GERD due to mineral deficiency?

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Hi there , i've been having heartburn for about 4 mths now never had it before this. Saw a few docs and did some tests including an endoscopy , results show i have GERD and a small hernia. Doc don't really think the hernia is causing the burn though but he prescribed me omeprazole 20mg to be taken daily. I've been on this ppi for about 7weeks now and i read there's some bad side effects to it if used long term.

I've searched alot lately what could be causing the LES muscles to weaken and some sites point to vitamin and mineral deficiency , like magnesium, zinc and calcium. Does anybody else think or experienced mineral deficiency directly causing their heartburn? I'm almost 27 yrs old and been thru some stressful times lately so stress might play a part in this as well.

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  • Posted

    I personally wouldn't worry too much about the so called long term side effects of PPI use, been on them for about 10 yrs now and its changed my life. I would much rather be sympton free most of the time.

    If you smoke or drink do you worry about the side effects, probably not. People are killed every day on the roads but do you worry when you go out, probably don't give it a second thought. People get so worried about side effects of drugs but I think you need to put it into perspective.

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    • Posted

      Wow 10 yrs that's a long time. Do you get your calcium and vit levels checked regularly while you take ppis? PPI sometimes work for me but i'd rather not be 'hooked' on them since i noticed that i've been getting diarrhea more frequently after being on omeprazole (like once 1 month)

      Sometimes, i still feel this discomfort or slight pain just above my belly button , do you guys feel this too even when you take a ppi?

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  • Posted

    Heartburn isn't caused by a hiatus hernia, it's caused by acid refluxing. However a hiatus hernia will facilitate the reflux by restricting the closure of the lower oesophageal sphincter.

    How frequently are you getting heartburn?

    First line of defence is to identify your trigger foods by keeping a food diary and keep clear of them. The most common are fatty foods as they don't break down easily in the stomach.

    PPIs like omeprazole are the best way of dealing with excess acid. (NB They will not stop any reflux, they just make it less erosive.)

    Don't be mislead over scare stories about PPIs. If you are monitored by a doctor, you should be on the minimum effective dose for only as long as they are needed. 20mg omeprazole is actually the low (maintenance) dose. It's frequently prescribed at 40mg for a few weeks. If you need to stay on it for a long time, it's highly unlikely it will cause any harm.

    If you need high dose PPI over a number of years, that's when you may need to take other measures. They are good at their job - reducing acid. However, if your acid levels are too low for too long (a condition called "hypochlorhydria" ) , you may not leech sufficient essential minerals from your food. Then you may need to be prescribed supplementation.

    I've had Barrett's Oesophagus, caused by acid reflux, for at least 21 years. For 15 of those I was on omeprazole increasing to 80mg a day for a few years which caused me to have anaemia (despite being prescribed ferrous fulminate). I then had a fundoplication (reflux reduction surgery) and am now med free,

    I get research alerts daily from numerous sources and have amassed quite an archive but have never seen any research paper that suggests reflux can be caused by mineral deficiency. Please check your source to ensure it is a proper scientific study and not someone's pet theories.

    If you do find it's a legitimate study, I'd love to know its source if you wish to send me a link via a private message.

    And, yes, stress may cause excess stomach acid - or your reaction to stress.

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    • Posted

      Wow 3Barrettes you've had Barretts for a long time. I am trying to eat right so I don't get any worse than I am. Everytime I eat I'm swallowing mucus. It's awful. I am now on dexilant 60 mg, I was on omeprazole 20 mg, then 40, since february. It didn't help at all. The Dr. said to give this two wks if it doesn't work, he said he hopes it's not bile reflux, I may have to get the acid test. Where u where something for 24 hrs, u might be more familiar with this procedure than I am. Can u give me a little insight. I too have a small hernia. I haven't drank alcohol since february, no fatty foods, I try and eat right
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    • Posted

      Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) 60mg is equivalent to 40mg omeprazole and no more effective at reducing acid.

