How I Got Off Nexium. For Good.

how to get off nexium

It is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of Americans experience GERD symptoms every day. [source]

Acid-reducing drugs are among the most popular drugs on the market.  The numbers of people taking Nexium and other acid-inhibiting drugs is staggering. Unfortunately, the medical community has it wrong.  Reducing acid is NOT the answer.

Not only that, but when Nexium was first put on the market, it was recommended that people take it for no more than six weeks. (This is because some of its side effects are serious nutritional deficiencies which can lead to a host of more serious health problems, not the least of which is cancer.) Now people are put on Nexium and told it’s for life. TRUE STORY. That happened to me. At age 35, no less.

I have been wanting to write this story for some time, but I’ve been waiting until I was confident that I am truly cured of my GERD and gastritis.  I can’t say I’m entirely cured. I still struggle from time to time with acid reflux symptoms, but I manage them naturally. And my debilitating stomach aches are gone, gone, gone!

I want people to know that medicine for these symptoms may not be the best answer, and there are better (safer!) ways to treat GERD and gastritis. I want people to know that these medicines aren’t as safe as they may think they are. I want people to know that they are actually addicting and can create a cycle of dependence that is hard to break.

The good news is, it IS possible to wean yourself off of acid-reducing drugs if you’re willing to do the work. There is a better way, and your doctor probably won’t tell you about it. Not that I’m in any way qualified to dish medical advice, so do your research and come to your own conclusions. I can only tell you what I’ve experienced. I just want you to know you have a choice.

If you want to know How To Get Off Nexium, I hope this post will help.

But first…

My Story

After my third pregnancy, I was plagued by a variety of gastrointestinal ailments that I could never connect to a certain food or food group.  I would get awful stomach aches out of the blue, often sending me to bed or to the couch until they passed.  I went through a battery of tests, and was diagnosed with GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease), gastritis, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) — what I affectionately call my gastrointestinal trifecta.

The stomach aches I had been having were blamed on gastritis.  It is important to note that even though I had a GERD diagnosis, I was not having heartburn symptoms. The IBS I’d had off and on all my life, so that was nothing new.

After trying several H2 blockers (Google is your friend) without success, my doctor put me on Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor (again with the Google.)  The Nexium kept the gastritis symptoms at bay for the most part, although I did have some trouble now and then.  When I inquired about going off Nexium, my doctor assured me that I would probably be on it for the rest of my life, but no worries, he said.  It’s harmless.

Say what?

Something about that didn’t sit right with me.  At 35 years old, I was being told I would be on Nexium for the rest of my life?  And here’s the funny thing.  When I accidentally missed a day of my Nexium, I would suddenly get heartburn symptoms. I hadn’t had heartburn symptoms before starting the Nexium; the Nexium was for gastritis, and that just seemed odd.

At one point, early on in my Nexium days, I tried going off it with horrible results.  I stopped cold turkey (I’ve since learned you must wean off) and I have never been so sick as I was that week with gastritis attacks and heartburn symptoms.  Again, it seemed odd that when I missed the Nexium, my symptoms were worse than they were before I started taking it, but I gave up and went back on it. For the next couple of years, I just went along with it, hoping some day to get some help but not knowing where to find it.

I even told my doctor about the symptoms I experienced when I missed my Nexium and inquired if it could be possible that my body was overcompensating for the acid-reducing meds, and both doctors who I asked immediately disregarded my concerns and said that wasn’t happening.  That’s a bit of foreshadowing for you.

Then last summer, my tummy troubles started to get worse again, even with Nexium.  I went to a new GI doctor and started a whole new round of testing, but nothing was discovered.  Over the last four years, I have experienced just about every gastrointestinal test known to man.  It. was. not. pleasant.  And to make matters worse, they couldn’t turn up a reason for my symptoms.

The Turning of the Tide

Around that same time, I came upon Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.  You probably know that story by now.  We gradually began eating more whole foods and less processed foods and industrial oils.  We moved to coconut oil and raw milk and grass-fed beef and pastured poultry and eggs.

Right about that time, I read this article by Dr. Mercola.  Disclaimer: I take everything he writes with a grain of salt because he’s a bit of an alarmist. But this article hit home because I knew instinctively that he was right.  It just made so much sense.  Here’s a snippet (emphasis mine.)

In the study [source] above, more than 40 percent of healthy volunteers experienced heartburn, acid regurgitation and dyspepsia (pain and fullness in your abdomen) in the weeks after stopping the drugs. These were symptoms they did NOT have before!

It appears the drugs lead to “rebound acid hypersecretion,” which is an increase in gastric acid secretion above pre-treatment levels within two weeks of stopping the drugs.

Essentially, because these drugs slam the brakes on the acid-producing pumps in your stomach, when you stop taking them that built-up acid can be unleashed with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, studies show that up to 33 percent of people taking PPIs continue to refill their prescriptions without an apparent need for them. Could it be that many of these people continue to refill their prescriptions because they have severe withdrawal symptoms each time they run out… and are assuming they need MORE of the drug to help them?

This is a vicious cycle — one that can easily lead to tolerance and dependency on these drugs.

That was my experience EXACTLY.  This article by Harvard Medical School backs up Mercola’s claims and points out that PPI meds can inhibit your body from absorbing calcium and B12.  Harmless, huh? I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly what I consider harmless.  B12 deficiency and bone loss both run in my family.  I knew then and there I wanted off this medicine and ASAP.

Taking Action

I started reading about how to manage GERD and gastritis naturally, starting with Mercola’s article and then whatever I found by googling the topic.  I decided to try to go off Nexium again, but this time I did it right.  (You have to wean yourself off, and then you have to implement a lifestyle modification program to help your body heal.)  I’d already learned from experience that carbs trigger my heartburn symptoms, so I started drastically reducing my carb and sugar intake.

For a few weeks I stopped drinking wine and reduced my coffee to one a day, and I watched my portion sizes (over eating exacerbates the problem too.)

I ate a lot of apples (they naturally help your food digest.)  It helped that I did this last fall when apples were fresh, crisp, sweet and delicious.

I took vitamin D3 supplements, and I was already on probiotics as recommended by my GI doctor.  I can always tell when I miss a few days of probiotics; I start to get bloated after meals.



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The Results

After going off Nexium back in October, I had one or two gastritis stomach aches, and none for the past few months.  I still experience mild heartburn if I eat too many carbs, but as long as I watch my carbs and sugars, I’m fine there too.

I have been Nexium-free for six months and with my low-carb, whole foods eating habits, I haven’t felt this good in years.  Not only do I feel better, but I’m saving the time and money that I was spending on doctor visits and uncomfortable medical tests and being incapacitated with stomach aches.  I will gladly spend that money on better food for our family and that time on making things from scratch.

More Information

A couple of months ago, I found a doctor (an M.D.) who takes a holistic approach to health care.  She has given me more tips to stimulate and improve my digestion naturally.  She recommends taking Swedish bitters and digestive enzymes with meals, which I do sporadically.  She also recommended mixing a Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water and drinking that daily, but I tried it once and I just can’t stomach it.  I’m doing okay without it, thankfully.

I recently discovered a series of posts about heartburn and GERD by The Healthy Skeptic where he links GERD to the over consumption of carbs and sugars which causes bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. As I’ve followed this series of articles, I find myself enthusiastically nodding my head in agreement because everything he says makes total sense based on my personal experience.

In Closing

With permission, I am reprinting the conclusion to Chris’s series of articles on heartburn and GERD.  This sums it up perfectly, in my opinion.  Emphasis is mine.

The mainstream medical approach to treating heartburn and GERD involves taking acid stopping drugs for as long as these problems occur. Unfortunately, because these drugs not only don’t address the underlying cause of these problems but may make it worse, this means that people who start taking antacid drugs end up taking them for the rest of their lives.

This is a serious problem because acid stopping drugs promote bacterial overgrowth, weaken our resistance to infection, reduce absorption of essential nutrients, and increase the likelihood of developing IBS, other digestive disorders, and cancer. The manufacturers of these drugs have always been aware of these problems. When acid-stopping drugs were first introduced, it was recommended that they not be taken for more than six weeks. Clearly this prudent advice has been discarded, as it is not uncommon today to encounter people who have been on these drugs for decades – not weeks.

What is especially disturbing about this is that heartburn and GERD are easily prevented and cured by making simple dietary and lifestyle changes, as I have outlined in this final article.

Unfortunately, the corruption of our “disease-care” system by the financial interests of the pharmaceutical companies virtually guarantees that this crucial information will remain obscure. Drug companies make more than $7 billion a year selling acid suppressing medications. The last thing they want is for doctors and their patients to learn how to treat heartburn and GERD without these drugs. And since 2/3 of all medical research is sponsored by drug companies, it’s virtually guaranteed that we won’t see any large studies on the effects of a low-carb diet on acid reflux and GERD.

So once again it’s up to us to discover the truth and be our own advocates.

Please know that I have no desire to bash the medical and pharmaceutical communities.  I have dear friends and family employed by both, and I don’t believe anyone is out to perpetuate this vicious cycle and harm countless American citizens.  But the fact remains, it is not lucrative to promote holistic health care methods, and we as a culture seem content to treat the symptoms rather than the cause.  I just wish people realized the quality of life they COULD have.

This post is for those of you who are where I was a couple years ago. You want to know how to get off Nexium, but you don’t know where to start.  You want a better quality of life, but you aren’t sure how to get it.  If it’s helpful to just one person, it’s worth telling my story.

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. Please do your research, consult a qualified health professional, and come to your own conclusions.  And feel free to share.  I just want people to know they have a choice.

NOTE (May 2013): I have since written an update to my situation. You can read that here: Epilogue

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Comments

      • Trevor says

        Im on 80mg (2 40mg tablets per day). Can you tell me how you weaned off of the medication…For example do you reduce to one 40mg tab for a week or two….then down to one 20 mg tab for the next week? Apreciate the advise.

        • Jo-Lynne says

          Yes, pretty much. I think I may have also taken some OTC H2 blockers to help wean down once I stopped the nexium. The diet changes are key. Even now, my heartburn flares up if I am not drinking enough water or eating too much sugar/carby foods or over eating in general. I’m also taking digestive enzymes and swedish bitters with every meal to help digestion so I don’t get bloated. I’m still working on healing my digestive system, but I haven’t taken medicine for it in a few years now.

          • Kathy says

            I have been taking Nexium 40mg once a day along with Carafate 4x’s a day and Nitroglycern TR once a day for my reflux problems since 2002. My Vitamin D levels keep getting lower every year and I wish I could stop the medications. I find that my body will not tolerate very many medication of any type and it took the doctor almost a year to find something that would stop my severe reflux. It was so bad that it caused a vasovascular reaction and I was having “grayouts” which was the reason for the Nitro. My doctor at the time told me to stop eating carbs and to drink only water. I did very well for a long time with this combination of meds and diet and I continue to do okay as long as I watch the carbs. I have cut the carafate down to 3 times a day and would love to get off the Nexium. I did try a couple of years ago to cut back on the Nexium but the days I did not take it I had pretty bad belching and heartburn. I have periodic endoscopy procedures and have had pollops each time and there is some scaring and something else that I forget. My father died from esphologial cancer at the age of 59 and I want to not have this happen to me but I really am tired of taking the meds and now find out that they are harming my body in other ways. I am not sure I have the nerve to try the ACV remedy with the cancer history. Do you if anyone who has a family history of cancer that is managing with the alternative remedy vs. med?

            • says

              Hi Kathy. I agree, with your family history I would be VERY hesitant to deviate from your doctor’s orders. I find it interesting that your doc advised against carbs. I didn’t know that most people associated the reflux with carbs, but it definitely bothers me.

              I would want to find a doctor or highly recommended naturopath that could help you wean off using natural remedies, but I would not go it alone if I were in your shoes, I don’t think.

              Does your doctor recommend Vitamin D3 supplements? I take it every winter b/c I don’t get much sun in this part of the country. My doc tests vit D3 levels.

              Best of luck to you.

          • Vickie says

            Jo-Lynne,

            Thanks so much for your article! I am seeking to wean myself off of acid reflux medicine (Pantoprazole 40 mg) since December 2011. My journey has been a little different than yours, but I agree with you.

            First of all, I find so much in common with you that I’m loving your website! I am a runner (just started 2 years ago). I work out with free weights 3 times a week, and run 3 times a week (like you, not long distance). This was before all my stomach issues, I might add.

            When I first encountered acid reflux (August 2011), I first tried Apple Cider Vinegar. It worked like magic! Then my next encounter with acid reflux, I tried it, and it did not work. It was so bad, I went to the doctor and tried a sample of acid reflux medicine for 5 days that worked fine. Then, the doctor prescribed one that was cheaper, but it made me feel sick. After trying a couple of different ones and feeling sick, I decided to go to the health food store and try the natural remedies. We looked up the top 7 recommended things. I did the DGL licorice root, probiotics, digestive enzymes, aloe juice, slippery elm. They helped pretty well, but not 100%. I was willing to do this, in order to be healthier. I even came across a book on line, Heartburn No More. It was about lowering your carbs. I then had digestive issues because of all the protein (meat) and less fiber. I developed a collitis. I ended up in the emergency room with stomach pain. Very painful! They ended up doing a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy. I was told after both. “Everything looks healthy. You must have had a collitis. ” I still had IBS symptoms. I tried eliminating dairy products from my diet. I was desperate for an answer to all of this! GI doctor told me to stop ALL supplements and start this Pantoprazole. Lo, and behold, after a week my problems were over. It was the supplements! So… I know it is not good to be on this medication long term and want to get off of it. You can see I am concerned about taking natural supplements. Any suggestions???

            • says

              It is so hard to know, isn’t it? Our digestive systems are so complicated.

              I would suggest finding a good naturopath who can help you figure out the best way to manage your issues naturally. I don’t have any medical training, but I wish you the best of luck! keep me updated.

              • Vickie says

                Jo-Lynn,

                Thanks so much for sharing your story. It truly has inspired me to go forward with getting off the acid reflux medicine. , and even possibly going gluten-free. I am seeking a naturopath to help me with this, since I have had so many problems with the natural supplements that are supposed to help with acid reflux.

                As I am currently on the acid reflux medicine, I have noticed that I cannot enjoy running anymore. I have been trying to ease back into it, but have noticed that when I run, my chest/throat burns and I feel nauseous. I somehow think this is linked to the medicine. (???) Have you experienced this, or have you done any reading about this?

          • Mary says

            I had the same problems – excruciating – for a couple of years. I started Nexium and it worked for awhile, but then the symptoms got worse. I started drinking apple cider vinegar with the mother in it mixed with 8 oz warm water and 1 tsp honey. I was amazed at the results. I also started eating apples and more fruit and quit drinking coffee altogether (even 1 cup was bad for me). I’m now starting to wean myself off the nexium. I also use probiotics at meals and drink a lot of water. I’m now trying to exercise more and lose weight. So far so good. Last gastroscopy I had – my physician told me my stomach and esophagus was pink and healthy and he asked me what I was doing. Fancy that???

        • Hannah says

          Trevor,

          I can’t believe you are on this prescription dosage. I also am on 40 mg twice daily and every time I have to list this dosage or tell people they look at me like I”m crazy. I’m a healthy size and weight, I try to eat conscientiously, and I exercise daily and yet I”ve been suffering from “GERD” since I was sixteen (I’m 34). I’ve had to increase dosages every two years or so just like I”ve developed some kind of tolerance to the medication.

          My acid symptoms are so severe I’m afraid to go off of the medications but all these things I”m reading make sense. What do you think Jo-Lynne? Have you had success in weaning off Trevor?

          • says

            It makes sense that you have developed an intolerance to it. Because it is actually counter intuitive to the way your body works. You actually need MORE acid to digest your food, which is why my doc recommends the apple cider vinegar.

            I urge you to find a holistic doctor who will assist you in weaning off the Nexium. It could be that you have a food sensitivity that needs to be addressed (wheat?) Good luck!

          • Betty Williams says

            I had acid reflux for years. It was terrible. Doctors put me on Nexium and told me I would have to take it for the rest of my life, as my GERD was caused by a huge hiatal hernia which had caused part of my stomach to slip into my chest, shortening my esophagus and causing acid to run into it and burning all the time. I really suffered, had to sit up to sleep. I took Nexium to ease pain so I could swallow food. It was actually a BANDAID as I had to take it everyday or I couldn’t swallow. IT WASN’T CURING ANYTHING! I went to have my prescription refilled just before a long weekend holiday, and due to curcumstances found I would be without it for 3 days! I PANICHED!

            Then I remembered hearing that APPLE CIDER VINEGAR was good for acid reflux. I did not believe it, but being desperate, decided to try it. To make a long story short, I have NEVER taken another Nexium, or had acid reflux. I can eat any high acid or spicy food. A tablespoon of unfiltered ACV in the morning and a few times througout the day was all it took. I still take a little almost every day. But, my GERD was cured. I swear to this, Jo-Lynne could have saved a lot of time by trying this. There are thousands of testimonies on line as to this cure. Good Luck, I hope it works for whoever reads this and tries it.

          • Mary says

            I had the same problems – excruciating – for a couple of years. I started Nexium and it worked for awhile, but then the symptoms got worse. I started drinking apple cider vinegar with the mother in it mixed with 8 oz warm water and 1 tsp honey (2-3 times a day 5 days a week). I was amazed at the results. I also started eating apples and more fruit and quit drinking coffee altogether (even 1 cup was bad for me). I also started drinking aloe vera juice to heal my stomach and esophagus. I’m now starting to wean myself off the nexium. I also use probiotics at meals and drink a lot of water. I’m now trying to exercise more and lose weight. So far so good. Last gastroscopy I had – my physician told me my stomach and esophagus was pink and healthy and he asked me what I was doing. Fancy that???

        • David says

          Hey. I’ve been on Nexium 40pm for almost two years. I’m working on weaning myself off the medicine. It’s very tough. I’m also taking Nature’s Bounty Super B complex and C vitamins once per day, which help energy levels and the immune system. I’m not a doctor but try reducing the pill to once per day instead of twice per day. Drink alot of water and believe it or not seltzer is carbonated but it helps me alot. And apples. Even apple cider. Salmon is great or even salmon lox. Sushi is good too. And raw veggies like carrots, even raw string beans. Lower the starches a little bit. Potato chips. Don’t eat diet foods. It’s just a marketing scam. All you have to do is lower your intake. If your smoke or drink, cut down. It’s hard to quit without nicotine replacement therapy. Coffee is a trigger. If you drink coffee alot try to drink less of it, and use a little sugar. It’s about cutting down and lowering intake but it’s easier said than done. When I take Nexium, I notice an increase in my heart rate and sometimes I get dizzy and induce myself to vomit and it’s not fun. I was taking it religiously every day and it’s addictive and helps appetite and my body got used to it. But you may get nauzeated from reducing it as well. It’s like a tennis match. Cold turkey is hard but supplement with zantac 150 even twice a day and then wean off of that gradually. If you stop cold turkey, you may get sick. I’m struggling with this nexium addiction myself. I have hiatal/hiatus hernia. Moderate exercise. Even walking helps too. Take it slow.

      • Maria says

        Hi! This blog is fabulous! I have a question…What kind of stomach pain were you experiencing? And for how long did it last? I have a “discomfort/burning” sensation right by my upper stomach…Where the cavity is on the left side. My doc says it’s gastritis caused by acid reflux that I had. Is that where your pain was too?

        • Mary says

          I am now officially off the Nexium where I was taking 40 mgs a day. I was on acid blockers for 2 years and scheduled for surgery. I was in so much pain, regurgitating acid bile, couldn’t sleep – couldn’t eat. Even the Nexium wasn’t working. I started drinking Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it (ACV) 3 times a day (2 tbsp mixed with 1 cup warm water and 1 tsp unpasteurized local honey). I drink with a straw to avoid eroding enamel on teeth and rinse mouth afterwards with water. I eat a lot of apples, drink aloe vera juice and cut out coffee altogether. It’s now been 1 whole month that I haven’t been on Nexium (i weaned myself off slowly in 3 months) and i now drink ACV once day with 1 apple a day. It’s amazing. I thought I was going to die it was so bad; I can now eat almost anything (but not to excess) and I feel so good. I thank God for this knowledge I found on the internet.

          • says

            MARY, that is AWESOME! Thanks for coming back to let us know. I forgot about the aloe. I had bought some and was using it and ran out and forgot to get more. It was really helping. I’ve had more reflux lately, I think I need to up the ACV. (I usually only take it once a day, near bedtime.)

        • Grammama says

          I sure wish this Q&A were sorted chronologically so that we could see the then, and the now. I am the little old grammama adding just a few tips, haven’t tried the ACV with mother in it(did anyone think to explain that term) but I will.

          I am very sick, stopped taking Nexium about a month ago when I could no longer afford it and have become progressively sicker over the month until today which was the end. I stopped it cold turkey as my druggist said I could and switched to Pepcid extra strength which is progressively not helping. Tagamet cannot be taken with many drugs so was not an option.

          Four years ago I had a habit of chocking on soft foods, had a test which found i had H Pylori so I was treated with antibiotics for 3 weeks and then put on Nexium long term.
          I wondered why it was long term if the treatment for H PYlori had worked.

          Went to my new family Doctor this week who told me that the hacking cough I have developed is from the strain on my esophagos due to my going off the meds….and later this week the pain became unbearable. I am back to the doctor tomorrow.

          Strangely today the only thing that has helped is Yogurt plus Vka and OJ, not a great solution but I was desperate, and stranger still it worked.

          But i digress. For those who wish to wean themselves off any meds that can be broken(not capsules) and are not life necessary(ie heart pills) go to a store and get a pill cutter. Don’t just start taking half and then none…..you would never wean a baby that way.

          I will, after reading all of your helpful hints tonite, refill my nexium prescription tomorrow. For one week I will take my daily dose. Then I will take 3/4 ‘s of a pill and I will do that for 10 days. After 10 days I will take 1/2 a pill for a further 10 days, and after that I will take 1/4 pill for 10 days. Off in 40 days.

          Better still to go slower. I was on 40 mg so if I can, tomorrow I will get my prescription in 2@20mg pills per day. If I can do this I will go off the pills slower. I will take 1 and 3/4 pills the first week then 1 and 1/2 and diminish by 1/4 of a 20 mg pill each week for 8 weeks, the slower the better.

          This will allow my body to adjust. In the meantime I will be eating yogurt, Danone Activia with probiotics every breakfast. and in the beginning before dinner….any flavour.. full fat…no fat,,, don’t care.

          And for all of you interested in natural medicine buy a machine and learn to makehome made yogurt….so easy and healthy. I do not work for Danone. And if you don’t like yogourt mix anything with it that will make it pallitable, almonds , blueberries, apples pears….my granddaughter have vanila yogourt, orange juice, and mangoes in a shake every morning before school….must be what her body needs!

          I am going back to basics.So while many of you are eating your yogourt with fruit I will be adding any kind of granola with fruit to get most of my minerals and many vitamins.

          I understand all of your basic aversions to sugar and carbs, especially given how degraded many are today. BUT Carbs are eaten for a reason. Eat whole grain(not whole wheat ) bread, flax or sunflower seed bread.

          Part of my problem is moving in with my daughter whose husband and kids only eat white. Make oatmeal for breakfast without sugar or salt and add frozen blueberries, excellent antioxidant. Blackberries, apples, prunes. Buy Dates and do something with them even if you cook your meat in them. Add oatmeal to meat loaf or meatballs. or add a tablespoon of wheatgerm to any dessert, any pie crust.

          And understand that 6 hours ago I was in pain, and now I am not, 3 Vka and OJ later…..should have been a recipe for disaster…..ok I’ve had 2 yogourt and some granola.

          Be inventive. Think about your old mom or grandmom made….and remember that the incidence of heartburn in Italy is far lower that here, and they have pasta every day, just better pasta with no sugar added to the tomato sauce.

          This post is not for those with hiatal hernia’s as my mom had, or for those with an ulcer…. you need Nexium until those are fixed and then you can follow this.

          Be Well ……Grammama

      • Jolene Gordon says

        I’m so glad I found this article! I’m so happy for you that you are feeling better, My husband is in the Marines and I have to go to the Naval Hospital for everything. They haven’t found an answer and I have been sick for the past 2 months. I suffer from not being able to swallow and and I quit taking my nexium for one day because I got my period and was taking pain pills and nasuea medicine and I have never suffered soo bad from heartburn until I stopped taking it for a day. I’m still waiting to get my upper and lower gi done but there slacking on that too. they want to figure out why I’m having trouble swallowing at times. So if you have any other advice on how to fix heartburn and trouble swallowing and everything please let me know. I want off this nexium, I hate it..

        • John says

          I stopped drinking 3 months ago after getting high blood pressure. Very high actually so kind of shock therapy.I am on a strict diet. Mostly fruit in the morning. Fish and wedge for lunch and maybe natural youghurt in the evening. Still working on diferrent ideas for eating healthy. I have had acid reflux for some years and thought it was related to the drinking. First a doctor here in Santo Domingo where I live gave me 20 mg of Panure which is ppi drug. I still had problems with the stomach and nausea which i know think maybe related to the blood pressure medicine to. I also took some pils for parasites which is always a good idea in the Caribbean. I then went to see a gastro who gave me another pill for parasites to be sure i did not have gardia. He said take two of the panure so twice 20 mg. Just after a few days. I decided against it myself and started taking just the one but in the evening thinking that was best. He also said that I could expext to have to take it the rest of my life. That also started my suspicion. I saw another gastro at the hospital where my cardiologist is who. I really like and we are working on wearing down the blood pressure medicine I started almost 3 months ago. The new gastro gave me another brand called Esoz-40 to take twice a day. I have been taking this for a week now but the last three days I have had constipation, stomach pain, headache and nausea more than I had. I called this morning both mu cardio and the original doctor I had seen. I dont have insurance so I shop around here and I like him. Both of them agreed it sounded like a lot and we agreed on just taking one. It was like 80 mg Nexium. Next week k am seeing that gastro and my plan is to take the 40 mg until I see bring some tests regarding my liver she wants to see also a little exagerated I think. I am going to tell her that I can continue taking 20 mg for a while. She even when I saw her agreed my condition is not that bad as I dont get hearburn only bad taste in the mouth after sleeping. I like however that she noticed from the tests I took 3 months ago here in santo Domingo and in. Miami that my cholesterol is a bit out of balance and my good cholesterol is low and she gave me a list of what to eat and not eat to avoid high cholesterol. The doctors that I saw before did not see that and not the doc in miami either he just cared about the bp giving me beta block wheras the cardio in Santo Domingo had only given me one for lowering my blood pressure. Now i am especailly wearing down the beta block and almost of that. Apart from dieting I swim almost every day now 2-3 km and have started on Yoga 2-3 times a week.

      • Donna Gladem says

        I am Sooo glad I found this site. Thank you Jo-Lynne for what you do. I really believe God led me to this site. I’ve been having a lot of problems with acid reflux. I have been doing a LOT of Google research and from what I’ve read ( concerning my symptoms ) I may even have Gerd. Doc put me on Nexium two days ago. 40mg daily. I have only taken two pills and I’m not taking anymore, thanks to what you have posted. I am going to change my diet, because the side effects listed for Nexium make me cringe. God Bless You and I will definitely let you know the outcome.

