A streamlined stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs - Adapt Naturals is now live. Learn more

How Your Antacid Drug Is Making You Sick (Part B)


Last updated on

Note: this is the fifth article in a series about heartburn and GERD. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to read Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IVa before reading this article.

In the last article, we discussed the first two of four primary consequences of taking acid stopping drugs:

  1. Bacterial overgrowth
  2. Impaired nutrient absorption

In this article we’ll cover the remaining two consequences:

  1. Decreased resistance to infection
  2. Increased risk of cancer and other diseases
Free eBook

Learn More about Heartburn and GERD

You don't have to suffer from heartburn and GERD. Download this free eBook to find how to get rid of it forever.

"*" indicates required fields

I hate spam, too. Your email is safe with me. By signing up, you agree to our privacy policy.

Our First Line of Defense

The mouth, esophagus and intestines are home to between 400-1,000 species of bacteria. However, a healthy stomach is normally almost completely sterile. Why? Because stomach acid kills bacteria.

In fact, that’s one of it’s most important roles: to provide a two-way barrier that protects the stomach from pathogenic bacteria.

First, stomach acid prevents harmful bacteria that may be present in the food or liquid we consume or the air we breathe from entering the intestine. At the same time, stomach acid also prevents normal bacteria from the intestines to move into the stomach and esophagus, where they could cause problems.

The low pH (high acid) environment of the stomach is one of the major non-specific defense mechanisms of the body. When the pH of the stomach is 3 or lower, the normal between-meal “resting” level, bacteria don’t last more than fifteen minutes. But as the pH rises to 5 or more, many bacterial species can avoid the acid treatment and begin to thrive.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens when you take acid stopping drugs. Both Tagamet and Zantac significantly raise the pH of the stomach from about 1 to 2 before treatment to 5.5 to 6.5 after, respectively.

Prilosec and other PPIs are even worse. Just one of these pills is capable of reducing stomach acid secretion by 90 to 95 percent for the better part of a day. Taking higher or more frequent doses of PPIs, as is often recommended, produces a state of achlorydia (virtually no stomach acid). In a study of ten healthy men aged 22 to 55 years, a 20 or 40 mg dose of Prilosec reduced stomach acid levels to near-zero.

A stomach without much acid is in many ways a perfect environment to harbor pathogenic bacteria. It’s dark, warm, moist, and full of nutrients.

Most of the time these bacteria won’t kill us – at least not right away. But some of them can. People who have a gastric pH high enough to promote bacterial overgrowth are more vulnerable to serious bacterial infections.

A recent systematic review of gastric acid-suppressive drugs suggested that they do in fact increase susceptibility to infections (PDF). The author found evidence that using acid stopping drugs can increase your chances of contracting the following nasty bugs:

  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Cholera
  • Listeria
  • Giardia
  • C. Difficile

Other studies have found that acid stopping drugs also increase the risk for:

Not only do acid stopping drugs increase our susceptibility to infection, they weaken our immune system’s ability to fight off infections once we have them. In vitro studies have shown that PPIs impair nuetrophil function, decrease adhesion to endothelial cells, reduce bactericidal killing of microbes, and inhibit neutrophil phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification.

A Gateway to Other Serious Diseases

As we discussed in the first article in this series, a decline in acid secretion with age has been well documented. As recently as 1996, a British physician noted that age-related stomach acid decline is due to a loss of the cells that produce the acid. This condition is called atrophic gastritis.

In particular relevance to our discussion here, atrophic gastritis (a condition where stomach acid is very low) is associated with a wide range of serious disorders that go far beyond the stomach and esophagus. These include:

  • Stomach cancer
  • Allergies
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Depression, anxiety, mood disorders
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Skin diseases, including forms of acne, dermatitis, eczema, and urticaria
  • Gall bladder disease (gallstones)
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Graves disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease (CD), Ulcerative colitis (UC)
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Type 1 diabetes

And let’s not forget that low stomach acid can cause heartburn and GERD!

In the interest of keeping this article from becoming a book, I’m going to focus on just a few of the disorders on the list above.

Stomach Cancer

Atrophic gastritis is a major risk factor for stomach cancer. H. pylori is the leading cause of atrophic gastritis. Acid suppressing drugs worsen H. pylori infections and increase rates of infection.