      There are many PPIs and all have been shown to be as effective as each when taken in equivalent doses. Just as Nexium (esomeprazole) was introduced as the S enantiomer of omeprazloe when it was about to go out of patent (and no more effective but heavily promoted with advertising), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) was introduced as the N enantiomer of lansoprazole when it was about to go out of patent. When the manufacturers claimed it was better than ordinary lansoprazole the FDA made the withdraw unsubstantiated advertising.

      But, though PPIs are good at reducing acid, they do not reduce reflux and even No-Erosive Reflux can breach the upper oesophageal sphincter (LPR) and aspirate causing excessive excretion of mucous.

      You may need to reduce reflux rather than acid.

      Leave at least 3 hours bewteen last meal and going to bed and raise the head of the bed by 6 to 8 inches so gravity can help keep any remaining stomach contents down. Or you may need to consider reflux reduction surgery, ie. fundoplication, which gave me my life back after having reflux issues all my life.

      I had the 24 hr pH manometry test and wrote a blog at the time. I could include a link here but it may take time for the modertors to approve, but briefly the procedure is as follows:

      A doctor or nurse will insert a tube via your nose into your oesophagus with you lying on your back. (It's much more tolerable than an endoscopy.) You'll be given water to swallow a teaspoon at a time while pressure measurements are taken that tell how well your lower oesophageal sphincter is working.

      Then the tube is replaced with a wire whose tip is positioned at the best point to measure acidity of refluxate. The wire protrudes from your ose and is attached to a small recorder the size of a portable CD player that you wear round your waist. You may be slightly aware of the wire like a scratchy throat - and I found my wire protruded to get in the way slightly when drinking from a mug.

      You wear this for 24 hours whilst you (attempt to) live normally. Every time you lie down, you press abutton on the machine and every time you have an acid incident you press a different button. (I forgot to say the worst bit is not taking your PPIs during this period and the few days preceding it.)

      The wire is removed and the data recorded analysed to see how acidic your reflux is and how frequent.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. U seem to have done your homework on acid reflux. I've read a lot about reflux and have seen all kinds of remedies to reduce it, but I guess surgery is the real cure. How was your recovery process and how long ago did u have your surgery. I've read so many bad reviews on it not being a success for some but others as u, have their quality of life back. It seems to consume you. I have tried not to give it all my attention but it's hard not to. Eating is how we survive so I'm always conscience of what I eat because of this awful illness. I have lpr. The most nagging problem I have is the mucous. Drives me insane swallowing after every meal. I've never had heartburn and as of January I started noticing the thick mucous after eating. I've had numerous sinus infection even septoplasty. I am starting to think it's all related to reflux. You have been very helpful
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    • Posted

      I've had acid and reflux problems all my life and I'm 67 now.

      I took PPIs for years increasing to 80mg omeprazole daily without any effect on what I now know to have been reflux symptoms.

      High dose PPIs over a long period had resulted in hypochlorhydria and I was absorbing insufficient iron makin me anaemic and unable to walk 50 yards.

      I had the Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication 7 years ago and it gave me my life back. Within a few weeks I was cycling 30 miles a day before breakfast.

      Unfortunately a couple of years ago a bout of Norovirus with 5 hours of violent retching, loosened the wrapa nd the reflux returned. Last year I had Collis-Nissen revison surgery in May and cycled over the Andes in October.

      My reflux symptoms included chronic cough that made me almost pass out at least once a day and sit up for a couple of hours in the early hours coughing, excess mucous and constant throat clearing, asthma and cattarh like symptoms, loss of taste and sense of smell, bad breath, tooth decay, hearing loss (particularly the left ear), dry eyes ... All now either entirely cured or minimised to an acceptible level. A recent study on patients who had laparoscopic fundoplication 20 years ago, showed 94% satisfaction.

