I'm a 25 year old male. When I was younger, my baby boomer grandparents, who had raised me would always tell me that if I had any pain, take ibuprofen. Depending on the scale of pain, take between 1-4. As a young boy, naturally my pain scale was at times off balance, so I would take 4! At times even taking them as a preventive measure, not knowing any better. Now, this likely wouldn't have been such an incredible issue had I not also been on stimulants since a much younger age. So in essence, I was taking too many NSAID's on a completely empty stomach, many times. Sometimes I would get on the bus for school and vomit what felt like straight acid afterwards. Later I would be told that these instances caused the fragile stomach lining and parts of my esophagus to be essentially burned away. I've never had an endoscopy, so I don't know the severity of the damage itself. I was prescribed PPI's and have been taking them for years now, consistently. Recently I have had random odd kidney pains, to which I ruled out kidney stones, UTI, kidney infection and dehydration. I find it also unlikely that I could have kidney cancer at my age but of course can't rule it out unless I had testing. However, after reading books on nutrition I saw that prolonged use of PPI's could result in chronic kidney failure, among other things like dementia and heart disease. This made me really take this odd kidney pain serious, and although not serious itself at the moment in terms of pain level and consistency, I believe my body is warning me. So, I have some questions:
I know after these years living with GERD the basic things to prevent acid, 30 minutes before you lie down to digest, watch certain food triggers, no caffeine or alcohol, and most other commonsensical preventive measures. I would like to know if the body will or can reacclimate to containing acid. Obviously the extent of the damage would have to determine this in my specific case, which would require observation. I'm asking in a general sense; can the body heal itself of this issue over time and dietary changes?
Are there supplemental options, or holistic, that would help?
Less toxic medication options, or maybe even surgical?
If the reintroduction of acid becomes accustomed to in the digestive system, how long would it takes before it balanced out? I've tried getting off of PPI's in the past and the acid is so terrible at first I barely can drink or eat in general.
I currently have a very good exercise routine, working out 5-6 days a week, and I don't want to be forced to stop over coming off of this medication. I also eat large amounts of fish and healthy fats, which I'm certain will cause issues. In addition to all of this, I'm concerned about my gut health in terms of reintroduction of the acid-loving bacteria that have been missing for so much time.
I know this issue is complex, however, I really want to take control of my health and potentially try to reverse the damages done by lack of knowledge during these earlier years. Currently, my plan is to stop taking the medication entirely and reintroduce my body slowly to acid production by use of calcium supplemental anti acids and potentially famotodine as a backup.
I appreciate any time and help with this issue!