      • says

        my story is so terriable i would need a miralce, two years ago i had a deep dental cleaning next day my gums starting burning my primary care thought it might be acid refluc i have been on it twice a day for two years now and i have constant saliva in my mouth that is acidic and has eaten away all my enamel and gums i ve been t0 every doctor dont know what to do i just want the pain to stop i just want to die

  1. says

    Jo-Lynne, once again the medical community angers me. I’m sick of doctors throwing pills at people to fix everything. The commercials for drugs are laughable with all their side-effects lists. Drugs do not give us a better quality of life. If anything, they create worse problems.

    I’m so glad you were instrumental in turning me on to whole foods. I haven’t been as stringent in my diet as I need to be as of late, but I know whole foods are the best way to go. I only wish I could convince my husband of that, as he continues to munch away on his Doritos and drink his Mountain Dew.

    Thanks for the info.

  2. says

    Thanks for posting this! I believe in taking a holistic approach as well and cannot tell you the difference it has made in our family – it’s awesome. When my son turned six months old I decided a naturopathic doctor would be better for him than a traditional pediatrician and turns out its working much better for us. Plus, it has made my husband and I think differently about remedies for things like colds, stomach viruses, etc…

    So glad you are feeling better!

  3. says

    I take one Zantac every night before bed. Something I never had to do before my second pregnancy. Now if I don’t take it I can’t sleep. I’ve always had stomach issues (just not heartburn) and I’ve noticed in the past that when I eat low carb they always go away. I’m going to be starting some diet changes in the next few weeks (major plan, and baby steps) and I’m hoping this well help. But I do think I will take what you said about the gradual reduction and take a half a pill for awhile before I quit altogether.

      • Dave says

        Hey. I’m back on the purple pill again especially after I coughed up a piece of food I ate. So, it seems like my body is completely dependent on the medicine. Well, it’s hard but I gottah do what I gottah do. Sometimes it’s worse to get off the medicine if the body is used to being on it for long periods of time. Some people are on it for years and they can’t get off of it cause the body is completely dependant on it. It’s a vicious cycle. It changes the whole body chemistry, the sense of taste, touch, vision, it distorts everything but it’s better than regurgitating food and feeling like vomiting or inducing vomiting cause the food just sits in the stomach and goes no where. So, for now, I’ll take the purple pill if it helps my digestion. Before the pill I had severe heartburn and induced vomiting and saw some blood in it. So, I’ll take the pill.

        • Texas calling... says

          Thanks for sharing, I’m new to this site/thread.
          Have you considered having your Gall Bladder checked out? Your symptoms sound close to what I was experiencing about 10 years ago…severe pain, reflux, bile, food sitting on stomach, not moving, terrible!! I waited way too long, but did try to get the doctor to check everything…ended up having one final vomit and attack and the Gall Bladder came out in an emergency surgery…I still have ongoing reflux issues due to poor diet and not managing loss of Gall Bladder close enough in the early days, but overall 100 times better than back then. I don’t want you to have this problem, and try to save your Gall Bladder if you do have stones to avoid further issues due to no Gall Bladder…but consider asking the doctor about it, or read up on symptoms, etc. Best wishes

  4. Jen says

    I just started following your blog recently. I went to an alternative practitioner a few weeks ago to try to help me figure out why I can’t seem to find ANY products to help clear up my acne. At the urging of a health foods store owner, I sought to figure out if I had a food allergy. DUH!! How come none of the previous dermatologists I’ve seen suggested that? I’ve been on every antibiotic known to man as well as Accutane and purchased everything from cheap to spendy facial care products.

    I don’t share all of this to talk about my acne though, LOL! We discovered by using iridology and another testing device that sends impulses through your body (following your meridian lines and “measuring” the energy responses from your organs, for lack of a better way to explain it or knowing the actual name of this device!) that I have some SERIOUS problems with my digestive system.

    This was not unknown to me (but I hadn’t shared it with her initially as I wanted to see what she found on her own, since I’m a skeptic by nature!). I’ve been struggling with some awful digestive stuff for ohhh about ten or eleven years (developed after my firstborn).

    I never saw any specialists aside from my primary (who encouraged me to add more fiber to my diet, but even when I followed a vegetarian and veggie/fruit based diet I still had big problems) as I was too scared of the tests they’d want to do (and the cost, to be perfectly honest). So I never got diagnosed with anything in particular.

    So…in the last few weeks, she has had me add 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to my diet. Like your professional recommended to you…it is great for aiding digestion. Because I have a hard time swallowing pills, she said that drinking this would serve the place of swallowing digestive enzymes. Now…I have found through experience and trial/error…haha…that if you dilute 1 tablespoon of this wretched stuff in 16 oz of water, and plug your nose as you drink, it is actually not all that bad. The plugging your nose part really works wonders! It’s a LOT cheaper than buying digestive enzymes too!! So give it another go…there is nothing wrong with diluting it in 16 oz of water versus 8 oz…(although I’ve read that if you take the OACV straight-up, God bless that person, it doesn’t work as well as if you dilute it in water). I mix mine up and drink it in about three main swigs within 20 mins or so. And can I just say….(without being TMI)…I have gone from once a week movements to every other day or daily!! YAYYYY!!!

    Also, she had me do a gall bladder/liver cleanse (not the most pleasant thing but interesting, nonetheless). That seems to have helped as well.

    AND, I have added 1/2 probiotics in powder form to my regimen daily (I just mix them up in my breakfast smoothie). Again, I don’t tolerate pills easily….so anything I can dissolve and such I am all over.

    I really didn’t mean to share all of MY details here with you…but just to add some encouragement for anyone else reading who struggles with digestive issues. We have also started eating organically where we can afford to (meat/poultry and the dirty dozen as well as milk/yogurt/cheese). I imagine the years of abusing my body with awful food (read: McDonalds) as well as all the meds I’ve taken for acne and other issues have just killed my poor stomach and related organs.

    I’m glad that I’ve been alerted to all of the harmful effects NOW (I’m 30) rather than later…so that I might have a chance to “save myself” from having later problems (as if the past 11 haven’t been awful enough). Gall bladder removal has been a thought of mine in the past year…but I think I can beat this with changes like you talk about you in your post!

    Here’s to getting healthy! Inside and out!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Thanks so much for sharing this! I have been having some uncomfortable gassy/bloated symptoms this week. I may try that apple cider vinegar again. Bleh.

      I also drink Eaters Digest tea when I feel kinda icky. (I have some brewing now.) And that seems to help.

      • says

        Somebody told me that MD’s only test for HISTAMINE responses – only certain kinds of responses as an allergy. “Allergies” don’t always show up as runny noses and rashes and can show up in a variety of ways, like insomnia, acne, jitteriness.

  5. kwithme says

    I was prescribed Nexxium several years ago but I was never able to get it to work. If I did not take it exactly 45 mins before eating, I was plagued with debilitating abdominal cramps. The mild heart burn and nausea that I experienced with stress was way better. I used Pepcid for extreme or known times of stress and Tums if it was keeping me awake.

    I started eating much better about a year ago. Because I just took the Tums or Pepcid as needed, I did not realize that I had gone more than six months without taking either until one night when I over-indulged. I was so pleased, it definitely when in my non-scale victory file.

  6. Allison says

    My 10 year old started suddenly suffering from acid reflux last year. Around the same time we found out she was allergic to milk and peanuts. Our ped referred us to a gastroentrologist (sp?) and he promptly put her on meds. I questioned it, but honestly at that point she was in so much pain I was willing to try anything. Many expensive tests and more medicine later we still had no answers. In the midst of all this she tested positive for h.pylori bacteria. It was treated twice. This is when I started asking a ton (more!) questions and finally decided we were not going anywhere with this doctor. The doctor was only interested in prescribing more meds, many of which my insurance did not cover. We spent a small fortune and had no answers. I finally called a friend, who is a dr but not a ped, and he was shocked at the amount of medicine she was taking. At that point she was taking an adult dose of two different meds, and she is a small 10 year old. I started weaning her off the meds, we went completly dairy and peanut free, and we moved to a whole foods diet. She is down to a 1/2 dose of one medicine and has not had a complaint in months. When this prescription runs out I hope to not refill it. I don’t know what caused the reflux to start, but I do know that diet changes have helped tremendously. The dr would not even talk to me about diet, just meds. We hope to have the same results as you in a few more months.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Allison, I am so glad you’ve been able to help her. But my gosh, stories like this make me seriously doubt the medical community.

  7. says

    i went to the heath store recently because the eight pill cocktail i take twice a day for my ms is eating away at my stomach. i am now drinking aloe vera (george’s, it has no taste at all) and either drinking ginger tea or taking ginger capsules. It has helped so much.
    Totally unrelated to your post, but sorta connected!
    Glad you made the break. Now to reduce the size of my cocktail!!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Interesting! I wonder if ginger tea or aloe vera would taste better than my Eaters Digest tea. I can tolerate it, but it’s not my fave.

        • Ed Goretoy says

          The one tea that has helped me out tremedously is Licorice Root tea. It’s amazing! I read that licorice promotes growth of mucus-secreting cells and dicided to give it a shot. It seems to be working so far for me. By the way, it tastes great ;)

          • Melanie says

            Does the licorice tea taste like licorice because I cannot even stand Twizzlers. Just wondering. ;) Thanks!

            • Greg says

              Licorice tea tastes like a mild form of black Twizzlers. Most ‘licorice’ candy you see it actually flavored with anise, not licorice. My favorite is Licorice Spice from Stash Tea. Even with a fiendish sweet tooth that I have I add no sweetener to this tea, the licorice sweetens it enough by itself.

  8. says

    I’m new to your blog! Thank you for this article. I am so happy to hear people are going back to the common sense practices of eating good and real food. I recently saw a film called ‘Food, Inc.’ Have you seen it? It really tells the true story behind the food that people typically eat and never think twice about. Every one should see it. It would likely change the way they eat and raise questions as to what is going on in our country’s food industry.

  9. says

    Wow, this is amazing! Really helpful information. Thank you.

    My husband has been having really bad heartburn for the past 2 months. I’m wondering if you think going on the South Beach Diet (completely cutting all carbs for 2 weeks, then gradually reintroducing whole grains, etc) might help. He lost 20 lbs on this diet about 2 years ago; but due to serious health issues, he has gained much of the weight back. It would be awesome if cutting carbs could help him lose weight and cure his heartburn at the same time.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Actually, there is proof that high fat diets help b/c your body needs {good} fats for healthy digestion and to absorb vitamins. I don’t know much about South Beach, although I know some who have tried it, but isn’t it big into low fat?

      I would get rid of carbs, processed junkfood, and simple sugars. And increase coconut oil and olive oil and real butter. And the apple cider vinegar in water might really help him in the meantime, as his body adjusts.

      Let me know how it goes.

  10. Gretchen says

    You would probably enjoy reading this booK
    Why Stomach Acid is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux and GERD by Jonathan V. Wright

  11. DeAnn says

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I think I mentioned another time that people can preach the benefits of whole foods ’til the cows come home, but when I read stories like this… of people’s health improving without medications, I am continually convinced that we are on the right track. Many times we just need to make the effort to heal our guts and then begin to slowly add things back into our diets. We and doctors and pharm. companies like the easy fix that a pill promises, not thinking of the side effects or that we are not allowing true healing to take place. I do this, too, but my attitude is changing. Donna Gates has a great book and website, “The Body Ecology Diet,” that talks about the importance of gut health. I’ve learned a lot from her and highly recommend her book and products.

    Sometimes it’s hard not to speak negatively of doctors and pharm. companies. My brother-in-law is a Dr. and we’ve had some great conversations about treating patients well, really listening to them and treating them as whole person, not just a sum of body parts. I think it’s important to have a healthy respect for their expertise but also to become our own advocate and find other sources that we trust. Many of us are so willing to just accept what they say because they are the, “expert.” I’ve definitely learned to ask questions and do research as you have done. We need to remember that we are the consumers, it’s our body (or children), and we have a right to ask questions. I tease my brother-in-law all of the time because he and other Dr.’s can be so darn arrogant. He fully admits it and tells me to keep asking and even if the doctor dismisses you. Tell him you’ll take your business elsewhere.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  12. says

    Hmmm. My husband has celiac and they say, a ‘hi-adus hernia’ (obviously I’m not sure of the spelling) and is on life-long anti-acid drugs. And when he’s late a dose, it KILLS him. (much worse than before drugs).

    I picked up food matters by michael pollack too this week.

    Will let you know if you convert me. :)

  13. says

    In the past I felt that my doctor was in charge of my health. (don’t we pay them to do that?) But in reality, I should be the one in charge. It’s my body. Now, I keep a binder with all of my medical information listed and the results of all of my medical tests. My doctors know I’m careful with my diet and lifestyle. They are respectful of that and know that I’m going to research anything they tell me to do. I’m actually defying the odds with my chronic, inheirited disease and I believe it’s because of my change to eating whole foods. Thanks, Jo-Lynne, for inspiring me to make the change.

  14. says

    I’ve had some reflux issues, as you know J-L, and the “Sceptic” guy seemed very convincing. Adding lemon juice & pickles to my diet for a few days really didn’t seem to help much, I’m sorry to say. Perhaps I should try the apple cider vinegar instead. However, I am convinced that sugar is the culprit in my yummy; I can tell when I eat sweets that the acid just starts to build. And I know (as his articles say) that the real issue isn’t the stomach acid, but the gas that is pushing it up into my throat. Time for the vinegar!

  15. Sarah in FL says

    As a pharmacist, I definitely agree that many people stay on PPIs for longer that they are necessary. As you mentioned, diet and lifestyle modifications, such as decreasing alcohol and caffeine consumption, are usually effective in decreasing GI symptoms. That being said, medical decisions should not be taken lightly and be made based on Google search results or websites. There are consequences of leaving GERD untreated, such as Barrett’s esophagus which may develop into cancer. Decisions to start or stop medications should be made with the counsel of a doctor or pharmacist.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      With respect, decreasing alcohol and caffeine alone is usually not enough to decrease GI symptoms to the point of not needing meds. I tried that. And that, unfortunately, is about as far as a mainstream medical practitioner is willing to go to treat the cause and not the symptoms. When I questioned (3 different doctors – one primary care and 2 GI) I was told that diet changes might help but I’d always need the meds.

      WRONG.

      The fact is, more aggressive lifestyle changes are necessary, and unfortunately Google is often the best way to get help.

      When the medical professionals start to take a more holistic approach to treating these diseases and stop kowtowing to the pharmaceutical companies, who are making money hand over fist at the expense of our nation’s health, perhaps their counsel will be sought.

      Of course everyone needs to do their own research and come to their own conclusions, but sometimes the advice of “medical professionals” must be taken with a grain of salt.

      • Roberta says

        I think one reason doctors resort to more pills, is that is what most of their patients want. They are not interested in making lifestyle changes, even if it would help. Doctors are aware of this and generally offer the only solution that is left, more medicine.

  16. Susan says

    I think as time passes we will learn more about the long-term effects of the PPI’s and I totally think aggressive lifestyle changes are needed in order to tackle the problem. I was diagnosed with GERD and IBS but it ultimately turned out to be a.)a gallbladder that is working at 10% capacity and b.)severe endometriosis with adhesions all over my colon.

    • Lisa says

      Susan: You said your Gallbladder was functioning @ only 10%. How is that working for you? Is surgery the only option for this?

  17. says

    I have had issues with abdominal pain as well. It was really bad a few months ago and I ended up in the ER. They ran all kinds of tests and said everything was normal. My follow up with my doctor a few weeks later ended up with me on Zantac for 4 weeks to see what would happen. I thought I would do it just ot humor her. Hello! I know what heart burn feels like and it was not heart burn I was feeling! I went on the Zantac for a few weeks and gave it up. My doctor declared that because I had not had any issues while on Zantac that I must have acid reflux. I actually only took the pill for 2 out of the 4 weeks! I haven’t taken one since and haven’t had any issues either. I have started a food diary to see if any certain food triggers issues.

    I think it is actually gallbladder issues but thought it was interesting that my doctor assumed that all was well even if I wasn’t taking my meds. Now I’m glad I stopped when I did!

  18. Kim says

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I too have been on nexium forever (like 14 years). And I actually take it twice a day. The doctor told me too that I would have to be on it for the rest of my life unless I had surgery to make the opening to my espogus smaller. However, checking into that, I read that most people stay on the medicine anyway so why bother. My doctor told me however, that there are no studies of the effects of nexium long term because no one has been on them that long which is really encouraging. I too tried to stop and got heart burn like the next day but since I had it before real bad, it just made me think that I had to stay on the medicine. I think now, I will read alot of your references and see if there is hope for me to get off one more drug. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. says

    You know it’s funny, at Ari’s 4 mo check I asked the dr about her spitting up — she’s been my first HUGE spitter. I mean, like change 5 times a day, for both of us. She said there’s a lot of controversy right now about AR meds and she’d rather not put the baby on anything, just wait until she grows out of it. (Especially since she’s so fat, clearly she’s getting enough even with all her spitting up!) I was relieved… not one more thing I have to think about each day.

  20. says

    I’ve been trying to get my husband off of his Nexium for awhile. He was actually on Zantac for a couple of years, until that didn’t “work” anymore. I read your post to him and he is on board, especially after hearing the part where you talked about the deficiencies. That is scary to hear, especially for a 6’3″ generally healthy military man! He is on 20mg right now, and will be going in to see if they will lower the dosage. How long did it take to wean off of the Nexium? What dosage were you orignally on, and what did they drop it to (if you don’t mind me asking). Thank you!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Ideally, you should try to find a doctor who is on board to help. (I didn’t have that at the time, though I do now.) I can’t remember if I got the lower dosage (I was on 40mg, I think) or not. I think I just started taking it every other day. And then slowly went down from there, but honestly I don’t remember. I think it took about 2 weeks. Hope that helps!

  21. says

    I’m so glad you were able to get off the meds!

    As an aside – my grandpa has drank the vinegar/water combo daily for YEARS and he is in his 70′s and super healthy. We’re talking a water glass full. But he also adds some honey to make it all go down better.

    My mom and I have both attempted it and gag LOL

  22. says

    I know you have told me this in various snippets over the years but it is fascinating to hear it all summarized and see how the measures you took really helped. I hate long-term medicine and I think you are right that they can do more harm than good. Glad you found what worked and are eating healthier because of it.

    Great write-up.

  23. says

    Love that you shared your story here.
    I’ve only known you since you’ve been on your healthier diet kick-so this was all new to me.

    I’m a big believer in healing through eating the right foods. I’ve lived my life that way for over 15 years (mostly-I occasionally eat poorly, but always end up correcting myself). I’ll have to share my story sometime soon.

    I laughed at your Mercola comment. I always take everything I hear with a grain of salt, especially Mercola. He can be-shall we say a bit over the top?

    Have you tried kombucha tea? It also aides digestion, and I find it much more palatable. You can even make your own (though I have yet to try).

    If you do decide to try making your own, let me know-we can do it together.

    • says

      I have been on nexium 12 years. Pepsid before that. 40mg a day. I’m 35 and was just diagnosed with osteopernia, early stage osteoperosis. I only googled about nexium because I have to take aleve right now for my back. I’m so glad I found this info. I have a friend who got off nexium on accident when she cut out wheat by choice, forgot to take nexium one day, and realized she no longer had acid reflux!
      I already have started cutting wheat b/c I am always so bloated. I also have gone to many whole foods b/c of my son’s dairy allergy. I currently drink 12 Kombucha’s (GT’s Synergy) a month. I was waiting to see if that was mentioned in comments. I think I am on track to trying to stop nexium. Thans for the encouragement. I only worry that I COULD get cancer someday if the acid isn’t controlled. But I’m willing and already changing my diet so maybe there’s hope!

      • Berit says

        I have been on ppi for 9 years and h2 blockers for 6 years before that. I quit prilozec 24 days ago and now I take pepcin. I hope to quit that too when most of the rebound acid is gone, but it can last up to 26 weeks. I also take DGL, L-glutamin, digestive enzymes, Vita Biosa, Probiotics, Husk and a homeopatic remedy called Gastricumeel. I’ve just started this: cut one potato into slices, put it into a glass of water. After eight hours: drink the water. Do this morning and evening for three weeks. I have taken a hair mineral test and I need to take iron, b12, magnesium, calsium and more. Today I read a very useful article : The Good and Bad Stomac Acid (Personal Liberty Digest). It explaied so much!

  24. Cara says

    Jo-Lynne,
    Have followed your posts on GERD with interest. Posted a comment a while back about my mom ending up in ICU with low sodium levels…a result of the PPI she was on.
    I have systemic scleroderma (it manifests itself throughout my intestinal tract). I have GERD partly as a result of that, and was told I need to be on Protonix 2x per day pretty much until I die.
    I don’t do that anymore for many of the same reasons you chose to stop…calcium absorption, proliferation of acid cells, etc.
    I read the book “Probiotic Revolution” by a immunologist/microbiologist at UMich or UMinn. GREAT BOOK (he’s not selling anything), and now I take the probiotic Culturelle, which I buy at Walmart (!). It takes care of the majority of my scleroderma symptoms, including most of the GERD. It’s VERY well researched and really does the trick…believe me…it’s many magnitudes better than the Cipro and Flagyl I was on weekly for bacterial overgrowth. If I get some acid reflux I’ll drink a little bit of lemon juice in water…straight or with a little honey. Seems to help a lot…the cider vinegar helped my husband with occasional acid reflux, too.

    I think you’re on a good track with the dietary changes you’re making. I have a healthy respect for the medical community and my “team” of doctors, but I also know that they just don’t understand everything. And many of us can differentiate between crackpot websites and those offering legitimate information (hello…I can use all those graduate degrees for something besides caring for a husband and 4 small
    children :)
    Thanks very much,
    Cara

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Cara, thanks for this input. It is so nice to hear someone else reach success and get off of the PPIs. I tried the cider/water thing when I experienced some heartburn last week. Whew, that was nasty. I might try the lemon next time.

  25. LOU says

    I WAS TOLD BY MY DOC TO TAKE NEXIUM . IM TO BE ON IT FOR A MONTH , I TOOK MY FIRST PILL TODAY, AND REGRET IT . I PLAN ON GOING ALL NATURAL , WILL I HAVE LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS BY ONLY TAKING ONE? I KNOW IT MAY SEEM SILLY BUT I AM CONCERNED.

  26. Etsuko says

    Thank you for this blog. It really has helped me understand what I’m going through. My GI symptoms have been so bad after only 1 day of getting off the Nexium. It makes me feel like just ending my life. But after reading your story, I feel hopeful I can get through this. Thank you so much!

  27. Malia says

    Thanks for your blog post. I have taken a ppi for 8 years-mainly Nexium or Protonix. When I was 23 I started having sore throats and losing my voice. My doctor looked at my throat and of course it was very red so he gave me several different runs of anti-biotics thinking I had some kind of URI…I was even tested for mono at one point. As my symptoms got worse, I started to realize it was more of a heartburn situation that was causing my problems (college cafeteria food did not help). My Dr. decided that I probably had too much stomach acid and maybe a little Hiatal Hernia that was causing GERD (never ordered any tests like a endoscopy or stomach acid level tests). I still had many breakthrough symptoms over the years but generally was able to manage the reflux with diet and the Nexium. However, in the last couple of years I started having other digestive issues as well; occaisional diarrea, stomach upsets, gas, bloating etc. I have also suffered from chronic moderate to severe tension headaches. In 2009-2010 I started to get fed up with the way I felt and started Accupuncture and Rolfing treatments which helped greatly with how I was feeling. Things really turned around through when I stumbled onto Brenda Watson’s Road to Perfect Health show on PBS. I immediately started taking a high dose probiotic, fiber supplements, omega 3′s and digestive enzymes and started to feel great. I am now trying to wean myself off the Nexium in hopes that i won’t have to take this expensive medication for the rest of my life. since starting Brenda Watson’s H.O.P.E. formula, my headaches and other digestive complaints have pretty much ceased so I am now focusing on getting the acid under control.
    My doctor also told me there was no such thing as acid rebound after stopping ppi’s. Yeah right!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      I am going to check out Brenda Watson. I’m much better than I was, but I feel like I still have some gas and heartburn that I shouldn’t have and I want to make sure it is fully under control. Thanks for your comment! It has encouraged me to get back to taking my probiotics and omega 3′s. I’ve gotten lax.

    • Christine says

      Hi Malia, I checked out Brenda Watson, very smart lady, and her own personal testamony is what brought her to helping others. My question to you is did you try this Flora probiotics? Did you find it hard on your system with being such a high dosage? Did you get off the Nexium and how did you wean yourself off? I am going to be looking into more of Brenda Watsons teachings on good health and am so thankful that you shared this information.
      Thank you
      christine :)

  28. Kyle says

    I’m so glad I found your blog. About a year ago now I was experiencing a flemy, dry, scratchy throat, and would hurt so bad sometimes I would get bad head aches. My doctor sent me to a allergist and he found out I was allergic to dust mites, but also thought I had acid reflux. I told him I never felt stomach problems or had heart burn, but he told me I could have acid reflux and not know it (what??). So he put me on 80mg of nexium a day(ya… 80…). I was on that for about a month with no improvement, so I went back and he basically told me that was all that it could be, and that it would take time. That if I didn’t take the meds then he couldn’t help me. He then changed my dose for 40mg for some reason. So I stayed on the meds for about 6-8 months. I was using a spray for my noise for the allergies too, which seems to make my throat a little bit better, so I thought MAYBE the nexium was helping (I didn’t know anything about acid reflux at the time). At this point I looked up acid reflux and realized that the symptoms I was experiencing weren’t anything like acid reflux (I used to be able to eat anything without getting heart burn), and also learnt about the risks of nexium. I tried quitting it cold turkey by switching to Gavison, about after about a month of bad heart burn still, I went back on the nexium. At this point I was breaking the 40mg tablet in half in attempts to wean myself off the drug (which I’ve learnt now wasn’t the best idea because of the coating on the tablets). I stayed on that for 2 months with zero problems, then switched myself onto pepcid AC – H2 blocker. All went well for about a week and a half, then all of the sudden I had the WORST heart burn of my entire life. To make a long story short, I continued to have HORIBBLE heart burn, acid reflux, bloating in my stomach, stomach pains, green stool, and intense pressure/swollen feeling in my chest for two months even being BACK on the 40mg of Nexium once a day. I started going to a Naturopath about a week ago and I am taking probiotics, aloe vera, DGL (black liquorish) tables, and really watching what I eat. Nothing acidic, no diary, nothing fatty, and nothing spicy, and I seem to be doing a little better – acid is a lot better, but still really bad pressure and pains in my chest (lower oesophagus) and bloating, especially after I eat, and stomach pains at least once a day. I am just so scared now that A.) I will have stomach problems for the rest of my life now and never did before nexium and B) that attempting to try and to go off the nexium again will make me even worse! (I mean look what happened to me!) I’m so angry at that allergist for putting me on this drug when I never even had stomach problems to begin with. I’m also scared that the pill may have done some other damage to my body that I don’t know about yet – like weak bones. (I’m only 24!) Do you think there is still hope for me? Do you have any suggestions? Maybe a link to a good diet plan – I’d try the low carb for sure. I would REALLY appreciated it, as I feel I’ve been cheated in life by these uneducated doctors.

    • Musings of a Housewife says

      Stories like this make me furious.