Therefore, it’s not a huge leap to suspect that acid suppressing drugs increase the risk of stomach cancer in those infected with H. pylori (which, as we saw in Part III, is one in two people).

In a recent editorial, Julie Parsonnet, M.D. of Standford University Medical School writes:

In principle, current [acid suppressing drug] therapies might be advancing the cancer clock by converting relatively benign gastric inflammation into a more destructive, premalignant process.

One way PPIs increase the risk of cancer is by inducing hypergastrinemia, a condition of above-normal secretion of the hormone gastrin. This is a potentially serious condition that has been linked to adenocarcinoma – a form of stomach cancer.

Taking a standard 20 mg daily dose of Prilosec typically results in up to a three-to-fourfold increase in gastrin levels. In people whose heartburn fails to respond to the standard dose, long-term treatment with doses as high as 40 or 60 mg has produced gastrin levels as much as tenfold above normal.

Another theory of what causes stomach cancer involves elevated concentration of nitrites in the gastric fluid.

In a healthy stomach, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) removes nitrite from gastric juice by converting it to nitric oxide. However, this process is dependent upon the pH of the stomach being less than 4. As I discussed earlier in this article, most common acid stopping medications have no trouble increasing the pH of the stomach to 6 or even higher.

Therefore, it’s entirely plausible that acid stopping medications increase the risk of stomach cancer by at least two distinct mechanisms.

Like what you’re reading? Get my free newsletter, recipes, eBooks, product recommendations, and more!

Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers

An estimated 90% of duodenal (intestinal) and 65% of gastric ulcers are caused by H. pylori. It is also recognized that the initial H. pylori infection probably only takes place when the acidity of the stomach is decreased. In a human inoculation experiment, infection could not be established unless the pH of the stomach was raised (thus lowering the acidity) by use of histamine antagonists.

By lowering stomach acid and increasing stomach pH, acid suppressing drugs increase the risk of H. pylori infection and subsequent development of duodenal or gastric ulcers.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Adenosine is a key mediator of inflammation in the digestive tract, and high extracellular levels of adenosine suppress and resolve chronic inflammation in both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Chronic use of PPIs has been shown to decrease extracellular concentration of adenosine, resulting in an increase in inflammation in the digestive tract. Therefore, it is possible that long-term use of acid stopping medications may predispose people to developing serious inflammatory bowel disorders.

It has become increasingly well established that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is caused at least in part by small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). It is also well known that acid suppressing drugs contribute to bacterial overgrowth, as I explained in Part II and Part III. It makes perfect sense, then, that chronic use of acid suppressing drugs could contribute to the development of IBS in those that didn’t previously have it, and worsen the condition in those already affected.

Depression, Anxiety and Mood Disorders

While there is no specific research (that I am aware of) linking acid suppressing drugs to depression or mood disorders, a basic understanding of the relationship between protein digestion and mental health suggests that there may be a connection.

During the ingestion of food stomach acid secretion triggers the release of pepsin. Pepsin is the enzyme responsible for breaking down protein into its component amino acids and peptides (two or more linked amino acids). Essential amino acids are called “essential” because we cannot manufacture them in our bodies. We must get them from food.

If pepsin is deficient, the proteins we eat won’t be broken down into these essential amino acid and peptide components. Since many of these essential amino acids, such as phenylalanine and tryptophan, play a crucial role in mental and behavioral health, low stomach acid may predispose people towards developing depression, anxiety or mood disorders.

Autoimmune Diseases

Low stomach acid and consequent bacterial overgrowth cause the intestine to become permeable, allowing undigested proteins to find their way into the bloodstream. This condition is often referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”. Salzman and colleagues have shown that both transcellular and paracellular intestinal permeability are substantially increased in atrophic gastritis sufferers compared to control patients.

When undigested proteins end up in the bloodstream, they are considered as “foreign” by the immune system. The resulting immune response is similar to what happens when the body mobilizes its defenses (i.e. T cells, B cells and antibodies) to eradicate a viral or bacterial infection.

This type of immune response against proteins we eat contributes to food allergies. A similar mechanism that is not fully understood predisposes people with a leaky gut to develop more serious autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, Graves disease, and inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.

