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Savannah1992 03-12-2014 07:40 AM

Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hello everybody,

can i just say how relived i am to find a place where i'm not the only person in the World going through these problems and i hope someone can relate to my 'story'.

The short story is - after 5 years - I'm planning on 'quitting' Ranitidine.

Please bear with me and hear me out with my story (dw i will shorten to the best of my ability).

When i was 16 I began getting panic attacks (debilitating/couldn't leave the house) and - to my teenage self - the only thing (at that time) was to drink alcohol (vodka to be precise) vodka all day vodka all night. i was able to 'function' and never went 'overboard' i.e staggering around/slurring etc.

anyways, after a year off hard drinking (i was smoking at the time too) i, understandably; got gastritis (no big surprise considering) and so i quit smoking and cut RIGHT DOWN on my drinking which helped immediately with the gastritis (and stopped anxiety!).

HOWEVER, this was no happy ending, despite changing my diet/lifestyle/excersing/quitting caffeine/alcohol/fatty food/milk etc i kept getting bouts of mild gastritis and feel sluggish and horrible and ended up at the doctors again. where they pescribed Ranititidine for a month, this became a cycle, i'd feel horrid (nasea/pain/indigestion) - i'd go to the doctors - they'd pescirbied rantitidine - i would take it for a month - gastritis would come back and so on - back to doctors - back on ranitidine etc etc (you get the idea) - Until my doctor obviously got bored of me coming back every 6-8 weeks and just wrote a repeast pescription for Rantiditidine - which resulted in me having taken it for 5 YEARS..... NOT ONCE had i been told it was addictive/could be bad in the long-run etc. i know ignorance is not an excuse, so im annoyed at myself that it's taken ME this long to realise that i need to come off of it.

I am coming off (well, i'm going to try) because i feel it is now doing more harm than good and i'd rather treat the problem, rather than masking it.
i have read some very good articles regarding 'quitting' anti acids. i plan on going cold -turkey (something i know isn't advisable) but i'd like to be tested for Helicobactor (AGAIN, already had stool and blood test = both negative) but my doctor has made me so paranoid. i know you -have- to come of ranitidine to have a helicobactor test atleast 2 weeks before the test (going to have breath test THIS time that will, no doubt, come back negative). However, i KNOW that my stomach issues are a result of eating/drinking and NOT due to Helicobactor (look how it began!! too much coincidence and links for it to be helicobactor)

i have read and re-read arcticles aqbout people weening themselves off, and also a few about going cold turkey. i am planning on chewing DGL, digestive enzymes, aloe vero, ginger tea and already have a VERY strict alkaline diet.

Looking back, my 'younger' self didnt have much 'staying power' - i.e. everytime i had symptoms = straight down doctors - and they just give you anything to get you out fast. NEVER was my diet questioned by a doctor! only through my own research have i gathered info about diet & gastritis.

I just thought i'd let everyone know...not sure how i'm going to get on.. i guess it'll get worse before/if it ever gets better.
some words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. otherwise MANY MANY thanks for taking the time to read this!
Savannah x

karen561 03-12-2014 08:12 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing. I myself would love to get off of the ppi I am on, but as of right now I don't feel strong enough to do it. I've been on mine for about 8 months. Did stop for 2 weeks and just took Zantac 150 but ended up caving and back on to the Protonix. I wish you well and again all the luck I can give you. :)

Savannah1992 03-13-2014 02:23 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hi Karen,

thank you for your kind words & encouragement. I am sorry to hear that you too, are on PPIs long-term. Can I ask how it started & what triggered yourself going on PPIs?

update: it has been 3 days since my last ranitidine (have been taking 500mg a day for 5 years) and I am feeling...okay actually! bearing in mind I have been extremely strict, watching EVERYTHING that I eat & drink. I am also taking digestive enzymes and DGL liquorice. I am also drinking fresh-mint tea and fresh ginger tea which I have always done and have found helps. Last night I went out with my colleagues to TGIs (just about the un-healthiest place on Earth) and it was difficult finding something that wouldn't play havoc with my stomach (I ended up with a chicken ceasar which was drowned in sauce, so I picked my way through it, scraping as much sauce off the grilled chicken and lettuce as possible and taking most of it home, only to throw it away. I also only managed one sip of my cocktail which is understandable, but quite depressing) but hey early days! hopefully once I'm cured I can start introducing these things slowly back into my diet. I hope! I still want to maintain some quality of life!