      I am not at all an expert, but it sounds like you’re on the right track. You should be able to recover with a good diet. If the naturopath is reputable, he should be able to help you. Also try looking over the Westin A Price website for advice. Good fats, fermented foods, probiotics, cod liver oil, low carb, all that good stuff. Best of luck to you.

    • Berit says

      I feel exactly the same way. The doctor always told me it was safe. I have been on ppi for many years and I believe there is hope for me. You must try weaning off once more. It’s the most important thing you can do! There is hope! I also adwise you to take an hair mineral test! Very useful!

  29. Janet C says

    I am a multiple myeloma patient currently in remission. FYI this disease is a blood cancer (in the bone marrow) that attacks bones. I have been on Nexium for several years, an for obvious reasons, would like to go off it. I tried to, by alternating days, and after two weeks had a violent return of GERD. What exactly do you men by whole foods? I eat hardly any processed foods, and have switched to whole wheat bread and pasta, and am slowly eliminating sugar. Is this the correct approach? No white food, only organic chicken and fresh fish. I am still afraid to stop the Nexium. At what point is it ok to begin weaning off? Have you tried baking soda (1/4 TSP IN 8 OZ WATER)? I have been told it too works.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      You’d really need to check with a doctor, to be sure when it is okay to wean off. When I refer to “whole foods” I am talking about food in its original form – not processed foods. I find I feel best when eating proteins, good fats, vegetables and very few grains. I still struggle at times with symptoms of GERD and am trying to heal my body from the inside out. I’m considering the GAPS diet – you might want to look into it.

      But again, I am not an expert or any type of medical professional. Definitely seek the help of someone trained in these matters. Good luck!

  30. mam says

    I was on Nexium for over a year and tried to get it off it after 6 weeks and it was so painful from Heartburn I never had before so I was told to continue. Recently my gastrologist told me he wanted me off it. I have been off for 4 days now and still have heart burn and a feeling of food stuck in my throat. But I am drinking Aloa Vera Juice and taking Papaya Emzymes and it seem to relieve the symptoms when I get them. I am also eating apples and watching what I eat. I am determined to get through this and so far so good. Not sure how long it will take to get back to normal but I am hoping soon.

    Has anyone everyone heard about the side effects of papaya emzymes. I heard it can damage your stomach or esophagus if you take too many. What is too many?

    • Jo-Lynne says

      sounds like you are on the right track. kudos to your doc for helping you get off. I don’t know anything about the papaya enzymes, sorry.

  31. Alexis says

    I have been on Nexium for about 6 months now and I have been wanting to get off it pretty much since I started. Thank you so much for this information. I am terrified to do this though because my symptoms are violent and terribly painful. I have slept many nights sitting straight up due to the pain and trying to keep myself from puking for hours. :( Anyway, I needed this push. So thank you! By the way, what probiotic do you take? I take one but I am not sure it really helps. Thanks in advance!

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Alexis, those are very severe symptoms. If you can find a doctor or reputable naturopath to help you wean off, I would highly recommend it.

      It also requires pretty drastic diet changes, but not necessarily the type of diet changes a mainstream doctor would recommend.

      My holistic doctor recommends adding acid to the diet to help digestion, and I currently drink water with fresh lemon added throughout the day (apple cider vinegar works too but I can’t stand the taste) and strong probiotics as well as taking digestive enzymes with meals.

      You may want to look into the GAPS diet – it is designed to heal the digestive system from the inside out. I still struggle with occasional heartburn/reflux as well as gas and bloating although those symptoms are improved with my doctor’s protocol. But I’m still considering trying the GAPS diet in attempts to heal my troubled digestive track.

      Good luck.

  32. Nina says

    I’m going to try not write a long paragraph, 10 years ago I was diagnosed with Gerd, Hiatal hernia, and a little bit of gastritis. I took the famous purple pill and I think it helped. I don’t remember how long I took it, I stopped eating citrus but recently all those symptoms came back.

    I’m 26 I weighed 210 and now weigh 160 and less then a month, Ive been in and out of the ER. I has a stomach emptying test, barium swallow, scope, cat scan everything came back normal. I lost so much weight because I have early satiety.

    I couldnt eat or drink, Im slowly starting to eat again. I was in the hospital for two days and was given Nexium of course. I cant afford that so now Im up feeling like someone choking me because its been a whole day since I was given the Nexium.

    Ive tired prilosec, Dexilant which gave me a bad reaction and Zantac,, Nexium is the only thing that helps except when I miss a day..OMG the torture. Im in so much pain. I asked my doctor if he saw gerd on the scope and he said no. there was no damage to my stomach lining okay good.

    Jo’Lynne I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar with water everyday for a whole month prior to me having these problems. I was drinking this stuff for a completely different reason, and I felt like the ACV caused all this, I was also taking garlic pills to boost my immune system. I wont be drinking the vinegar but glad it helped others

    Have you tried the Aloe Vera Juice? I have the gel and its great for topical use, also can I use any probiotic? I would love to see a Naturopath but cant afford to and no health insurance so Im on google :) trying to help myself.

    I thought I had stomach cancer or an ulcer but no one can find anything wrong with me..I have been stressed, and that cant be good for gerd, Im scared to eat or drink because water gives me heartburn.

    I just wrote a long paragraph lol!! have you ever tried Chamomile tea? not sure if it will help or make it worse, I was told not to drink tea but I see some people still do certain kinds.

    Thanks for reading, any response is welcomed. I will be purchasing some of the books on here. I know your not a doctor but is Fish Oil good? I still have my garlic pills but Im done with that because I dont know what made me sick in the first place.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Your saga sounds a lot like mine – I had all those tests as well and all were negative.

      Good quality cod liver oil is an essential for anyone wanting good health. It is the one supplement I have read everyone should be on.

      Probiotics also should be of good quality. I’ve heard pros and cons to Aloe Vera juice so personally I’m staying off it.

      I doubt the ACV caused this, but going off it could have caused symptoms to come back if it was helping your digestion? Just a thought.

      Honestly I am not an expert and I’m still struggling to keep my digestive issues under control so I hesitate to give advice beyond sharing my story.

      I’m currently reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. McBride, and it is a fabulous resource. I think anyone with digestive issues should read it. It’s just such a complex issue and there is SO much information, and unfortunately most of it flies in the face of conventional medical advice. I may or may not do the diet as prescribed, it may be that simply implementing some of the advice will help me enough to manage my issues, but as severe as yours are, I would highly recommend looking into it.

      Good luck.

      • Natalie Bloom says

        Jo-Lynne… I’m so glad to read your posts. I too have GERD and mild gastritis. I was diagnosed Dec. 2010 so I have been battling it for about 5 months and it has been very difficult. When I was dx I only had a lump sensation in my throat and some chest pain… no heartburn. They did the scope and found no barrets or cancer… which I’m thankful of. They put me on prilosec and then my symptoms got worse so they put me on 40 mg of nexium… still experiencing worse symptoms then when I was dx. They then put me on 80 mg of nexium and zantac at night and carafate… 2 weeks later my mouth was burning with acid and my tongue was raw and burning. Changed doctors and she is weaning me off. I am now down to 40 mg of prilosec…. should I wean down to 20mg at breakfast and 20mg at dinner and then down to 20mg? My biggest complaint is this sour/metallic taste in my mouth with excessive saliva and occasional heartburn. How are you feeling? Were you able to stay off the PPI’s? I’ve lost 10lbs and hoping if I loose a little more it will help.

        • Jo-Lynne says

          Hi Natalie, thanks for asking. I am totally off meds, but to be honest, I still have some acid reflux and gassiness/bloating at times. I’ve gone gluten free, and I’m trying to steer clear of most grains and sugars. When I do that, I feel really good. But I haven’t truly broken the sugar/carb habit.

          My doctor is working with me – mostly for the gas/bloating complaints more so than the acid reflux, but it all goes hand in hand. I am drinking lemon water throughout the day, to hopefully help with digestion, and I’m taking digestive enzymes with each meal. I’m upping my probiotics and trying to eat more veggies. I have also been running/walking some but I need to be more consistent with that.

          It’s a process, for sure, but I really want to stay off meds so I’m doing my best to manage with diet and lifestyle.

          Good luck with the weaning off !

  33. Christine says

    OK, great…..whew I have never posted anything befor. First of all I want to sat thank you for this great web Page!!!! I have just started going through this and I have felt so alone in it. It’s only been 3 months but the worst three months ever. My Doctor put me on Nexium and I decided to go off them just two days ago,,,,is this a bad idea? because I really dont think they are helping I believe they are just coating the problem. I thought of skipping every other day with the Nexium to wein off.
    Thank you Jo-Lynn for this blog and for everyone sharing your stories.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Christine, of course I don’t know your situation. I’d just caution you to make some of the diet changes, and go slowly. Otherwise you’ll be back where you started when your doctor put you on the Nexium, or worse b/c it tends to create problems that weren’t there before. There’s a lot of good information out there if you search for it.

      • Christine says

        Hi everyone, I just wanted to tell my story, how this all began and maybe get some feedback. It was just over 11 weeks ago when it all started. I just finished work, pulled out a bag of roasted pistachios and poured myself a glass of red wine. Now, first of all I had never really eaten pistachios, this was part of a gift package I got for Christmas. The crazy thing is I remember looking at the bag thinking I had not had pistachios forever probably 10 years or more, let alone roasted. I was kind of in a lazy lying back mood on my couch when I started eating these, along with sipping on my wine……..WOW the next day I felt heavy in my stomach I knew right away something was wrong. All what I had eaten seemed to still be sitting somewhere between my throat and tummy. I felt so horrible. I thought this will be gone after I go the washroom and give things a day to settle; well this was not the case it only got worse. I ended up at my doctors. She said it’s probably acid reflux and prescribed Nexium. I did not feel like things were really getting all that better. I went back to my Doctor just three weeks after and told her I was having alot of discomfort just below my ribs, I had some burning but not that much. She just looked at me and said so what do you want me to do. I couldn’t believe the way she made me feel; of course my response was well, shouldn’t we do some blood test or an ultrasound, could I maybe see a Specialist…..I told her I’m worried because my weight is dropping to much. I’m a very small framed person; I am only 103 lbs. and dropped down to 95lbs…. My doctor just looked at me and said, “Christine I think you just have a tweaky stomach. After this experience I was totally at a loss as to what to do, so I went to a Naturopath doctor. She did Biomeridian Computerized test. She noticed I had a really bad sensitivity to gluten. She did not tell me to go off my Nexium, but she did tell me to stay off gluten for one month and we would go from there. I have to admit my tommy has really calmed down however; I’m still having this feeling of food getting stuck. It hasn’t been a month yet of gluten free but this doctor is convinced that this will correct itself once I stay of gluten and change up some things in my diet. Does anyone have this problem with this feeling of food not digesting? Any thoughts or suggestions? I can’t help but think something was wrong with those pistachios that created havoc in my system… Thank you everyone for an opportunity to share my story. Any advice would be appreciated.
        Bless your hearts 

        • Jo-Lynne says

          Christine, this story is EERIE. I have been having that EXACT feeling.

          But before I address that, I cannot BELIEVE a doctor put you on Nexium for that. Stories like this make me lose all faith with the medical profession.

          I think the pistachios must have triggered something, but that is definitely odd, if it was totally out of the blue.

          As far as going off gluten, that helped me initially, as I’m off gluten too, but then I’ve been getting that really full feeling that you describe – like something is stuck.

          I think for me, there is more I’m sensitive to than just gluten. Grains in general bother me, and I have a feeling dairy is part of it too.

          The weight loss should be concerning. Did they test you for Celiac?

          Something is definitely going on, and hopefully your naturopath can help you figure it out. Keep us posted.

          You may want to read Gut & Psychology Syndrome. I expect the GAPS diet would help you – at least you could figure out what’s bothering you. I’m planning to do it eventually, but I’m trying to hold off for next winter, when I won’t mind eating so much soup.

        • Lisa says

          Christine: I also have problems with feeling like food does not digest and then my bile starts backing up into my pancreas and liver causing the Dr’s to think I”m having a gallbladder attack.

  34. Lizzy says

    Hi Jo-Lynne first of all thank you so much for all the useful information you have provided on this page. I found it not only very informative but also useful. How are things coming along for you since you have been of the Nexium? I started on Nexium for about a month now, due to heartburn. First time I suffered heartburn for three days, so I was concerned went to Doc, and was prescribed Prevacid but to no avail, then came the Nexium. DId not work for me as much as it has for others, but I managed by supplementing with Tums every now and then. Now my dilemma. How do I ween off the Nexium? I had my first consultation with Gastro today, and will be going through a series of testing (I pray all is well). I mentioned to him that Nexium made me feel worse. I had all types of symptoms such as;joint pains, and stomach pains non of which were there before. So he told me to stop Nexium and was quick to give me free samples of a GERD drug. Then he has the audacity to say that “heartburn wont kill you”, well it sure does make me feel miserable. So any helpful suggestions to help ween me off this horrible drug?

    • Jo-Lynne says

      Um. Well, he is WRONG. Heartburn can cause esophageal cancer if left untreated. So it CAN kill you. Good lord what is WITH doctors anyway???

      Sigh…

      It really is about diet (finding out what triggers it – for me it isn’t greasy foods as most suggest; rather it is carbs and tomato sauce. But really the carbs.) I’m doing all the digestive enzymes my doc suggested as well as drinking lemon water. From online research, the ACV sounds like the best cure but it is so hard for me to tolerate. UGH. I find that eating small portions helps. I know when I weaned off Nexium, I ate some apple after every meal. That seemed to help. It’s a lot of trial and error, but you definitely want to control it with diet, don’t assume that “it won’t kill you.” GOOD LORD.

      Good luck!!

  35. Kate says

    Hi,
    this is very eye opening. I’m glad I found your post so early. I’ve been on Nexium for the past 2 months and didn’t fill my prescription a few days ago thinking that I’m feeling fine now and my stomach problems came back. I was diagnosed with gastritis and I’m going back for an endoscopy in 2 weeks so I’ll try to speak to my doctor because I hate pills and I’m only 22 and certainly DON NOT want to stay on pills forever. I’m thinking of getting back on the meds for another month until I get my results back and figure out a plan to get off of them more smoothly. Thanks a lot!
    Kate

  36. Alexis says

    Wow I’m go glad I came across this, unbelievable I was diagnosed with GERD at 15 when I had a barium swallow functioning study done and under went swallowing therapy sessions in addition to being prescribed nexium. Dealing with the on going symptoms of asthmas, allergies, chronic post nasal drip and never ending abdominal pains I saw it as the answer and did not question being on the medication for the rest of my life. These symptoms would come and go as I continued my life, but the pros still outweighted the cons. Six years later, 3 of which were stressful college years I approach my senior semester with more digestive/abdominal issues then ever and doctors continue to throw more medication at me, not really listening to me.

  37. Lisa says

    Thank you for posting this. I have been battling “gallbladder attacks” for about 4 years now. Unlike my Dr’s, I am convinced this is not in fact my gallbladder, but a stomach digestion issue. I did have an endoscopy done that showed some erosion at the base of my esophagus, so my Dr. put me on Nexium to heal it. I was on it for a month then stopped. My “gallbladder attacks” continued and I went back on the Nexium (40mg) after a few months. My Dr. also put me on 50,000 UI of Vit D once a week because my Vit D level was 7…yes 7! Needless to say my hips felt bruised and hurt all the time.
    After two months on the Nexium (40mg.) my stomach felt better and I did not have any attacks. I cut the dosage to 20 mg for about a month and felt GREAT! A couple of days ago I cut even further down to 10 mg…not so good now. I had my first attack in months yesterday. It was not a full blown attack, but severe enough for me to take a pain pill. I took some generic Pepcid AC and a little George’s Aloe Vera. Flax tea with a little Real Salt helps the most.

    These attacks always start out feeling like bloating then the stomach not emptying, I think inflammation is swelling my Sphincter of Odi and causing my bile to back-up into my pancreas. That’s why the docs think it’s a gallstone blocking my duct, but this only happens when I’m stressed and eat certain foods. and it NEVER happens as long as I’m taking at least 20 mg of Nexium. I don’t think Nexium has any effect on gallstones so I don’t think they could be causing my problems.

    Has anyone else has symptoms like these?

    I also notice that I feel WAY better when I don’t eat foods from the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and any true grains. Pseudo-grains (quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth) seem to be ok.

    • says

      I’d be curious about what your attacks are like. Sounds like severe IBS maybe?

      Interesting about the nightshade family. I read something about them once, but I can’t remember – there was a reason they bother some people.

      And yeah, grains bother me FOR SURE.

      It’s a lot of trial and error. And also? I find if I mix a lot of foods, like I eat 3 consecutive snacks that are very different, that can bring on what I consider IBS (cramping and diarrhea) so I try not to confuse my system too much, lol.

      As far as gas and bloating and GERD, it is definitely affected by the amount of food I eat. Smaller portions are SO much easier on the digestive system. I’ve read about this too – as Americans, we generally eat WAY more than we need, which is taxing on our digestion, and probably a reason so many of us seek meds.

      Best of luck to you!

      • Lisa says

        I don’t think I have IBS. Doesn’t that have a lot of diarrhea associated with it? If anything, I have constipation problems.

        The attacks I get always start with my stomach feeling really full even if I’ve only eaten a very small amount (1 cup or less), If I don’t get it to go away fairly fast, then the pain and feeling of fullness spreads to my gallbladder/pancreas/liver area and then all the way across my stomach and then to my back. This is the bile backing up in my system.

        I’ve been diagnosed with fatty liver disease and I think that sometimes it’s actually my liver that pains me sometimes, though that pain is just a dull aching on the far right. I usually only get this kind of pain when I eat sugar. :(

  38. Lisa says

    GreenMedInfo.com has been a wonderful resource for me these last four years with dealing with my stomach issues. Particularly two articles titled: “The Dark Side of Wheat: New Perspectives on Celiac Disease and Wheat Intolerance” (the video at the end of the article was much easier to understand since the article is quite technical) and “Opening Pandora’s Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease” Here’s a link to Part 1 of 3 for the video:
    http://youtu.be/0hupClzDNs8

    • says

      Lisa, after reading your comments this morning, I was going to ask about wheat. (Since the writing of this post, I have become gluten free. It helps, but I still get symptoms from time to time. Lately it seems that red meat – particularly ground beef brings on my acid reflux. So odd!)

      I will check out that video, thanks!!

      • Lisa says

        My staying away from nightshades and grains came after reading and watching ‘The Dark Side of Wheat’
        All or most all plants contain lectin, but nightshades and grains are particularly high in lectin and many people have a sensitivity to it.

        Some people stay way for digestive reasons while others stay away for arthritis reasons. In my case, I stay away from them for BOTH reasons, as arthritis runs in my family and I’ve already started having trouble with some of my joints. I’ve already noticed a positive difference in my joints. The vote is still out for the stomach issues since coming off the Nexium has complicated my system. I did notice that when I stay away from the high lectin foods that my feet don’t swell! :) I didn’t even really realize that they were swollen until I started experimenting with the not eating lectin.

  39. Kay says

    I just found your website and was so happy to see that my 40 mgs a day of Nexium for 4 years and a slew of other medical problems could be due to the Nexium. I have gone from 40 to 20mg a day now but now it seems harder to get off the 20 mg. I am hoping that getting off this drug will improve my health greatly. I have never been this sick in my whole life until they took out my gallbladder and put me on Nexium. I can’t eat or drink much, because the food just sits in my stomach for hours and blows me up until I can’t breath. Not to mention putting on 40 lbs. I’ve never been over weight in my whole life until my gallbladder was removed. Getting the weight off has been a major problem. If you have any suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • says

      Kay, read thru the advice in the comments and in the post. There’s a lot of great advice about getting the digestion system working on its own.

      The gallbladder issue does complicate things, I’m sure. My mom does not have her gall bladder, and she has a hard time digesting fats.

  40. Jo says

    have esophageal spasms. one very severe attack a few months ago (was in ER with possible heart attack symptoms). with follow up endoscopy etc. showed some esopageal irritation. dr. suggested nexium. I resisted for a while but then decided to try it.

    previous year had gastritis. prilosec didn’t agree and stopped after 5 days. same with zantac. stopped taking aspirin and most vitamins. some improvement and just lived with it, till this esophageal flare up. Have had on and off IRB for years.

    took nexium 40 mg. for 3 weeks then was off for 2 days by accident, when had colonoscopy and getting milder esophageal spasms again. went back on the nexium and still getting some mild esophageal spasming at night. only been back on for 2 days. hate to keep taking this. gastro wants me to continue for a while. feels acid is coming up into esophagus to cause the spasms and the irritation.

    realizing that it is going to be very difficult to get off of it. as already was when I was off for 2 days by accident.

    even for the 3 weeks I have been on the nexium I still have cramping on and off a lot of the day. feel tired too. then some days perfectly ok. haven’t been able to tie it to a particular food.

    eat fairly healthy. very little or no processed food. do like desserts unfortunately. don’t think I have gluten or celiac issues, as played with that a year ago and didn’t really help. did drink a lot of diet coke over the years, trying to give it up as know it not good for you, but quite addictive.

    with an irritation in the esophagus don’t think vinegar or even lemon juice is such a great idea.

    Did see the only naturopath in the area (boston area) I could find who wasn’t into reiki or other stuff like that a year ago. problem is he prescribed 3 or more of his things and wanted me to take them all at once. so if side effect from one of them how would I know which one? he had a few helpful suggestions but felt he was a bit of a pill pusher in his way also.

    have been reading extensively on line and more confused than anything at this point.

    any thoughts?

    • says

      Hi Jo. I’m afraid I don’t have any advice, just sympathy. I felt the same way, I went to a holistic person once – drove an hour in pouring rain, spent 2 hours with her, and came away with hundreds of $$ of pills. One day after taking some, had one of the worst stomach aches of my life, and I threw them all away and never went back.

      It is so frustrating trying to find the right person to help. I do urge you to try again with someone else, don’t give up. It’s so easy to just give up b/c it is so stressful. I did that for years – just went along with whatever the docs said b/c I was too tired and too stressed to figure out a better way.

      I am not at all familiar with esophageal spasms, but it sounds miserable. Best of luck to you!

      • Jo says

        Jo-Anne

        What is you diet like? breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.?

        Also what probitic do you use? there are so many out there.

        thanks
        Jo

        • says

          I try not to eat processed foods. I am gluten free, I eat a lot of protein, eggs, meat, raw milk, cheeses. I do drink coffee and wine, which I’m sure don’t help. I was taking probiotics but I have been lazy with them. I do take digestive enzymes with every meal and I’m on zinc, iron and biotin. I need to get back on cod liver oil. A girl could go broke with supplements, though!!

  41. Mia says

    I am currently weaning myself off of the nexium, have had acid reflux since I was young and it runs in the family. Also learned that it is common with people with Type O blood since they naturally have high acid stomach. Started taking andrew lessman digest assure and his fiber which has probiotics in it before meals which helps. Also started taking Natures way ginger root capsules and slippery elm bark. I have regained my health and energy by following the eat right for your blood type diet by dr. dadamo. http://www.dadamo.com
    The chapter for my blood type really broke down what I needed to eat and what I needed to avoid, to include wheat, corn, milk etc. I also learned that I need to avoid coconut, peanuts, aloe vera, echinacea and golden seal. I take several supplements, but recently also started taking astralagus to help rebuild my immune system as well. I try to read the book as much as possible because it has been a lifesaver for me. Interesting how apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar that is allowed. I think I will try to mix it with some pesto and olive oil for a salad dressing and see if that works, then I can just have a side salad before each meal, that is if the other things do not work. I have learned for myself that I am fine with sugar and white rice, it is the wheat and corn that give me heartburn and I cannot tolerate or digest. Definitely no more coffee for me, but I am fine with hot chocolate for dessert, nestle syrup and I live on unsweetened vanilla almond milk now. Hope something I wrote helps somebody. So glad to see this blog!

    Health is wealth!

  42. asi says

    hi my story is similar. i had acid in my stomach. been on nexium. got off and everything was worse and constantly painful. now i am back on but looking for a natural alternative. i am on an anti inflammatory diet. so i already dont drink coffee or much alcohol, have lots of red meat, or eat much fast food or packaged food. and i do eat ginger and virgin coconut oil. but what is a carb? is that like veggie? cuz i eat lots of veggies. is it quinoa or oats? fruits? thx! sorry u had to go thru all this. glad u posted to give us hope of getting off nexium and not being in constant pain! <3 Asi

  43. Jeff Wayne says

    Jo-Lynne — Thank you for the blog. If I may share my own story: I’ve been having stomach pains and occasional heartburn that began on Oct. 1, 2011, following a meal at a Japanese restaurant. I’ve never had these problems before — occasional heartburn in the evenings, and very bad stabbing stomach pains for an hour, especially after black tea or milk; but I have since eliminated these and still have these problems. My stomach would usually not feel quite right all through the day.

    I’ve been to 2 gastroenterologists, and neither one really investigated the concept that I picked up something from the meal on Oct. 1. Instead, they’ve been reaching for the colonoscopy (which I foolishly agreed to), the sonogram (which I also did), the CT scan (which I declined), and so on, without finding anything.

    My current gastroenterologist did go for a stool sample (negative) and started me on Nexium last week. To be honest, it seems to have helped; but it’s possible my symptoms were abating on their own.

    After reading your blog, I’m thinking I want to get off the Nexium the first chance I get, and see what happens.

    So — thanks again, and best of luck to you!
    Jeff

  44. says

    I don’t know if anyone already mentioned this but taking a lot of NSAID’s (Aleve, Advil etc) can cause acid reflux and I noticed that when I stopped taking them so much (for headaches) and trying other things (Tylenol, magnesium to relax tight muscles, etc) to deal with my headaches the weird clicking I’d developed when I swallow (thanks to the reflux) and the reflux itself went away and now I can manage occasional heartburn with a Tums. Just wanted to mention that in case anyone wasn’t aware that reflux is a common but not well-known side effect of those OTC medications.

    • says

      Interesting! Because I did not realize that. However, I have stopped taking those types of meds, just b/c I don’t want to be on stuff, and I wonder if that has also helped me beat my Nexium addiction.

      And by the way, thanks for commenting. I remember reading your blog way back when – you were going thru a lot. I’m glad to see you’re still blogging! I’m going to go catch up.

      • Carolyn says

        I enjoyed reading your blog. People need to know that Nexium is a two-edged sword.

        Jeff, yes Nexium does help, that is what is so enticing about it. You can blithely go along eating and drinking everything you want and never really change the habits that contribute to the initial problem. So, yes you may need it to heal the attack that you had, but do think twice about staying on it.

        J-Lynne, I was on it for about 5 years as well. A couple of times I found myself out of town without it and had horrible problems with heart burn. Like you, I hadn’t really had that initially. I had terrible fluttering in my throat that I thought might be a heart attack or something and when I went to get it checked they tracked it to a sliding hiatal hernia. The fluttering had been acid in my throat. Then began the Nexium.

        About three years ago I cut back the medication, thinking that not having acid to break down my food must have some detrimental effect on my system. Anyway, long story short, I finally got rid of it all together and have been off for over a year and 1/2. I have to pay better attention to triggers and do have flare ups occasionally, but things are pretty good. I did use the apple cider vinegar and I loved it. It also balanced my system in general, but I have had some problems with my teeth that may be related, so I’ve given that up as well. Such an amazing balancing act we must play with these amazing machines we walk around in. Anyway thanks for sharing.