The connection between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and low stomach acid in particular has been well established in the literature. Examining the stomach contents of 45 RA patients, Swedish researchers found that 16 (36 percent) had virtually no stomach acid. Those people who had suffered from RA the longest had the least acid. A group of Italian researchers also found that people with RA have an extremely high rate of atrophic gastritis associated with low stomach acid when compared with normal individuals.


In the last ten years, more than four hundred scientific articles concerned with the connection between asthma and gastric acidity have been published. One of the most common features of asthma, in addition to wheezing, is gastroesophageal reflux.

It is estimated that between up to 80 percent of people with asthma also have GERD. Compared with healthy people, those with asthma also have significantly more reflux episodes and more acid-induced irritation of their esophageal lining.

When acid gets into the windpipe, there is a tenfold drop in the ability of the lungs to take in and breathe out air. Physicians who are aware of this association have begun prescribing acid stopping drugs to asthma patients suffering from GERD. While these drugs may provide temporary symptomatic relief, they do not address the underlying cause of the LES dysfunction that permitted acid into the esophagus in the first place.

In fact, there is every reason to believe that acid suppressing drugs make the underlying problem (too little stomach acid and overgrowth of bacteria) worse, thus perpetuating and exacerbating the condition.


As we have seen in the previous articles in the series, heartburn and GERD are caused by too little – and not too much – stomach acid. Unfortunately, insufficient stomach acid is also associated with bacterial overgrowth, impaired nutrient absorption, decreased resistance to infection, and increased risk of stomach cancer, ulcers, IBS and other digestive disorders, depression and mood disorders, autoimmune disease, and asthma.

Chronic use of acid stopping medication dramatically reduces stomach acid, thus increasing the risk of all of these conditions. What’s more, acid suppressing medications not only do not address the underlying cause of heartburn and GERD, they make it worse.

Is the temporary symptom relief these drugs provide worth the risk? That’s something only you can decide. I hope the information I’ve provided here can help you make an educated decision.

In the next and final article of the series, I will present a plan for getting rid of heartburn and GERD once and for all without drugs.

ADAPT Naturals logo

Better supplementation. Fewer supplements.

Close the nutrient gap to feel and perform your best. 

A daily stack of supplements designed to meet your most critical needs.

Chris Kresser in kitchen
Affiliate Disclosure
This website contains affiliate links, which means Chris may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. You will pay the same price for all products and services, and your purchase helps support Chris‘s ongoing research and work. Thanks for your support!


Join the conversation

  1. Hi chris,
    Thank you so much for these articles. They are very informative and interesting. I am a 28 year old woman, healthy (in my opinion , for the most part), non smoking , non drinking fairly healthy eating habits (oatmeal, yogurts, fruits for breakfast, veggies usually for lunch and a non gluten grain for lunch, sometimes protein and veggies for dinner etc .) I have been sick for the last two months, with a very uncomfortable cough, clear mucus, and asthma which I thought was a virus, (my X-rays showed no bronchitis, or pneumonia, etc), no bacterial infections, etc. I finally went to a doctor who diagnosed me with GERD. I was prescribed two medicines, but before taking, I will try your method of eating the right foods, not eating many carbohydrateS etc, restarting in a sense. I don’t eat bread/pasta regularly , though I have been in Italy the last month and a half and have eaten way more than normal. Anyways, there is one medicine that is not an acid suppressant , and I am curious about your opinion- though I don’t know if you will answer! It is called Neo Bianacid. It’s apparently “natural” , and helps create a mucous membrane barrier in the stomach and asophagus, to protect from stomachs acid irritation. I’m wondering if you know anything about this or if you have thoughts about it – their website says this about it, among other things:

    Poliprotect synergistic molecular complex of polysaccharides (molecular weight > 20,000 Da) and minerals (Limestone and Nahcolite) with mucoadhesive properties.

    Physiological mucus is, essentially, composed of mucin and bicarbonate.

