what my life is going to be like from now on.

    No, I haven't been scoped yet. Frankly, I don't want to. I'm so afraid they'll find cancer or at least Barrets. I'm going to wait for a while before I have it done. I'm just to anxious right now. My anxiety is through the roof!

    Thanks for your response!

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 06:26 AM   #5
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Hi,
    I know what you mean, it is scary to think you might become hooked on PPIs.
    I was on the Nexium for one month and my dosage was 40mg x 2 daily. I had no problem coming off it.
    Look up diets for Gerd and adjust it accordingly to how you react. A friend of mine has been on PPIs for over two years and like you I didn't want to go down that road.
    I believe there is a test to see if you have too much/too little acid in your stomach but I dont know anything about it. Perhaps you might find something about it online.
    It took me well over a year before I got right but I still get set back's.
    I wish you well,

    Solofelix.

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 07:23 AM   #6
    HateGERD
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Dear Solofelix;

    Thanks for the response! There is a test, but almost no GI administer it. There's another thread on this board ranting about this problem.

    Also, if you don't mind me asking, are you off meds or not? And if you're on, what are you taking?

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Hi, sounds like you are experiencing acid rebound (acid rebound hypersecretion). This is a reaction to stopping acid suppresants whereby you have more acid and worse acid reflux than you had before you ever took medication. There are loads of threads on here about acid rebound.

    The key is that you are worse than you were before you took the meds.

    While taking the medication the level of gastrin goes up to above normal levels. Then when you try to stop taking the meds, or even cut down, the high gastrin stimulates hyper amounts of acid - more than you ever had before.

    Then if you attempt to take the same dose of the meds as you had been on, it is no longer enough. It is a vicious circle of needing more and more the less and less you take.

    You can either try and sit out the painful period using something like gaviscon and your natural remedies, and you will rebalance back to how you were before you took the meds, but it can take a while. Or you can try to taper down even slower and in smaller increments than you are doing. Each step down you will experience a worsening and each step you need to sit through this worse period in order to get better.

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Thanks for the reply, Kacyc!

    ...and this is true to Zantac (H2 blocker, rather than a PPI)? I knew that PPI had this strong rebound, but didn't know that that was so much the case for H2 blockers as well.

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Hi,
    I agree with what Kacyc say's
    As for myself mine all began with H.Pylori and an Ulcer. I was prescribed the usual treatment for this which is two different antibiotics and a PPI. I continued with the PPI for one month after and then tappered off. For a long time after I suffered from Acid Reflux and Gastritis but stuck to a healthy diet and Gaviscon and Ginger-Tea, also (Aloe Vera Juice) which seemed to help.
    I take nothing now only Gaviscon when needed. Initially during the time of leaving off the PPI I had some really unpleasant symptoms but I stuck it out and after a year I found I was just about back to normal apart from the odd time I overeat or eat the wrong thing, I am now well.
    Good Luck with whatever you decide to do and dont give up,

    Solofelix.

     
    Old 03-04-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
    HateGERD
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Dear Solofelix;

    Thanks for your reply!

    Did you have hearthburn as a symptom with the ulcer? Or did you only develope the heartburn trying to come off the PPI?

    HateGERD

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 06:07 AM   #11
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HateGERD View Post
    Dear Solofelix;

    Thanks for your reply!

    Did you have hearthburn as a symptom with the ulcer? Or did you only develope the heartburn trying to come off the PPI?

    HateGERD
    I suffered heatburn with the Ulcer but I was also found to have a Hiatal-Hernia so it's possible that either could have caused it, I'm also sure that the H.Pylori caused a lot of my symptoms.

    Solofelix.

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 06:44 AM   #12
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HateGERD View Post
    I've had GERD for four months now. I'm 48, slim, active, and in good health otherwise. Up until developing GERD, I'd literally never had heath burn before ever!

    I was prescribed 600 mg Zantac for one month. After the treatment period I tappered off dropping 75 mg/day. In a week, I was off the zantac but I started having some heartburn so I went back on a low dose of 75-150mg, and then came off that dose and was fine for about two weeks.

    While I was on the Zantac, I tried many alternative treatment: ACV, DGL, digestive enzymes, ginger, vitamins/mineral supplements, and briefly HCL tablets (I was so scared I'd get one stuck in my throat and that it would burn me that I couldn't stick with it). During first week off meds and trouble free, I was still taking my natural cures, but dropped them, and also started drinking tea again the second week. When the heartburn returned, I figured it was from dropping the natural cures, and drinking tea, so I resumed the natural cures, and stopped drinking the tea, but the heartburn continued and was worse.

    I went back on the meds several times for a few days at a time, and then quickly tried to get back off, but in a few days, the heartburn was back, and worse. So I tried getting back on for a week and then very slowly tapering off. I was down to a half 75 mg pill/day, but the next day when I tired no meds, I had awful heartburn (still using natural cures whole time).

    It seems like when I start refluxing it won't stop even with a dose of Zantac that used to control it. Once the reflux starts, I have to go back on a relatively high dose for several days before my heartburn stops. Also, I'm now having nighttime reflux, which I never had before.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Specifically the:
    - Once heartburn gets going its extra hard to stop.
    - worse heartburn than before.
    - heartburn now occurring at night, when it only used to be during the day

    Thanks, for any advice.

    Desperate and confused!
    Try following the Combination Diet. Someone lent me the 'Great Taste, No Pain' book and from the very first day my symptoms were relieved. It is a miracle diet , in my opinion for acid reflux sufferers and anyone with digestive problems. Together with this I drink a cup of 'Traditional Medicine' Organic Chamomile tea everyday. I have a very long story of being an acid reflux sufferer for about a year now and I will share my journey another time. But getting off or even decreasing ppi's and other acid reflux meds are a nightmare!

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 06:50 AM   #13
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Try following the Combination Diet. Someone lent me the 'Great Taste, No Pain' book and from the very first day my symptoms were relieved. It is a miracle diet , in my opinion for acid reflux sufferers and anyone with digestive problems. Together with this I drink a cup of 'Traditional Medicine' Organic Chamomile tea everyday. I have a very long story of being an acid reflux sufferer for about a year now and I will share my journey another time. But getting off or even decreasing ppi's and other acid reflux meds are a nightmare!

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HateGERD View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Kacyc!

    ...and this is true to Zantac (H2 blocker, rather than a PPI)? I knew that PPI had this strong rebound, but didn't know that that was so much the case for H2 blockers as well.
    Hi, yes, it is true that H2 blockers can also cause rebound. It is supposed to be not as bad as PPIs, but anything that can block acid can also cause a rebound effect when you try to stop taking it.

    You need to allow yourself to correct at each step. Wait until your initial pain subsides, before you try to cut down, and then cut down just a little bit - cut your pills or get liquid so that you can reduce the amount you take. Support with natural remedies and gaviscon as you do it. Have faith and hang in there. You will get better.

     
    Old 03-05-2013, 12:31 PM   #15
    HateGERD
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    Re: struggling to get off meds!

    Dear Kacyc;

    Thanks so much for your reply. I'm really miserable today.

    I've taken five 75 mg Zantacs and I'm still having constant heartburn. I've been on 300 mg/day for the last several days, but my situation just isn't stabilizing.

    It's hard to believe that a week ago I had weened down to 1/2 75 mg pill/day.

    Thanks again for your advice and support!

     
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