        • says

          You are right – it’s all about balance. Interesting about your teeth. I have weak teeth so I need to pay attention to that. Thanks for your input! It is always nice to know that someone else had luck going off that stuff.

  45. Mnf says

    Hello! I have a similar story to yours with no heartburn before the pills–just other symptoms and I’m in the middle of weaning myself off right now experiencing a lot of heartburn and belching. Could you tell me what probiotics you use and digestive enzymes? I’ve wanted to try both, but am not sure which brands are effective. Thanks!

    • says

      Oh boy. There are SO many different ones. I went to my local health food store where there is a very knowledgeable staff and talked to them. I was taking 2 different kinds for a while. Now I’m pretty much off everything, except I take cod liver oil. But anyway.

      I took these for a while: http://amzn.to/zuaqub as well as these: http://amzn.to/xLQft6

      I took several different digestive enzymes, I am very fond of the Megafood brand (for any supplement – it is all derived from food, not chemicals – so easier to digest, supposedly.)

      Swedish Bitters – I love these: http://amzn.to/wBMLAi

      • Pam says

        Since my original post, I have been taking Swedish bitters and LGL daily. I went back to my doctor and she told me to take the Nexium as needed, rather than stop entirely.

        So far, I have beem comfortable and feel good. The bloating has ceased and so has the severe pain, associated with it. It has now been a week since I have taken Nexium. I had tried to stop taking Nexium completely because it does prevent calcium from being absorbed. I have been taking it for approximately fifteen years. My bone density tests have not come back with good results, so hopefully, I am absorbing more calcium.

        My diet is healthy but I am not a big eater. Therefore, I eat the foods that are high in protein, fiber and calcium. I do attribute the Swedish bitters to getting my stomach to feel well within the realm of normal again. Thank you so much for recommending for, what seems to me, the miracle cure. It feels so good to have so much relief.

  46. Jack says

    Hi,
    I’ve just read your response to Nexium addiction after having my first reaction to going off that medication cold-turkey. What a relief to know your story. I have been taking Nexium for a long time. It followed whatever acid reducing meds I had used that preceded it. There are so many similarities in both our health histories, including my slide into poorer and poorer health. It makes sense that this med has cut my nutrition chances and opened me up to the many symptoms I’ve picked up. Thank you for sharing, it has already made one serious affect on my life: hope. I have hope I can crawl back out to sunlight.

    Jack

  47. Rebecca says

    I know this is about 2 years old, but I wanted to say, I’m so happy I found your blog! I’ve had some stomach issues last fall that were so debilitating. They were so bad I went to the ER & to several dr.s and all they could tell me is that my pain was from ulcers/heartburn. I declined the endoscopy because we can’t afford it, but I have been using prilosec every once in a while & a medication that is supposed to heal my stomach lining. I HATE having to take prilosec, but honestly, I’m scared of feeling so badly again. Although, my pain seems fine compared to yours & the people who commented here.

    I have been very stressed for the past year (my family and I are living with my in-laws temporaritly) & I think that has something to do with it, but I have been wondering for months if there was something I was eating/drinking that would make it worse. I drink coffee & I noticed one of your readers mentioned that. I loooove coffee. :-( Maybe I’ll just have to savor it in the morning.

    And I don’t like apples. Looks like I’m gonna have to make some changes! Thank you for your thought into this. I’ll have to direct people to this article if they have been taking Nexium. :-)

    • says

      Hi Rebecca. I hope you can find some relief and that you’re feeling better soon. Stress can DEFINITELY take its toll on your tummy. I find that regular exercise helps A LOT. Best of luck to you!

  48. Jessica says

    THANK YOU! My stomach problems started at 25. Diagnosed same as you. Played the merry go round on PPI’s for 2 years. Stopped all together with horrible results but did it to break the cycle. Since the age of 28, I go through bad gastritis phases lasting from 1-2 weeks. The best thing to do is…NOTHING! A cup of tummy tamer tea works better than PPI, H2 blockers, pepto or gas X. It’s a hard way to live, but do yourself a favor and don’t take that crap those doctors give you…it is a cycle, a bad one!

  49. deborah says

    I just stumbled on this article and boy did it make me feel better. I didn’t realize you needed to taper off the Nexium and quit taking and have “ultra” changed my diet. I’m taking a H2 blocker and praying . This week has been so much better. I tried 3 years ago to no Avail. I don’t think I changed enough of my food habits. I’m gluten free and try to eat organic. I’m going to give it a good while and then try and get off the h2 blockers………But your story make me feel so much better and allot less Crazy!
    Thanks Deb

  50. Haydrer says

    I have read your article , Its amazing
    I have been on nexium for 2 years now
    And I have been through real depression and i wished to die
    as iam a 25 years old male with all this medication to take
    and with all this restriction in diet
    I feel so bad
    but much better after reading your article
    thank you
    I wish if u can help me more with the diet please .

  51. Beth says

    I am thrilled I came across your article. I have been on nexium on and off for almost 2 years to combat gastritis that originated from NSAIDs for a knee injury. Had surgery for the knee injury but am still suffering from gastro issues. Never had heartburn before but started to get all sorts of GERD symptoms when I started taking nexium. Finally got so upset because I had a feeling this was from nexium & stopped cold turkey. It has been 3 weeks and I am on the fence about going back on. Stomach burning has come back. Would you suggest going back on nexium and weening myself off properly?

    • says

      Hi Beth. I’m so sorry to hear this. Your story makes me mad. I wish we could get this stuff off the market.

      I don’t know what to tell you about going back on or not. I really don’t know the answer as I have no medical training. Is there any way you can find a good reputable naturopath to advise you? I have never personally used one, as my doctor is pretty open and well informed about holistic methods, but I’ve heard great things about naturopaths helping people get off meds using food and herbs and things. Best of luck to you!

  52. Lesley says

    Jo-Lynne,
    I live in the phioladelphia area as well…Wayne, and have a very similar story to yours. I have struggled with gastritis for the past 6 years since the birth of my 3rd child. I have gone to accupuncture and have tried every supplement and holistic method that you have mentioned but have not been able to get control of it. Last spring I went on 40 mg nexium 2 times a day and did finally get it under control but when I tried going off it in January, it all came back. I don’t think I weaned myself properly or slowly enough. Would you be willing to give me the name of the Dr. you use that is open to holistic options but I am on my 2nd GI MD and niether were open to this. Thanks so much.

  53. Jennifer burks says

    Hello,

    Thank u so much for sharing your story, you have given me hope. Today I was told I have acid reflux. I was told it was pretty mild so to just go ahead and buy some Prilosec and see if that works and to follow up with a GI if the symptoms persist. Ummm first thing I said was I do not want to rely on pills for the rest of my life, my diet right now is horrible anything bad you can think of I eat and drink on a daily basis. Chocolate, soda, carbs, processed foods. What I thought to be a bit odd though ( I also shared this with my doc) was I never had this problem before, I recently decided to stop drinking soda completely so I started drinking lots of water and tons of MILK. Out of no where for two weeks on and off I have bad acid reflux and the only new thing I’m doing is cutting back on carbs and drinking lots of water and MILK. I read that milk can be the cause so maybe with all the milk I’ve been drinking I caused some damage from acid reflux it caused? My doc said probably not. I’m thinking I never had this problem until I switched my diet and you don’t see anything odd about that? She even told me diet alone would probably not help me much. So after reading your story I have hope. I don’t want to rely on pills that could kill me. I know I need to change my diet and get serious about my health. This pain and discomfort is a wake up call. Maybe I can stop it before it gets worse? I hope so. Can you give me your opinion as well as an idea of what your meal plan is like? You stressed not eating too many carbs, I know veggies are carbs so how much can I eat? I’m a bit lost here and if you could share your meal plans that would be great. Thank you so much!!!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer. Your situation sounds mild enough that if you are committed to diet changes, you can probably manage it. Untreated, acid reflux can cause damage, though, so be sure not to just ignore it. You really do need to be sure that you’re taking care of it. I am no doctor, but that is my understanding.

      I would question the milk to, just given that little bit of information. I don’t trust them when they say “that can’t be it” – who ever heard of bread causing acid reflux? Everyone always thinks it is spicy foods. Ya know? It just depends on your system and what you’re sensitive to. At the very least, try laying off the milk and see, can’t hurt, and it beats getting addicted to meds.

      I think why doctors say that diet won’t help much is that most people are not committed to the radical diet changes that may be necessary to heal them without meds. I changed my diet dramatically, and I didn’t really set out to do that, but as I became more informed, it just happened because I didn’t want that junk in my body anymore. I read some of Michael Pollan’s books, and watched Food, Inc. and that really changed my perspective on food.

      As far as your situation, I would suggest keeping meals SMALL. Over-eating is a huge trigger for acid reflux, I assume b/c the body can’t digest it all so it backs up. Taking good quality digestive enzymes with food might help too.

      Leafy veggies like spinach and kale and cruciferous veggies like broccoli have fewer carbs than, say, potatoes and things. But it’s not the veggies you have to worry about, really, it is all the bread and sweets and snackfoods.

      Apples are great for helping with acid reflux. I eat them a lot. Good quality meat and veggies are the heart of our meals. I am gluten free, so I make rice or potatoes to go along with sometimes. I post my weekly menu plan every Monday, so that should give you lots of ideas. You can find them all in the Categories dropdown menu on my sidebar under Food, and then Meal Planning.

      Best of luck to you!!

  54. Jennifer burks says

    Thanks so much Jo-Lynn!!!!

    I have one more question:)

    Ever since you started the new healthier diet/regimen how do you feel? Are your attacks as bad if you do have any still? How would you rate or describe how you feel now compared to before the change? Thanks so much again:)

    • says

      Jennifer, my life is TOTALLY different since changing my diet. I was on Nexium not even for acid reflux – that developed when I tried going off it. I was on it for “gastritis” attacks – which is really just a catch-all for stomach aches that no one knows what causes them. I would just get these awful stomach aches out of the blue. That is in addition to the IBS attacks I had my whole life. The gastritis started after my 3rd pregnancy. Somedays I was down for hours, in so much pain I couldn’t function. Other times I would work through it. I went thru TONS of tests, which turned up nothing. It was only after changing my diet that those stomach aches seemed to subside – it happened gradually, so much so that I almost forget how sick I was. Then going gluten free was the final tweak to my diet. I do still have some bloating and the acid reflux at times, but the extreme stomach aches seem to be a thing of the past.

  55. says

    Vicki, I actually have found the opposite to be true. I feel like running helps me! But again, I think your issues are more severe. I feel like it keeps things from getting backed up and when I miss a few days, I start to feel bloated.

    Good luck finding someone. I’d love to hear what they have to say and how they treat you, as I’m still trying to tweak my diet so that I don’t have these issues at all anymore. I think, for me, it is largely related to HOW MUCH I eat, rather than what I eat. Go figure.

    • Vickie says

      I’ve started weaning off the Pantoprazole 40 mg. I first tried taking a 40mg pill every other day. My stomach could not handle that. It felt nervous, upset and nauseous at times. Then I realized I would have to go more gradual. The pharmacist told me my 40mg pill could not be cut in half because of the enteric coating. She said it would irritate my stomach and cause burning.

      I found a doctor who would prescribe a 20 mg Pantoprazole pill to help me wean off slowly. So I am doing fine with 40mg one day, 20mg the next. I will do this for a couple of weeks before I try 20mg everyday.

      Since I have had problems with some of the natural supplements for Acid Reflux in the past, I’m going to seek the help of a Naturopath to help me. I want to treat the cause of the symptoms I may have as I continue to wean off slowly.

  56. Dood says

    I was on 40mg Nexium for about 3 years. I ran out recently and usually have it shipped to me from a Walgreen’s warehouse. I didn’t want to go to the local Walgreen’s pharmacy and get an emergency supply because I felt like I was “cheating” on them by having it delivered and bypassing my local pharmacy. Dumb, I know. Anyway, I tried some generic Prilosec 20mg twice a day, morning and evening for 2 weeks. I then dropped it to once a day for a couple of days and, watching my diet (fried foods), I found that I’m not getting the acid reflux that I used to and the “rebound acid hypersecretion” seems to be minimal. I still keep the generic Prilosec on hand just in case but so far, so good.

    I also started exercising a couple of months ago but I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.

      • John Abbatemarco says

        Hi
        Getting alot of interesting and useful info from your blog. I have been on 40mg Nexium since 2007 and like alot of folks, started using it for vague stomach symptoms. When the stomach felt better, I stopped the Nexium and within 2 days, felt the rush of acid in my chest. I tried unsuccessfully this pas t summer to wean off by taking it every other day and did well for a couple of weeks, but because I did not alter my diet and kept drinking lots od coffee, I failed and went back on every day. I am starting this week to go to every other day again and this time I am weaning myself off coffee and no wine on the weekends. I am also dropping a couple of punds by cutting down on the carbs. I am very optimistic that I can get off the Nexium with these lifestyle modifications however I wonder whether I will ever be able to have coffee and wine again. Have you totally sworn off coffee and wine? What about taking a tums before the wine and cutting the coffee down to once a day? I can give the coffe and wine up for a month or so while weaning off the nexium, but I will be miserable if I have to be a teetotaller for the rest of my life. Any thoughts?

        • says

          Hi John. I do drink coffee and wine – probably a bit too much! I never really noticed either exacerbating my symptoms, although I did cut back while weaning off Nexium. I find that over-eating is always a trigger, and slipping up and eating gluten will often do it to me (I have gone gluten free, as well since I wrote this post) and tomato sauce will sometimes trigger it too. The most obvious trigger is over eating. With small portions, and I can eat almost anything.

          • John Abbatemarco says

            Thank you Jo-Lynne. You really seem to be genuinely interested in helping the rest of us out here trying to followyour lead by getting off this medication. Today is day one of no Nexium, I’ll report back on a couple of weeks.

  57. Vickie says

    Hi Jo-Lynne,

    Just went to see my chiropractor today, and we were discussing acid reflux medicine and the possibility of me weaning myself off of this. He, unlike a Medical Doctor, was thinking through what happened to me/how I was put on this medicine. I was running 5k’s, working out with weights 3 times a week with a trainer who really pushed me. I was having acid feelings after a workout (not a meal), and feeling weak. My medical doctor at the time, said “Oh, that sounds like acid reflux, try this medicine for a week and see if it makes a difference.” I said well it’s not after I eat, it was just that time after I worked out really hard with a trainer. She also had me stop my exercising for a while in order to get my liver levels back down. (They were elevated.) She also had me stop my multi-vitamin. My liver levels came back down after I stopped exercising (I was allowed to only walk for a period of time). So I tried the acid reflux medicine for a week. She asked if I noticed a difference. I said no, because I haven’t been working out. She said okay, you can stop taking the acid reflux medicine. Lo, and behold, a short time after that, I actually did have acid reflux. My chiropractor and I think that was a rebound from the medicine.

    Today he was talking about how I am currently on acid reflux medicine, which shuts down the acid, and makes my lower esophogeal sphincter weaker. Therefore when I run, it would make since that I would have more of a tendency towards acid reflux when I run. Wow, he actually thought through what is really happening to me in all of this, rather than writing me a prescription. I did recently find a lady doctor, who is a D.O. She is also a runner. I am hopeful that she will help me wean myself off of this acid reflux medicine. I have not been able to find a naturopath in my area, so maybe this new D.O. will be my answer.

    I noticed you said you felt like running helps you with the acid problem. My thought is …the difference might be that you are not on the medicine anymore and you have the correct balance of acids in your body???

    Vickie

    • says

      Vickie, I don’t know, it is hard to say. I feel like the running helps keep everything moving in the right direction, ya know? When I do pushups, I sometimes get some reflux, I figured b/c of my body’s position.

      I’ve never heard of exercise causing reflux, so I’m really not sure what to say. Hopefully your new doctor can shed some light.

  58. rachael says

    Jo-Lynne,
    I came across your site while looking for gluten free banana bread recipes, and am glad I found it :) I am pregnant with my 4th child. Since January (shortly after I got pregnant) I have had horrible reflux and digestive issues. TUMS weren’t helping at all, so I statred on Pepcid for a while. I really didn’t want to be on any medicines while pregnant, so I started looking into possible causes of my digestive issues. Through keeping a food diary a few weeks, I found triggers to be wheat, caffeine, and sugars (but most of the “goodies” I was eating contained wheat flour). I have been gluten free about a month now, and feel a lot better, but this week I have had the burning feeling and feeling like foods aren’t digesting again. I do take probiotics, I tried the ACV, and gagged! I am going to try lemon and water instead, I can handle that. Also, I will try eating more apples to help with digestion. I have to be careful of supplements etc. since I’m pregnant so I am hesitant to try the teas and juices. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • says

      Hi Rachael. I know that pregnancy exacerbates the reflux, so be patient with it. You may have to wait till after the baby arrives to get complete relief. Sounds like you are doing the right thing, though. I used to feel that way about ACV but now I tolerate it.

      What I do is, I get two cups. I put 1 TBSP ACV with a small amount of water in one cup, and I fill the other cup with lukewarm water. (Cold water is startling to the digestive track.) I swig the ACV cup as fas as I can – 2 swallows at the most. Then I immediately start guzzling the plain water. My theory is, the plain water will dilute the ACV so it doesn’t damage anything, but I don’t have to suffer through an entire glass of vinegary water. LOL. It’s not pleasant, but it gets the job done.

      I agree about being careful with supplements while preggo. You might also try a good homemade chicken stock – I drink it like tea. It is full of nutrients, and it’s good for digestion. In fact, it is customary in some European countries to drink a cup before meals.

  59. Annette says

    Hi Jo Lynn. I need help. I’m on 40 mg nexium 2x/ day for years now but prior to that had taken Prilosec, zantac and pepcid ( since the age od 27… And im 47 now!!) I’ve gone through 2 gastro docs…neither of who seem interested in getting me off the meds. I have bad arthritis, herniated discs and feel a lot of clicking in my spine which makes me nervous. After 20 years on this poison I cannot fathom not taking it ! What can I do? Annette

    • says

      Hi Annette. I really hope you can find a way to get off it. You do need to find a doctor or holistic healthcare provider who can guide you, though. I’m afraid I’m not qualified to walk you thru it. As around and hopefully you can find a good recommendation. Best of luck to you.

  60. Marcus says

    Hi Jo, im 26 and have been on nexium 20mg for just over 2 weeks now, which i only take one tablet a day for acid reflux. About 2 days ago i woke up with a headache, stomach ache, dry mouth, drowzy and dizzy and also over the past 2 nights have been getting little sleep, due to tossing and turning and stomach pains. Since then ive been doing some research about nexium and its side affects and the symptoms im having are said to be side affects of nexium. Just wanted to get your point of view on this, as i’ve only been nexium for just over 2 weeks now. since the side affects have started i’ve stopped taking nexium and stil suffer from these symtoms. Any opinion or feed back would be muchly appreciated.

    • says

      Hi Marcus. I’m sorry, as I am not a health professional, I’m not qualified to offer advice, but I would recommend seeking a second opinion. These side effects are concerning. Best of luck to you.

      • Marcus says

        Thanks for the reply. After the 3rd day without nexium all of the symptoms seem to disappear. Feeling 100% better now and plan to stay off nexium and control my acid reflux with healthier and more suitable choices in food. So far its been almost 2 weeks and have not suffered any symptoms of acid reflux. Thank you again for taking the time to reply. Muchly appreciated.

  61. Nelson says

    Hi,

    I had barret’s esophagus 5 years ago,I.m 36 and I have been using lansoprasole since I was 18 and 7 years ago started with nexium 40mg, doctor said barret’s had no cure and he has to make an endoscope once a year. I found out about using apples and raw honey. I ate or drink an apple about 2 hours before bed and a tea spoon of raw honey mixed with about 3 spoons of warm water, this honey is awesome, it seems to stop inflammation or irritation of my stomach, next time I went for an endoscope barret’s was gone. Unfortunately i’m addicted to nexium, but i was able to reduce it to 20mg after two weeks, my next step is just take 1/2 20mg pill. Anyways Raw honey is the only thing I use to add sweet to my drinks. I really recommend the daily use of apples and organic raw honey.

      • Nelson says

        Thanks for sharing your story and help people to find the truth about the pharma industry, I’ve been researching about natural treatments for different illness, I found all kinds of treatments, from plants, to ozone and hydrogen peroxide, to detoxification, it was always confusing because you do not know which one is right for you, until I found this guy, that connected all the dots. I hope this blog can help to spread the idea that health is in our own hands, just open your mind before you watch the video.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApkqX9abz7Y

  62. Bill says

    I have just stumbled onto this site after years of taking Nexium 20mg twice a day. I am a 66-year old male. When I tried to wean myself off of it, my symptoms came rushing back. There were periodic episodes when I needed to see the doctor, undergo an endoscopy and in the end be admonished to resume taking Nexium.

    Then three weeks ago I took a business trip to the USA (I live in Thailand) and quite by accident, I forgot to take my daily dosage…skipping pills and all of sudden I realized that a week had gone by an no heartburn! I took 4-5 pills this whole time. I was diagnosed with hiatal hernia 12 years ago and told by several doctors that I would need to take Nexium the rest of my life. But this past year I lost 20 pounds and undertook a serious exercise program. I was always fit enough, but allowed my weight to creep up over time and last year I decided to do something about it. That was a year ago and I have been able to maintain my new weight level.

    I sense, but cannot confirm (without undergoing another endoscopy), that my hiatal hernia has shrunk in size and perhaps no longer a causative factor in my reflux. I really don’t know, but I am beginning to worry why I could go cold turkey on Nexium with no apparent drawbacks. Does anyone know if a disease process could mask the stomach’s production of acid? Do I need to see a doctor to find out why I don’t need to continue taking the drug? What is strange is that I have not changed my daily diet much…I eat small portions, but generally have whatever fancies me…small daily quantities of coffee, beer, but I generally shun sweetened foods and spicy cuisine (yes, there is non-spicy Thai food here) and get in a lot of physical activity every day. I am attracted to the good dietary ideas posted on this site, such as taking ACV, lemon and honey, but don’t wish to trigger a resumption of the acid production that required me to take Nexium in the first place. Any hints or comments will sincerely be appreciated.

    • Barb says

      My daughter quit taking Nexium a few months ago. It really wasn’t helping her with her gastris and IBS. The Nexium has some of the same side effects that she was trying to get rid of. Her GI doctor wanted to put her on amitza. After reading all the side effects of that medicine we decided that we didn’t want her to take that medicine either. Her stomach was blotted and she had gain weight over the past few months. I’m not sure if the Nexium made her gain that weight or what. We decided to go to a health food store and I have also been looking on google and we decided to try the Probiotics and Enzymes along with the organic apple cider. It has only been a few days, but I feel this is better choice then taking a drug that was only masking her problems. She has noticed a little relief. I will have to keep you posted.

    • says

      Bill, it does make sense, actually. There is a theory that it is actually a LACK of stomach acid that causes reflux and we need more of it – thus the Apple Cider Vinegar treatment that seems to help so many. Dr. Mercola has written about the subject. Try it and see if it helps.

      I definitely find that eating smaller meals helps mine a lot.

  63. Pat says

    Thank u so much I have a gastro story that needs to b on si- fi to make a long story short after 3 major stomach surgeries I once again facing so many stomach problems this has been over a 30yr period of my life. I have since found out that most people also don’t realize that our stomach have ph levels and are alkine in stead of acid which also means all of these meds they give u for acid is hurting more than help n because I am not making enough acid. Please readers ask to have your oh levels n stomach ran you will b amazed the outcome. I will let readers know how my problem turns out and hope n I may help someone from all the heartache I have over the last 30 yrs. don’t give up keep study n your self and ask questions to ur drs. No question is stupid when it comes to your quality of life!!!

  64. Bill J. says

    Jo-Lynne, thanks for your post on the notion of raising acidic levels via ACV. Is there a preferred time of day to do this? Before or after eating? How many times a day? I tried this once a few years ago and it did not help me. But maybe its time to try it again under the right conditions. Thx!

    • says

      Hi Bill. It is so hard to know. I am by no means an expert. I find that for me personally, it works fairly well right after I eat and start to experience symptoms. I do not use it on a regular basis. I usually do it once after dinner if I need to.

      Best of luck to you!

  65. Nicholas T says

    I’m 38 years of age and I read this blog article just over a year ago. I am now medication free. Thank you.

    I wanted to track the post down, thank you directly and add my own testimony.

    I was prescribed Somac (pantoprazole) in my early 20′s for GERD and at 30 was told by a doctor that I would be on them for ever. In my mid 30′s I was upgraded to Nexium 40mg and diagnosed with chronic gastritis in addition to my already existing GERD. I used Nexium for several years but my stomach just got worse. One year ago I was on a family vacation and my stomach was in a very bad state. Gastritis, stomach pain, burping, reflux, heartburn. So, I increased my Nexium dosage temporarily (60mg, 80mg) as suggested by my doc during a ‘flare up’. It didn’t get better. In fact it got worse and I started to feel sick. My stomach just felt awful. It drove me to breaking point and I decided to do my own research again, but this time with real determination.

    I was suspicious about the drugs but doctors said they weren’t a problem. I carefully read the enclosed information included in the Nexium box which stated that taking the drug could indeed cause the very symptoms that it was prescribed to treat! I couldn’t believe it, but then again…I could. I found your blog during my online travels and decided to follow your suggestions and wean myself off. It was hard. Very hard. But I persisted because I was afraid the drug was the cause of my problems and doing damage to my body.

    Long story cut short – I have been pain free, 99.9% symptom free and absolutely drug free for over 12 months. My doctors were wrong from the start. In my case, excessive adrenaline was the original cause of my mild stomach problems which were brought on by anxiety, stress, worry and rushing. The book _Adrenaline and Stress by Dr. Archibald D. Hart_ opened my eyes to this. I was then wrongly prescribed PPI’s which I believe were responsible for the onset of the chronic digestive tract problems period of my life. The rare times I do experience symptoms they are mild and directly correspond to times of unmanaged stress. Manage the stress and the symptoms go. I know many people have different causes but my experience might help someone.

    Thank you Jo-Lynne for this article. It gave me hope, direction, pointed me to other useful resources and was a huge part in turning my health around.

    Sincerely,
    Nicholas

    • lauren says

      hi nicholas-
      i just wanted to let you know that your story gave me great hope- i am going to check out that book right away! i would love to know what steps you took in weaning yourself off the meds: what you ate etc, how you calmed any flareups. i’d also love to know what stress management techniques you used outside of the book.
      i have a lot of anxiety, and have thought for a long time that my body being in that state constantly was really unhealthy for me…

  66. Bill says

    A follow-up to my original post on June 17th…

    I waded in and started experimenting with ACV. The first day, I took three doses of one teaspoon mixed into 10-oz of water with a tablespoon of honey. The mild recurrent GERD symptoms vanished but returned the next day…especially during my exercise regimen. I thought that maybe I took too much ACV the previous day, so I cut back to one drink per day. That was two weeks ago, and it looks like I can control things with ACV. I also watch portion sizes carefully and try to eat one apple a day. The only other change I made was to drink a lot more water instead of my bad habit of replacing water with diet sodas. I even skipped a day with no ACV and saw no ill effects.