I have also been looking into mastic gum. Can someone tell me whether taking this will interfere with a helicobacter P test? I desperately need the answer before I start taking it (needless to say if it DOES interfere with TEST results then I wont take it until after test).

Many thanks once again for taking the time to read this. I value everyone's opinions & would like to hear other people's stories too. Savannah X

kacyc 03-13-2014 02:16 PM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Good news that you are taking control of your own health. It is very difficult to get off PPIs and can be hard to quit ranitidine too (though some reports say it is easier than PPIs).

Its good news that you are feeling ok, but be careful, the dreaded rebound hyperacidity can kick in after a few weeks. So don't do anything that will jeopardise you getting better until you are definately out of the woods.

Good luck.

Savannah1992 03-14-2014 05:34 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Thanks again Karen for the advice, I hope so. I am already feeling hyperacidity (burping like crazy the past 24 hours, apparently this is a sign of wayyyyy too much acid).

Day 4 update:-

Still feeling okay although eating v.e.r.y bland, alkaline meals. had some significant upper back pain last night which, in the past, I had always passed off as anxiety, however, now I realise this was a symptom of gastritis. This scared me a bit but I was comforted by the fact that I still have an appetite.
Although I think the 'sudden' drop from a bit of sugar to no-sugar-whatsoever is making me a bit worse for wear (making silly mistakes a work/tired/aching/slight dull headache) - probably a come-down.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this. x

Savannah1992 03-15-2014 10:47 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Day 5 Update

Had some sad news today that my 12year old cat may have a tumour which stressed me out and no doubt had an effect on my stomach.

Was starving last night and this morning, which I thought was a positive sign. Although as long as a had some breakfast (muesli and soya yoghurt) I triggered indigestion which has lasted all day. Feeling really low. Can't seem to find any success stories online which is upsetting. Need some motivation to get through this. I'm not going to give up and assign myself to ranitidine for the rest of my life. I hope this indigestion will pass.

Also been reading about 'sucrafalte' and am unclear on what this is? Is it a H2? PPI? Is it available over counter? Is it a herbal/supplement remedy ?
Advise please help x

Savannah1992 03-17-2014 02:32 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis

Hi everyone,

Day seven (1 week after quitting ranitidine). feeling okayish.... pretty significant upper back pain and loss of appetite. Hoping things start to improve and this is just the 'worse before better' part. I want to be out of the woods. I want to be better. having feelings of positivity and then of total despair. try to tell myself 'it's just gastritis, you wont die' and it's just too much acid. and then thoughts like 'what if I never get better? what's actually wrong with me? have I got some mystery disease and I'll never get better'. No doubt these thoughts aren't helping. my partner is getting irritated and doesn't understand and doesn't want to eat low acidic, bland meals anymore (understandably, but doesn't he think I'd rather be eating steak and chips too?!) I'm not enjoying this either!!!

urghhhh dear, I'm starting to lose it. anyway, thanks again for reading this. I hope one day I can tell you all how I've 'recovered' and that you can too.

Much Love Savannah x

(p.s sorry for the lack of punctuation in this post!)

karen561 03-17-2014 08:39 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Try to hang in there Savannah, I know it's hard and it will probably get worse before it gets better. I know that's not what you want to hear but please be aware of it. Like I wrote before I stopped my Protonix and just took zantac 150 3 times a day. The first week went fine but by the end of the second week I had acid in the back of my throat and even into my nose one night and that is what made me cave and back onto the Protonix. I should have gone one more week to see how I felt. I do have acid reflux not gastritis so I'm hoping you have easier and less side effects.
I do believe mine started do to a anti-anxiety medication I was put on. I had stomach pain not heartburn,(I know what heart burn is like because I have had that for years) this was different. After I went on the ppi I found out that the med I was put on can cause stomach pain. I wish I would have known that much sooner, but of course no doctor tells you that, they just give you the ppi and say take this! Once your one them they are very hard to get off.
Keep your chin up and know that you have the support here. I have felt the same way you do and still have very bad days of being depressed about my stomach.
Wishing you all the luck I can!! :)

Savannah1992 03-18-2014 05:28 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hi Karen, thanks again for your words of encouragement it is much appreciated. I hope one day you too can overcome the anti acid dependency. I hope I can do this, one day at a time I guess.

