Archive | April 2012

Our friends GERD, Duodenitis – And does gastritis really feel this bad? Yes. Part 1


Omeprazole_3d_structure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Warning: So I am definitely not a Doctor so this is not medical advise just my opinion. If you’re in serious pain go to the Doctor like now or the hospital.Its the internet have an opinion, just not one that gets you sued.

However, when it comes to gut pains Doctors can be frustrating. If its less bad or your frustrated or some PPI made you feel weird (less good), read on.  When I was in pain I surfed the internet like a mad man looking up symptoms left and right and just scared the heck out of myself.  However, I read a lot of discussion boards and blogs sites (everything) looking for relief temporary and permanent so great stuff some total bunk. So I am going to try to relay some of that massive reading and self-reflection and help others zoom a bit ahead. Or at least when you have read everything I read after this you will say AH Ha, now I see. This is a blogged adaptions from a email of to a friend who thought he had GERD or duodenitis or  Gastritis. I figured why not share a bit. I did not see it coming, but I should have. I was youngish (29) and working in the web news biz for almost 3 years doing fairly crazy, but normal time volume of work. I drank tons of coffee, could not kick nicotine gum (even though I never smoked that big red flavor has got to be the same.) I have always been a fan of the spicy foods, never met a Habanero sauce I did not like (except Dave’s Insanity… just hot, no flavor.) I am southern by birth which means over-eating at some meals is more common than not. Lastly, in my youth I was a competitive rower (those fellas and ladies you see on the river in those long boats at odd hours.) Repetitive use injuries are usually treated with “ibuprofen therapy,” by training rooms across America (3 ibuprofen 3-4 times a day). NSAIDS at that dose for extended periods of time (say athletic seasons) does negative wonders on the stomach. (If you are coughing up blood or its coming out the other way and not h’roids then seek medical help immediately, bleeding ulcer and serious colon issues there… . that was not me thankfully.) Then one day, well not really one day, but I started waking up early in the morning and sleeping on the couch because something did not feel right. After about a week I woke up in a consistent pain in my back (kinda throbby) and reach down with my right arm apex and to the right just a consistent pain (I say that because even I still get confused if RUQ or LUQ is from patient or Docs perspective). Didn’t think anything of it until I had some fairly unhealthy dinner and was in real pain. Next morning I was at the emergency room (thought I had an ulcer) and onto months of PPIs and etc etc with other attempts to just feel better. Enough about me…  let’s get to what I learn over that next year. Keep in mind stomach and esophageal cells grow and replace themselves very slowly (no one tells you this early in.) It took me almost a year to be down to 20mg of pepcid twice a day (sometimes less) from 40mg of omeprazole a day or 20mg of pantoprazole. I don’t really get to go all the way back down you may not either.  Thank you GERD and your lifetime friendship. 🙂 The goal with this action below is to be not taking drugs and be GERD pain-free. But at this point you need to. Once you’re in, don’t just stop… or it will seem way worse on the way back down (rebound effect yes its very much real been there done that). Keep in mind everything below is over the counter anyway. I will only mention one thing that is not later. There is two schools of thought on treatment step-up and step-down, people smarter than, I write papers on it. It just means do you start with high dose or low dose and which direction do you go if you are getting the right actions. You can be the judge I am not in your body. Just don’t go off and do something stupid.


First Rule: 3 bananas a day for as long as you can stand it. 2 each morning at least. (Biggest diet help) Look it up some how the do wonders both for during treatment and maintenance when you feel better. A friend told me about it and then I found a study (will cite later to lazy for now. Finally added, its old but you will get the point.)

Second Rule: Ease off coffee and replace with green tea, asap. (second biggest help)

Third Rule: Stop smoking and get addicted to nicotine gum like me for a bit. Still not great on the tummy, but much better than smoking. Still get a bit o’ nick, but get off it too. (Third biggest) I gave it up as soon as my stomach hurt. I did not have a choice, it was cold turkey. A  terrible 4 days.

Fourth Rule:  ZERO hard liquor/spirits and wine and limit alcohol to bare minimal while trying to get the GERD, etc under control. Sucks yes, but if in pain listen to your body. Give yourself time away. After you get better, limit beers try to switch to darker meal beers. Cheap light and strong pales are the worst I hear (wine too). I still stay away as best I can. This is a solvent and makes it really hard for you to heal. (Third biggest)

Fifth Rule: No asprins or  ibuprofens as they are NSAIDsTylenol is ok, just be careful when taken around drinking. (Amazes me that people don’t read warning labels. Please read them!) Give you another option Repair Gold by Enzymemedica (follow the directions). I swear by it, but its pricey (online or Whole Paycheck). (1st biggest)

Sixth Rule: Eat much slower and smaller meals and dont chug water with full stomach. The water floats the acid right up to your GERD zone. (third biggest)

