How I’m successfully stopping my PPI

Posted , 12 users are following.

Hello all. I’ve read many posts on here about trying to come off PPIs, but can’t due to acid rebound. I’m currently in this process and have been doing well, so I thought I’d share. But first, some background.  I’ve had GERD (diagnosed) for about 12 years and have been on PPIs (Omeprazole 20mg tablets) for the same amount of time.  I have tried over and over again to try to get off the PPI due to long-term questionable safety.  I’ve tried diet, excercise, tapering off by taking PPI every other day, etc and none of it worked.  I’d get horrible acid rebound and go right back on the PPI.  I’m not here to say that what I’m doing will work for everyone.  Just thought I’d share my experience so far.  About 3 months ago, I decided I’d make DRASTIC changes to my diet.  I stopped drinking coffee and all caffeinated beverages. I also stopped all soda, juice, milk....everything.  Drinking strictly water.  I also stopped eating ALL breads.  This even includes pizza, salad croutons and anything else that is has bread. I started eating a diet high in proteins, fruits and vegetables and low on carbs.  I also stopped eating desserts and other sweets.  While my BMI was within the healthy range prior to doing this, I lost 14 pounds in about 6 weeks. I’m male, so this was mainly excess belly fat. Then I went to a different doctor.  Every MD I have been to always tells me to stay on Prilosec if it’s controlling my symptoms and have been worthless.  So I saw a Naturopathic Doctor.  The Naturopathic Doctor put me on 6 mg of melatonin at night, which helps to strengthen the lower esophagus sphincter.  (Yes, there is research behind this...you can Google it.) Also put me on L-glutamine, which helps to heal the esophagus .  From there, she prescribed Prilosec in powder form — which I didn’t even know existed.  The Prilosec powder comes in 2.5mg pouches.  So I started off using 4 pouches per day (10mg), which is half the dose I had been on for years.  I did that for a week....and had very little heartburn when going to the lower dose.  After one week, I tapered down to 3 pouches (7.5mg) and did that for a week, also with very little discomfort.  Now I’m down to 2 pouches (5mg) and again, very little if any discomfort.  I plan on sticking to my eating plan and tapering down to 1 pouch (2.5 mg) and hopefully take the final step of tapering completely off.  So far, so good and no hyperacid rebound. I’ll report back in a few weeks with a progress update.  I’m crossing my fingers that I can finally be free of a PPI. 😊

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  • Posted

    Hey Jaybird, congrats on all your progress!  It’s so inspiring to hear these kinds of stories.  May I ask you a few questions, as someone who would love to be in your shoes?  First of all, how much l-glutamine are you taking?  Second, did you get any side effects when you started the melatonin?  I tried 1g once and it did seem to help the GERD but it also seemed to cause palpitations.  Finally, when you say you are off all breads but also low carb, what carbs do you eat and how often?  I have seriously been thinking about doing this as I often find bread is a trigger.  Do you eat beans, whole grains, any starchy vegs, gluten-free carbs, oats, etc.?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jen. As for theL-glutamine... it comes in a can and is powder form. In the can is a scooper and it says to use one scoop per day.  I suspect one scoop it is approximately 1 tablespoon or thereabouts. When I first started the melatonin, I would take 3 mg about 30 minutes before bed.  Then moved up to 6mg. Made me really drowsy, but no side effects.  As for carbs....I eat plenty of vegetables and will also have brown rice.  Pasta on the small occasion and only a little amount.  I do eat grains and beans as well. Basically,  I tried avoid foods with yeast.  Hope this helps.  
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  • Posted

    Hey Jay, I'm glad to hear that you didn't just stick to taking PPIs and went for natural healing, I did look up the research study for melatonin and omeprazole for GERD and from what I read, it's more effective if you take both rather than just the melatonin if you want better results, and with results takes time as the study suggests. The PPIs control the acid while the melatonin protects your eophpgus. I'm only 23 and was recently hit with acid reflux for the first time and it's stayed with me for a month now. I'm on omeprazole 20mg/day. Based on what your naturopathic dr said and the research study, I will start adding melatonin at night and tell you how that goes as well. As for questions, do naturopathic doctors accept insurance? And do insurances cover these doctors?

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    • Posted

      Hi Red. No, insurance doesn’t cover my visits to my Naturopathic Doctor.  I typically pay around $90 per visit.  Most Naturopathic Doctors accept insurance....but it’s the insurance companies who won’t cover it.   However, if you go to a naturopa  doctor and get a diagnosis, you can submit to your insurance to see if they will reimburse. 
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  • Posted

    I am also wondering what brand of melatonin did you doctor prescribe? I don't have trouble sleeping that much but was wondering is there a way to take melatonin without dealing with added sleepiness?

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    • Posted

      any melatonin off the shelf will do.  If you take it 30 minutes before bedtime, you’ll sleep and wake up fine.  At least I do.  
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  • Posted

    Yay!! Well done!!

    I found dumping coffee, bread and sugar out of my diet really helps, plus alcohol and chocolate,.

    Do keep us posted as to how you go, I agree there has been some worrying evidence that long term of PPi's is detrimental.

    Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Joanna, you’re right.  I’ve also stopped coffee and chocolate as well.  All triggers.  Once in awhile I’ll try something to see if it affects me and normally I regret it!
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  • Posted

    Just posting an update: I used the technique in my original post and kept up with my eating habits and continued to use the Omeprazole powder to keep tapering down the dose. I'm now 3 days completely off my PPI and so far, so good. I hope I will be able to stay off for good!

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    • Posted

      glad that you are better, are you eating any gluten free breads, I'm having a really hard time find foods to eat with my gastritis and can not eat any fresh fruits or vegies, everything has to be cooked.

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  • Posted

    providing another update: I have stayed the course with my diet, am down 20 pounds and have been doing everything I can....yet the heartburn has been returning on a daily basis. Been managing it with Ranitidine, but have to take it 2x/day. I'm definitely discouraged by this. Hope I can stay off the PPI, but time will tell.

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