    Anyways, I would love to hear your opinion! Thank you

    • I have lpr it seems burning in the throat but got bad side effects from lpr. I Stopped PPI now but the burning is bad. I bought neo bianacid and this morning I woke up with some burning had breakfast and took one for the first time and it seems to relieve the burn in the throat/upper chest. I will combine this with gaviscon advance and hopefully this will work and make life more bearable than it is for me at the momeny

      • Congratulations on getting off PPI’s. How did you learn about neobianacid? The only place I could find it is on ebay.
        You might also be interested in using melatonin which is not the same chemistry but also protects the mucus membranes in your digestive tract. It soothes these areas. Also, it allows the body to do what it is supposed to do including using acid to aid in digestive processes. I have had great success with melatonin, bit I want to try bianacid during the day time. Gaviscon advance is great. Good luck

  2. Hi. I have been taking Prilosec for 2 years and after reading about the long term effects I stopped cold turkey. Now I’m having bad acid indigestion and heartburn. Few questions:
    1) Am I at risk if I stop now of developing any of the horrible things above?
    2) Will this pass eventually as I build up my stomach again to handle the acid?
    3) Will Aloe Vera Juice help? Any other recommendations?

    Im 47 yrd old male, very fit, and eat well.

    • You’re extremely ignorant and that’s nice to know there are people who read this stuff on the internet and then go “cold turkey.” Use your brain… If you have acid problems go to your doctor(the guy who went to 10 years of schooling to help you) and listen to him. Unless your licking the pavement and kissing strangers daily, you’re fine to take an anti acid to help you.

    • Agree Tom. People read something on the Internet and what they do , they believe it immediately. Follow : cold turkey and symptoms return and why they forget immediately that they were better and become anxious of long term side effect which nor even proven, They don’t realize that other medicines who people takes for example high blood pressure, diabetic, kidney disease,etc if they stop this medicine symptoms become back and maybe worsened. Why because they were good when they take them.

  3. Chris: what are are your thoughts on the latest research reported in JAMA on the association between PPI’s and kidney disease and dementia? I was negative to begin with about taking PPI’s and I am determined to get off of them. I just saw on You Tube a specialist from UCLA gastro center talking about Barrett’s. It was interesting to me that an all doctor audience posed questions about PPI. He says there is no evidence that they prevent cancer and his guess is that they don’t. One hypothesis is: the reflux may not be acid, but something else. So there is no point in using PPI’s.
    Thanks for your good work.

  4. Where is the last article that is supposed to help me with all the issues you just raised in all the other articles?

  5. I’ve been on Prevacid for several years and I don’t think they do a lick of good. Years ago I started getting acid reflux on a daily basis. I went to the doctor and he wrote me a script. It was that easy, like handing out candy to a kid. Basically, it’s like putting a band aid on the problem. Nobody cared to investigate why I felt like I did. It angers me that doctors don’t warn you of the possible side effects. I’m tired of being another statistic and I’m determined to get my life back. I’ve been doing a lot of research about acid reflux. I’ve read that it’s actually you don’t have enough acid, it just mimics acid reflux. I’m ready for a change but need some solid info to get me kick started. I need advice on getting off ppi’s. I’ve heard you can suffer acid rebound quitting these types of medications. What would be the most effective way to quit ppi’s? I don’t care how long it takes, just as long as I can get off them in the end. I want to do it with as little pain as possible but I realize everyone reacts differently. I’m not even going to waste my time asking my doctor because I’ll get the run around. That’s why I’m here. I have finally found a group on the same level thinking as me. I need to get off these ppi’s and if someone can elaborate on a plan I’d be grateful. I want to get off these so I can try HCL with pepsin and just maybe, get my life back.

  6. My daughter has been on reflux medicine for about 10-15 years and has just been diagnosed with stomach cancer. She has horrible GERD and so do almost everyone in our family, some worse than others. Why are the big pharm companies warning us of this and fixing the problem. They told her she could get cancer if she did not take these drugs. Now her 5 year old has been on them since birth and actually throws up in her mouth. They are small girls and do not eat a lot. Now my daughter is having 60%of her stomach removed at 34 and we are waiting to see if the lesions on her liver are cancerous or benign to determine if she has to have chemo. I feel this is the ultimate money maker for the medical field. She has to deal with ally his and has a 1 and 5 year old child and a full time teaching job.. I am mad as hell about this and these doctors trying to push pharmaceuticals and not use our insurance snd fix our problems. This is nothing short of murder. And the ultimate scam to make the big bucks. I no longer respect the pharm companies, the health ins cos nor the doctors. Legal murder and a slow torturous death.