Day 7 Update:

Physically feeling okay, had pretty severe upper back pain and heartburn/indigestion last night. Was also pretty shocked when I weighed myself to find that I have lost 5 pounds in 7 days... if anyone is trying to lose weight, the alkaline diet is the way to go! Unfortunately, I am already underweight & this weight loss is worrying. Not sure how to maintain weight when I'm just eating fruit and veg (no carbs, no sugar, no fat & no meat?). Any advice?

Also sad news my cat has kidney failure and is being put to sleep today, which is really not what I need right now. the extra stress is horrid. (Not my cats fault obviously, no doubt he is suffering much more than me).

Thanks again for reading, planning on putting up my food diary I have been keeping for people to see.
Also taking digestive enzymes, aloe vera juice and DGL daily.

Savannah x

Savannah1992 03-19-2014 07:36 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hi everyone

EIGHT DAY update

Sadly had to put my cat to sleep yesterday so had no appetite yesterday really at all, which was slightly worrying but understandable.
This morning I woke up starving which was a relief/good sign but no surprise as a barely ate yesterday and kept chocking on my soup for dinner so just gave up.
Not too sure how I'm feeling. a bit away with the fairies to be honest (not in a nice way...) just feel dizzy and empty and mentally a bit messed up. feeling a lot of sadness. maybe because of the weight loss (6 pounds in 8 days :-/ )

just had lunch (carrot and leek soup, no stock, no seasoning literally just carrot and leek) and now I have freaking indigestion; are you kidding me?

I guess I'll keep battling this.

Felt like having a drink (alcohol) last night after everything that had happened but resisted which I'm glad about. Although it's my friends 21st next week (28th March) and no doubt she wants to party hard. Not sure what I'm going to do yet about that. just not drink I guess and have a sh*t time.

sorry guys.
just feeling really low at the moment.

kacyc 03-19-2014 09:51 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Sorry to hear about your cat.. it is harder to deal with anything when you are suffering already.

Try to hang in there and keep looking after yourself. You can get better.

About the diet. Obviously it is good that you are eating healtily, I wouldn't worry about your weight at the moment. Once you are through this you can adapt your diet. But, I would think about what you are eating even within the healthy, alkaline diet. Leeks, for example, are warming, like onions, and are not good for any type gastritis. Carrots are good. So it could have been the leeks that didn't agree with you. I made a lot of soups with anti-inflammatory veg such as carrots, courgettes, butternut squash, celery.

For me, and I am not recommending this, but for me, I needed a lot of starchy food to absorb the acid, because if you come off acid suppressing drugs, you will making excess acid no matter what you eat, and you need something to soak it up.

Also if you are taking digestive enzymes, make sure they are ones that do not contain HCL (acid) as you will be adding acid to acid.

Alcohol you know is no good for you and I would go along to your friends birthday and enjoy yourself without drinking, and feel really good and proud that you being kind to yourself and doing everything you can to get better. The reward will be worth it.

Savannah1992 03-20-2014 05:34 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hey Kacy,
many thanks for your kind words and your advice. I see what you mean about the leeks, it's difficult when you hear conflicting things online but am definitely take your advice and cut out leeks/onions etc. I also found it very interesting what you mentioned regarding the digestive enzymes, I'll have a look later & find out. What is your story Kacy? x

Day TEN UPDATE (gosh I'm losing track of days!)

Hello again everyone, just an update to let everyone know how I am. it has been 10 days since I quit ranitidine and am still hanging in there. I'm still going to work (although feeling a bit dizzy/weird/light-headed) and going about my daily life.

I still have a small appetite and still eating an extremely alkaline diet.
I took a home-kit helicobactor test last night (for peace of mind, although I haven't been off ranitidine to 14 days yet) but it didn't say anything on the test about having to wait or anything. Needless to say I know these tests aren't 100% reliable, but I have already been tested twice, both negative. and of course it was NEGATIVE TOO!

Started to get paranoid about having a hiatal hernia, but I keep telling myself this is unlikely (I'm 22, non-smoker, slim, never been pregnant, never done any hard-physical activities). Please note I also had AN ENDOSCOPY, prior to all this, about 6 years ago that revealed absolutely nothing, just very, very, very mild gastritis (this was before all this for AN UN-REALTED issue). Therefore i doubt that i could've developed a hiatal hernia since then for no apparent reason.

Someone please reassure me, I'm being silly & researching all possible diseases that cause gastritis and convincing myself I have all of them.

ANYWAYS, I have also purchased some SLIPPERY ELM and have heard amazing things about it. My hopes aren't too high but I do believe in natural remedies 110% so more than willing to give this a go.


