GERD update

I’m still taking no PPIs and only the occasional H2 (Pepcid). The GERD is still around, however, it’s just kind of like whack a mole with how it pops up.

I still have reduced stomach capacity – about .75 cup rather than 1-1.25 cup with PPI, but that’s ok. I really don’t mind that. What I DO mind is random freak outs of Lil Tummy. Occasionally, I’ll have pain after I eat, particularly if it’s protein. It’s like an overfull pain, despite not eating that much volume.

Occasionally, I’ll have a bout of GERD about a half hour after eating. Which is odd. Typically, Lil Tummy will exact its revenge right after I eat too much or have something it doesn’t like. ??

Same goes for night time. Sometimes it’s fine, other times, I’ll have acid up to my throat. No rhyme or reason.

The good news is that Tums will calm any burning and at night, Pepcid will calm the reflux for sleep. Not much can be done for when Lil Tummy decides I’ve eaten too much or the wrong thing and it gets painful. Just gotta ride it out.

Due to taking Pepcid 1-2x a week, I still struggle with constipation issues. I’ve found the herbal supplement Smooth Move to be extremely good at helping with this. I hope all this will plane out eventually, but if not, eh, I’ll live. I don’t gripe about it too much, because Nick has fibromyalgia and has body pain pretty much every day. I don’t feel as bad as he does, so I really have little to complain about.

I do think that things are getting incrementally better. I hope that continues. I still do NOT regret VSG surgery. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

PPI Stepdown pt 4

Another update in my ongoing battle with GERD. Sigh.

While I am glad I’ve rid myself of PPI use, I can’t say that it’s been without its issues. I have bouts of GERD every single day, while awake and while asleep. I typically get a flare after eating (doesn’t matter what it is) and occasionally with wine.

I was using Pepcid, an H2 blocker with antacid (10mg famotidine) when GERD was really bad or it was flaring before bed – and it works GREAT! But. As usual, I have the terrible side effects of H2s – even with limited use. H2s give me terrible, debilitating constipation. It really makes me ill. Then, of course, I have to take things for THAT. UGH, it never ends. ::sob::

So, I have to forego all PPIs and H2s. I have aloe juice (gross), alkaline water (dunno if it helps or not? maybe?), TUMS (also has calcium which does not help with the bowel issues), probiotic supplement and some herbal tea to combat the flares.

I alternate what I take and hope for the best. I got some pricey Enzymedica shit from Sprouts today to see if it helps with the flares of GERD. It’d BETTER for $18!! Of course the shelf price was WRONG, as ALWAYS with fucking Sprouts (said $9, actual $18). That place is a scam. I only go there when I need something NOW and don’t want to wait for Vitacost (Kroger) delivery.

So, that’s where I am. Not great, but not dying. Just uncomfortable a lot and cranky even more. Again, not terribly unusual. #getoffmylawn ;)

PPI Stepdown, pt 3

It’s been about 5 days since my last dose of esomeprazole. I got myself a care package of aloe juice, alkaline water, stomach tea (with similar ingredients to the Ibrogast formula that is too pricey) and the Target brand of Pepcid (famotidine 10mg + antacids).

The day I got the supplements, I didn’t use anything at all and made it through the night. The next day was rougher, with more breakthrough GERD and I took the Pepcid before bed. The day after that, fine.

So it’s been very uneven as far as the breakthroughs are concerned, but overall, I’m doing pretty well without the PPI. I think I’m done. I am so relieved!

I take Tums for minor flares, aloe for worse ones and occasional Pepcid at night. I’ve taken a tums before bed a couple of times when I feel that there *might* be a GERD incident. So far, so good.

I’ll update again if there is any change, but I think this is probably where I’ll be from now on. I think I’ll always have some sort of GERD flaring up, simply because of the shape of VSG making the stomach basically a turkey baster that pushes acid up to the esophagus. No particular foods have any effect, nor does alcohol, it’s all very random. I’m hoping the volume of my Lil Tummy™ goes back to about a cup, but if it doesn’t, no big deal. I think the overall inflammation is getting better.

So, I’m living proof that you CAN get off of PPIs. From start to end it took me about 6 weeks. Perhaps 8. With the quarantine of Covid-19, my sense of time is a bit distorted. I think it’s about 8 all together. It was not too bad for the most part, I did lose some sleep here and there, but I have to say, it’s been easier overall than it has ever been in the past to stop the PPI. I think it’s because I did the stepdown slowly this time. The first step was a month or so, then the second and getting off was quicker. I actually feel that the half tab at night made things worse than just not taking it.

I hope this roadmap might help others who want to be off of PPIs before they find out they have kidney damage or other issues.

PPI Stepdown pt 2.5

I went out yesterday and got some things to try for the ongoing PPI stepdown. I picked up:
– aloe juice
– more probiotics (I’ve added these to my daily supplements.)
– alkaline water
– Gaia Gas and Bloating tea with similar herbs as Ibrogast (caraway, fennel, chamomile, star anise, licorice, peppermint)
– Target brand Pepcid Complete (calcium, magnesium and 10mg famotidine)

The Lil Tummy was pretty well behaved yesterday, but I got a little GERD-y in the late afternoon, so I took a Pepcid chew. Worked immediately and I felt fine. I did not drink any wine last night to get a good read on what Lil Tummy was up to. You’re not supposed to drink alcohol with oral famotidine, but there are not as many restrictions for the antacid/famotidine chews. I took another one before bed, since I’d had two nights in a row of horrible GERD.

IT WORKED!!

I slept well and had zero GERD all night. I hope that this will continue to work for me. I’d like to NOT take it daily in any case, because famotidine has its own list of fucking side effects and interactions that I’d like to avoid. But it’s a good start at living a GERD free existence. Even if I have it sometimes, I really don’t want to take any drugs daily other than my supplements.

Here’s to hoping that I’ll be drug free SOON!

PPI Stepdown pt 2

OMG. Terrible. I’ve been taking only one half a 20mg esomeprazole at bedtime for a week. Now I have breakthrough GERD randomly all day. For the last two nights, a couple of hours after I go to bed, I’m awakened by my stomach trying to crawl out my throat. I feel strangled and have a coughing fit. This is GERD at its worst. I have to go sit up on the sofa and eat TUMS until it stops, which is usually an hour or so.

I’ve got ranitidine and famotidine (these are H2 blockers) on hand and I’m heading to CVS and Sprouts for a variety of other products to try. Eating a handful of TUMS just ain’t cutting it.

My ability to eat has also been compromised. I can eat about 1/3 less than before I dropped the PPI. While annoying to get the foamies (what we call it when our VSG tummies get too full), I do need to lose about 10#, so THAT I’ll tolerate. I’m back to about 1/2-2/3 cup capacity with this GERD irritation. I got the foamies and was pretty sick after eating a small couscous stuffed pepper last night, so I’ll have to be very careful.

But basically, I am miserable 24 hrs a day right now. As I knew would happen w/out PPIs. ::sob::

I’ve added probiotics to my supplement regimen and I’m looking for something called Iberogast (STW-5) liquid to try as well. (Amazon is pricey, I’ll check Sprouts.) I am aware of aloe juice and will get some.

I hope I can live through this and Lil Tummy will self regulate. If nothing works, I’ll be forced to go back on PPIs. I can’t live like this indefinitely – I *do* need to sleep and eat!

Despite all this bullshit, I’m still hopeful I can get off PPIs. I really think if Lil Tummy has time to adjust, it’ll be OK. I’ve never in my life had any sort of stomach issue, so I hope I can get that back. I’ll post more as I implement various things.