  7. I had heartburn, inflammation all over my body,asthma,diarrhea,all kinds of issues.I was diagnosed with food sensitivities. I was taking Prilosec, and started having heart arrythmia. I quit the Prilosec and started taking HCI with pepsin and betain before meals and,and,incredibly, all my issues seem to be going away. I now think I had too little stomach acid. The food sensitivities were actually the result of not digesting my food. It wasn’t that I was sensitive to the foods, it was that I couldn’t digest them. I feel like a new man. Workouts at the gym have gotten TOO EASY!!!! No more heartburn. No more inflammation.No more asthma.

    • I just want to point out to both Chris and yourself that while SOME cases of heartburn certainly CAN be caused by chronic low stomach acid levels, more often than not, that is absolutely NOT the case, and making a blanket statement like that is both factually incorrect and socially irresponsible.

      Now look, I hate PPIs as much as anyone, as I took them at high doses for several years and am now suffering the consequences (osteoporosis and chrohn’s disease, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), but as someone who underwent a very successful surgery for GERD (Linx device), I feel obligated to point out that studies have IRREFUTABLY shown that the majority of GERD cases are the result of deterioration of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), which is what keeps the contents of your stomach from splashing up into the esophagus.

      Advising people to take betaine HCL and digestive enzymes will only cause further esophageal damage to someone with LES dysfunction (which again, applies to the VAST MAJORITY of GERD sufferers), so while I’m glad that has worked for you and a select group of others, the truth of the matter is that it’s terrible advice for most people.

      • Friends:
        Please note that gastritis and GERD can be acidic and alkaline. Antiacids and PPIs are prescription drugs given by MDs and they ” work ” in either case. The way to go is to learn how to determine the acidity/alkalinity of the gastric disorder. Both cases can be present in the same person under different circumstances, however 98/100 times is insufficient gastric acid in the stomack the cause of the disorder. By design and nature of the digestive process, the valve that connects the esophagus and the stomack is only closed when the specific amount of gastric acid is present, amd that is the only way to close the valve. Consider the cause of acidic gastritis and GERD the only alternative is supplement hcl and then, only then the valve closes and the stomack releases the contents into the small intestine and signals the pancreas to proceed with the digestive process. Consider the gastritis/GERD to be alkaline, again you supplement hcl to neutralize the alkalinity of the stomack contents, in case of GERD to return to the stomack or to close the valve and to be released into the small intestine. In the case of alkalinity you have to supplement until you feel releafed, with deep knowledge I have to tell you that is how mature works and there is nothing we can do to change it. In cases when the valve in been managed with surgery, the process could ne alterated, but in 100/100 of the cases the procedure is a failure. The only way to reverse this unwanted result is to reeducate your digetive process very, very, very slowly until the valve is back to its nature. Most of the cases it reverses, do not give up, just be patient and become an investigator of your own boby and how it works, at the end you will be surprided,proud and free of medical malpractices. Alkaline gastritis/GERD, however rare is much more damaging than acid gas/Gerd, much more by far and I beg you to take action as soon as possible. The answer is very simple, add hcl until you feel relief, never before. Antiacids and PPIs are extremely dangerous because of the rebound effects they produce and the vicious circle they create. Believe it or not, the two most damaging drugs to human kind are Antacids and PPIs and statin drugs. Almost, if not all deses are because of those two poisons. If taking a high dose of antiacids/ PPIs reliefs your disorders is only and only because your body feels extreme pressure to let the the food in process to return and enter into the small intestine bypassing the stomack as the last resort in order to save your life of going into a alkaline coma. Hcl is the first line of deffense for the inmmune system, not enough of it, using antiacids and PPIs is an invitation to disaster and any pathogen causing any desease is free to destroy your health. It is a classical case of suicide.
        Please be proactive and take care of yourself, given the case that the medical system is not.
        Best wishes for you…….

        • Friends: Just for the benefit of the doubt ,I strongly suggest you google Dr Wallack, Dr Glidden, Dr Mercola, Dr Michael Greger, Dr Jon Barron, healthline.com,,Dr Wilson, Dr Eric Berg.Gutcritters.com,healyourgut.com,Dr Chris Kresser, as always impecable right.

