GERD (Acid Reflux) Community
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Avatar universal

Taking pills for GERD for how long ?

a few years ago when my GERD had become so severe that I had swallowing difficulty, I went to a GI specialist and he gave me omeprazole, which solved the problem after a week completely, I saw this doctor a few more times and he said that I have to continue this pill for years but I gradually have to decrease the amount, well I decreased the pill to one for every other day and I was fine but if I want to eat even less pill, my GERD problems again start to show up.
a few weeks ago I saw an old GP (I think with a lot of experience) doctor, and he said that omeprazole alone is not enough he gave me omeprazole + ranitidine + Aluminum Mg syrup. again, I'm ok as long as I take pills. but I am really tired of pills, I hate pills , I'm afraid of side effects, I really have a very bad feeling when I take pills. I don't know for how long I should take pills, what I should do ? is there a cure ?

15 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi...as u step off these meds u may have an increase in symptoms as ur body adjusts.....the meds stop ur body from making the acids , but these r needed to digest foods....many times the acid production goes into overdrive, we call this rebound effect.

In addition, I did not read that u were told to modify ur diet and lifestyle  to aid the meds in helping u feel better.

U can step down, but u do have to  do it slowly and u do have to watch ur diet as well.

Also, being on these meds they can deplete vitamin and minerals also affecting how u feel....so do get ur Vit D, B12 and magnesium and potassium and calcium levels checked.....

  A probiotic may also help get ur digestive track back to a natural balance....so ask ur Dr about this as well.

Avatar universal
Hi :),

Well Actually I would like to know if you had success storied here in this forum ? I mean are there people who used to take a lot of pills like me for years, and then they could solve this GERD problem and now they do not need pills anymore ? If yes, I want to hear their story what they did ? does just removing some foods from diet can solve the problem ?


798555 tn?1292791151
If you look for my comment and posts, there is some info that you are asking about. Probably more info than what you wanted to know, but if your and engineer that shouldnt be a problem.
63984 tn?1385441539
There are so many different reasons that GERD is a problem and while medications are prescribed that I'm not sure my response will help, but here goes... I took Prilosec for years to control mild GERD.  I took the drug expecting to to control GERD symptoms, not cure it, I tried to cure it unsuccessfully with diet and exercise.  From time to time I'd try the latest natural nostrums like vinegars, etc. but always got relief from PPI medications and went back to them.  I finally developed Barrett's Esophagus, burned my vocal chords and acid was dissolving the enamel off my teeth after a bowel obstruction that resulted in the failure of the LES valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus.  I had a Nissen Fundoplication surgery that was extremely successful, I haven't taken a PPI since the surgery.  
I wouldn't take PPI's with an expectation to cure a problem, but to control it.  I'd look for lifestyle, diet or surgical changes to cure it.
798555 tn?1292791151
The best thing anyone can do for themselves with reflux/gerd is to try to figure out why you have it in the first place - my other posts will help you on this.
Its too easy for most Drs to just prescribe PPI's with out investigating reasons for gerd. It was originally designed to take for 2 weeks.

D-Limonine (its orange peel extract in a pill) is a natural  acid controller available at health food stores, dont laugh, it works and safer than chemicals. See my post on this.

Not everyone gets it from high acid levels, some from low believe it or not. Diet change, understanding foods, and jacking up the head of your bed fram 6 inches helps.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies, I really freaked out! I should take this problem a lot more serious.

Well, about finding the root problem, the best reason that I heard was from a radiography doctor who took colored X-Ray from my esophagus. he said that the reason probably is because I sit for too long hours . and he was right, because I sit many hours behind the computer coding or designing electronic boards. sometimes even  10 hours a day maybe. he said sitting for too long hours had exert pressure to the junction of esophagus and stomach and has deformed it (made it wider and more loose) and it was evident in X-ray. I really don't want my GERD leads to cancer or surgery.

About orange Peel,  I stared to drink tea with slices of lemon(from same family I think) with peel of course, also I read that honey and beeswax and molasses( a by product of sugar) is good. I have tried honey and beeswax and I can't say it was definitely good or bad.

Also one thing that I tried and it was definitely positive was to eat a spoon of sour things before sleep. Maybe because of negative feedback. Especially I have tried pomegranate paste and I can say definitely it was positive.

After I has swallowing difficulty about 2-3 years ago I stopped natural  remedies and I started to use Omeprazole which works perfectly well but as you said rightfully I have to cure  the cause  which of course I don't know for sure but maybe sitting for two long horse is a good hint.
Avatar universal
sitting for too long hours
798555 tn?1292791151
I know a lot of desk people and they don't have gerd. I'm sure it doesnt help though. If you have a terrible diet like the engineers I have worked with (ha, ha, joking but not really) that would be a better cause in combination with not moving around during the day. I was a junk food junkie in the past. Anyone that sits a lot needs their share of veggies, we do not digest the best sitting.