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    • Posted

      I was also put on 80 mg of omeprazole. None of the meds stopped the mucous. I don't take the meds everyday. I don't believe they help. I know it reduces the acid but I'm just not a believer. My hip started hurting last wk, I started to believe it's due to the meds. My throat is always hurting, constant throat clearing, lost my sense of smell, this is awful. Eventually ill need surgery. How long were u diagnosed with Barretts before u Had the surgery
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    • Posted

      I diagnosed my own Barrett's in 1994 (long story). I was offered fundoplication in 1997 but it would have been open surgery which I didn't want.

      In 2007, though scared, I was asking for the surgery and willing for it to be open if necessary. But it's nearly always done laparoscopically nowadays. Wish I'd asked for it sooner.

      It's not so much the PPIs that cause malabsorption of minerals (including the calcium) but the hypochlorhydria they induce by being too good at doing what they're meant to do.

      However, many doctors still seem to persist in the belief that PPIs will reduce reflux. (Including my wife's oncologist son despite my anecdotal evidence to the contrary.) My omeprazole was increased from 40 to 80mg (ineffectively) when my chronic cough was getting so bad I was desperate for some way of reducing it.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I am getting the heartburn almost everyday hence i am just taking one pill of omeprazole each morning now. Sometimes i still can feel abit discomfort just above my belly button, mostly in the afternoon or if i sit down even though i have taken the omeprazole.

      Noticed i get diarrhea more frequently now (about once a month) as warned by the doc as it is one of the side effects of omeprazole. Sometimes i feel bloated as well and easily feel full after eating abit only. My stomach and digestion has been good before this episode of GERD which has really impacted my life alot. Which is why i am trying everything 'natural' which i find to see if it works rather than swallow that ppi pill.

      So far i've tried apple cider (somewhat effective) but since i have that discomfort above my belly button i have stopped it now. Also tried probiotics and eating fruits good for digestive like papaya which mostly didn't impacted. Probiotics helped my digestion though but not the burn. Right now i am trying calcium and magnesium supplements as i mentioned i found some articles of people with good results on the internet . I seem to have lost the links now, if i found them again i will pm them to you. The site mentioned (if i remember correctly) magnesium is supposedly good to strengthen the LES but ppi use will deplete the body of it hence the les will just get weaker. I don't know how true this is but i am trying the supplements to see.

      Right now my primary cause of gerd seems to be stress as almost all the docs (3-4 of them) think so since i dont smoke nor drink anymore. If anyone has any success with any type of natural treatment i'd like to know too.

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    • Posted

      I haven't found anything about these minerals affecting the musculature of the lower oesophageal sphincter.

      If taking supplemental calcium, remember calcium carbonate will be useless as it will just further neutralise the acid, you need calcium citrate instead which requires a prescription (if you're in UK).

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    • Posted

      Yes i got calcium citrate plus magnesium oxide with some zinc together tablets. Come to think of it, i do get muscle spasms almost everyday but they just come on and off like for 1-3 secs.

      Anyway i'll try the calcium + magnesium tablets to see if it helps.

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    • Posted

      No.

      Sorry, did I say "left" ear? It should have been right. Lol.

      I'm 67 now but have had problems with my ears all my life. As a young boy they were syringed weekly with no effect except to leave permanent scarring debarring me from my final SCUBA tests.

      It's only within the last 12 years or so that I have finally figured out the problem all along was reflux. And, now, research papers are being produced that confirm links between reflux and ear problems - the most recent discuss "glue ear" (otitis nedia), and dizziness.

      And a survey last year showed 30% of reflux sufferers had ear problems, particularly the right ear.

      Nocturnal reflux occurs more when lying on the rigt side which is why it's more likely for th eright ear to be affected.

      Following my fundoplication, my hearing got better.

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    • Posted

      Hi i have seen quite a lot of research regarding using apple cider vinegar to correct low stomach acid. Check your Vitamin B12 level and D. Deficiency in either of these can devastate your health. Both my sisters have long term barretts. I was headed this way too. Getting better. Good luck
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