  8. Does anyone have information about the long term use of antacids to remedy GERD and having your sense of taste and smell totally change? I’ve read in only one place that liquid antacid can change taste but can’t find more info. Doctors are prescribing more antacids and the smell/taste changes are really difficult to deal with and I’m suspecting it’s related.

    • Nel:
      I too have had changes in my taste after taking omeprezole, Zantac and now lansoprazole. Zantac did not control my acid reflux. But I don’t understand why I have lost my taste buds. I can’t taste most bland foods and it is so upsetting. My dr said he has never heard of this side effect and said I should live with it because not taking the lansoprazole would do more damage to my esophagus. Can anyone help?

      • Nel,
        Proton pump inhibitors decrease your bodies ability to absorb minerals and vitamins. One of them being zinc. Signs of a zinc deficiency include altered or loss of taste and smell. You can supplement with zinc, but do so cautiously, you don’t want to take too much at once.

  9. i have gerd and would like to know info. Also just quit Omeprazole after only taking for 2 weeks. Having alot of burping and worse symptoms of bloating, cramping, and acid indigestion. I was afraid to keep taking the PPI.

  10. I’m a 29 year old female and I started experiencing sudden heartburn after eating that seems to persistent for even a day or two after and been going on for two weeks now. After reading this, I wonder what the alternative explanation for heartburn could be if it’s not low stomach acid, because I’ve tried apple cider vinegar in the past (the Bragg’s kind with the mother) and had horrible heartburn after. It seems if it was low stomach acid, then this remedy should improve heartburn not increase it?

    • Melissa, start by taking PepZin GI 2-4 times a day between meals. If that does not help, you will have to try taking Zantac 150 one time before bed.

      If that’s not sufficient, shift to Zantac 150 every 12 hours, which is the standard dosage.

      I made a website about helping with gastritis, after stumbling into a lot of misinformation on the Internet:


      Apple Cider Vinegar is often recommended by naturopaths who want to believe the problem is low-acid, but in majority of cases this simply isn’t true, and ACV just makes things worse.

    • At your age, the most common cause is STRESS or/and eating too late in the night -unless you are addicted to spicy food.

      Stress will cause stomach pain, acid reflex, eventually ulcer.
      So any remedy to stop the acid are just temp without treating underling cause..

      You can try this

      There are different levels of GERB/heartburn
      If you have mild acid reflex(heart burn), flatulence, but no diahhrea, and little pain take this -your tongue must have some white coating or swollen:
      Xiang Sha Yang Wei Wan

      if you have acid reflex & diarrhea & pain -take this with meal.
      Ban Xia Xie Xin Wan Remedy will also treat pylori…

      These has been use probably a dozen centuries for sure,

      Xanac is not the answer…will make the problem worst.

    • Some people cannot tolerate Apple cider vinegar. You could be allergic to it.

  11. I have been taking Prilosec for over 3 years. I’m a female in my mid 30s and know I need to get off of this drug asap. I don’t know how and my doctors can’t or won’t help… I couldn’t find the final article in this series. Where is this published? Any additional resources recommended where I can help myself to get off of Prilosec? Greatly appreciate any help/comments!

    • I was able to wean of simply by adding a lot of fermented food. Quality farmers market saurkraut, kombucha tea from a health food store, and kefir. I even drink pickle juice if I need to. Go on a very low carb diet, stop eating sugar, and processed food, and load up on fermented food. If that doesn’t work read about adding HCL and pepsin into your diet. Also read up on how to slowly wean off of PPIS good luck!

  12. This is a very interesting read and about what I was looking for. I’ve been on Omeprazole for the past few months due to reflux causing coughing. Now, I never had excessive reflux issues, but it was bubbling up when I slept. Now, I decided to go off of it and try to treat the reflux with tums and fiber capsules, but the reflux is suddenly so much worse than it ever was before I started taking Omeprazole. I’m hoping the next installment in this series is doable, because I’d hate to have surgery for this. I’m only 26.

