Thank you both so much for the info. Flycaster, I think it's a good idea to go to a gastro dr. I've been going to a ear, nose, and throat dr. and have felt like I needed to go the other route. I'll definitely ask for the motility and acid test. I've got to find out what is really going on. I didn't take my meds yesterday and I slept pretty sound last night, finally. Honestly, until I go to the gastro dr. I'm not going to take the meds. It just doesn't make sense to have my symptoms get worse with the meds.
I raised my bed head a week ago and that didn't help the other night when it was so bad. I've been careful about what I've eaten again today and it doesn't seem too bad tonight. I think the green smoothies have also helped. I think my body overall is too acidic because of my poor eating habits, so I'm going to eat more alkaline foods to get rid of the acid.
Red_Star, I've been taking magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) for over 6 months now for my arrythmias which has helped. I've also noticed that I have less cramping in my legs and less pain overall. I really believe in it but I'm not sure I'm taking enough. Good to know that it helps insulin levels and acid reflux. I usually take it before I go to bed. This is another reason I hesitate with the meds, I really need the calcium and magnesium. I'm going to try and figure out how to get a RBC mag. test. I'd also like to rule out pylori.
Thanks again, this gives me some avenues to pursue and new things to think about.
Magnesium is essential for insulin control. Studies have shown magnesium deficiency is a signficant cause of insulin resistance and diabetes. One study found 92% of diabetics had low RBC magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms are numerous but includes abnormal heart rhythms. They include premature atrial contractions (PAC), premature ventricular contractions (PVC), multifocal atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, fibrillation, and Torsade de Pointes.
Magnesium deficiency is another cause of reflux because magnesium helps the sphincter at the bottom of the stomach relax, allowing the food to go down. Magnesium deficiency is the latest warning by the FDA for taking PPI drugs.
Low stomach acid is the most common cause of acid reflux conditions. H pylori bacteria infects 4.6 billion people worldwide and is one of the causes of low stomach acid.
Causes of low or no stomach acid include:
"The slowing of the body's basal metabolic rate associated with hypothyroidism.
Autoimmune disorders where there is antibody production against parietal cells which normally produce gastric acid.
The use of antacids or drugs that decrease gastric acid production (such as H2-receptor antagonists) or transport (such as proton pump inhibitors).
A symptom of rare diseases such as mucolipidosis (type IV).
A symptom of Helicobacter pylori infection which neutralizes and decreases secretion of gastric acid to aid its survival in the stomach.
A symptom of pernicious anemia, atrophic gastritis or of stomach cancer.
Radiation therapy involving the stomach.
Gastric Bypass procedures such a Duodenal Switch and RNY, where the largest acid producing parts of the stomach are either removed, or blinded.
VIPomas (vasoactive intestinal peptides) and somatostatinomas are both islet cell tumors of the pancreas." - wikipedia - achlorhydria
"Studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build up in arteries and therefore, reverse the process of atherosclerosis. This has been demonstrated in both animal and human studies. In one study, for instance, 50 subjects were divided into two equal groups. All the participants had been diagnosed with atherosclerosis and had suffered at least one stroke. At the beginning of the study the degree of blockage of their carotid arteries ranged from 15 to 79 percent. Without any other changes to their diets or medications, half of the subjects began taking a daily palm oil supplement. The other half received placebos and served as the control. The degree of atherosclerosis was monitored using ultrasound scans over an 18 month period. In the group receiving palm oil, atherosclerosis was halted in 23 of the 25 subjects. In seven of these subjects atherosclerosis was not only stopped but regressed. In comparison, none of those in the control group showed any improvement, in fact, the condition in 10 of them worsened (Tomeo, 1995). This study demonstrated that palm oil can not only stop, but even reverse atherosclerosis." - RED PALM OIL - A Daily Dose of Vitamins from A Cooking Oil
I'm a diabetic, GERD (silent reflux) and heart patient. It's not an easy combination, and I understand your situation very well.
Low stomach acid is a rare but real condition. Given your risk factors, I'd try the baking soda test, but I'd depend on a lab test to determine the acidity level of your esophagus. If you have insurance, I'd also ask for the acid test and also ask for a motility test to determine how well you can swallow foods. I'm assuming you already have had an Endoscopy.
I have PVC's and PAC's which are not dangerous, and I don't think Previcid adds to these symptoms. Previcid does cause heart drugs like Plavix to be less effective, however, by about 4%. On the other hand, acid reflux can contribute to the nuisence of PVC's and PAC's. I have a pacemaker to control my A-Fib.
Drugs like Previcid need to be taken Exactly as directed to be effective. I'd suggest looking at the drug company directions and follow directions exactly as suggested, and take them in a disciplined manner. if you don't take them as directed, they will make expensive urine. See if that helps. Also, raise the head of your bed about six inches, and eat no food three hours prior to the time you lay down at night.