Savannah1992 03-21-2014 07:47 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis

Eleven days since my last ranitidine. Feeling okay actually! I started taking slippery elm only yesterday (in powder form) & felt okay yesterday and today is going pretty okay too (although I am only eating fruit and vegetables, no meat, no fat, no sugar except natural sugar & no salt). No fried foods, no alcohol etc. Things got 'bad' at the beginning of the week, feeling weird/indigestion/significant pain I know I am not 'out of the woods' yet, far from it! No doubt things will get worse before they get better. Let me share what supplements I have been taking to keep me going.

- DGL liquorice
- Digestive Enzymes
- Manuka Honey
- Ginger & Lemon Tea
- Aloe Vera Juice
- last two days; Slippery Elm.

Does anyone know how long it should take me to 'heal' ? and start introducing 'regular' food back into my diet (to an extent, not gonna go and start eating steak & chips or downing pints!). I read somewhere, H2 blockers reverse symptoms should be subsiding after ten days, however, I have been taking ranitidine for 5 years - I have a feeling it'll take more than just 10 days somehow!

I don't want to develop some weird phobia of ever eating anything but alkaline food again through fear of acid issues...Ordered 2 more Helicobactor text kits woooo - does anyone now if I can REQUEST another blood test/stool test at my GPs for Helicobacter?


kacyc 03-21-2014 12:48 PM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Keep going Savannah you are doing really well, but so far it is days, and it can take weeks, or even months to get completely better. The more you try to speed this up and eat/ drink stuff you shouldn't the longer it will take in the long run. So be patient, and be good to your stomach.

Slippery Elm can be good as it forms mucoulage and helps protect the stomach lining. Personally I found the DGL to be more helpful for my symptoms.

What symptoms do you currently get?

It can seem like there is contradictory information out there eg apple cidar vinegar vs no apple cidar vinegar; digestive enzymes vs no digestive enzymes etc, but these can help different people and it also depends on the cause of your symptoms. So for example digestive enzymes can help heartburn, when the heartburn is caused by indigestion and insufficient acid. It is a case of really trying to understand what is going on for you and then working out, and trying, what is best for you.

Mint tea or ginger tea is really good for digestion when the problem is indigestion. it can help the symptoms whilst taking acid suppressing drugs, but these things are not helpful when you are coming off acid suppressing drugs and will get increased acid output or gastritis. You want to avoid anything remotely warming. You can normally tell if something is hot or not. Ginger is hot. It will not help gastritis. You would be better with teas such as chamomile or the one I take is Kukicha Japenese twig tea - excellent.

You can request repeat blood/ stool test from your GP, but you are already pretty certain that you don't have helicobactor.

I see you are in London, which hospital are you under?

Savannah1992 03-23-2014 09:02 AM

Re: Ranitidine Cold Turkey - Ongoing Gastritis
Hi Kacy,
Many thanks for replying & for the advice. I am not really under a hospital as such, you must go the the nearest one should something happen and when you need a doctor you see a different one every time so have to keep explaining myself over and over again. The symptoms I usually get are pain under ribs and nausea, bloating of stomach, tiredness and general feeling of sluggishness. Occasionally indigestion and pain upper back. Indigestion more so since I've come of ranitidine.

Day 13 Update:
Thirteen days since I last took ranitidine. I've literally just eaten fruit and vegetables, no meat, no dairy, barely any carbs, no alcohol, no choclate or sweets, no coffee or tea, no fried food etc, n-o-t-h-I-n-g & taking supplements listed in previous posts. (Please note I have been eating a VERY strict diet for 5 years now, just the last 13 days has been PARTICULARLY strict).
Therefore I am feeling okay, I still have an appetite but last night I had some cannellini beans and got pain under my ribs (what the hell) so now I'm kinda terrified of ever eating 'normally' again. I think I'm going to request a repeat stool test tomorrow (more awkward questions at work) - do I actually have to make an appointment or can I just call the reception and get the erm.... 'Poo container' ? Seems pointless making an appointment especially. Also have another 2 self tests for helicobactor coming tomorrow hopefully but I won't take them until Tuesday/Wedesday.
Boring boring boring boring boring life I am leading at the moment. Can't go anywhere in case I get hungry and erm well have to eat some kale soup? Cannot go out with feinds because I can't drink. Partner getting irritated because I'm so dull right now and have to make two dinners every night it's getting depressing.
No one can underestimate how difficult having chromic gastritis/GERD etc etc really is and what affect it has on you & everyone around you xxx

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