Making a life decision on PPI's

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For the last 6 years I’ve been having constant problems with my stomach due to high acid levels (gastroscopy confirmed, no Zoolinger-Elyson). To cut the story, I have chronic gastritis which turns into chronic erosive gastritis every time if I don’t take PPI’s (40 mg daily pantoprazole does the job). I’ve also got some microscopic barretss, it hasn’t spread for the last 6 years although I have daily heartburn due to Hiatal Hernia. Of course I have heartburn daily IF and only if I don’t take PPI’s.

I’ve tried everything, every diet, every alternative (almost everything I guess) but still I get heartburn and stomach pain. I also started to ignore my doctors’ advice that I should be on a diet to eliminate this and that food to try and help my condition. None of my diets can help if I have too much HCL acid in my stomach! I will again get an erosive condition no matter the diet.

I’ m writing this post to make a life decision. I decided to take 20-40 mg of Pantoprazole daily for the rest of my life because I feel extremely energetic, I can eat whatever I want, I can work how long I want, I have zero pain, zero heartburn and despite all the negative things appearing about PPI’s in the media for the past few years, I love this drug because it saved my life numerous times and because I can live my life as any other totally healthy person in this world.

The problem is that I’m only 25 (just turned this summer). Basically none of my friends have ever taken more than 100 pills in their life’s and I already took thousands of them in the past 6 years, H2-s and PPI’s as well as some tums (which don’t help). The other problem is that your mental attitude just fades away. I was always mentally strong for the past years but when you see that the meds are the only option and that you’ve suffered daily pain with daily heartburn you just cannot convince your brain to stay strong anymore. Also, my parents have lost a child (my sister) and I’m the only one left and they think that I’m super healthy (I’m hiding my condition from them and I’m never ever going to tell them anything because my mother would probably drop dead immediately). My parents are both healthy.

I guess it’s faith, can’t be anything else, and I accept it. Despite everything I’ve read on the NET, and I’ve really read everything, I can’t believe that I’m going to say that but yes, I love my PPI’s but I know that I could have major sides in a couple of years. My ancestors were all long living and I can say that I’ve got really good genes but it seems that you can’t go against too much stomach acid. The stomach lining can endure this, which makes sense.

Should I stick with my decision or should I again for the nth time seek for an alternative although my mind deep inside knows that there is no alternative. I welcome your suggestions…

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    I wouldn't want to take pills for the rest of my life either - I couldn't imagine at this point and I'm 30. I do know, however, that my dad has been on PPI's for longer than I've been alive and takes blood pressure and cholesterol meds now on top of it. He tried everything too - diets, lifestyle changes and none of it helped either. If there is nothing else that can help, then I see the only choice being taking the pills and feeling like a normal human being. There are of course side effects to every drug, but if you've been taking them for 6 years and are fine then I don't see a reason to stop especially if they are helping so much. I personally feel like it's a better choice than letting your stomach acid erode your esophagus/stomach and possibly give you cancer at some point in your life. It's ultimately up to you and I haven't personally had to be on them for more than 2 months and I'm obviously not a doctor. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    If you produce too much acid, you do need to take acid suppressants - but make sure their use is reviewed by a doctor.

    I know hundrds of patients who are on PPIs for life. Anyone with Barrett's s supposed to take them and they reduce the risk of progression to cancer by 71%.

    There's an awful lot of rubbish talked about diet. Unless you have discovered any trigger food particular to you to be avoided, diet will not alter the acidit of your stomach. It produces very strong acid and adding any alkaine or acidic foods has as much effect as pouring a kettle of hot water in the ocean. The stomach will produce extra acid if it fees its needs it. Unfortunately for you, it appears your stomach may have its sums slightly wrong and you make too much. PPIs stop the stomach making as much.

    40mg pantoprazole is actually a low maintenance dose (equivalent to 20 mg omeprazole) that shouldn't cause any problems.

    There's a lot of rubbish being propagated about PPIs, too. Taken in excess or unnecessarily over a long time can induce hypochlorhydria (too low acid) whence you may not absorb essential minerals effectively. (That's why a doctor needs to routnely monitor what you're taking and you may need occasional blood tests to ensure you are not becoming anaemic etc. ) But, form what you say, this is unlikely to occur in your case. (Research has shown it's more prevalent in self-medicators hwo have been using the pills inappropriately. )

    There have also been scare stories propagated linking PPI usage with various conditions like chronic kidney disease (CKD), dementia etc. The sensationalist media are unable to tell the differene between correlation and causation. The fact a higher proprtion of those with CKD were found to be taking PPIs than the general public does not infer PPIs caused the condition. (It would be like saying aspirin causes hheadaches. )

    If you visit the www BarrettsWessex org uk website, you'll find a page "PPI dangers" under the Treatments / drugs tab that exposes the truth abehnd the scare stories.

     

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    • Posted

      it produces very strong acid and adding any alkaine or acidic foods has as much effect as pouring a kettle of hot water in the ocean.

      This is so true. I haven’t heard that from any doctor. I was also having an endoscopy procedure one year after my condition started (and I was not on a diet, eating fast food most of the time) and my stomach lining was almost completely fine. In conclusion diet doesn’t help really. I eat everything and whilst on pills I don’t have any problem with foods whatsoever. When I’m on a diet (extreme) diet my conditions slightly improves but again I have to go on pills. 

      As you said, the acid is just to strong and does it's thing.

       

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  • Posted

    Keep taking your medicine since it helps.  There's no shame in it.  It seems these days most people are taking some sort of medication on a daily basis.  Don't give up hope though.  Keep researching.  You know doctors and alternative medicine practitioners discover new solutions every day.  Probiotics, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, ginger tea, all help with symptoms.  It's a hard road to go.  I know. I have IBS and liver problems.  I hope you feel better soon.

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