  13. I underwent surgery on the 29th of June to correct my refluax problem and I can unequivocally tell you that the PPIs I had taken for years was destroying my health. I am totally free of all reflux medicine and free of all symptoms associated with the reflux and massive hiatial hernia.

        • Bill how are you going now another year and a half on from procedure? Still fine and no further problems? Thanks

          • Hopefully you get the notification of comment above, I forgot to click that but am wondering about the pros and cons of procedure and other not so successful stories.

  14. Excellent series of articles. Absolutely loved it! Thanks for sharing this with the world. Just got a question for you: Doctors who claim acid reflux is due to excessive stomach acid, suggest to reduce intake of acidy food like tomatoes, onion, lemon, etc. Do you disagree with this statement? My understanding from your articles is that consuming these foods can actually be beneficial to increase stomach acidity and reduce or prevent acid reflux. I’d love to hear your thought.

  15. I was told to take Prilosec basically forever (due to peptic ulcers) two years later I read about how bad it was! I had lost so much weight and was always sick. I went back to my dr and he said I had taken it to long to safely get off, but I was determined. I have successfully gotten off for one year but it caused long term problems. I now am severely allergic to milk, coconut, and suppliment vitamin B’s.

    • I have been taking 40 mg of Nexium for almost 10 years now. I’ve hit my gallbladder out my appendix out and I still have diarrhea and then bouts of constipation. I had the H pylorie took the antibiotic and two months later it’s back again. Where is the next article about what to do about Gerd? I never did see it

        • Thanks,

          I have been trying a combination. These all I have tried, and successfully reduces but never eradicates these @#$@#$ bugs.

          – Silver colloidal short burst duration
          – Turmeric with ginger concoction
          – MAstic Gums with Manuka honey
          – Oregano and Echineces and a whole bunch of herbal tabs

  16. This is all so interesting to me. I had some issues with my bowels, so dr orders a colonoscopy. While drinking the prep, I was on my 10 dose (80ozs) I started throwing up blood, I stopped the cleansing process and went for procedure the next day, told dr what had happened and he also did and endoscopy. There was a small tear at the bottom of my esophagus, he also found a severe infestation of h pylori. I was put on 2 antibiotics and 2 pepto bismal tablets every 6 hours for 2 weeks. Had a 2 week follow up, at that time he put me on Zantac 2 a day. After a couple of weeks, I noticed it was making me feel horrible, a lot of discomfort when I take it! So I stopped taking it. It’s been 5 month’s and I feel like I did back before the procedure. I am run down, my give a damn is busted and I am hurting. I am supposed to go at the end of Aug for my 6 mt check up with my surgeon. Should I go ahead and make an earlier appt.? How do you find out your PH balance in your stomach?

  17. I now understand why I got so sick.
    Ultimately I am the idiot for taking Prilosec. A friend bought me Prilosec and fervently insisted that I take them for 2 weeks to “vastly improve my stomach and liver health that may have been damaged from my drinking habits.”
    I told her I have never had heartburn or acid reflux in my life, but sometimes loose bowel movements the day after drinking. She said it rehabilitates the damaged stomach and liver.

    Again, I’m the idiot.
    While going through the 2 week course of medication, i had lost appetite and energy. On the 14th day, after eating seafood I was completely floored with high fever, swollen lymph nodes and throat, and excruciating body aches. For nearly 3 days.

    Prilosec was the culprit. Or maybe my ignorance was.

    • If anyone reads this, can you tell me whether I may have done some serious damage by taking the 2 week Prilosec when I absolutely had no need?

      Will my stomach acid secretion level return to normal now that I have stopped taking them?

      What can I do now?

      • 2 weeks is reversible. Keep TUMS at hand, but try to use them sparingly, because excessive use can create kidney stones.

        You should be able to “land”. I find Russian food “tvorog”, also known as farmer’s cheese or quark… to be a good natural antacid.

    • I have been taking nexium for 10 years – 40 mg
      I cut back to 20 mg and had gurgling and could taste bitter taste. I think I am stuck taking it till I die. So it will be a vicious circle of h pylorie I fear..

  18. I’ve been taking Nexium for maybe 15 years .I am serving from some of the side effects.so what do I do for the GERD /ACID REFLUX? I would like to get off this medicine .Found info at fda.gov lots of medicines.