    This makes roughly a month since I last took a 20-mg Nexium tablet. I still have about 60-days worth of pills, but sincerely hope that I don’t need to use any of them. My next thing to try is a little aloe Vera in the morning, mixed with black currant juice. I have also been working on reducing stress, which I believe was a factor in my history with GERD.

    I am interested in learning what the cons are with using aloe Vera juice. We have a brand here in Thailand called Neutral-V. Purported to be 99.4% pure juice, although I assume the main ingredient must be water. Has anyone tried using this product…it is sold in several countries.

    Thanks to Jo-Lynne and this excellent website.

  67. says

    I have wicked bad GERD and IBS. My stomach is so terrible that sometimes I feel like I cannot eat anything, but I have no idea what causes it. I’ve tried eliminating so many things and it doesn’t work. Recently it totally began aggravating my airways and increasing my asthma symptoms. I lost weight, started eating very small meals, and taking apple-cider vinegar pills. I take probiotics too, but it wasn’t helping enough. The doctor put me on 40mg of Prilosec for the next 3 months. I do NOT want to be taking it, but I feel like I have no other choice. I’m going to read those other articles you mentioned. I get acid reflux from just drinking water. It’s terrible. I don’t want to be on drugs forever, so I’m definitely into doing all I can to fix my stomach naturally. Thanks for a great article.
    ~FringeGirl

    • says

      That sounds really severe. There must be some underlying issue. Do you know of a reputable naturopath in your area who could advise you? I’ve often considered the GAPS diet, although I always tell myself my problems aren’t severe enough b/c I don’t want to do it, lol, but maybe something to look into?

  68. says

    Jo-Lynn, thanks for allowing this blog and thread to go on and on! I found you by researching ways to “wean yourself off Nexium”.
    I’ve been on Nexium since 1999, after I had my 2nd child. I never had indigestion until my 2nd pregnancy, and I’ve had it since then. My doctor prescribed Nexium and of course, it made a huge difference. About a year ago, I asked my current doctor if I would just stay on it forever and she said “Yep”. I didn’t feel good about that! Recently my husband lost his job and we lost our health insurance, so I started thinking about getting off the Nexium because of cost. However, once I started researching alternatives, the thought came to my mind that it might be addicting. And when I continued my research, in the vein of addiction, there were so many threads to read!
    I have to admit, I’m just as disturbed by the weaning process, as I am about staying on the meds! But, I’m going to try many of these ideas I’ve seen on here, and hope and PRAY for the best.
    I am a fan of Apple cider vinegar and can handle it, but will be interested to see how it helps in this process.

    The more I read these comments, the more angry I get, in regard to the attitude of the doctors. The fact that almost everyone you know is on a PPI, should be a little disturbing! I think it’s the new “drug”, just like the mind-changing drugs of a few years ago. They get on a roll and the next thing you know – everyone has the same diagnosis. Hmmmm.

    I’m going for the detox starting this week. Pray for me!

  69. Pam says

    So glad that I came across this site. I stopped taking Nexium about two weeks ago, after many years of taking them. I have osteoporosis and my body does not seem to absorb calcium. This past week, I have had severe stomach problems. I was not told to wean off of Nexium but to consider stopping, which I did. The bloating and pain have been dreadful. First thing tomorrow, I am going to contact my doctor to find out why it was not recommended that I wean off of the Nexium, instead of just stopping after taking them for so long.

    Your blog, and the many other replies, have helped a lot and I feel like I may now know what has been going on all week. Than you.

    • says

      Pam, I am on my first 2 weeks without Nexium and here’s what I did:
      I dropped from one a day to one every other day for about four days. Then I increased the hours by 12 before I would take another one. When I was up to about 60 hours in between my last pill, I decided to stop altogether because I noticed that everytime I would take another Nexium, I would have bowel problems and headache.
      What I did in between Nexium dosages was take Zantac (OTC) and started Enzymes and a Probiotic. I just went to Basic Foods and bought some DGL and started chewing those too. I’m watching my diet too; trying to be aware of what I’m eating and how it effects my reflux.
      I’ve had a few stomach issues, but I haven’t had a Nexium in days and don’t plan on taking one ever again.
      When I bought the DGL, the person helping me at Basic Foods said to keep taking OTC products while building up with the enzymes and probiotic and DGL, and eventually they would repair my digestive system.
      I’m not feeling as bad as I thought I would, after reading all of these testimonies, so that’s a positive:)

        • says

          It’s a long name, but basically licorice in chewable form. It is good for the digestive system. Google it to see the benefits. I kept seeing it on all the posts I was reading, so I asked for it at the store and she told me to take it along with the probiotic and enzymes. You chew 2 tablets 20 min. before eating. I just started a few days ago, so still testing it out.
          You can email me directly if you want to keep up with my progress and compare notes:)

  70. lizzy says

    Hi Debbie, I tried the licorice at one point and I have to admit it was an acquired taste, but soon got use to it. I noticed it did help at the time. I need to wean myself off of Prevacid soon after taking a variety of PPI’s for the past year. I would like to know more about how you weaned yourself off. Thanks.

    • says

      Lizzy,
      Look just a few comments before yours and see my reply to Pam. I explain what I’ve done the past two weeks. I basically decreased my once-a-day Nexium to larger intervals of time in between doses, while taking an OTC acid med, like Zantac. But, I’ve also been taking Probiotics and Enzymes and now the DGL. I’m still in the testing phase of what foods trigger my reflux and I’m researching info on all of this.

      At first I was overwhelmed by reading all of these comments and all the stuff on the internet, but then I realized I could only do so much. So, I started with the basics, and will try to work on my diet and building up my digestive system. The main thing is to use something for your reflux and not just go cold turkey and endure the major backlash that occurs when getting off the PPI’s.

      • says

        Just to give an update, to those I’ve commented to on this post,
        I had to start back on the Nexium and re-do my plan. Toward the end of the 3rd week, my reflux was so bad and I was feeling bloated and just overall, miserable. So, I got back on it, with the hope that I can do a little healing before trying to wean myself off again.
        I started taking Pearls (probiotic) each morning and will continue to research how to do this in a better way.

  71. Maria says

    I have been dealing with stomach issues for one year. I am now on a gluten free diet but still on 20mg of nexium once a day. Feeling sick again, going back in for more testing. I plan to try the apple cider and finish all testing then try to wean myself off. Was wondering if you could give me some examples of your everyday diet? Breakfast/lunch/dinner? What was the diet you ate while weaning yourself off medication? I’ll try anything at this pont, just want to live my life again!

    • says

      Hi Maria. I eat a lot of eggs. Once I weaned off the meds, I started eating gluten free granola and sometimes for a treat Udi’s GF muffins. I eat a lot of soup or leftovers for lunch. Dinner is usually a traditional meat, potato, vegetable type of meal. You can check out my Meal Plans every Monday for the dinners that we eat.

      You have to experiment, it could be other foods too that aggravate it. I definitely steered clear of tomato sauces and spicy foods while weaning off and I still don’t eat a lot of those.

  72. lizzy says

    Hi everyone, I have a few questions. I been on prevacid for a few months after a series of PPI’s for my mild esophagitis and small hiatal hernia, it has been a week since I started to wean myself of prevacid, one every other day. Did anyone feel a bit sickly during the weaning process, like tired or achy?

  73. lazaro says

    hello guys Ive been suffering from acid reflux ever since i can remenber but for me i dont get a whole lot of heartburn nor feel pain nor the burning sensation i just feel like chunks of my food repeat and repeat back up in to my mouth and i burp and burp alot however its without the burning although sometime i do get the burning sensation i was on nexium and omeprazol but i stop cause i also heard from a friend it was ultimately up for you the worst part about this is that im a singer and i CANT!!! afford to have acid reflux cause it can burn my throat over time i would die if that happend!! anybody feel the same symptoms i have any advice??

    • says

      Try swedish bitters (get them at a whole foods type of store) and take them after meals. I would also advise trying the Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 TBSP in 8 oz water once or twice daily, when you get that sensation. Let me know if it helps.

    • Chris says

      Try Gastrozyme and Aloe Vera juice, drink one small botte, I split up into before each meal drink some. Try it, it is worth it. Good luck

  74. Chris says

    Hey my story is so similar to yours. I was addicted to Prilosec for three years, and began working for a holistic/integrative doctor a year ago. Well I went cold turkey a month ago and quite these meds. I was getting concerning side affects, such as, severe bloating, yellow stools, and just not feeling right at all. I probably should have weined myself off the Prilosec slowly but I never do anything slowly. Well let me tell you the rebound reflux was horrible, such pain and stomach aches for almost a week. I started taking a product called Gastrozyme and drinking a small bottle of pure Aloe Vera juice every day. OMG it worked!!! The Aloe has healed my throat and my stomach doesn’t hurting all the time anymore. I do still have flairups but cutting back on certain foods helps. I have to use an occassional antacid but will not ever use those acid blockers again. The withdrawal was awful, that is scary, and the doctors say oh just take it for the rest of your life like it is no big deal. Well it is a big deal, these are powerful medications that cause serious side affects for some people. I have learned so much working for my doctor and I know there are natural ways to treat many diseases successfully!! It may take a little longer but these methods work. I have seen what natural healing can do, I was a sceptic until it worked for me and some of my patients. Sorry I believe the drug companies are evil and will continue to suck the medical community in because after all it is about money and not healing.

  75. lauren says

    thanks so much for your post! i wish you were feeling 100% though :-)
    i’m trying to wean myself off of pantoprozole that i’ve been on for a few weeks and am just terrified all around. i just want to be able to eat normally again! here’s my story (it’s a long one!):
    so the crazy part of my story is that i never had any digestive trouble until i really started to get interested in eating healthy a few years ago. i went on a raw foods diet for 8 months to lose weight and feel great the way so many people i knew did. i didn’t have a lot of weight to lose, but had quit smoking and gained 10 lbs and really wanted to start caring about my health. being raw never agreed with my stomach and i started to have lots of digestive upset (constipation, gas, bloating).

    when i finally went off the raw diet, i thought things would get back to normal but they never did. i went on the SCD diet (similar to GAPS) for a year last year. it sounded so great, but didn’t work out so well for me. looking back at my food journals from the time, i can see that’s when i started to have reflux, about once a week. which made no sense to me!

    i spent this summer eating what i want. i love healthy food, so i was eating great, but no restrictions on food groups. this cut down on some of my anxiety and felt good, but looking back i can remember having to take pepto bismol a lot more than i’m comfortable with. throughout the summer i also became more and ore interested in WAPF. still, from a theoretical point of view, i love it all. so while i was eating what i wanted i was focusing on healthy fats, fermented foods, etc.

    i was starting a new semester at school in September and i couldn’t wait to continue with all the great stuff i had learned. i also decided to break out my bottle of fermented cod liver oil. i had taken it for a few weeks at the beginning of summer, but when i didn’t notice any positive effects, i forgot about it. the first day taking it again i developed a terrible stomach ache after. i didn’t even think to link it to the fclo- everyone seems to love it so much! the stomach ache lasted a few hours but then subsided and i forgot to take the oil the next day and was fine. the day after that i took my dose (just a quarter tsp) and could feel it burn right away. i was in pain all day but just tried to keep calm. i ended up being awake for 72 hours straight and not being able to eat anything without it making it worse before i finally went to the hospital. i got prescribed the pantoprozole there and have been taking it since. i hate being on a medication, especially this one.
    so that’s my story! the longest i’ve gone without the ppi is four days which ended yesterday. i had terrible reflux all last night and even though i took a pill today, it’s ongoing. i’m trying to stay positive, but i’m pretty freaked out. i had a scope done and i don’t have any permanent damage so that’s good. i also starting seeing a naturopath so i’m hoping that will help too, but i’m terrified about taking any supplements after my experience with the cod oil. i just want to get off the ppi’s and to be done with the reflux.
    i just wanted to thank you for your story. i’m hoping i can write back here to update my story and say i’m all better!

  76. Lornna Olson says

    Hello there- I just really want to thank you for this post. I found it via Google when my husband suggested upping his dosage of Nexium !! (He had been on it for 3 years!!) Long story short- your story resonated with me, we tried many of the different preventative options mentioned in your post (had to fight him to get him to take the Aloe Vera!)The digestive enzymes worked like a charm and now he is off of Nexium for good!!! He can even enjoy coffee or chocolate without too much fuss!! Thank you again- I’m really happy that I found your post and your sweet blog!

  77. Carole Mann says

    Could you tell me what type of probiotic you are using? I live in Vietnam so I am not sure what to buy. By the way you can buy High Potency Apple Cider Vinegar in tablets (500mg) per tablet. I take two a day in the morning with water before breakfast and they really help. Thank you for your webpage. I am on Nexium and I am trying to quit taking them.

      • Carole Mann says

        Thank you so much I will see if I can get some in Asia. My main issue is I am not eating a lot because it hurts and I have no energy. I try smaller meals but as soon as I eat I feel like it is going to come back up. I agree with your other comments. Home made soups help a lot but when I travel I find it hard to eat anything or even going out with friends and they do not understand. You mentioned some examples of meals that you have tried. Would you mind sharing some of the recipe that you find work for you. Right now I am keeping a diary of all the foods and drinks that affect my condition. Like Elaine I am scared of getting esophageal cancer but I certainly do not want to spend the rest of my life being dependent on medication. Again thank you so much for creating this blog and allowing us to share our concerns and experiences.

        • says

          Carole, I just recommended to another commenter taking a look at the GAPS diet. I don’t think my situation is as severe as some of you, and I want to be careful about recommending going off a medication without doctor’s assistance. I do believe it can be done (and should be done) but diet definitely needs to be considered. Everyone is different, so keeping the food diary is great. I find that tomato-based sauces always give me trouble, and eating a lot of gluten will do it to me. And beyond that, the only thing I can pin point is just over eating. But you say you are already doing small meals.

          Soups with homemade bone broths, as you mentioned, are great. I make a lot of basic meat/potato/veggie type of dinners. I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast, or a fried egg on gluten free toast. That always sits well. Lunch is often leftover dinner, or if I have tuna or egg salad in the house, I”ll have a bit. OH. Raw foods bother me. Raw onion in my tuna salad… for example.

          But everyone is different. It really is a matter of learning your body. If you travel a lot, that is tough. Best of luck to you.

  78. Elaine says

    I would like to thank you for posting this blog. I’ve been wanting off Nexium for years, but always worried about the risk of esophageal cancer. You emboldened me to work past the initial rebound and use more natural remedies for heartburn. When I was prescribed, my real problem was gluten intolerance, but I didn’t understand that until fairly recently. After 1 1/2 years off of gluten I still couldn’t drink coffee, even decaffeinated. I remembered that particular symptom starting back when a doctor put me on proton pump inhibitors. A few months off of Nexium and I can tolerate a little decaf or a diet Coke. With such a restrictive diet, every little bit of freedom is something I am grateful for!

    • says

      Elaine,
      I have to comment here because my dad had Celiac disease, so we studied G-Free info. for years. His doctor kept telling him to stay off caffeine and drink only decaf coffee. Then he read Elisabeth Hasselback’s book The G-Free Diet and found that decaf has gluten!

      So, you would be much better off drinking regular coffee if you’re trying to avoid gluten. Unfortunately, doctors aren’t educated enough on G-Free.

      • says

        How interesting! I didn’t know that either. Since I’m not Celiac, I’m not too worried about small amounts and cross contamination, but I know that those who are have a lot of challenges with the misinformation that is out there.

  79. says

    After a few months of reading this post and comments and trying to wean myself off Nexium and then OTC options, I am still in the battle. I was trying to use some OTC meds to wean off slowly, but this week, I’m trying it with just “as needed” items, such as tums or Zantac. I’m also drinking Aloe Cure 3 times per day, as well as using Pearls for probiotics.

    My question today is this: what have you found to be your biggest relief, when you start to have reflux? I could get through this rebound stage if I could comfort myself with something. I am having trouble sleeping right now, but hoping this is my week of torture that will move me into the healing phase!

    • Carolyn says

      Debbie,

      The literature on acid reflux says pillows will not help acid reflux, but I have found them to be the best tools in my “arsenal.” I am a side sleeper and I place one fairly thin pillow vertical to my upper body, so that my hips and lower waist are on the bed and my upper body is raised. Then I use another more full pillow horizontally on top of the other and supporting my neck. This lowers the stomach and raises the throat and thus makes the night, which is when I notice the symptoms more, bearable.

      By the way…… Though you will probably always have to do a balancing act without the medicine…. I think your body will thank you.

      Good Luck!!!!

      • says

        Thanks Carolyn,
        I sleep with 3 pillows right now, so I agree with you! Last night, just before bed, I chewed a piece of Ginger gum, which helped calm the slight feeling of reflux I was having before bed. I slept all night with no problem! This was based off of an article I happened to come across last night, that said sugar free gum was an aide to digestion because it gets the process going. And it worked! I will be carrying this pack of gum with me always, plus ginger is a security blanket for me. I like having it on hand for the times when things in my stomach feel uneasy. Yesterday was better than the day before, so I’m hoping today will be even better.

        • Carolyn says

          Good to hear last night was good. Sounds like the ginger gum is a great save. Seems like things are progressing! Great!

    • says

      Debbie, when I do have reflux, I take ACV in water, and that USUALLY will take care of it. I also sleep half sitting up. I usually only get it bad if I over eat.

      You could maybe keep some TUMS on hand?

  80. says

    I believe everything happens for a reason…And the Good Lord meant for me to find your blog tonight…I have been on some sort of H2 blocker or PPI since having my gallbladder out in 1995 at the age of 43. I never seem to have a problem until March 2009 when I had rotar cuff surgery which resulted in a paracardiam infection as a result of the lack of a prophilactic antibiotic that should have been given to me either before, after or during the surgery….When discovered, I was given antibiotics to get rid of it, which then resulted in a serious diahrrea called cediff,I then had for almost 6 months, that left me with 3 serious blockages in my colon, having to take an anti-spasmatic drug, called Bentyl for the next year so I could keep food in for more than 10 mintes…I also had to take a pharmaceutical strength of probiotic called VSL#3, 3 times a day, Which I still take one per day for my NOW severe IBS….During all of this, My gorgeous light auburn hair turned white in months, fell out insome alopecia spots withalso a drastic thinning, and my eyebrows have fallen out….All due to the COMPLETE destruction of my vitamin D and B12 levels…My doctor told me last month that my blood calcium and magnesium levels were low, and that my Vitamin D level was still at a 20, and that I was to continue to take 2000 units of Vitamin D per day and add a Boost drink and try and get at least 20 minutes of sun, because he wan’t to get it above 50(normal is 35)before winter really set in, Then said he would recheck my blood in December. Welllll, This week I began to hurt so bad in my hips that I could hardly walk, get up from a sitting position after just doing a procedure in. My skincare business….I called my doctor’s office and they sent me to get bloodwork done yesterday, and I see my doctor on Monday….My insurance won’t pay for another body bone scan until next May 2013, but the one I had in May 2011 showed I had some deterioration of my right hip, and I am now having the same pain in my left hip….I’ve googled to see what the longterm side effects of these GERD drugs are….And I think the reason my hair, brows and bones have NEVER restored themselves back to normal…Or near normal…Is that these drugs have either prevented my body from absorbing ALL the vitamin supplements I’ve been taking, Or downright Stripping my body of them !! As I said, I do skincare for a living, and have cryed just looking into the mirror seeing the toll ALL of this has taken on my skin, looks in general….I just thank God for the Wonderful Loving Husband I have, Who has been such a pillar of strength for me through all of these past 3 years….I can’t wait now to tell my doctor on Monday about what I have read on your blog, and how it ALL makes sooo much sense ! I just feel, that if I can get off of Nexium, which I have Only been on for 10 days, because it is the NEW replacement for Dexilant/Kapidex that I took for 3 yrs that I became allergic too…My body could FINALLY begin to absorb the vital vitamins and nutrients that I desperately NEED to RESTORE my hair,skin and bones….I just turned 60, and ostioporosis and other arthritis disorders run in my family…..Thank You Again, This information was really a Godsend !

    • says

      Ruth, my gosh, what a trial. I am so sorry you’ve been thru all of this. Your issues do sound severe, and I’m not sure your doc is gonna love getting info from some housewife on the internet, lol. You may want to bring him the Mercola article and others – which might have some merit.

      I would also recommend looking into the GAPS diet. Managing these issues with diet can be done, but some people have to make drastic changes. Do you like to cook? Bone broth from healthy, pastured chicken and beef is a wonderful source of vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals and also is very soothing to the digestive system. That is the basis of the GAPS diet. They eliminate grains and dairy at first and slowly add them back – but only certain kinds. It’s quite a commitment, so much so that I’ve never taken the plunge, but those who have done it have had marvelous results.

      Best of luck to you. Please keep in touch.

  81. joan says

    TO Gramma,

    you can buy empty gel caps at a vitamin store. if your nexium is in a capsule with granules. you can open it up, take some out and put the extra in a gelcap that you buy.

    that is how I got off. went to 7/8, then 3/4′s then 5/6s then 1/2, etc. etc. sometimes I bounced back and forth. took a long time but I got off and plan ot stay off.

    need to be able to find entries in chronological order not all over the place.

  82. says

    Hi Jo-Lynne!
    I actually found your post by google search. It’s funny how pregnancy brings out all of this drama in our systems. I had gastritis when I was 22, had an upper gi, took a break from coffee and went on prevacid until I was better. Now after I had Ryan I had another flareup. But it’s not just that. I started a low-carb diet in June, was fine for a few weeks then mahem. Went off diet, and it eventually got better. Now I just started up again a week ago and last night I was in agony yet again. It seems like I’m experiencing the opposite symptoms when it comes to carbs. When I give up starchy foods, breads, etc. I have another flareup. I do still eat fruits and vegetables, and I eat lean meats. Oddly, coffee doesn’t seem to bother me- though who knows. I wonder if it’s the acid in cheese, because now that I was doing low carb I was able to enjoy some full-fat cheese. I am feeling very frustrated, because I feel like over the summer the summer the only thing the dr cared about was booking me for another upper endoscopy in his office. Doesn’t seem very concerned about making me feel better.

    I’m slowly reintroducing bread and such – I feel much better eating pasta, bread etc. I’m bummed because I was on a roll with losing the baby weight, but I guess I’ll have to find another way.

  83. Hans says

    Jo-Lynne,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will give you abridged version of my 8 year Nexium adventure and then I have a question. It started in 2003 with bad heartburn. Went to the doc and they put me on aciphex. 3 months later went back because it wasn’t working so they put me on Nexium. Nexium 40mg/day worked great until 2005 when I started to get light chest pains and intestinal cramps. Since 2005 I have had multiple upper GI’s, scopes, scans, blood work, stress tests, EKG’s, etc… for all things from gallbladder, post nasal drip, hiatal hernia, GERD, angina, etc… and all this time no doc has ever suggested to take me off the Nexium. I guess I just have been blind to accept that the PPI would cause this must chest pain. I am finally FED UP! Either its all in my head or the Nexium is causing all my problems. I have a few hurdles to overcome such as coffee, smoking and occasional alcoholic beverages….but I am READY for this pain to end!!!

    My question is… was there anything you used to assist the weaning process? You can’t break a Nexium capsule in half so what I was thinking is to stop Nexium and start Zantac 150′s which I have a 90 day supply. I could take the full dose (150) for a week then break in half for week two….an then quarters until symptoms dissolve. All the while changing my lifestyle and diet. I just don’t want to deal with the 8 year rebound from this full force and assume that Zantac could be a good solution to overcome this.

    Thanks again and I hope to be in feeling like you do very soon.
    Sincerely,
    Hans :)

    • joan says

      hans,

      You can buy gel-caps – empty capsules at a vitamin store. then you open up the nexium onto a piece of lined paper. shove some of it off onto a plate. ( maybe 1/8 or a 1/4 ) and put the rest in the empty gel cap. you can keep downsizing this way, maybe reducing the dose a week at a time. doens’t matter if what you scrap off is exactly the same.

      Once you scrap off 1/4 from 3 capsules you have enough for another empty gelcap. I did this, it took months, and occasionally had to go back up for a day or so to the previous does but eventually got off. take it slow!!!

      • Hans says

        Joan,

        Thank you for the super fast reply. I currently live in Italy and have no access to a Rite-Aid, Walgreens or CVS so I think the capsule idea is probably out. Italian pharmacies are very difficult to deal with. I will try the Zantac and maybe sprinkle half capsule Nexium in some applesauce if needed. I just need to be rid of this pain. It has taken a toll on me, my family and our social life.

        Thanks again,
        Hans

  84. Laura says

    I just finished listening to Dr. Weil on Dr. Oz about usind DGL for acid reflux. I have been on NEXIUM for over 3 years now and am sick of it. If I miss a dose I really feel the acid badly. I want to start using DGL but do I use it while I am still on NEXIUM until I feel I can handle the reflux without the NEXIUM? OR do I stop NEXIUM cold turkey and use the DGL very confusing for me. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  85. Linda Redden says

    I just was told by my pharmacy that my copayment for nexium will be $478. I’m retired widow After reading your experiences I think this is truly for me. I’ve taken this drug for 15 to 20 years. I eat too many carbs, I’m gonna try the natural way. Glad I read so I didn’t just quit cold turkey. Thanks for sharing your experience. God Bless,

  86. Tara says

    I will sum up my issue as quickly as I can. No appetite came on slowly. Had pneumonia. 3 different antibiotics. Blood in stool after a bout of diarhea. Basic liquid diet since Sept due to what started out as feeling full after only a bite or two and then felt like rocks being dumped into the digestive tract, and finally horrible pain if I eat solids. Scope showed patchy gastritis. Have taken omeprozole and then Nexium since late Sept but I NEVER had heartburn until I started taking that. I ate part of a sandwich tonight and the heartburn is horrible but the gnawing, scraping pain hasn’t gotten bad yet. I didn’t eat a highly processed diet. I was very health oriented before this hit. I also have taken probiotics for a year, ate lots of greek yogurt, used coconut oil, etc. Not sure if I can just stop the Nexium or if I need to wean off of it. I will discuss this with my primary doc when I see him next week because I see no sense in taking something that causes me to have indigestion that I didn’t have before. Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks and God Bless you for sharing your story.

    • says

      Hi Tara, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. Definitely get help weaning off, the kickback can be rough and it sounds like you are already not feeling well. Be prepared that the doctor might blow you off. You may have to ask around to find one who will help you get to the bottom of what is causing your problems, but definitely don’t do it on your own. I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted.

  87. Denise says

    I am so glad I found your article this morning. About three weeks ago my doctor took me off Nexium after being on that and aciphex for more than 10 years. I wasn’t told to go off gradually but common sense should have told me to do it that way. She prescribed Zantac for me to take at bedtime instead. But as soon as I quit the Nexium I have been so misreable. I didn’t know what was happening. Heartburn so bad, bloating,sweating profusely after eating, pain in my belly and pressure when I would urinate and have a bowel movement. I could hardly eat anything without suffering. I would take gas-x to try and relieve some of the gas and I would take Zantac twice a day instead of just at bedtime. Things have gradually been subsiding and I feel a little better but I wish I would have found your article sooner. Would have saved me a lot of suffering and I would have probably gotten more sleep. I plan to set your suggestions in motion starting today and plan to feel even better. Thanks so much again.