The list of reasons for gerd is huge and takes time to figure it out, most dont bother even trying, which is the wrong direction.

D-limonine extract is not like other citrus components. The pureness makes it different. Even the cooking orange peel extract is not like d-limonine.
329165 tn?1515475590
Hi there,

I see from your profile that you are 37?

I am 36 and we are to young for life-long medication or to many dietary- and lifestyle changes.  So I had the Nissen Fundo surgery on 8 Feb. 2012.

My GERD was only discovered in 2006 and I started taking 20-80mg Nexium.  Always been on a healthy diet due to heart problems and I am normally a health-conscious person and exercised, never smoked, etc. so there were no major changes that I could make additionally.  Eventually in 2009 I was diagnosed with Barrets Esophagus and it was 5cm then and 10cm now.  I had a hypotensive LES - no hiatal hernia.

I must add that in the last 2 years I have had some extensive tests done prior to agreeing to surgery:  i.e. a lot of Endoscopies/biopsies, 24hr Impedance study, 24hr PH study, manomatric studies.  Opinion of about 2 GI's and 4 Surgeons in total.  The surgery was done due to the Barrets diagnoses and the fact that I am still in my 30's.

So I am not saying go for surgery, but at least get some of the above diagnostic tests done and find out why you have GERD in the first place and if surgery can help you to prevent longterm damage.
63984 tn?1385441539
Your last post should be framed and hung in the GERD board hall of fame.  Well said.  
329165 tn?1515475590
Thank you Bruce!  that means a lot to me :)

have a great day!
Avatar universal
Thanks Smiley,
Well, I am really afraid of surgery. I know the alternative could be even more fearful.I have heard that even surgery may not be a cure, I mean it may get back after some years. Your response was very logical. maybe I'm still in denial stage, doctors suggestions are not very affirmative and are different. None of them have said anything about surgery yet, but some strongly recommended a GI endoscopy which I think is not very different from surgery. I have seen people doing endoscopy, it was very distressful, while they had been sedated and didn't remember what happened later but I saw them coughing very hard and struggling to breath. As I said I'm still in denial stage, I try to solve the problem with exercise and changing life style, which are effective to some degree but not eradicated the problem. I don't know maybe I try for 6 more months to avoid endoscopy. I think I will see a doctor in 1.5 months and if he said I can wait for  4.5 more months I will wait , otherwise I think I have to do the endoscopy. I even heard in some advance hospitals they can do the surgery with endoscopy. maybe I try to get more information about that. But I have a very anxious personality and I know the alternative can be cancer and much  more fearful. sometimes that I have very slight swallowing difficulty I panic and decide to the endoscopy in less that a week because I think it is a tumor but later when Increase omeprazole dose from 10mg/Day to 20mg/Day and problem goes away I think maybe I can wait a few more weeks. one thing that I still have not tried is to increase number of meals and decrease volume of each meals, maybe 5 small meals instead of 3 big meals.

Sincerely yours,
329165 tn?1515475590
Hi there,

Endoscopies are safe, non-invasive and normally done with sedation (Dormicum or similar) through IV and takes 20-25min to complete.  Absolutely no comparison to surgery.

With an Endoscopy the GI can check for signs of erosive gastritis, gastric inlet patches, strictions, Barret's Esophagus cells, Hiatal hernia, etc.  You should consider having one at some stage and get all the "ghosts" of cancer and complications out of you mind.  That would make you less anxious about the GERD diagnoses and symptoms.  But please do try all the dietery changes and lifestyle changes that you need to make and maybe you can become GERD-free!

Please keep us posted and all the best,
798555 tn?1292791151
You really need to find the reason for your gerd. It can be a symptom of some other health issue, in which a young age does not matter at all. So unless your 100% perfect healthwise, pay a little more attenion than usual to anything else not quite right, as it could be related.

Even being mineral difficient in one specific area can cause digestive issues like gerd. High quality magnessium is often overlooked but can cure many digestive issues. Google magnessium glycinate sometime, amaising stuff.

As with anything the body must be looked at as a whole, which will take some learning on your own. Drs, for the most part do not look at the whole picture, but will help if you can narrow it down.

Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with GERD 10 years ago. Anything I ate or drank - even water, made me want to throw up. The Dr. just gave Protonix, which didn't help for the first few weeks. He continued increasing the dose, and then finally all my symptoms disappeared taking just the Protonix (was 60 or 80 mg per day - cant remember exactly). I continued taking it for 1 year. Then I stopped cold turkey. I didnt have any rebound or symptoms - I was cured, for 10 years. Until now. Now my GERD is back. Same symptoms as before. New Dr. prescribed 40 mg Prilosec, but not helping so far. If your meds are not helping, I suggest you ask to increase the dose. Worked for me before. Hoping it will work again...
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