I was about 50 pounds overweight when I was you age and when my problems started. I also had very high cholesterol, and had a heart attack. I went to a dietician and got wonderful advice about diet, and she challenged me to lose a pound a month to control cholesterol and help control diabetes, and suggested I start exercising. I actually lost about 1.5 pounds a month, and soon I wasn't having to inject to control diabetes and my cholesterol levels went down. I walked every evening for exercise. The effect of weight loss, exercise and a disciplined diet did wonders for my GERD and diabetes, and my cholesterol level dropped dramatically. I went from the obese catagory to fitting into the normal BMI, but it took a lot of discipline and patience, it took several years.
Cholesterol build-up isn't reversible and eventually ended up with me having bypass surgery, and I also had a bowel obstruction that ruined the valve that keeps stomach acid out of the esophagus and had a successful surgery to repair it. I mention this as you have a number of risk factors. I was like you, I didn't want to take medications, and think I paid a heavy price for it. I suggest you bring a list of questions to a Gastroenterolgist that you trust. If you don't trust the advice, get a different one.
Keep us informed.
I haven't been real consistent with my meds. It seems like every time I try, my reflux seems worse. I don't know if it is really the meds or if I try it when I'm desperate and the reflux is bad anyway. I didn't know that I might have too little acid and that could be my problem. Doc didn't check for that. He based his diagnosis on how my throat looked. I didn't even know that I had acid reflux until I started having horrible choking attacks where I literally couldn't breath. He said I have silent reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. I am very much against meds with all of there side effects. But, I really don't like the way I feel. I was choking and coughing all night last night so I chose NOT to take the meds today to see if I felt better. I've had a little granola, a salad, a little cottage cheese, and 2 green smoothies today. We'll see when I go to bed tonight. That's when it really gets to me.
I also have arrythmias called PACs. I did have SVT until last summer when I had an ablation for it. I'm serverly insulin resistant so I get hungry all the time. I won't go on meds for that either because meds make sores in my mouth. I'm around 70 pounds overweight, 60 years old and have mild osteoporosis so I know it all comes down to proper nutrition. I also know that prevacid affects the way calcium is absorbed into the body or should I say not absorbed which is not good for someone with a little osteporisis. I've also read that it can cause heart arrythmias so Red_Star, thank you for reminding me of how damaging they can be. I've just got to figure out what I can eat to satisfy my insulin resistance and acid relux. Ugh, that is the hard part.
Not sure what you are asking mommysc. Have you done the bicarb of soda test? Merileegal, while these drugs mask symptoms, they eventually cause ill health mainly due to malabsorption of essential nutrients. Lowering already low stomach acid is a ticket to ill health but then again so is taking any acid blockers long term.
The FDA put out a warning in March 2010 to only take proton pump inhibitors (eg: prevacid, nexium, prilosec) to be take for a maximum of 14 days, 3 times a year. A very good reason for this warning as you need stomach acid to absorb essential nutrients and to kill off bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
U do have to modify ur diet even when on meds.....do u know the root of ur GERD?...As mentioned it is possible to feel the same regardless if it is too much or too little acid...so u need to know which it is....if ur Dr did the proper testing to find out, then u may be on the right meds...BUT u have to modify ur diet and lifestyle....
Not all meds work for everyone, so I have to ask MERILEEGAL- how long r u n ur meds?
Have u modified ur diet and lifestyle?....
Eat health, drink plenty of water and exercise.
But most important know the rot cause of ur GERD!
I'm on prevacid too and sometimes it dosen't help me either....I think it depends on what you eat..........
My acid reflux is horrible right now. I've tried avoiding the meds the dr. gave me but it's so bad I'm ready to try anything. I'm taking prevacid twice a day and it feels like my gerd is worse. Is it possible that if I actually have low stomach acid, the med is making it worse?
Thanks Red Star!
So, what will it been if I have low or high acid?
Do you have low or high stomach acid? Strange as it sounds, symptoms are basically the same. My mother did the baking soda test and found her stomach acid was very low. Stopping the drug nexium and OTC gaviscon and starting digestive enzyme supplements and betaine HCI with pepsin supplements, GERD and LPR (suffered severe for 5 years) were both gone within a few weeks. After a year of these supplements, gastritis (suffered for 25 years) is 95% better. She didn't eat oranges (one of her favourite fruits) because she was told she had high acid. Now she eats a bag of oranges a week. The only foods she avoids is spicy food.
The baking soda test:
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, not baking powder) in an 8 ounce glass and drink it.
If sufficient quantities of acid are present in the stomach, bicarbonate of soda is converted into gas, producing significant bloating and belching within 5 or 10 minutes of drinking the mix. Little or no belching is suspicious for low stomach acid.
Digestive enzyme supplements are good for high or low acid production (low acid is by far more common). Betaine HCI with pepsin supplements help with stomach acid production. You can find both these supplements at health food stores.
While on meds...then u can slowly step off the meds......Meds do not work alone...u need to modify diet and lifestyle .....exercise.
Do talk to ur Dr about this and what else u can do to help curtail the symptoms.
Thanks! So, should I try these foods while on meds or off meds.....
Hi...there are lists of foods to avoid and foods that are safe, however u may find some that are on the list as safe may disagree with u and those on the list to avoid may not affect u at all...so it is advised to use these lists as guidelines and keep a journal to see which foods u can in fact eat with out it being bothersome to u.
Here is a link to a list of safe foods in the Health Pages...the main link is found at the bottom of the forum .