      • Denise says

        Thanks! I have started some probiotics but still having problems. In fact today after I had lunch and went back to work I was pretty misreable. I took a zantac for now and it’s eased up some. I also got up this morning with swelling in my right leg. Which probably increased due to being on my feet all day. Not sure what’s causing that but anyways have an appointment with my regular doctor next Thursday to see what I can do to relieve some or all of this. Thanks again. ;)

  88. Greg says

    A couple things here. First, I am up this late/early since I have done the stupid and tried to go off the Nexium cold turkey. This is my 3rd day without it and the acid feels like it is playing out a reenactment of Mt Vesuvius in my stomach. I see a lot of the people on here seem to have problems with the entire intestinal tract. Mine is basically just the stomach up. I have had acid reflux since I was in high school and am 47 now. I suffered with it and made due as best I could with Maalox, Rolaids and Tums. Then one of my military doctors prescribed Aciphex for me. I was amazed at how well it worked. Then Aciphex became too expensive so the military removed it from their formulary and I ended up on Nexium. Now that I am retired and moved back to Oregon, I have a new doctor and she mentioned the side effect of blocking calcium absorption. Looking to see how others may have weaned themselves off Nexium.

    I never saw an explanation of what ACV with mother in it was. What exactly is mother? I was told at one point about it being good for your overall health but it was raw apple cider vinegar that still had the live culture in it.

    I would make one more mention about weaning off this medicine. If you are taking other medicines make sure that your doctor is aware of it. It can effect how your body absorbs other medicines as well so you may end up taking more of a different medicine than needed if you wean off this. Just an observation.

      • Greg says

        I am still struggling but doing my best. There was a site that made a suggestion of using a little apple juice and organic stevia to flavor the ACV. Not being a big fan of apple juice I haven’t tried that but I have added the stevia to it and have actually found that I like drinking this and it doesn’t burn my stomach like soda. I am cautious as I don’t want to drink too much of it but it does taste good (to me at least).

  89. Jay says

    I too started having heartburn after my first pregnancy. It continued for 20 years. Then I started taking nexium. If I miss two doses, my heartburn is worse than it has ever been. I want to get off nexium very badly, but the pain has always been too great. I would like to wean myself off it. Since I take a 20 mg capsule, I am wondering if I should open the capsule and take some out, or try every other day. Any ideas?

    • Jay says

      I went back and read more comments and am trying to use the little empty capsules to try half a dose. I want to thank you for this blog! It has given me the courage to try to get off nexium for good. After reading more comments I recognize more symptoms that can be attributed to the side effects of nexium.

        • Jay says

          I have taken about half a dose of nexium for 5 days with very little heartburn! I sipped plain water in the evening when I felt a little heartburn. I have not taken any digestive enzymes, but I have been eating Greek yougert for breakfast with some fish oil and flaxseed oil for an anti-inflammatory boost. (I put in a lot of cinnamon for flavor.)
          I am very happy and excited to have made it to day 5! I am deeply thankful for yor blog Jo-Lynne! Thank you for your support!
          Jay

  90. Ruth says

    Jo-Lynne, I am sooo excited to get back to you with the wonderful report I got from my doctor this past Monday, Just 7 weeks today that I found your blog ! Both my endocrinologist and gastroenologist agreed to let me go off of the last PPI I had been on,Nexium, which was NOT agreeing with me, and I had become severely allergic to ALL of the others on the market over the past 10 yrs. My gastroenologist had said that when he prescribed Pepcid for me 10 yrs ago for peptic stomach ulcers, that he only intended me to be on it for 7 WEEKS…NOT for the rest of my life…He went onto say that he gets soooo upset with the doctors, like my MD at the time, who continued to keep me on the Pepcid, that went onto other stronger H2 and PPI drugs. He said that doctors write far to many unnecessary prescriptions for such drugs ! So the ONLY other drug I was on was my synthroid for hypothyroidism. So for the first 2 weeks I completely stopped the Nexium and started taking 40mg of Pepcid at night before bed, and then lowered that to 20mg for 2 weeks, then every other day for 2 weeks. From the first day I have taken a “Digest More” brand digestive enzyme capsule with Every meal, and an absolute MUST, Chew 2 DGL licorice tablets before each meal , which is nothing short of MIRACULOUS for my heartburn…I have also found that sprinkling Cinnamon on toast, apple, apple sauce or even Chai tea which has both Cinnamon and Ginger are GREAT for heartburn ! I chew 2 DGL tablets before going to bed and am usually heartburn free….Rarely have I had to use a Tums…But am still looking for the better alternative to Tums, Axia 3, that has Sodium bicarbonate and the 3 main digestive enzymes in them….I do also take the pharmaceutical strength probiotic 1X day, 1 capsule of VSL because I am still on many vitamins including iron that cause constipation. But the Great NEWS is…In jus 6 weeks of being off of the PPI’s my Vitamin D level has risen from 20 to 37 and my para-thyroid level has dropped back down from 7.5 to 4, which means that my bones are NOLONGER being stripped of calcium, my blood calcium levels and B12 levels are ALL back in Normal range !!! This is the FIRST time in OVER 2 years. Both my doctors are ecstatic, and want me to continue. To remain OFF of the H2 and PPI drugs….I am continuing to take 50,000 IU. Capsule everyother week, but upped the daily vitamin D from 2000IU to 4000IU per day, but eliminated the one Boost I was drinking each day, I also take 1000IU of Vit B12 and Biotin Forte supplement for hair regrowth and a One A Day multiple Vitamin. The doctors want to get my vitamin D to a consistant level of 50 for 6 months to see if my eyebrows and hair will return…They said that they should at that time….Sorry that this is soooo long, But I can’t begin to thank YOU for your blog, and OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST that led me to you….I haven’t felt this good in years, I’m sleeping better, my IBS is so much better NO Diahrrea….I just hope and pray that soooo many more people find you before they develop osteoporosis…I was just knocking at the door…I’m still alittle sore sometimes in my hips, but SOooo much better , and getting Better Everyday ! God Bless You Jo-Lynne !!!

    • Laura Munroe says

      OMG that is so much to take in. I have to really study this post! My doc put me on PPI in June 2009 and said I would be on for the rest of my life. I asked to go see a specialist and she refused. I have to insist I am tired of taking this Nexium. As you say I have to make sure I take a lot of calcium and Vitamin D. Not sure I am taking the right Calcium also I just learned that some types are not absorbed properly. Mind you the Nexium does work no problems but if I miss a dose oh boy the acid is 3 fold! Thanks for posting.

  91. says

    I used to take nexium/others to stop GERD and then I tried apple cider complete pills from GNC which when taken at the first sign of indigestion, generally work every time. Try it. It worked for me.

    • Laura says

      Do you take the apple cider pills every day like Nexium or do you wait for acid reflux to occur? or do you take before or after meals? Thanks.

  92. Julie says

    Hello, I went to the doctor a little over a year ago because my throat felt tight. After I got an edoscopy (where he dilated my esophogas) I was told I had acid reflux and began taking a ppi. I didn’t have any other symptions, such as heartburn. I just went back(a year later) with the same feeling in my throat…and received another esophagus dilation. Now a few months after, I am feeling worse than I had in the beginning. I’ve been taking dexilant for a year…and just recently switched to nexium. i have this awful feeling of fullness in my stomach after eating. I can no longer tolerate alcohol or caffeine, which I never had a problem with before.

    I’ve now had a series of tests done and blood work, all normal. I am about to undergo a gastric emptying test….if this is positive, another medicine would be prescribed. I want to stop taking my ppi eventhough my doctor persists I take it. I am only 31 years old, with no kids and hope to have some in the future if my stomach issue ever gets better.

    Your story is inspiring…I hope to have as good of results!

    • says

      Oh, Julie, that sounds horrendous. If I were you, I would try to find a different doctor. I went thru the gastric emptying test, and mine was neg. They could never find anything wrong with me. I am not a doctor or a medical professional, but my advice is to find a qualified medial person who will help you wean off the meds and manage your symptoms with diet and lifestyle. You just have to be willing to see it through, because it does take a commitment, but it is SO much better than being on drugs that are going to complicate matters and cause other issues. I wish you luck. Keep us posted!

      • Julie says

        Hey Jo-Lynne, my gastric emptying test was also normal. It seems they can’t find a reason for my symptoms that sound just like yours did. I am still having pain in my upper stomach mostly after eating. I have sense cut out processed foods and am going to a new doctor on Monday. Its sometimes hard for me to eat, knowing how i might feel afterwards. Ive even lost some weight, which is also worrying me some.

        I might try this apple vinegar remedy….at this point I’ll try anything! I’m also looking for a natural doctor. I’ll keep u posted but your story gives me hope as I feel like no one really understands what I’m going through.

        Thanks!

          • Julie says

            Hi, I wanted to give you an update. So I went to a new dr who ordered a bravo ph test….and I had to stop taking my nexxium for the test. So the 2nd day off nexxium I had the worst reflux I EVER had! I felt so dependent on the medicine, that it was as if I needed it…..but I didn’t take it. So a few days passed and I started feeling better….a lot of the symptoms I had on nexxium started going away!

            Long story short, the test showed minimal reflux and I was cleared to go off nexxium! I’ve been off of it for about 3 weeks and am feeling better than I have in months! I will never rely so heavily on medicine again….hope to get back to normal very soon :).

            Thanks again for your story and support!

            • Natalie says

              Interesting. I had the same PH test after being on Zegerid for 1 year and it showed no reflux. I have now changed my diet so I try not to eat anything out of a box… anything made with flour. It’s amazing how my stomach issues got better and the metallic taste almost went completely away. Today I was bad and had bagels and some other foods with preservatives and I have been uncomfortable all night along with the severe metallic taste. I think I’m on to something….

              • Julie says

                Hey Natalie…sounds very similar as to what I am going through. I never thought I had a problem with carbs or processed foods. However I have noticed lately that whole-wheat flour and foods with wheat gluten have been causing me discomfort. I have cut out most processed foods…but like you I love bagels!! I am seriously considering cutting out gluten for a while to see how I feel….eventhough I tested negative for celiac. We may be on to something here……haha.

  93. teri says

    Hi Jo-Lynne!
    It seems as though this is a very important subject (huge amt of responses). Although I have never had gerd, I’ve been trying to help my hubby over the last20 years with it. About 5 years ago, we changed our oils and a lot of our eating habits, adding an apple a day (ya know, it keeps the doctor away!!). Well, that helped him greatly! Recently we learned about the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (2tsp in 8oz water 3x a day) to keep away the flu and colds! Oh my, that works great!!! When all around us are ill, we (Praise the Lord!) are still illness free! BUT, NO MORE GERD for hubby—NONE!! That stuff is amazing! Oh, and for the squeamish who aren’t able to handle the taste, just add 3 or 4 drops of Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia (vanilla flavor)–oh my! It actually is a taste I look forward to–reminds me of my Mama’s German Potato Salad!

    • says

      Hi Teri. that is what I use – the Braggs. Although I put a couple teaspoons in just a LITTLE BIT of water, swig it, and then immediately down a glass of plain water. It’s the only way I can get it down. The stevia trick is nifty though!

      • CM says

        Hi Jo-Lynne,

        Thanks so much for this article. It was a strong push in the right direction for me to finally get off of Prevacid. Initially I had pretty severe reflux after stopping the PPI (but not the stomach pain I had that prompted me to first start taking medication for gastritis and reflux). I assumed this was rebound acidity, but now I think that was incorrect and it was just now-acidic stomach contents backing up into my esophagus. I started taking HCL supplements (just one day after taking a double doze of Zantac extra strength to tame my supposed “rebound” acid), and I felt so much better. My stomach felt lighter and it didn’t feel like my meals were sitting so heavily in my stomach. The reflux was much less; and sometimes I have none. For people supplementing with HCL and not seeing enough improvement: try taking more. I find I need 7 x 650mg capsules for just about every meal—less and I don’t feel as good. I haven’t had much success stimulating my own acid production with bitters or apple cider vinegar. Also, be careful not to drink much liquid during or right before a meal if you think you have low stomach acid; it can overdilute your acid and make it less effective.

        My current regimen, in addition to the HCL supplements (which have made the biggest difference for me), includes DGL capsules, digestive enzymes, and Zinc-Carnosine (which is clinically proven to coat the stomach and kill H. Pylori). I started following the SCD diet, but did find it awfully limiting, and I was still having reflux. I recently found this article comparing and critiquing different diets in terms of GERD, which is ever so helpful: http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2012/08/17/sibo-diet-and-digestive-health/

        I’ve ordered the book “Fast Tract Digestion” and am hopeful it will help me as much as it helped participants in the study of the diet , Amazon book reviewers, and blog commenters. The basic premise is that SIBO is to blame for GERD and can be eliminated or tamed down through diet (and maybe also acid supplementation). One thing I’ve learned from the author is to cut back on fruit, especially bananas and apples and any juices, because they are all really high in fructose, which feeds gas-producing bacteria that create that bloated feeling and reflux.

        I hope this information helps you and your readers! I’ll report back once I receive the book and have had a chance to follow the diet for a bit.

        Best,
        CM

        • CM says

          Oh, I forgot to mention: I also have drastically upped my consumption of natural probiotics: homemade 24-hr. yogurt (per the SCD guidelines), purchased kimchi, naturally fermented sauerkraut, Bubbie’s cultured pickles, kombucha, homemade beet kvass, etc. All really good for the stomach and gut!

        • Lee Tipton says

          @ CM says:
          Dear CM and anybody else that is experiencing hair loss. 16 years ago my husband of 25 years passed away. He was terribly ill and one of the things that happened right before he died was his hair fell out. He was going blind by then and could not see it on his pillow – but I could. After his death I started to lose my hair – they said is was psychosomatic – it was from watching him die for 10 years. My sister told me to use castor oil on my head – AND IT WORKED!! just buy yourself a bottle of castor oil and rub it on your scalp, put on a shower cap and sleep with it – wash your hair in the morning. I do it at least once a month. It worked for me and I have a bunch of the ladies that go to church with me using it now. Good luck everyone. ~~Lee

  94. Lee Tipton says

    Dear Jo-Lynne, I am a 59 y/o female that had a couple discs removed from my neck in 2004. In the process they damaged my esophagus and paralyzed my left vocal chord. I got to coughing really badly, so they put a scope down there and did a swallowing study and diagnosed me with GERD. That was in 2005, I have been on Orampezole ever since – 20 mg per day. I also have diverticulosis which infected recently. I went without food except jello, broth and gatorade for a week. I looked like I was 8 months pregnant. I am too heavy – but anyone that goes without food for a week should lose some weight – NOT ME!! One of my issues is the distended stomach and I HATE IT! I am 10 days out from the diverticulitis attack and feeling better each day. I am tackling this orampezole habit that they seem happy to let me have. I went last night and bought some tablets of Orampezole that I can cut in half. I did that and I have bought some apple cider vinegar and sweetner to go with it. I will start that today. The bout of diverticulitis has left me on a careful diet, so I will be losing weight accordingly. I am pretty good about exercising and spring is just around the corner. All systems are go for me to do this now. And I have an upcoming physical – so I will tell my doctor what I am doing. He won’t be happy – but this is my body. Osteoporosis is not something I want to have issues with when I finally get to retire!!! WISH ME LUCK PLEASE. ALL PRAYERS GLADLY ACCEPTED!!!
    Most of all – Thank You for the encouragement you have given me. And thank YOU God for the many blessings on my life. ~~~Lee Tipton

      • Lee Tipton says

        Day #2 on the Orampezole Wean Off!!! I went last night and got the Braggs ACV with Mother – WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! However – the only way I can do this is to put a little agave nectar in the stuff. I am doing the 2 tablespoons / 3 times per day routine using 8 ounces of water with the mixture. I am down to 1 cup of coffee in the morning – but I am not giving that up unless my symptoms get much worse. I am also using the Aloe Vera juice to help heal my colon after the attack of diverticulitis. I was bad last night and took my baby girl to Panda Express – so I will see what the day brings. I have been being very good about my diet – but over ate last night. I am working on losing 100 pounds – that is my goal and I am going to do it this year. I have given myself the year to do this – but I know I can.
        Good luck to all. Our health is what allows us to function – it should be important to us all. Please touch these people Dear Lord, rain down Your mercy on them and their health. Amen!!

  95. Eric says

    Kelly,
    You are a life saver, I read your blog a week ago – I have been on nexium 40mg for the last year. Dr told me I will be on it all my life – after reading your blog on healthy eating, avoiding starch foods, sugars etc and eating mostly home made food – I was desperate and got on it right away, I was looking for anything, anything……..that would work. My side effects were irritation, muscle twitch, confusion and this was not very good for my family. I can report that I have been completely off nexium for a week without any problems – non at all. I will report back in a couple months. Thanks for your help and I hope others could try this.

  96. Lee tipton says

    I agree with Eric, Jan you are a life saver. just knowing that others have done this is such a relief.
    thank you so much.

  97. Roikus says

    Hi,

    I apologize at the beginning of the email for any english mistakes as it is not my first language ;) I read your blog article about stopping Nexium. You can’t imagine how good I felt reading it.

    I’m currently 29. Six years ago, when Tums were not working anymore, a doctor prescribed Prevacid to me. After a couple of weeks when I stopped it, the acid reflux started again. So they continued the prescription.

    I then started having pain below my ribcage on my right. They associated that with the acid problems and asked for radiography (Barium Follow-Through). I continued the use of Prevacid. In a period of 6 years, I had another Barium Follow-Through, radiographies, blood samples, a gastroscopy, a CT-Scan and two ultrasounds. At some point, the pain started to spread to my back and shoulder, I knew it was something about my Gallbladder and not related to my stomach. That’s why they had ultrasounds (for stones in the gallbladder), but they found nothing. Some doctors told me it was in my head, that it was stress and some others told me it was muscular. One even told me that I just had to stop thinking about it and that the pain would go away. I googled so many things. I was not feeling well on random times and it was really playing on my morale. My doctor assured me that Nexium was safe and that I might just check later if I was lacking vitamins.

    I went to see an osteopath who used to be a doctor in her home country. She listened to me. Told me it was a gallbladder issue. I said to her that they found nothing. She said that was ok, but it didn’t mean it was not a gallbladder issue. At some point, she pressed on it. The pain was the same I had been feeling for 6 years. She asked me if that was it. I said yes. She said that she told me it was my gallbladder. She also told me I had fibrilation (muscle twitches) from lack of magnesium and that I was low on Vitamin B. Going to see an osteopath was very hard for me. I’m an engineer and I usually follow the logic and scientific side. But everything she said was so logical.

    From that point I knew that I had a gallbladder problem outside my gerd (just from when she physically pressed on it). I started reading online (like a did so many times) and at some point I decided to google: Proton Pump Inhibitor Gallbladder. I found a bunch of articles and a study (Proton Pump Inhibitor May Reduce Gallbladder Function – http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/503676). What it was causing to gallbladders of the test subjects after 30 days of PPI was matching the symptoms I had for 6 years. I continued to look on PPI side effects. Lack of magnesium, lack of Vitamin B and the list goes on. I decided I needed to go off that medication that was supposed to be given for 2 weeks. I have a prescription to get rid of the Helicobacter Pylori. I don’t know if it’s the cause of my gerd, but we can’t know from the blood samples since it can be false positives from the Nexium. I will take the prescribed medication and then I will slowly lower my intake of Nexium.

    I am really scared. My doctor told me so many times that I would probably have to take that forever and I hope I will not get an ulcer or worse from the acid. I will take half the medication off and after two weeks I will take 1 every two days. After two weeks I will stop, but control with Zantac. I will take DGL before each meal, eat so many apples :) probiotics and yogourt. But I’m still scared of the acid reflux or worst that my gallbladder doesn’t heal. Would you recommend anything on the schedule or on stuff I should take to make the acidity go away?

    Your blog was the best one I saw so far with explanations of your story and how you managed to go through it. It was the one of the first time I saw so much information from people who took these medication like me for several years and not weeks or months.

    Sometimes people write things on the Internet and they don’t realize how helpfull it is to someone else. Thank you a lot.

    Have a nice day

    • says

      Hi Roikus. I definitely recommend trying the apple cider vinegar if you can tolerate it. I think it helps tremendously.

      It sounds like you have a great resource in your osteopath. I would definitely see if she can help you wean off the Nexium in a way that won’t cause any further damage. Let us know how it goes.

  98. Lydia says

    I have been on this med for 20 yrs .. when I stopped the med I get very sick .. I can barely take the withdraws .. how do I cut it back when it is in capsule ,, I take one a day .. I was told to take 2 a day but never did .. I am desperate to get off this med .. It was mentioned in the Dr OZ show today .. that is can cause fatigue .. which I have a big problem with as well ..

    • Joan says

      open the capsules and pour some out. buy gelcaps if you can at a vitamin store or on line and take what you pour out and make smaller doses.

      i went down to 7/8′s for a week or so and then 3/4s etc. etc. took months but I got off.

      used tagamet occasionally but no apple cider vinegar or other pills.

    • Lee Tipton says

      @Lydia. Hi Lydia, I also used the capsules of Orampezole – 20 mg capsules. At Walmart right now they have the hard pills of Orampezole 20 mg. Their price is less than $20 for 3 bottles – I am not sure how many in each bottle. Then I just cut the pills in half with a pill splitter. I started last Wednesday and am still on the 10 mg per day. I am also taking the apple cider vinegar (bragg’s) 3 times per day and I am using probiotics too. I will do this for 10 days or 2 weeks – depending on if I have any symptoms. Then I will cut the 10 mg in half again (down to 5) and stay there for another 10 days. I want to give my body plenty of time to adjust to the wean off. I intend to stay off of them permanently if I can. but you must be careful. untreated GERD – severe enought to give you symptoms can cause esophageal cancer – and that is nothing to mess with. We each have to watch for the symptoms to return. I figured I would give it a few months – even 6 or so and ask them to repeat the tests that caused them to put me on the stuff in the first place.
      Good luck to you,
      Lee Tipton

  99. lizzy says

    Hi @everyone! Just checking to see how you all are doing. WOW !this post has really taken off in the response department. I have a question for you all: since weaning off the medication have any of you continued to suffer from symptoms of GERD, and have you gone to see the doctor to make sure it isn’t causing damage to your esophagus? Silent reflux also causes damage, I know that is what happened to me. I have since weaned off all PPI medication, I still take tums or zantac when needed. Apple Cider Vinegar has since become an acquaintance, but DGL is my best friend.

    • Lee Tipton says

      @lizzy: May I inquire as to what DGL is? Sorry – but I did not even know that ACV stood for apple cider vinegar – so please don’t be offended. I went off the orampezole last Wednesday – tomorrow will be 1 week. I am using a pill cutter and cutting 20 mg pills down to 10 mg. I am also using the ACV with mother and probiotics. My original symptoms were coughing. I had a major surgery and in the process they paralyzed my left vocal chord and damaged my esophagus. As I recovered – I developed a cough. They did a scope and a swallowing study and diagnosed me with GERD – that was 8 years ago. I have been on orampezole ever since. A recent bout with diverticulitis has caused me to start paying attention to my health and I am weaning off the nexium/orampazole. I will have another scope done this year just to make sure I can stay off safely. You are absolutely correct – silent GERD can kill you. Your esophagus takes only so much before it will be damaged forever. It is something that we all need to be conscious of and make sure we are aware of what is going on in there. I had a brother in law die from esophageal problems – he bled to death before they could stop the bleeding in his esophagus. WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!!

      Good luck to you and everyone else in this battle.
      Lee Tipton

      • lizzy says

        @Tipton, Hi Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is used for chronic indigestion, heartburn, among other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Dr. Oz had Dr. Weil on his show and Weil recommend DGL for heartburn. It helps heal the lining of the stomach and the esophagus (google is our friend). I have been taking DGL on and off on recommendation from a friend who works at GNC. Before I was diagnosed my symptoms were bloating and fullness,DR prescribed over the counter prilosec. Took that for a month, after being off for a couple of months, I started suffering from unbearable, non-stop heartburn! I’ve tried just about every PPI under the sun, and nothing was relieving the heartburn which was main and only symptom (this time). I then had an upper-endoscopy and colonoscopy and everything was clear, Except for small hitial hernia, GERD (i think) and mild Esophagitis (inflammation), hence the never-ending heartburn. I was then prescribed Dexilant (60mgs) for a little over 6 months and that cured my Esophagitis(2nd upper endoscopy confirmed). Moving forward, I had the help of a pharmacist help me wean of prevacid (took after dexilant) and that took me a couple of good three months. I wanted to make sure I did the weaning off slowly, with the help of Zantac, tums, and DGL. I am still not 100% but I am way better off the horrid medication, that healed me but made me feel horrible. I plan on having another Upper-endoscopy this summer to make sure I have no inflammation in my esophagus.

        • Lee Tipton says

          @ Lizzy: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I will look for DGL on GNC – I love that place. It is the only place I could find the Bragg’s ACV where I live.

          I wish you the best of luck with the esophageal situation. Scary stuff. But you sound like a gal that knows what she is doing and does what it takes to stay informed.

          May God Bless.
          Lee Tipton

  100. Ali says

    Hi Jo Lynne,

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m glad I’m not the only one who seems to have had a damaged stomach from pregnancy that just seemed to get worse. I’ve been wondering if maybe it was all in my head and I was just wanting attention or something, but no! I’m not crazy and yes, I’m too young to be having such crazy health problems. I’m very relieved that it’s a simple – not easy – fix. Eating healthy!

    Note that I am 26 years old and a student – one year and a semester left!!! I had the same problems that started DURING my pregnancy with my first who is now 2 years old. I NEVER threw up until my third trimester – from heartburn and slow digestion – it was THAT bad. Since the pregnancy I’ve had horrible stomach pains, nausea, severe heartburn to the point of vomiting, chunky burps, name it! Didn’t figure out what was happening until I nearly ended up in the hospital with heart attack like symptoms. Note that esophagus spasm symptoms and heart attack symptoms are identical to the ‘t’. If this happens it is VERY important to get checked out IMMEDIATELY no matter what! It could easily be either one, but is difficult to tell without tests! Pretty scary thought for a 26 year old! Anyway, got rid of some H. Pylori that gave me horrible stomach ulcers, caused esophagus spasms, oral canker sores the size of my thumbnail, and a pealing face – as if it was dry but was actually super oily. I took the quadruple treatment (2 heavy antibiotics, a PPI, and Bismotral) and noticed a difference within 12 hours! The canker sores shrank by nearly 50%, chest pains vanished, my face has returned, and I was able to eat nearly everything again. Finished up my treatment but the Doc wanted me to stay on the PPI for a while to allow my ulcers more time to heal – they were massive! It’s not every day you get ulcers that cause esphageal spasms! Anyway, things have slowly gotten worse. I started altering my diet a few weeks ago hoping that the slow digestion would improve, which it did a little, but now I’m back to feeling like I could open my mouth and you could see leftovers floating in the back of my mouth. It’s disgusting! I’ve started having additional problems just this week that I decided to research – VERY slow digestion (slower than during my pregnancy) and bloody stools. Just found out tonight (thank you internet!) that slow digestion and bloody stools (among MANY other things) are caused by the PPI I’ve been taking for the last 3 months – unnecessarily. My husband and I are convinced that I need to start weaning off of it NOW. I have an appointment to see my Doc tomorrow afternoon, who wanted to see me anyway after hearing I have been having bloody stools for about the last week. :-)

    Just wanted to say “thank you” again for sharing. It is always nice to know there is someone else out there who had their stomach problems kind start around pregnancy and gradually get worse until symptoms were severe. And it’s nice to know that this is surmountable! :-)

    • says

      Hi Ali, your situation does sound similar (I, too, only puked once in 3 pregnancies – during my 3rd trimester when the reflux got so bad). I hope you can get through this and wean off the meds, but definitely do it with the help of your doc. As many have said in this thread, GERD can be damaging if not treated. I am actually planning to go back to my gastroenterologist and get a scope to make sure everything looks alright. Keep us posted!

