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craigjulian (@craigjulian)

Chronic esophagitis

Digestive Health | Last Active: Dec 17, 2023 | Replies (20)

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Omeprazole worked wonderfully to control my GERD symptoms for four years. I stopped after discovering I am one of the unlucky ones who developed silent side effects from the med. Since then, I tried weaning myself off omeprazole only to develop horrible digestive issues that quieted once I embarked on the FODMAP elimination diet. Then I developed strictures again requiring two more esophagus stretchings. I started using famotidine, an h2 blocker, because it is a much weaker acid suppressor than a proton pump inhibitor. I am also doing the whole food, low acid, low fat diet. Even tho I am not on it 100% it has helped. I also chew sugarless gum, especially during exercise, and that helps a lot in stopping chest pains. I am now down to 10 mg of famotidine a day; I found that skipping days didn't work for me so I am reducing the daily dosage. I also have a subclinical case of Hashimoto's, where antibodies attack the thyroid, and there is some research indicating that the autoimmune disease is related to GERD via esophagus motility issues. No doctor has ever suggested any test for me except an endoscopy. I hope your medical journey is more thorough than mine and you get a plan of action that helps. My unmedical opinion is that figuring out diet triggers, finding the right digestive support via items like enzymes or even chewing gum, helps a lot of people. I also have respiratory reflux and found that spritzing the top of my throat with alkaline water helps. I found some good ideas at the web site of an ENT: https://jamiekoufman.com. She and Dr. Aviv, another ENT, have books out on GERD and respiratory reflux. There are also groups on FB that have a ton of recipes for whole food, low acid, low fat eating associated with the diets recommended by those doctors. Be aware that if you wean off medications it won't be a quick fix to get your digestive tract on track. I am giving myself a year, tho I feel better already. One more thought: some doctors (not your usual gastroenterologists though), think some cases of GERD are actually caused by low stomach acid, and recommend taking HCL supplements after you come off the acid suppressors to see if that helps. Good luck on your journey; I hope you find the path that works for you.

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Thanks so much for sharing your story. It sounds like you’re managing your symptoms well. I was able to squeeze into a GI app today so I’m hoping to come up with a plan of action.
The last couple of days I’ve been concerned that the omeprazole might be making me sick and because I don’t have enough acid in my GI, whatever stomach infection I got 6 weeks ago isn’t able to heal with such an alkaline environment. This is of course my non- medical expert mind.
Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my post.