Heartburn and Perhaps how to get off PPIs
The author found a bandaid for a case of heartburn. Of course bandaids are part of the business model for nutri- and pharma-ceuticals. Five years worth looks like this, but it didn't start here.
The problem. Several bouts of food poisoning when others who ate the same thing did not have a problem. Put it down to genetics-the kids inherited an iron stomach from Mom. The real problem was low stomach acid.
Heartburn. Made worse by coffee, chocolate, tomato... the regular. At the same time 'carpal tunnel' problems were also made worse by coffee. Carpal tunnel/tendonitis from wrists to shoulders actually relieved many years later by sublingual B12 tablets.
Stomach took many hours to empty. Workouts went from 8PM to later and later, 11 PM. Dinner would always pass into the esophagus when moving larger weights.
Weight loss. Two gastroscopies including biopsies, with no odd results.
Pariet. Trying to get off this PPI - terrible acid reflux ~30 hours after the last pill when trying to withdraw. Could not. Tried many, many times.
Pariet long term. Slowly creeping food allergies, dentist bills going sky high as teeth weakened and dentist shone a light thru most teeth.
Water Brash. The lower esophageal sphincter never closed off. Sickly sweet stomach juice in throat and mouth at all times. Could keep the taste down by constantly eating or not eating at all.
Bought some books. 'GERD for Dummies' really is.
Why Stomach Acid is Good for You Check out the ratings. Solid reviews. Really a must read.
Here's a model to explain how heartburn happens. Don't know if anyone has written this down, just has to be the reason.
The stomach is acid, the intestines are neutral. How does the body know when to release stomach contents? A pH sensor at the duodenal sphincter.
The lower esophageal sphincter must have a similar sensor. Why pull tight when it is not needed? A waste of energy. But what pH is required for a good seal? Say pH of 2-3 will activate the seal. pH of 4-5 probably will not, but still acid enough to hurt the esophagus.
How the page author got off PPIs.
- Apple cider vinegar capsules 500mg. Dried crystals.
- Gaviscon or generic eq. Big chewable tabs
- Zantac 75mg or generic eq. ranitidine. 5 sided pill.
- DGL - deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Big chewable tabs. Can suck on them too.
- Betaine HCl. ~ 500mg with or without pepsin. The best product was A.N. Taylor's version, but has disappeared from stores. Powder or dried crystals. Now use Purica version, which is plain Betaine HCL. Betaine is a salt byproduct of sugar beet production and is supposed to help with methylation-so may be 'good' for you. Natural Factors has Betaine HCL + Fenugreek, very economical. Fenugreek for Lysine content (guess). Side effect of excess Lysine on digestion end product-unmentionable for now.
- Also think of using digestive enzymes. The purpose of digestion is to dismantle food into amino acids, simple sugars and simple fats. Practically harmless for most people, and may be useful for some.
The concept was to take acid pills with meals to foster digestion (any maybe train the relaxed sphincter), but reduce acid at night to allow safe sleep without damage.
So, took two Apple Cider vinegar pills with each meal. Used DGL when stomach pain or esophagus pain was felt. DGL supposedly stimulates mucous production in gut lining, and so soothes symptoms (by irritating gut lining to produce mucous).
Switched from Apple Cider Vinegar to Betaine HCL pills after one month. Apple cider vinegar pills were irritating stomach lining. Betaine HCl are more powerful, but have not caused a problem, unless too much is taken for a given meal size. Also, always have a bite of food after these pills. If they don't make it to your stomach? Burned esophagus. Presently take 2 pills with small meals, 6 with dinner. None with fruit.
2 hours after evening meal took Zantac 75mg (Ranitidine). It lasts 12 hours, so your acid production will come back the next morning. The drug contains HCl, so feels like heartburn. Get over it. DGL can help with discomfort.
Took Gaviscon before bed most nights. Protecting the esophagus and making a bit of a barrier to reflux.
After two months, it seemed to cause heart palpitations, but don't know for sure. IV Amiodarone for the palpitations may have also alleviated heartburn, but was feeling much better by the time of palpitation onset.
15+ years later, still taking Betaine HCl and enzymes with most meals. Can skip if pills are forgotten but rarely do.
Future exploration. Look into parietal and chief cell antibodies, which may be the root cause. Or could be congenital. One of 6 siblings may have related issues...