      • Ali says

        Ok so today I saw my doc. He was hesitant to tell me to get off Pratonix, but I told him I was experiencing even worse food intolerances on it than I had with Prevacid. (About 8 years ago I took Prevacid temporarily and it made me intolerant to ALL dairy until I went off it. But I can’t remember how long it took before I could eat dairy again without a problem.) So he told me to go off it. He really insisted on a bunch of testing to try and figure out where the bloody diarrhea was coming from – well, duh! Protonix! I looked up the side effects on multiple different websites! I decided to go the cheapest route first, and if I didn’t notice a difference within a week, then I’d cut out gluten. And if that won’t work, then I’ll go in for all the testing. Anyway, so I stopped taking the PPI LAST night and started the whole apple cider vinegar stuff right after dinner TONIGHT. Wow! I haven’t had one chunky burp! AND I had no blood in my stool all day! Just the runs. I could only get down about 4oz of vinegar before a small headache started to come on. Vinegar has always given me super small headaches but hey, it’s working so I’m going to keep this up, as well as transition my diet.

        By the way, how long does it generally take for the stomach to get back on track and eat food again – in wise amounts. I ask because there are some really good vegetables that I can’t eat/digest because the PPI made me intolerant to them (avacados, broccoli, beets, fresh spinach – my FAVORITE). It’s also made me intolerant to ALL dairy (except a couple SMALL spoonfuls of mint ice cream to calm my stomach) ALL meats, and MOST of my grain intake (can eat ONLY 2 or 3 SMALL pieces of toast a day, OR a SMALL handfull of pasta with veggies). On and one more intolerance that I’ve noticed – vitamins. I cannot take either potassium or magnesium since being the the PPI. Fruits are pretty safe. Before taking the PPI I was only intolerant to pork and beef – thanks to the pregnancy. But now I almost can’t eat anything and I feel like I’m starving to death! And it doesn’t help that I live in a super small town whose grocery store has a very limited selection of fruits and veggies that are already wilting or rotting from the inside out while still on the shelf!!! Have to drive half an hour south to another store to get decent fresh veggies and fruits. :-/

        Anyway, so does anyone remember how long it took them to start being able to eat food again after getting off their PPI?

        Thank you again Jo-Lynne and everyone else here!

        • says

          Hi Ali. It really depends on your body and how severe your problems are and how well you are treating them. I wish I could be more specific. You might want to look into the GAPS diet. It heals your body and relies on wholesome bone broths to keep you nourished.

      • Lindsay says

        Jo-Lynne and Ali,
        Jo-Lynne, awesome post!!!
        Same boat as you both After the birth of my First Child i was also plagued with horrible gi issues. That was 3 years ago, my second Child is now 5 months old and i am faced with the horrible gastrtrtis stomach aches again. Sitting on the fence about the nexium because it really helped last time. Jo Lynne, is your gastritis chronic? Are you saying ACV works for gastritis? So scared to try because of the burning. I Love Love Love my wine also but scared to enjoy some :( mainly just feeling super overwhelmed since I am only 34 and have 2 small kids that need me at my best, ideas on here are awesome! any extra advice would be amazing!

        • says

          Hey Lindsay, I believe what helped my gastritis is going off processed foods. It is when we radically changed our diet to real foods that most of my symptoms went away. I still have some occasional issues, mostly GERD related, but occasionally gastritis, but I gluten free living seems to help. I am currently reading Practical Paleo and I am seriously considering going for it. Definitely do your research and get a second opinion before going for meds. There are a lot of natural things you can do that work better, and heal the source of the issue, not cover it up and create other issues. But you don’t want to let it go untreated, as that can be dangerous as well. Good luck!

    • Lee Tipton says

      to Ali and Jo-Lynne: My goodness – I guess I got off easy when carrying my children – you poor, poor ladies!!! But I also am greatly concerned about my slow digestion – it is the single most reason that I am doing the wean off of the ppl. It was not until this recent bout with diverticulitis that this occurred to me and I am taking action now. I think my colon actually stopped functioning for a 10 day period during that bout of diverticulitis. It has been 2.5 weeks and I am just now able to have a bowel movement without any help from enemas or suppositories. And I have pretty good pains on my left side still.

      The most important thing is to keep in touch with your doctor. I will have my physical next week and we will be discussing my stopping the ppl. He won’t be happy about this I am sure. But I will ask for a scope to be done in about 4 months and we will see how things look down there. I am just happy that Jo-Lynne was here with encouragement that this can be done at all.

      Thank you Jo-Lynne.

      • Ali says

        Basically following what is believed to be the early hominid diet. Here’s a link for a quick answer. :-)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

        I have been able to quit cold turkey. It’s been 48 hours and nothing terrible. Of course I have been drinking apple cider vinegar like there’s no tomorrow! :-D That stuff is nasty even when diluted, but it sure works for me. :-)

  101. Greg says

    I have been struggling with this since December when I quit. I am looking at starting the paleo diet as well since my doctor wants me to go gluten free. I have drastically reduced my gluten intake as well as drinking the ACV. Something my doctor suggested, that she said has been helping her patients, is Gastromune AI. I started it today and am in hopes this will help as well though I am having less and less problems of course ensuring that I don’t eat within a couple hours of going to bed and having to cut out a lot of my milk and yogurt. http://kirkmanlabs.com/ProductKirkman/106/1/GastromuneAISupport-Hypoallergenic/

  102. Ms. Johnnie Harris says

    I am currently taking nexium. I understand that this drug depletes nutritional elements required. I make attempts to avoid ‘some’ of my nutritional depletion and Barret’s Esophogus symptoms by taking Nexium on alternate days. I have stomach pains almost daily. Atleast once a week, i e periencr acid reflux pain to the nth degree, projectile vomiting, and weakness along with shaking.

    Overall, I am healthy, not over or under weight, have no other health issues, and overall I eat right, however I am willing to change even more and make it my permanent life style. I will check into the links provided. If there is any other holistic approach information, I would certainly appreciate it.

  103. Marc Thompson says

    I started having problems with my stomach about a year ago. I had never had heartburn or any types of problems with my stomach before. Never even knew what heartburn felt like. I went to see an ENT because I always had a lump in my throat and he said he saw some reflux and put me on Pantaprozle. I didn’t see any improvement and I then went through several tests during the next few months including ecogram of my heart, stress test, gall bladder testing, and I was told by one doctor that I had appendicitis and my appendix was about to burst so I went to the emergency room where I was given a CT scan and nothing showed up. Luckily my deductible was met so I was not responsible for any of these test. One day I went to my regular doctor and she asked if I had been tested for H Pylori and I said no because I had never heard of it. I tested positive and was recommended to a GI specialist and given an endoscopy where he confirmed the H Pylori and discovered I had gastritis. I was put on medication and the H Pylori was gone after treatment but I was told to stay on Nexium for 6 more months. My stomach felt better but the lump in my throat would not go away. I went to refill the nexium and it was $200 for a months supply so I was switched to a different medicine and I was still not seeing improvements after two months after the H Pylori was gone, and this was around a year total that I had been on acid reducing medicine. A few days ago I was very close to contacting my doctor to see if there was anything else that I could do and I decided to stop taking the medicine just to see what it would do. Today is my third day without the medicine and I feel better than I have felt in months. I stated googling ways to improve my condition and I came across some websites stating the medicine could be the cause of the reflux which was causing the lump in my throat. My throat has been sore the past few days and my stomach has been hurting a little a times, but the symptoms are almost completely gone. I can tell a huge difference and I believe all the pain I am feeling is from being off the medicine, so I may try your suggestion and ween myself off of the drug. I have been frustrated for over a year trying to find out what was wrong, when in my opinion, and after reading this site, that the drugs actually made my condition worse. I am writing to see if anyone else has had H Pylori and what their experiences are with it. I was not familiar with it at all but the GI doctor acted like it was a terrible thing for the stomach to go through. Thank you for posting this blog and I am trying to improve my diet and I can already tell the difference doing that, as well as stopping the acid reducing drugs. I will be looking forward to anyone else that wants to comment and hopefully everyone can get their symptoms under control. Thanks again.

    • Lee Tipton says

      Dear Marc, It just amazes me how the medical profession toss around diagnosis after diagnosis – and all because they can’t figure out what is really happening to us. Although I have never had H Pylori – there are a lot of others on this post that have had it. I urge you to go back and read their stories – I am sure you will get a lot from them. In any case – I strongly urge you to read Jo Lynne’s original post. You have gone off the nexium too fast. you are probably experiencing the “rebound” effect. Yes – the medicine is bad for you and yes-the doctors leave us on it far too long. I was on the stuff for 8 years personally. But coming off of it too fast can throw you into an over-active acid churning situation that can cause more problems than you had in the beginning. wean yourself off slowly. I went from 20 mg down to 10 mg and stayed there for a month. Now I have cut the 10 mgs in half and am doing 5 mg a day. I will do this for a month. Give your body time to adjust. Use the Apple Cider Vinegar. The Braggs is the best and easiest to take. Dilute the heck out of it and use some sort of sweetner to be able to handle it. I have now developed a taste for it and I actually like the stuff. I guess that makes me a little weird – but hey?!?!?!? Eat apples – Jo-Lynne said this and it really does help. Try to stay away from processed foods and eat healthy. Leave the sugar alone. It is hard – but you will feel better in the long run. my deductible is paid up this year due to an attack of diverticulitis – so I have seen a dietician. I am definitely in her good graces when I told her that I am eating soup, salads and fruit – she was amazed that I knew all of this and I promply recommended that she visit this site. Good luck to you. If you have any more questions I am sure someone here can help you. ~~Lee

  104. Laetitia says

    I am SO glad I have stumbled across this blog. I am just about to begin this journey. I have been on these PPIs for 18 months now (on and off for the first 12 months). And you can guess it – about 6 months ago, the symptoms became much worse, and I had to increase my dosage. Around the same time, although Nexium had initially eradicated my symptoms, i started getting insomnia. I do not know if it is related or not, but some sites have suggested insomnia MAY be a side-effect. Do you know if the side effects from PPIs get worse with time? The insomnia is unbearable.

    Add to this my underlying niggling concerns about also being told that, at 33, I would have to be on this medication for the rest of my life. I am of a healthy weight range, don’t smoke, drink in moderation, eat very little in the way of highly processed/fatty foods, but I have to be on this now forever? It just didn’t add up. The reflux has been getting worse to the point that if I don’t take it in the morning, by lunch time I can feel the burn beginning. The doctor just said that is because GERD gets worse with age. But that the drug is perfectly safe to be on forever, and there are no real indications that it could cause long-term problems.

    But I just kept thinking, “we produce stomach acid for a reason, surely?!?!”. Then I read that it stops the absorption of vitamin B (particularly 12) and protein. Can be linked to Cancer (which runs in my family), and I need to put the breaks of this asap.

    So, becuase too many things don’t add up, and doctors and counsellors can’t understand my insomnia, and I’m at my whits’ end, and I want my health back, TODAY i made the decision to become Nexium-free! So, for a while at least, there will be no chocolate, no wine, no coffee. I have also looked up a whole stack of other dietary info to help and will try it all. I have mylanta at the ready and some digestive bitters with each meal.

    Thanks for your blog post. I will have a snoop around your blog site to see if there is any other useful information. And if you know of any other useful information, please let me know… :)

    Thanks a LOT!

  105. Shawn says

    Been on this crap for 15 yrs, and when I asked my GI doc about it keeping me from absorbing calcium, he said ” Which would you rather have, a broken bone or Gerd?” WTF????

    Thank you for this post and your research!!!!!!

    • laura munroe says

      I have been on coming on 4 years. Going for my annual checkup next week and one of the questions to my GP is: Can you please refer me to a GI? I cannot see myself for the rest of my life on Nexium. It is helping, but I have to take lots of calcium and vitamin D, even then I am not convinced that it will stop osteosporosis! I know I will get resistance from her…she doesnt like to refer anyone to specialists. I will use your GI’s response while speaking to my GP. Thanks for posting.

  106. says

    I found your article today when doing research about the long-term effects of taking Nexium. I’ve been on it for over a decade, and have recently developed some serious health issues. I have been wondering if taking Nexium for so long might be linked to my current problems. I have tried going off Neixum before, but as you stated, I get terrible heartburn every time I try. Thank you so much for posting this. I am certainly going to give this a try.

    Thank you,
    Tracy

      • says

        I thought I would give an update on how things are going… I have been on the lower Nexium dose (20mg) for a little over 2 months. They gave me a 90 day supply, and when it runs out, I plan to switch to an OTC option. I’m torn between taking it daily in the morning, or waiting to see if I get heartburn or acid reflux, and then taking it. I think I will probably take it daily for a couple weeks, and then go to using it only when I really need it.
        I have also made great strides in changing my diet, as I know that plays a major role. I am a carboholic, and was amazed to see just how many grams of carbohydrates I was consuming each day. So I’m now strictly limiting my carb intake per meal, as well as eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. While I am trying to consume some fruit and dairy, I have cut down on my portions, as they also can be high in carbs. I had already cut my coffee intake to one per day, but I do occasionally treat myself to a small cappuccino at Starbucks (one of their lower carb drinks), or a small glass of white wine. I’m also consuming better quality milk and meat. I only buy products that are antibiotic, hormone, and nitrate free. I am hoping that these changes will make a difference when I go off the Nexium altogether.
        I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again for posting this. I have wanted to get off this medicine for years now… and it is good to feel hopeful about doing it.

      • says

        I developed adult onset asthma a couple of years ago. They told me it was due to a dust mite allergy, but I find it odd that I began having issues in my mid-thirties. Then last December I was diagnosed with idiopathic small nerve fiber neuroapthy. My neurologist also suspects Fibromyalgia based on a trigger point evaluation. If you want more details about my current condition, please feel free to read about it on my blog.

        http://tlwestwriter.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-you-dont-know-can-hurt-you.html

        • laura munroe says

          It is not odd to develop allergies later in life. In my mid 40′s I developed allergies: lactose intolerance, Candida (yeast intolerance), dust and mold.

          • says

            Laura,

            The odd thing was that the allergist said that I likely had the allergy my entire life. It was the fact that I was suddenly developing Asthma as a result that I found strange.

            I have asked my doctor to prescribe the lower dosage of Nexium, and then plan to step down to Nexium. I am really hoping that this will help me get off it entirely. I spent years in pain before I found Nexium though, so I must admit that I am afraid to go off it too.

            Thanks,
            Tracy

  107. Ragda says

    I was just diagnosed with a small hital hernia. It made me really sad because Im only 24. Ive been getting the acid reflex like everynigt and was put on nexium 40mg because I have esophagitis. Please give me some tips make I could email you and you email me to help me out. I dont want to take pills that long. Im a healthy young girl, skinny and dont know how I got this( maybe bc I used to get a lot of constipation).

    • says

      Hi Ragda. I’m sorry to hear about your hernia. I am really not a medical expert, so I don’t dare give you advice. But try to find a naturopath or a doctor who uses holistic methods to advise you. Nexium has its place, but you don’t want to be on it for a long time. Best of luck to you!

      • Ragda says

        I might stick with the pills for no more then 3 weeks. Ive seen alottt of good reviews on probiotics and digestive enzymes. What do you think…I know your not a medical doctor, but honestly a lot of medical doctors just want to push pills in your mouth. And I am against most pills unless they out weigh the benefits.

  108. laura munroe says

    Update on my Nexium intake. Went to doctor for my annual check up and I asked her about Nexium intake going on 4 years now and that it is linked to osteosporosis. I told her I want to wean off of this drug and to help me. I am starting with Zantac, a prescription dose of 300 mg per day for 2 weeks; then 150 mg a day for 4 weeks and will see how it goes. If my symptoms are not improving or are worse I will have to go back on Nexium. If Zantac works for me, she wants me to stay on Zantac since it is not linked to the leaching of calcium. Crossing my fingers that Zantac will work for me. First step towards getting off of Nexium.

  109. Kelly says

    I have been taking ppi’s (nexium 40 mg) for 5 days now but first started taking pantropozole for 20mg for 5 days….so basically 10 days all together. I want to stop taking them because they cause nausea and plus Im not a pill taker at all. Do I have to wean off also or is it ok for me to just stop since its been such a short time for me?

  110. Kathy says

    Fractured my wrist. Stopped Nexium with many of the hints posted here. Taking Nexium leads to bone fractures. Nexus ads (some, not all) now contain that warning.

  111. says

    Thanks for your articles about Gerd and acid reflx.
    Have this problem for years and everything you said make sense.Been takin nexium,aciphex,zantac,etc for years and never improve my condition.I am an entertainer and notice that on my gig where they serve fruits and salad before the main course,I never experience Gerd.Also standing up and dancing helps.We have lots of friends and devoted R,Catholic.My family sometimes been invited to have Dinner with Sri Lankans and Indians and worried bout their foods before.Im worried of unknown spices but to my amazed,we never have any problems at all.I also notice that their foods has yogurt.Thanks for the info.I wil def follow your advice.GOD bless to you and your love ones

  112. Michelle says

    I was just diagnosed with celiacs disease after getting severe gastritis symptoms. If you have not had a biopsy of your intestine done, I recommend it or the blood test for celiacs. Please do the research, but I think many people may really having problems with gluten and not what they eat.

    • says

      I have been through the tests for Celiac and they were all negative. And yet I still do not eat it b/c I def feel better without. It’s definitely something worth considering when one has GI issues.

  113. Lynn Lowery says

    Hi Jo-Lynne. I have found your blog post about nexium very helpful. I have been taking nexium for three years now. I would love to try to come off of it. I too am an avid coffee drinker:-). How long did you keep to one cup a day? Thank you for this post. Peace Lynn

  114. Jacqui says

    Hi, this article is 3 years old. Can you tell me how you are going today 2013? I am most interested as I have a Hiatus Hernia and have been controlling the symptoms of reflux and pain with Nexium for many years. The only other option was an operation and my GP says that these procedures are not always successful, hence I have not gone down that road. You did set off alarm bells when you said that Nexium can cause Cancer so I am not sure what to do now. Thanks Jacqui

  115. says

    My reflux started about the same time I started a probiotic for general well being. It took me about three weeks to realize that maybe it was the probiotic that was causing my symptoms as I have never heart heartburn or reflux symptoms previously. While having these symptoms I have been sugar free, gluten, wheat and dairy free the past 2 weeks and have not been taking the probitics for the last 4 days. I am not seeing a huge improvement in my symptoms as I still feel like someone is choking me. Eating only veggies, fruits and chicken for two weeks has caused me to loose weight but has not helped my symptoms any. I have no stomach pain. Could it take some time for my system to recover from taking the pro-biotics? I thought they were supposed to be good for you?

    • JANET says

      Kerry, my ‘reflux’ started when I decided at 40 to eat more healthily and started having an apple each morning….honey in my greek yoghurt…brown rice for lunch. I was eating very well (and I am not overweight, not a smoker, drink one coffee a day). Soon I was sicker than I have ever been. I had ‘reflux’ I put it in inverted commas because I never had a moment’t pain or heartburn – just liquid and stomach contents flying up my throat and near vomit if not full (managed to hold it in but very unpleasant happening at work etc). I also had terrible bowel problems. I was on nexium for 2 years. The Drs did all the scopes and found nothing. In the end I had burning mouth and felt terrible plus my symptoms were not really fixed. A gastro doc I saw said I should come off Nexium as my problem was not acid reflux and he suggested an antidepressant to stop me ‘feeling’ the normal reflux that everyone has, so severely. It was odd. I came off the nexium and found out through much hardship that mat my problem was FRUCTOSE malabsorption. I have also had much worse syptoms wth ACV, dgestive enzymes and HCL pills. I end up with a burning throat from all these, guaranteed.

    • says

      Hi Kerry, I apologize for not commenting sooner. I’ve been behind. I was going to say that probiotics should be good for you but there are so many different kinds and different levels of quality that perhaps you should try another? If it’s still causing trouble, definitely stay off them, though. And it can take time for the body to heal from any irritant, I guess. How are you doing now?

      Janet’s comment is so fascinating. It goes to show, I guess, that our bodies are incredibly complex and everyone is different. I hope you can find relief. Let us know if you discover what was irritating you.

      • Janet says

        I am a little better. I just had a flair up the other week from taking digestive enzymes with protease which can irritate the stomach in susceptible people. I was taking HCL because I believed that the problem was too little acid, but within two weeks of starting on these my throat was eroded – because my condition throws the s tomach contents up to the gullet and eosophagus. I have never ever had heart burn or stomach pain. Acid blockers were the obvious (and only) thing that doctors could throw at me but they did not work because the problem was not acid but rather other stomach contents. My problem is worst when my stomach is empty. Mucus and other things are hurled up by some force and they irritate my throat. So it’s that that I am coping with. Some of it is stress related I am sure. I am going to see a naturopath I used to see about things to see if she can help. But ACV, emzymes, HLC are not the answer for me.

        But I too was told that I would be on nexium for life. Incredible.

        • Janet says

          And I was tested very thoroughly for everything like parasites, coeliac, and all neg. And these symptoms came out of nowhere and have been quite refractory and frankly I am not suprised that people stay on Nexium just to feel well. It’s hideous. I am working on my stress levels as I think they are responsible.

      • says

        Went to the GI Doctor and had and endoscopy. Found out I had a gaping LES and irritated lower esophagus. I was put on 40mg Protonix once a day. I have been on it for a week but do not want to stay on them any longer than I have too. I did have to go to a very soft diet and am about 2 days into that as I was not seeing any difference on the drugs however still taking them. I heard that you have to heal the esophagus and the LES so that it starts to work properly again and the only way to do that is to eat soft foods for 2-6 days and drink lots of water to cleanse the esophagus and LES. I also am taking raw honey (cloudy) after each meal for it’s healing properties. What a difference 2 days on the soft foods have made! The pressure in my chest and globus feeling of swallowing a ball all day in my throat is starting to subside! While the acid feeling is gone I can still feel a bit of reflux but it doesn’t hurt. A few more days on this diet and I can hopefully go back to eating salads and my raw veggies and hopefully the reflux will be gone entirely at which point I plan to wean myself off the protonix.

          • Lee Tipton says

            Dear Jo-Lynne,

            I just wanted to let you know what a blessing you were to me. In Feb, 2013 I suffered from a bout with diverticulities. I had been diagnosed with diverticulosis 5 years ago and this was my first bout. I decided to look up getting off ov the orampazole that they had me on and found your website. Thank you for the encouragement and information. Getting off the orampazole was a blessing from God above because I was just informed that I need to have my right femur straigtened in order to prepare for total knee replacement. Orampazole and its cousins are all know to cause our bones to weaken – so I am greateul that I am off of it.

            good luck to all and God Bless all!!!
            Lee Tipton

  116. Mimi Harder says

    I have had a similar experienxe and was wondering if you took a poll every other day then every few days or what. I’m on nexium and did not have acid reflux just bloating and pain and ibs symptoms. I am on day 2 of gluten free and I am already noticing a difference! I have a really strong inner voice telling me I don’t need the nexium, but I sure don’t want rebound symptoms. I’m so glad I read your article. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Mimi. I think I did go every other day and then I switched to an OTC like Priolosec and then weaned slowly off that. Honestly it is hard to remember, but I think I probably did it too fast. Knowing what I know now, I would have probably split the capsule (open it, dump half out, then move down to a quarter and so on) and gone more slowly. I also took digestive enzymes, cut out coffee, wine, tomato sauce, and anything else that might aggravate it and ate very small meals, ate a lot of apples (they helped a lot) and now I would tell you to definitely do the Apple Cider Vinegar. At the time, I thought I couldn’t stand it, but now I use it to manage when I do get mild reflux. Good luck!

  117. Diane Long says

    Thank you Jo-Lynne for writing and sharing this with all of us!!

    I have been on Nexium for some months now, 40 mg per day. I have been very busy caring for sick and aging parents over this past 3 months (big stress) and have not been able to get in to see my doctor. He likes to monitor my liver function every 3 months while I am on Nexium. I ran out of my last refill of Nexium on the road while at my dad’s house and when I called me Dr to get a refill he refused to refill it until I get in to see him.

    What happened next is not pretty. Within two days I had the worst heartburn….real true burning and stuff coming up into my throat. Within a couple more days I developed such bad gastritis I could barely function. I could not even drink water without burping! The chest pain and bloating and gas have been the worst I have ever experienced. I have been very worried and even contemplated going to ER at one point but something in me told me it had to be related to going cold turkey off Nexium. Today it’s Sunday so tomorrow morning I will be on the phone making an appointment to see my Dr and it WON’T be to ask for a refill. I will see him to rule out liver function issues and heart problems. If the liver and heart are working fine then I sure this must be about coming off of Nexium!!

    Thank you again for this information and thanks to all who posted and contributed to this – I am going to head over to the grocery store tonight to buy Apple Cider Vinegar.

    Diane Dause Long

  118. Jean Harrison says

    My husband has diverticulitis, what treatment would you suggest for this. When he took nexium he was fine and could eat anything, called it is miracle pill, had to go off it b/c our insurance quit paying for it and it is over 500.00 a prescription. He suffers everyday with it, bloating, burping, burning. He does drink a lot of coffee!! Any suggestions? He is 62 now and has had it since he was in his thirties. Hate to take meds for one thing and the meds will cause another ailment, maybe even worse.Thanks!!!!

    • says

      Hi Jean. I’m not qualified to give medical advice. I was just sharing what worked for me. There is a lot of great information in these comments that you could look through but with diverticulitis, it is best to seek out a good naturopath or holistic style doctor who can monitor him and give him specific advice for his condition. Best of luck to you!

  119. Mimi Harder says

    Thanks Jolynne!!! I’ve been gluten free for two weeks now and it has made a real difference to me. I am not taking nexium anymore. It made my esophagus feel tight and I felt like I couldn’t swallow sometimes. I am definitely going to try the acv. The other day, the nausea came back but I had some stressful situations going on. I am pretty sure part of my GI problems are caused by anxiety, but the GI doc wants me to have a colonoscopy. I just dont know if I am up for that. Besides, I had a CT of all of my GI tract and it didn’t show any inflammation at all. ALL of my tests have all come back normal, negative and the like. I even had an EGD done, where they looked in my tummy and took samples. I tested negative for gluten intolerant and celiac. I find it interesting that my other symptoms have improved by abstaining from gluten. So thanks again!!

  120. Mimi Harder says

    Thanks Jolynne!!! I’ve been gluten free for two weeks now and it has made a real difference to me. I am not taking nexium anymore. It made my esophagus feel tight and I felt like I couldn’t swallow sometimes. I am definitely going to try the acv. The other day, the nausea came back but I had some stressful situations going on. I am pretty sure part of my GI problems are caused by anxiety, but the GI doc wants me to have a colonoscopy. I just dont know if I am up for that. Besides, I had a CT of all of my GI tract and it didn’t show any inflammation at all. ALL of my tests have all come back normal, negative and the like. I even had an EGD done, where they looked in my tummy and took samples. I tested negative for gluten intolerant and celiac. I find it interesting that my other symptoms have improved by abstaining from gluten. So thanks again!