Seventh Rule: Stay away from the spicy sauces for at least the first 4 weeks or much longer. I gave up all spice above Tabasco and Siracha permenently sadly. (second biggest)

Eighth Rule: Of all the quackery on the internet abour homeopathic remedies for GERD etc, DGL Liquorice is not one. It can help but follow directions and don’t use the gross tasting ones. (Be warned it can interact with blood pressure medications so read up first, even if DGL I have heard too. Promise me now?) Yogi Tea branded “throat tea” two or three times a day seems to be a net positive, but the effects don’t last longer than 2 hrs at a time. (Stomach teas for digestion generally have Ginger which is good if you stomach is fine and not causing you pain and discomfort due to GERD and etc, but can make you feel worse, if not or at least did for me.)

Nineth Rule: Nothing with tomatoes or tomato anything. Not sure why this acid is worse than others. Tenth Rule: Coconut water. Here is the claim:

Coconut water is also very effective in treating the problem of gastritis. It is an excellent natural remedy for gastritis. Coconut is highly effective in treating the disease and contributes significantly to restore our normal state within hours.

Not hours, but it does help.  Drink a small one every day for at least two weeks before you discontinue you. This is another one of the internet advise on GERD, etc that is not BS. The P/H of this is much more base than water so it calms down some of the pain caused by  acid contacting cells they should not be. Odd diet note, I craved and ate tuna fish and artichoke hearts with olive oil and italian seasoning and basil all the time while I was sick. Something in this combo is very anti-inflamatory and soothing. For a time it was also the only think I could eat for like a week. If this does not help, then think about below. Below is on top of diet and supplement changes: Diet first now.

Start and End Level 0 Off. Pain free.

Level .5 twice a day or pepcid 10mg. Take Pepcid A/C as needed.

Level 1 Pepcid 20 mg on pill twice a day (generic famotidine is fine) if especially bad take one Pecid A/C as well later (it’s basically 10 mg of the active ingredient plus a tums) Take Enzymemedica digest gold enzyme supplement with meals. (two per meal it will reduce the some of the reasons for the GERD) Take for two weeks and see how you feel… If feeling better ease down to two Pepcid A/C for a week and then off entirely… or sign of more pain or heart burn.

Level 2 If worse… continue the above and add Gaviscon max strength before bed full dose (its on the label)  for two weeks (the IE and UK version have more of the ingredient Sodium alginate, that makes it different from other less useful liquid anti-acids). Take EnzymeMedica Digest Gold enzyme supplement with meals. (three per meal it will reduce some reasons for the GERD)

Level 3 If still bad get generic cvs brand omeprazole (other versions made me really crampy molecules matter one may not even work when the next one over is for you, go figure)  Follow directions for two weeks 20 mg once a day. Continue Gaviscon max. If better ease back down the scale above. Take Enzymemedica digest gold enzyme supplement with meals. (three per meal it will reduce the reason for GERD). Do homework. Read the warning label. Omeprazole is def safe but not for everyone and causes some not so pleasant side effects, they don’t talk much about the drawback of ppi drug therapy on the commercials or in Docs offices very often. is a great site to get informed  about what you are putting in your body. Pantoprazole was my molecule, the others gave me the most unpleasant cramps, if not the generic cvs omeprazole. 

Level 4 If still worse take cvs branded omeprazole for 4 more weeks at higher 40mg dose. (I was at 40 mg for a good long few months.) continue Gaviscon max. Step back down to 20 mg if feeling better for a full week and down the list. This drug has rebound effects… So if you just stop taking it your acid levels go nuts and are actually way worse than normal. Take Enzymemedica digest gold enzyme supplement with meals. (four per meal it will reduce some reasons for GERD more needed as the stomach acid loss cause very, very weird digestion as you have less broken down food for your duodenum to deal with next after the tummy, so take up to 8 a meal if these digestion things happens to you seemed to help me greatly)

Level 5 All right friend, go to the friggin’ Doc already and get yourself scoped, they should def take a look or I hope they already have, and they will likely keep you on omeprazole  at least another 4 weeks or more. Done for now. I promise to add better links and update it when I have a bit more time. (It late and I can’t find my old researching all hours of the night document.)

But In Part 2 I promised to run down the quackery of some holistic and natural remedies (mastic gum, manuka honey, and etc) for these issues and ask if their may be a role for the pink stuff, Pepto in all of this (Yes I tried this one too and it was the only think that stopped my gastritis burps). Some do help but not as much as what I have described above and can be pricey so I want to lay out pros and cons of getting crunchy.  

In part 3 we will explore PPIs from a users perspective since sometimes certain ones don’t work or stop working for some people and not others etc. I am still bitter I had to leave the country to find pantoprazole and that it was my “molecule for healing.”

Part 4 will be about the actual ailments GERDGastritis, and etc.  

Feel free to leave a comment if you have a specific question.


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