A cup of coffee – Is it the first thing you think about in the morning? For millions it is, but for those of us who suffer heartburn, acid reflux or even gerd (gord), we often think twice before reaching for the coffee pot.
I’ve written here, about a drug I have been prescribed for acid reflux called amitriptylene (generic name Elavil), which works miracles in relieving my heartburn symptoms, at least temporarily. It comes from a family of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants which have been in use since the 1950’s. In olden days they were also prescribed for bedwetting apparently, so I should be ok in that department too…
Firstly Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads reading this! Relax and put your feet up – you deserve it! Particularly if your child is one of many who suffer from acid reflux. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD (gastro-esophageal disease, or GERD, in the USA), can also affect young children – the espohagus is shorter in infants which can make them more prone to acid reflux.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot go without breakfast – I have to eat something, and since taking my heartburn / acid reflux seriously, it’s usually porridge with a little bit of fruit. I haven’t, however, ever thought about taking proton pump inhibitors ( PPI’s ) – the standard fare of long term heartburn / acid reflux sufferers – early in the morning ( I have, on Doctor’s orders, been taking them before my evening meal).
Well, I have been on a strict 30 mg Lanzoprozole (proton pump inhibitor) regime for the last 5 weeks (together with 10 mg of amitriptylene daily) and I have to admit my acid reflux has been so much better. Apart from occasional bouts of low grade heartburn, which has generally been sorted by a couple of tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar or gulps of Gaviscon Advance (recommended by my doctor), and sporadic sore throat / phlegm, I have been pretty much free of symptoms. I visited my GP today, and she has reduced the dose to 15 mg of Lanzoprozole per day with a recommendation I continue to deal with any heartburn as I have been doing.
The Medical Independent Website has reported a call by The Irish Society of Gastroenterology for more public awareness of the condition known as Barrett’s Esophagus / Oesophagus, a condition where the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus undergo change as a result of regular exposure to acid reflux from the stomach. Barrett’s is not in itself cancer, but it is considered a pre-cancerous condition.
A recent article published in RefluxMD discusses the latest research into the adverse effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s). This adds to mounting evidence that PPIs increase the risk of pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infections. In the article, they describe how acid suppressive drugs are often used in intensive care patients who require mechanical ventilation to decrease the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding from stress-induced ulcers. A sample of these patients who were prescribed either PPI’s or less powerful H2 blockers were monitored for infections. The outcome – The patients given PPIs were more likely to have pneumonia, C. diff, and GI bleeding compared to patients given H2 blockers.
US readers please click here
Candida and Acid Reflux
Candida and acid reflux are connected : I’ve seen many references to yeast overgrowth, or candidiasis, or Thrush, in the intestine being a cause of acid reflux. Candida is the term for a group of organisms including moulds and fungi which live all around us. One family, Candida Albicans, lives in all mucus membranes, i.e. intestines, eyes, ears, bladder, stomach, lungs, vagina, etc. It is one of the billions of friendly organisms that serve a useful purpose in the body.
Tummyzen Reviews – A Revolutionary Antacid?
It’s amazing what a white coat and an association with an august academic institution will do for one’s confidence.
That is, in a new product being able to cure acid reflux. Such was my feeling when I came across Tummyzen, a drug based on “natural ingredients” which, similar to PPI’s (well at least in my simple mind), cuts off acid production at its’ source in the stomach.
Apple Cider Vinegar – A Quick Fix For Acid Reflux & Other Ailments
For centuries, apple cider vinegar has been used by cultures all over the world as not just a preservative but for its numerous health benefits as well. The acidic brew packs a plethora of well being into even the smallest amounts. Want to pump up your immune system? Even figure out how to get rid of acid reflux? This versatile vinegar may be your answer.
It’s been a little while since my last update. Looking back it was great thinking I was free of acid reflux for at least a period of time – unfortunately it didn’t last. In October it returned, and I’ve had it off and on now ever since. I have had to go back on to PPI’s – Lanzaprozole, first 15mg, then up to 30 mg – which is a big disappointment, but I have also tried a range of things to see if i could wean myself off them. I have:
An article in Healio Gastroenterology suggests there may be a better way of treating long term acid reflux. It cites a study which found that “Pantoprazole-Mg [pantoprazole-magnesium] did not differ from esomeprazole, with both PPIs [proton pump inhibitors] being highly effective at 4 and 8 weeks in achieving complete remission (combined endoscopic healing and symptomatic relief) in patients with erosive GERD,” the researchers wrote. “However, pantoprazole-Mg continued to improve symptom relief from 4 to 8 weeks of treatment, suggesting an extended period of treatment effect, which may be helpful in the management of patients with more severe disease.” read the full article here.
A recent study showed that acid-suppressing drugs such as omeprazole, lansoprazole (Prevacid) and esomeprazole (Nexium) can lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency (JAMA, Dec. 11, 2013). Low levels of this vitamin may cause irreversible nerve damage. Symptoms include numbness, tingling or pain in toes, feet or fingers, trouble walking, memory problems and confusion, depression or burning tongue. Other symptoms can include loss of appetite, constipation and anemia. People taking any of these medications should have vitamin B-12 levels tested at least once a year. (The Seattle Times)
Book review: “Heartburn No More” by Jeff Martin
Why is “Heartburn No More” the best selling acid reflux book with thousands of users In 121 countries worldwide?
I’ve seen this book, “Heartburn No More”, advertised widely on the internet and, frankly, I’ve tended to ignore it, thinking it was a “get well quick” scheme which simply pushed out the same old stuff about how to deal with the symptoms of acid reflux, rather than the root cause.
How To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux Thru Surgery
What if the pain and discomfort of acid reflux just becomes too much, or the thought of being on PPI’s for the rest of your life just sucks? Well, there’s always surgery. Personally I think it must be the last resort because it is so invasive, even though there are ways of minimising the surgery by, for example, laparoscopic procedures (see below). The main reasons you might need to consider surgery are:
It’s a revelation! I’ve been completely free of symptoms for the last month. I wish I could tell you it was down to something which I had done, and I could finally tell you how to get rid of acid reflux, but it wasn’t; it was completely out of my control. And, whilst it was a great relief not to have to suffer gerd, it was a situation I would not wish anyone go through.
Causes of Acid Reflux – Low Stomach Acid
This may sound completely counter intuitive, but there is a significant body of opinion, and a smaller body of hard research, which maintains that one of the causes of acid reflux is too little stomach acid, not too much. I’ll give a brief explanation of this here.
Acid Reflux Disease, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Gerd), Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) or heartburn – whatever you want to call it- probably affects most people at some stage in their lives in either an incidental or more major way; from babies, where it seems to be now recognised as a more common affliction than previously thought, to older people where its incidence is widespread.
It’s been a month since the last progress update, and a couple of significant things have happened in my quest to find out how to get rid of acid reflux – more on these below. During that time my acid reflux has continued more or less as before – nothing during the night and on waking, but returning soon after breakfast with symptoms of discomfort in the chest, and tingling in the mouth and on the lips. This generally lasted on or off all day until bedtime.