  121. Didi says

    I am trying to get off 40mg of Nexium once a day that I have been on since July 2010. The main reasons I want to get off are 1) I have not had a good night’s sleep in 3 years and I have had constant diarrhea for 3 years. I also in the last year have had swelling in my legs and awful joint pain which is not arthritis. The diarrhea has kept me a virtual prisoner in my own home because I never know when it will hit. I am a professional photographer and whenever I shoot a wedding, I take Pepto Bismal in order to lock my bowels so I do not embarrass myself or others. I purchased the ACV with mother and for the last two days I have been drinking it. I have a doc appointment on Monday, but I have already started weaning myself off of the Nexium by taking it every other day instead of every day. I started doing this four days ago and will continue gradually until I do not take it any more. I also am eating apple and honey. I am hoping my doc will agree with me and help to wean me off.

  122. Mimi says

    I meant to ask if I should use raw organic acv or is it ok to use pasteurized organic acv. I have a bottle of 365 brand organic pasteurized acv. I really haven’t had any acid reflux, but I do know there are many other benefits of acv. Thanks!! :)

    • Greg says

      Mimi, to gain the most benefit from it they suggest drinking ACV with the ‘mother’ in it. The mother is the remnants of the bacteria that causes the fermentation. The one I use is Bragg’s. I can’t say it has necessarily helped my acid reflux but I have noticed that a lot of the students I go to school with have been very sick and I have only had a mild cold when I first started the quarter.

  123. Zaza says

    Hi Jo-Lynne,
    I am taking Ume Plum Balls (Japanese Plum) and Natural Papaya Enzymes (in tablet form) with digestive enzymes (brand: Sundown). I take them just after food. They help me a lot. I don’t have to take Nexium anymore. The products can be bought from iherb.com. (I don’t get any comm).

    Also, I am going to use Triphala (Ayurvedic herbs) on and off to ease my constipation problems. I read that Triphala is able to help with acid reflux and burning stomach once constipation is taken care off.

  124. Greg says

    You know, I have tried several of these things; going gluten free (yuck), the vinegar water (great for immunity), modifying my diet (not that great for a bachelor who hates to cook) and I still suffer from GERD. Of course I have been suffering with this since probably around 1980 so it’s been a few years. I had another one of those bad night last night where I drank down the Alka-Seltzer and popped the antacids to no avail. After tossing and turning for 3 hours of attempted sleep I got up and tried something that has worked before… and apple. It still doesn’t really make sense to me but there is something in an apple that settles my stomach down better than antacids do. Just something for those who suffer from GERD, give it a try, what have you got to lose? Besides, apples are good for you anyway. :)

    • says

      YES when I was initially going off of Nexium, I ate an apple every night! And sometimes another during the day. It was fall, and they were local and tasted delish. There really is something to that. Alka-Selzer can actually counteract what you are trying to achieve. My dad lived on the stuff and now has Barrett’s Esophogus and is on Nexium for life. I’d try to avoid Alka Selzer and antacids if possible. The ACV doesn’t work for you? It works for me every time. I overate tonight (pizza – gluten free, but still, the carbs get me every time) and the ACV took the reflux symptoms right away.

      • says

        Hello Jo-Lynne
        I am glad I found your information about Nexium 40mg. I have been taking it for about 18 days after taking Omeprazole 20mg for 30 days.
        I went to the gastroenterologyst because I have been having gastritis symptoms on and off. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Erosive gastritis, and once in a while a get crisis of acid reflux, but for some reason since I am taking nexium, I feel terrible, worst than when I went to see the doctor a few weeks ago. I do not know if my symptoms may be something serious or just the medicine. I truly feel sick, have had almost constant headaches, burning eyes, muscles aches, and the worst part is that I feel pain in my upper abdomen that goes to my back. This has been almost averyday lately. I did call the doctor’s office yesterday but he is on vacation. I have the next appointment on Sep 25th, but I am thinking to stop the Nexium and try to watch what I eat.
        I eat usually very healthy, but I love coffe and can not stop taking it at least in the morning. Another think that I am doing is eating lots of fiber like oat meal, wheat breads, brown rice and green vegetables juices that I prepare every morning.
        Did you feel any of these symptoms when taking the Nexium?, especially the abdominal pain and back pain also?.
        I would really appreciate if you let me know, I am aware that you are not a doctor as you mention but the best advice to me is the one from someone that has been taking these kind of medicines.
        Thank you so much!

  125. Gail C says

    I found all information very helpful. My gastro. doctor just advised me to take 2 of my 40mg nexium and it seems to be bothering me more. Pain in chest just below rib cage is so hard to live with. I think i eat healthy but probably not. Probiotics seem to bother me so i stopped. I just started with a holistic doctor ( Gen. Practice ) and I am sure I can get my problem under control.

  126. Diane says

    Hello there Jo Lynn,

    I am so happy i found this website! It has really made me think even more that “there is a pill for every ill” and that the pharmaceutical industry really do make huge profits. There is no money in the medical world in being Healthy and that’s why doctors prescribe medication. Most doctor are not trained in nutrition. They prescribe medicine. They work on giving you a product which sure makes you feel good for a while, but doesn’t fix the underlying cause which is what you said, DIET.

    My doctor gave me a prescription for Nexium 40mg 1x day. Ive been on it for 10 days now. I have felt sick a few times. After reading all the information here, i really want to stop it, However my Specialist doctor said to only take it for 6 weeks so my gut could heal (should i just do this?). What my regular Gp said was that it was okay if I’m now eating healthy and I’m aware of what foods upset me . What i was worried about was what everyone said about stopping it ” It causes rebound acid hyper secretion” After the 6 weeks will i get this? Should i just go through with the course and finish or go back to my gp and ask for a lower 20mg and take that for the rest of the 6 weeks so my gut heals completely and do that in conjunction with what i am also doing? I am confused?

    I’m also taking in the morning a product called “gut relief” which includes: aloe vera, Glutamine Slippery elm, globe artichoke, vitamin D & Pectin (among many other ingredients). I take a multi in the morning, fish oil, as well as Bio ceuticals Ultrabiotic, and digestive enzymes. I have many other things i do normally take but have ceased at this stage.

    Isn’t it amazing that for one thing they prescribe, how many side effects it can have? That shocks me. When you actually read the ingredients of nexium, it does not sound good. They also include HARD PARRAFIN in nexium. That is used in day spas after a pedicure as a foot mask. That freaks me out.

    What should i do?

  127. Sara says

    Wow, I did not know you had to wean yourself off from Nexium. I have been taking it for about a week now and my symptoms are much better (I took Prilosec 20 mg for a month and it didn’t help). I have no intention of taking Nexium long term, and have finally learned that food and stress can be my enemy. After many tests already I will go see a GI specialist soon, just to make sure I don’t have anything to serious ( not that GERD isn’t). I wonder how long I need to take Nexium before I can start getting off it?

  128. Diane says

    Hi everyone!

    After my last post in July, i decided to take the Nexium 40mg once a day as instructed by my doctor for 6 weeks despite my worry. My doctor said it would just help to heal the gastritis then i would be back to normal. I stopped the nexium last week, fearing i would have rebound pain. I can safely say i didn’t get any pain at all and haven’t since. I am so relieved and happy i do not have to take nexium any more. I just learned to eat more healthy. I HIGHLY recommend Apple cider vinegar Sara, it will help with your gerd if you do have it. During the entire time while i was on nexium, i would wake up early every morning (i still do) to take a full glass of water with 2 teaspoons of the BRAGG apple cider vinegar an hour before i ate. This helps to neutralize acid in the stomach and helps with digestion. I also take every morning a product from BIO CEUTICALS called INTESTAMINE which helps to heal and soothe the gut. IT is similar to the product GUT RELIEF which i was taking in July-August which is just as fantastic. I SWEAR by these products. I take the apple cider vinegar up to 3 times a day before a meal. If i forget to take it before, i have it during or after. I have NO more pain. If you have any type of gerd or stomach problems i don’t recommend drinking too much alcohol anymore or coffee. This makes it worse. For my sake, i just stopped alcohol all together. Its not worth the pain. I eat alot more vegetables now and fish and don’t have too many fried foods if any. I do love chocolate from time to time and pastry, and i haven’t seemed to have any problems since having the apple cider vinegar.

    Stress can cause more problems than we realize. I highly recommend the book ALL IS WELL by Louise Hay and DR. Mona Lisa Schulz. (THIS IS COPIED AND PASTED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY.COM)
    All is Well,the new book by celebrated authors Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz, not only explores the medical science behind the affirmations in Louise Hay’s international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, but also offers stories and practical advice for personal healing. Structured around seven emotional centres, which mirror our chakra system, Louise and Mona Lisa examine the connections between these centres and the body. Drawing on years of research, they explore probable mental causes for the physical manifestation of illness associated with each centre, and then lay out how to address these health concerns. Combining two complementary systems, Louise discusses new thought patterns and offers new affirmations to counteract specific emotional weaknesses, and Mona Lisa, who has worked for many years as a medical intuitive and physician, helps readers listen to their own bodies’ intuition and prescribes medical solutions that are based in Western science. They provide real-world examples of people who faced illness and outline the specific emotional and physical prescriptions that helped them heal. Affirmations, intuition, and medical science form a powerful triad that enable readers to achieve maximum health and well-being, and to experience on a deep level that, as Louise always says, ‘All is well.’

    There’s some beautiful affirmations in there and talks about the emotional connections to illness and our thought patterns. YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE explains a lot more too. I recommend doing yoga every week too or any kind of relaxing exercise, or meditation daily. This is to anyone out there- Reduce your stress. What is going on in your life at the moment? What are you not letting go of? All of that worry and stress goes straight to your stomach. Especially if there’s a fear involved or anxiety. Once you can pinpoint what that is, and truly acknowledge it and not be in denial- LET IT GO. Let go what isn’t serving you. Thoughts will come and go, so acknowledge them and let it go and concentrate on where you are now, and breathing and the positive things in life. This makes healing faster. We don’t need to be on tablets forever, its the lifestyle we are having, and the thoughts and stress that make it exist. Change those things and bad habits and there will be no pain or expensive medication.

    I hope some of this information has helped anyone out there:)

    Have a great day and happy healing. xx :)

    • Sara says

      Thank you, I have Braggs vinegar in my cupboard. I’m going to give that a try. I’ve been drinking a little yogurt probiotics daily to help replenish my stomach. This has been a HUGE wake up call to me in terms of getting serious about the foods I eat and really managing stress and emotions. It’s time to walk the walk instead of talking the talk. One thing I have learned is that if you don’t have your health you have nothing.

      I wonder if I can or should take the Braggs while still on the Nexium. Because I think I will finish the 30 day prescription so my stomach can heal as well. What do you think?

      Thank you for he book recommendations. I’ve just started seeing a councelor to help me work through a few things and to start my healing process, and am open to all knowledge and help I can get. Again, thank you, this thread has been wonderful to read.

      Sara

      • Diane says

        Dear Sara,

        That’s fantastic! Oh you can definately take the apple cider vinegar while on nexium, i did and i was fine. In fact i believe it helped alot. I also recommend a really good Probiotic. The one i take has 30 billion good bacteria in one tablet. You could even take one a day. If you ever find out you have IBS associated with your pain, you can find stronger ones that offer 45 billion good bacteria. They are more expensive, however you could do a course of them while your one the nexium. You could take one at night with a full glass of water. It’s equivalent to eating 45 tubs of yougurt. You will feel amazing. Keeping them in the fridge increases the strength.

        You are right Sara, If you don’t have your health you have nothing. We happy to service our car, doing regular check ups to see its running effeciantly but some of us neglect and dont look after our own bodies and we are living! I can see you have recognised greatly how your health is important, as i have too :)

        I found reducing and eating in moderation or cutting out completely things like : tomatoes, garlic, onion, processed foods, alcohol, coffee, tea, too much red meat, chocolate, pastries, deep fried foods, soft drink, high sugary foods and i found also switching to gluten free bread made a huge difference. Basically if you cook all of your meals, you know whats going into them and you feel better for it. I always reccomend eating fersh fruit, vegetable and salad everyday. Your digestive system will love you for it. There are lots of wonderful alternatives out there. The FODMAPS dietry guide is a good one to follow now and again. There is quite a bit of information on the internet about that. Depending on how severe your pain, switching to something like FODMAPS could simply be a nice change for the future. Just do your own research and keep a food diary and record if you ever get any pain and if you do, what you ate the night before or that day that could have caused it. You may start to see a pattern and find its only a certain food thats doing it. This doesnt mean you have to cut things out completely or you can’t enjoy a glass of wine or chocolate now and again, All it means is to do things in moderation and still enjoy life.

        well done for taking that brave first step in seeking help from a counselor. It seems as though you have a sound idea of where you want to be heading. Counselling will hopefully help to clear a few things up, and give you some answers and direction you are looking for.

        Your welcome Sara, i have learned alot about myself through this process and i am happy to help :)

    • says

      Hi Diane, WOW, I am so happy for you that you didn’t have any rebound pain. It sounds like you took the Nexium the way it was intended to be used, and it worked for you. That is interesting and very good to know. Thanks for all the great info!

      • Diane says

        Hello Jo-Lynn shane,

        Yeah i was very lucky! Perhaps it was because i only took one 40mg tablet per day. I notice some other people have had to have 2? Anyhoo, at least the 6 weeks gave time for the gastritis to heal and i made sure i stopped the tablets on a day i wasn’t at work incase i did get pain, however i didn’t. From all the research i did on Apple Cider Vinegar, i believe it helped immensely with everyday reflux and pain. I get up every day and take it in the morning 30minutes to an hour before breakfast! It is my new nexium! It may not be something that works for everyone, thats why people have to do their own research and trial things out for themselves, but from my experience i have to say it’s changed my life!

        Have a great day :)

  129. Rinku Purewal says

    Hi

    Its my first visit to your blog and I like it. Its very warming.
    I am 33 (no kids), and was diagnosed in June with gastritis due to h pylori (stomach infection). Had taken antibiotics for this and PPI’s. Also like you I am still on the PPI’s and have experienced acid reflux rebound if I try coming off them and my digestive issues have worsened. I also have IBS. My question is would you recommed that I slowly wean myself off the PPI’s completey before starting to take probiotics, digestive enzymes etc.. or could I take them as I am weaning myself off. Thanks

    Rinku

  130. says

    So I have been experiencing all the symptoms of GERD: full stomach, stomach pain, bloating, flatulence, burping, etc.

    My doctor put me on Nexium 4 days ago to treat it but its made my life miserable. I’ve had no appetite, I’ve lost over 8 pounds in a week, My stomach is always growling in pain and hunger. The worst symptom is the nausea. I can’t do anything without feeling nauseous. Its driving me crazy and I don’t want to take it anymore. Could I just stop the medicine cold turkey? I was told everything is going to come back with a vengeance too so do you have any advice on getting rid of GERD naturally, as you did?

    Thanks,

    Stephanie

  131. Stephanie says

    So I’ve been prescribed Nexium to help with my newly diagnosed GERD. I’ve taken it for 4 days now and it has cause me nothing but misery. I’ve lost 8 pounds due to no appetite and my brain is so fuzzy I can barely function at work. My pharmacist said I could stop cold turkey because it hasn’t had time to work yet, but after reading all of this crap about what it does in the long run, I don’t want anything to do with it!

    How could I help alleviate my GERD naturally? I don’t want the rebound heartburn.

    Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Stephanie. I would just reiterate all the same advice that’s been given here. Whether you’re on Nexium or not – the ACV, smaller meals, avoid caffeine/alcohol/gluten/spicy foods, take a probiotic, digestive enzymes, etc. Good luck!

  132. Patricia Larsen says

    Ive been on nexium for a lot of years and tried to get off and couldn’t. I asked my dr to schedule me an indoscopy as I didn’t feel the nexium was helping me like it always did. After the procedure, my gastrologist said I had many polps in my stomach probably from the nexium for so many years. she removed 2 very large ones, she couldn’t take them all as said she was afraid of too much bleeding, these were sent away for biopsy, In 3 months I need to go back to have some others removed. At this time I do not know if they are benign or cancerous, I will know in 2 weeks. Then things might change even more. Could anyone tell me the measurements of the apple cider vinegar, water and honey? thanks you for listening.
    .

    • says

      She thinks it’s from the Nexium? That is scary! I hope they are benign. I just eye it up but I think you’re supposed to do 1 TBSP ACV in a cup of water – 8 or 10 or whatever. And the honey is just whatever tastes good to you. You do want to wean off SLOWLY. Did the doc give you any advice for getting off it? Hopefully she can help you do it correctly.

      • laura munroe says

        My doctor prescribed Zantac for me 2 tabs a day for 2 weeks then 1 tab a day for 2 weeks then stop. However, since I developed Tinnitus in April that plan was put on the wayside. Recently, I have started to take Nexium every 2 days. If no symptoms I will take Nexium every 3 days and wean off this way. So far no bad symptoms on the day I do not take Nexium. I must add that I have stopped all dairy products, coffee I take one a day and very weak, stopped tea as well. My stomach and congestion has improved immensely. So fingers crossed. I am glad I found this blog it gave me the push I needed to get off Nexium.

      • Denise says

        I was reading several comments . on the one about the polyps in my small intestines. when I told my gastro I read they come from taking prevacid. He said that it was true. so taking prevacid for one thing causes another. I have been reading so many bad thins about taking prevacid. that I want to try to wean myself off of it. Today I had acid reflux and tried the apple cider vinegar and it worked I had this pain in my chest for a couple of days and was getting worried. I started to take iron and It can cause stomach problems but it also interferes with the absorption of the iron. I have been trying to decrease the amount of beads in the capsule to about half the dose. another thing came to mind after I had my gallbladder surgery and I was having reflux my surgeon said taking another pill wasn’t going to help. his point taking more isn’t going to make it better. also been reading about different foods to take for reflux apples and raw carrots to help with the acid. and apple cider vinegar and honey. I will give anything a try to stop taking the prevacid.

          • denise bukofski says

            I started to reduce my prevacid for about a week . a week later I woke up with terrible stomach pain and I ached all over. I also take iron and could not figure out what was happening and called the doctor and she said I was taking the iron because the prevacid. was decreasing the stomach acid . I don’t understand the achiness . anyone have any answers.

  133. CM says

    I thought I had written back with an update, but I guess not. I wanted to let you know that I finally managed to control and reduce my reflux/GERD/gastritis through diet and probiotic supplements. The biggest change I made was to follow a very specific low-carb diet described in the book “Fast Tract Digestion” by Norm Robillard (the heartburn edition).

    To summarize Fast Tract’s dietary advice in a few points:

    -Cut way back on fructose, particularly fructose paired with fiber. This means melons, strawberries, and pineapple are pretty fair game in moderation, while fruits like blackberries, mango, bananas (which also contain resistant starch, another no-no), all fruit juices, and citrus need to be more limited. Honey, molasses, agave etc. are also high in fructose and not recommended.
    -Reduce dairy consumption, and switch to lactose-free products. Fermented/aged dairy, such as yogurt and cheese, and fatty dairy w/ lower lactose levels (e.g. cream), are less troublesome than fresh milk, half and half, etc. I suggest buying lactose-free milk, maybe even cottage cheese, and taking a lactase supplement (such as Lactaid) anytime you consume dairy, at least at first.
    -Generally speaking, grains of all types will get you into trouble. The exception are short-grain sticky rice and Jasmine rice, which are very easily digested. Soft white toast/sandwich bread and simple white baguettes also are considered OK because they are so low in fiber and quickly absorbed. Avoid pasta (esp. pasta with resistant starch, such as Dreamfields), barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, corn/cornmeal,wild rice, etc. I don’t eat any bread because I’m not sure gluten intolerance isn’t a part of my problem. And I notice a little more heartburn when I do eat it.
    -Avoid foods high in certain types of non-digestible fiber and resistant starch, including potatoes (except for a few varieties I’ve had trouble finding because stores don’t label them), sweet potatoes, etc. Bananas, apples, etc. fall into this category. Certain tubers don’t cause problems–parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, celery root, daikon, etc. Look out for gums and thickeners (corn starch, xanthan gum, potato starch, acacia gum, etc.). I think you have to be careful about certain fibrous greens such as kale and collards, whereas Swiss Chard is OK.
    -Avoid sugar and high-carb beverages, such as beer (light beer is permitted in moderation). Most distilled liquors are fine; wines need to be dry and consumed in moderation; avoid sweetened liqueurs, simple syrup
    -Legumes of all kinds cause gas, are hard to digest, and contribute to the problem. Tofu seems to be OK. Even today, I rarely eat beans, because I see a directly correlation with symptoms.

    This list sounds very restrictive, but keep in mind that it’s a somewhat temporary dietary change designed to starve out the bad bacteria in the gut. Eventually you can add back in certain foods (carefully) once symptoms are under control.

    The author has a presentation online of the basic theory behind the diet and some dietary suggestions here: http://www.slideshare.net/ancestralhealth/norm-robillard-did-cavemen-get-heartburn

    What CAN you eat? Meat, fish, poultry, fats of all kinds, less-starchy fruits and vegetables, eggs, low-lactose dairy, salad greens. No limit on spicy food, low-lactose dairy, tomatoes (within moderation), spices, etc.

    I combined the Fast Tract diet with probiotic supplementation, which is key to healing your stomach and gut: http://www.vitacost.com/natures-way-primadophilus-reuteri-90-vcaps-1

    One of the strains in this supplement was shown in a clinic study to help babies suffering from colic (gas and heartburn) compared to a placebo. In my experience, it works. It’s important to take an enteric-coated probiotic so it survives your stomach acid and reaches the small intestine alive. Probiotic foods (kefir, kombucha, fermented sauerkraut and pickles, kimchee, plain yogurt, etc.) are good, but stomach acid kills a lot of the good bugs before they can reach your small intestine and begin out-competing the bad bacteria for resources.

    The book is available for purchase on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Tract-Digestion-Heartburn-Clinically-ebook/dp/B007WZHCWK

    Best $$ I’ve spent in a long time.

    You can find out more about the principles behind the diet in this post on the author’s website: http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2012/08/sibo-diet-and-digestive-health/

    Sample recipes here: http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/gut-friendly-recipes/

    In the end, HCL supplements, slippery elm, marshmallow roots, the GAPS diet, SCD diet, Paleo diet, etc. all proved pretty worthless in treating GERD for me. Changing my diet to eat food that causes less gas and building up good bacteria were the key to feeling better.

    Good luck to everyone who’s suffering! It gets better.

    Christina

    • CM says

      Thanks for publishing my prior comment. I just wanted to add that I can even drink a LOT of coffee on the Fast Tract diet without experiencing heartburn (I use either whole milk lactose-free milk or half-and-half or higher). Only when I start drinking lattes without taking a lactase supplement do I notice any reflux issues, which to me affirms the theory that the milk sugars cause trouble. Spicy food is also not a GERD trigger for me any more. I just couldn’t give up flavorful food, so this was a relief. I always hated that old “cut back on spicy foods and avoid alcohol” advice. Not real practical! You can drink in moderation if you are drinking things low in sugar or certain gas-causing carbs.

      Also: while I concede that stress can make GERD worse, it’s infuriating to hear doctors suggest that GERD sufferers just need to relax, reduce stress, or deal with underlying psychological issues to start feeling better. As if GERD is all in our heads! Hardly.

      It’s about bacteria, folks. Get the bacterial overgrowth under control, repair your gut, and you WILL feel better.

      And just a friendly suggestion: There are probably probiotic benefits from apple cider vinegar with a “mother”, but the honey some of you are mixing it with is very likely making your symptoms worse (it’s very high in fructose, which is highly fermentable).

      Take care, everyone. If anyone tries the diet, I’d love to hear your results.

      Christina

  134. Mark says

    Glad I found this post, and fantastic comments. I’m 36 and have really noticed my acid-reflux take off in the past year. My dad took Tempo much of his left and eventually got terminal cancer. So I’m concerned! My doc recommended Dexilant a few months ago but I was scared to take them due to info I’ve read. However even though my acid-reflux is not as bad as it was several months ago, I still feel it on a daily basis, so I’ve decided to try and take Dexilant for 2 weeks in hopes that my esophagus will heal a bit and perhaps function better? If not I guess I’m getting it scoped. I’ll report back…

  135. Shelly says

    Glad I found this site..I have been on losec and then nexium for the past 26 years (not a typo) it all started with pregnancy heartburn and went on from there..losec was really affecting my joints to the point I was convinced I had RA (but after several different drs I finally diagnosed myself thinking losec was the criminal and backing my diagnosis with a drs “oh yes you could be right…lets swap you over to Nexium”… Nexium was supposed to be my life saver…instead it has stripped by body of B12 and other important nutrients (blood tests reveal this) and in turn I now have TRigeminal neurelgia (TN) and other neural problems (B12 is required to maintain the myelin sheath on our nerves) I have never been able to shift the excess weight (no stomach acids to process the fats) and have unhealthy liver function (all of these tests point to interference of the nexium in some way).. I do not drink excessively if at all at times and yet my liver shows fatty liver disease…I eat meat and veg in good amounts but B12 and iron are very low and are both supplemented by injections and tablets…I’m so sick of this that I have googled all day when I stumbled across this blog and everything seemed to fall into place…when I get over the pain of my TN I will be making headway into weaning off nexium and trying all the helpful advice I have gained on here

    Blessings to all of you
    Shelly

  136. Sharon says

    I just ran across thus site Googling for something else. Didn’t read all the replies but did read some.
    I have been having major GI problems for months, had every test done. Too long a story to relay here but my saga continued.
    However, I live that most doctors (PCP, ENT and GI) love to diagnose GERD or IBS. I was put on Nexium for an extended period if time and can’t say it ever helped my symptoms of throat and stomach issues, never did have bad heartburn. I started having worsening muscle pain in my thighs on the tops of both kegs. Odd, I know but could hardly go up and down steps. Have to admit I do not do exercises or run. Mentioned it to the doctor who had no clue. At that time, I was on very few meds but looked up the side effects if the ones I was taking and found no evidence as this as a side effect. Further searching on the Internet and I found a small group of Nexium users complaining of this leg muscle pain. Well, I stopped the Nexium and within 4 days the pain I had for weeks was gone. Oh, while on the Nexium, I suffered a left rib fracture if unknown cause. I was 62 at the time and do have Osteoporosis. Now, there are warnings about taking Nexium. I reported this to the FDA and maybe others did too as now they have new warnings.

    I was then given Omeprazole for an extended period of time. I started having left hip and low back pain. Trips to the chiropractor and trips for acupuncture. No help. Went to the doctor who sent me tp physical therapy twice and still little relief! On a whim, I stopped the Omeprazole and within a week the pain had decreased by at least 70%! I do still have some pain but nothing like I did for weeks and I do have the Osteo and some degeneration. In my case, I am convinced this class of drugs and I do not get along!!
    There may be few if us out there but something I want to share.

  137. marilyn says

    I’m not clear about cutting the nexium tablets in half. Mine are solid tablets. Is it ok to cut them so as to wean off them>?

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