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.

PPI Stepdown

I’ve been on PPIs (Nexium, esomeprazole) since my VSG surgery in 2016. My four year anniversary is coming up and I really don’t want to continue on PPIs. They are prescribed liberally and people are on them for YEARS, just like me, but now we’re starting to see some of the longterm problems of taking a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor) such as H Pylori, malabsorption of minerals and even kidney damage. This article is a good round up of all that PPIs can damage. You can’t just stop taking a PPI because of rebound GERD that is worse than the original. The proton pumps (digestive acid) go into overdrive without the inhibitor – which is what’s happened the last two times I attempted to get off PPIs.

I’ve been having more and more issues with the PPI in the last year. I started having intense histamine reactions to random foods a few months ago, so I found a histamine blocker (Seeking Health Histamine Block is AWESOME!) that worked. I had to take it daily to keep the reactions from happening. When I researched it, guess what was the culprit? Yep. PPI.

Next, I started having leg cramps. I know that PPIs retard mineral absorption, and after some research, I confirmed that the PPI was likely interfering with potassium as well as calcium and magnesium. So I got a potassium supplement.

THEN, I realised that the list of things I was taking to OFFSET the damn PPI was getting longer and longer. It made no sense to keep adding more and more supplements to offset a drug that has known issues for long term use.

So, I began my step down from 1.5 tablets a day (1 20mg in the morning and a half tab before bed; 30mg/day) about six weeks ago. First I moved the time I took the single pill to evenings so it would peak while I am asleep. Breakthrough GERD is worse at night when you’re laying down. I dropped the second dose entirely. This worked pretty well, there were random bouts of GERD at random times, but it was OK for the most part.

Last week, I changed to half a tab at 9pm ONLY. So far, so good. I still have random bouts of GERD that have no pattern. I can chew a few TUMS to tame them down. I have a bed wedge, which has helped with the occasional night time breakthrough GERD. But it’s the same as the one dose was, so I’m encouraged.

I’ll stick with the half tab for a few more weeks, then I’ll attempt ZERO PPI. It’ll work or it won’t. I’m hopeful that it will work and I can get by with random bouts of GERD that can be handled with TUMS. Or perhaps I can go back to an H2 blocker (Tagamet, etc.) at night if necessary. The H2s have far fewer side effects than the PPIs.

I hope I can be rid of PPIs once and for all. They are TERRIBLE for you.

I will post again with the results of the end of PPIs.

Sleep Supplement Recs by an Insomniac

Insomnia is a very common issue. People do not get enough sleep or enough quality sleep these days. I’ve struggled with insomnia for literally decades. I’ve tried every aid out there and I’ve got a list of aids that work well. I alternate them depending on how I feel before bed. I take supplements every night.

We use various supplements to get sleep because we are notoriously bad sleepers. Here are some tips from long time insomniacs:

– DO NOT take a shit ton of melatonin! 3mg or less ONLY. Melatonin can turn on you if you take too much.
– Do not look at electronics before bed. If you do, get a blue blocker screen cover or use NIGHT mode.
– Same for when you wake up at night. This is one reason why I keep paper books! I try to avoid screen use when I’m struggling with sleep.
– Don’t bother with Rx shit like Ambien. It’s too much and overkill IMO.
– Be cognizant of your pre sleep habits! No caffeine, nicotine or alcohol.
– Get enough sleep. When you sleep badly, you’ll need MINIMUM of 8 hrs in bed, even if you toss and turn. We generally require 9 hrs to get enough REM sleep to feel refreshed, so give yourself enough time!

Sleep Supplements
Sleep supplements from Vitacost.

There are tons of supplements out there, just be careful of the amount of melatonin in them. Here are some that I’ve personally used and how they work for me:

Nature’s Plus Sleep Assure: I’ve used it forever, it’s got herbs and 3mg melatonin. Great stuff.
Herbs, Etc. Deep Sleep: all herbal, no melatonin. Great stuff, hella expensive.
OTC sleep aid Doxylamine Succinate (NOT diphenhydramine aka Benadryl) this works well, I’ve used it for years.
Synergy Sleep Support (Vitacost brand): Herbs and 3mg melatonin. Works very well!
Superior Source GABA melts, 100mg: GABA helps you fall asleep.
Bluebonnet Sleep Support: herbs and 5HTP. It has been working well.
Enzymatic Therapy Sleep Tonight: all herbal and VERY good! We are liking this one a lot!
Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM: no melatonin. This one has GABA and 5HTP, but overall doesn’t seem as effective as some of the others.
Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer: This one has GABA and tiny bit of melatonin. It’s ok, but the ET is better.

Here is the list over at Vitacost, I highly recommend them for supplements, they have great pricing.

VSG Anniversary coming up!

On May 16, it will be two years since my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy in Mexico. I’ve not posted here or at YouTube in quite some time, simply because I am very stable and not much has changed. I hit a hard plateau at 180 pounds which translates to size 12 jeans (actually like a half size below that) and 12-14 dress. I’m fine with that. Without surgery, I’ll never get rid of the belly flab, and I’ve decided against tummy tuck surgery. It is HORRIBLE to recover from and I just don’t have time for that shit. Or the money, honestly. And there are things like Spanx to deal with it!!

In addition to that, Nick’s 45th birfday is May 10. It’s a Thursday, so I’m not sure what we’ll do.

And, of course, we’ve got the pub thing ongoing. I’ve been working on the menu, trying not to FREAK OUT that there is no real estate available.

And on top of all this, my friend Kenny dropped dead of a heart attack on Friday April 13, so that has been rough. Friday 13 has always been a good day for me, but now, not so much. Sigh. He was my age, too. He had untreated heart issues and literally dropped dead. At least he didn’t suffer. The memorial was yesterday and of course: it sucked. His wife Carole has stage 4 ovarian cancer, so it’s all just really terrible. Sigh.

So, as you can see, the VSG anniversary is not very important to me with all this other stuff going on. I’m still grateful I did it and I still feel FABULOUS, and I still recommend it if you’ve been struggling with your weight your whole life like I did. It is absolutely worth it. Save yourself the agony of US healthcare and just go to Mexico. You, too, can have a new life in 4 days and $5000. Fuck your insurance company and their bullshit “plan” that forces you through hoops for a year then offers you no follow up care. Just DO IT.

I think I will lose that last 10# when I am crazy busy with the pub. I did lose 5# when I was working 7 days a week there for a month. But whatever, I’m not dieting and I’m not getting plastic surgery, so it is what it is. I’m happy with the way I look in clothes, so it’s all good. :)

I’d like to wish Nick a Happy Birfday in advance and myself a happy VSG anniversary!