Hello, sorry you are having so many problems.
You can layer different types of reflex meds. I take Dexilant 60mg mid afternoon and ranitidine (Zantac - and H2 blocker like Pepcid) at bedtime. I have severe asthma and difficult reflux as well. The reflux exacerbates the asthma so it must be very well controlled. I will also take a calcium-magnesium product like Rolaids for flares or when my diet has not been the best for reflux.
I recently doubled my probiotic. A refrigerated probiotic capsule purchased from a reliable health food store is much better than the yogurts (I eat the yogurt as well though). Since doubling the probiotic, I have only experienced issues once and that was last night. Happy Thanksgiving. ;) Digestive enzymes are also very helpful.
Take care and feel better.
Thanks for the kind words, bsmsl. It's interesting that you mention asthma because, for me, it was also breathing difficulties that seemed to be severe allergies and turned out to be GERD. In my case, I was having laryngospasms from all of the acid that had splashed up on my vocal cords in the previous weeks. Yuck!
I can report that whatever I had last week has passed - exactly a week after it started, I had really bad diarrhea and after that, everything returned to normal. "Calm seas" as it were.
This is just a guess but I'm betting that I ate something bad last Wednesday that took about a week to pass from my stomach thru my upper & lower gi tracts and exit my bowels. It sounds strange, but I could almost feel exactly where it was as it moved further and further down - the gas changed from burping to, well, "gas" and finally diarrhea.
Based on your advice, I'll grab some generic ranitidine if I ever have a flare up like this again and try that instead of the Pepto. In fact, before I went on Dexilant, I had some success with Pepcid AC. I had read online that some Dr's did prescribe a PPI and an H2 blocker but you're never too sure about what you read online.
I'm also trying the "attune" probiotic chocolate bars as well as keeping up with the yogurt. They are refrigerated. It's only been a week so it's simply too soon to tell if the attune bars will have the desired effect. After reading online, I'm really thinking about trying the PB8 - it seems to get good reviews. Not refrigerated, I know, but I've read good things about it.
I would be careful with the chocolate. Chocolate is a very common reflux trigger, as is anything that contains caffeine.
Have a blessed night.