Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Acid Reflux Forum

Any cure for acid reflux forever? Sick of googling.

Don't tell me to manage my stress. I don't have.
I am very down due to the bad breath from acid reflux. It is not something which can be cleared by chewing gums which is really frustrating. Depressed!
If antacids do not cure acid reflux, why doctors still prescribe for us? To make us feel better instead of telling us we have to live with it? I know i sound negative. I could not contemplate to live with this bad breath problem forever. I just went for upper endoscopy, was told redness can be seen so it proved me right that i have acid reflux all these 4 years. But it doesn't bother me much because i would only have the terrible bad breath in the morning (i can eat a lot to clear the smell) and occasionally during the day when my pants are too tight. But recently it occurs too often with people's reaction so obvious. I was just prescribed antacids. Nth i can do but just to take as instructed. I have tried apple cider vinegar, it seems like doesn't help. I will buy probiotics. Maybe i will try DGL as well? Why isn't there a standard cure nowadays in this modern age? Certainly i do not want to go for surgery.

THe most probably cause for my acid reflux is my habit of sleeping after lunch for few years. I really regret to the uttermost. I dont do that anymore but i still have this.

I google for the cure but different people say different things. Is it just trial and error? Normally they say citrus are not allowed, but why is it here that we are asked to sip on lemon water? Dont really get it.

Of all diseases i get acid reflux. Kill me quick. Everyone despises ppl with bad breath or BO. Now i have that terrible bad breath.

I really don't know what i am left with without gluten food or the rest being told. I don't cook. Maybe i just eat oat meal? Just a torture seeing others eating whatever they like and not me.
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First Helper User Profile robichris
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replied November 28th, 2014
Experienced User
Hi,

Firstly be very cautious with the Googling. There are many charlatans who will sell you their secret - which is often nothing more than eating an apple. They are modern day snake-oil salesmen willing to part the desperate from their money.

There are many elements to acid reflux, the principal ones being acid and reflux.
Excess acid is the easiest to treat. Antacids like Tums act immediately to neutralize it.
Alginates, like UK formula Gaviscon if you are able to get it, are better. They coat the esophagus and float on the reservoir of acid to reduce the likelihood of splash back.
H2 blockers like ranitidine (Zantac) are best used pre-emptively before the acid strikes. They interfere with the signals telling the stomach to produce acid.
The best drugs are the PPIs (eg omeprazole / Prilosec). They work by reducing the number of specialist cells (proton pumps) that form to produce acid. They have to be taken pre-emptively daily and become more efficient after a few days.

The scare stories about PPIs are totally out of proportion. Because they are efficient in what they do (reducing stomach acid), some people who have been using them at a high dose for a few years may experience some problems associated with low acid - malabsorption of some essential minerals and vitamins (which may require supplementation) and a reduction in immune deficiency which can be boosted by taking pro-biotics.

The "dangers" of PPIs are insignificant when compared to their possible benefits. (eg they may reduce the progression of cancer.)

PPI usage should be monitored. Too many people self-prescribe and administer these buying them over the counter and treating them as if they were Tums. You should take the "minimum effective" dose (usually 20mg omeprazole equivalent but some need 40mg.) Because of their ready availability OTC in US, they have been misused (and heavily advertised) which has led to the scare stories and warnings.

We are all different and react to foods differently. You need to keep a food diary to discover which foods work for you. Again there's a lot of rubbish spoken about acidic and non-acidic foods. Stomach acid is concentrated hydrochloric acid. If it were spilled on your hand it would leave scars. Compare that with the most acidic drink you can think of - perhaps soda or lemon. If that were spilled on your hand you wouldn't feel anything but wet.
The result of adding acid or alkaline foods to the reservoir of concentrated acid in your stomach is like pouring a kettle of hot water in the ocean - the effect is negligible.

There are sites providing lists of "good" and "bad" foods but you really have to discover what's good and bad for you.
A few years ago, the UK charity I chair produced a book of recipes that work for others that may be of use to you. I would post a link here to a free copy but the moderators of this site don't like links being posted. (They're worried about spam - which this isn't.) I'll send you the link via private message instead.

Controlling reflux is mainly up to you. You need to stop anything from the stomach (acidic or not) from being pushed back up the esophagus.
Follow these lifestyle rules to reduce reflux:
Lose weight if applicable.
Don't overfill your stomach - eat little and often.
Don't undertake any exercise that will compress your stomach after food - including bending and lifting.
Avoid tight clothing. Walking is fine as it helps peristalsis (movement of food through the digestive system).
Keep upright after food, leaving at least 3 hours between last meal and going to bed.
Raise the head of the bed bu 6 to 8 inches on blocks.

The danger of persistent heartburn is permanent damage to your esophagus - Barrett's esophagus which can be a pre-cursor to cancer.

Stomach contents that have refluxed into the esophagus may continue to breach the upper end of that tube, too. Extra-esophageal reflux (also known as LaryngoPharyngeal Relflx, LPR) can aspirate into the airways causing other problems. Bad breath is just the tip of the iceberg. It can cause sinusitis, dry eyes, deafness (particularly in the right ear as we're more prone to reflux when lying on our right side), post-nasal drip, excess phlegm and mucus production requiring constant throat clearing, hoarseness, cough etc. It can even lead to serious bronchial conditions including pneumonia and bronchiectasis.

If you are unable to reduce your reflux, the only alternative is surgical intervention. There are many new techniques available but long term outcome data are not yet available and some have already shown to be less effective than originally promised.
The best anti reflux surgical intervention is the Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. Out of the newer artificial Sphincter Augmentation Devices available, probably the Linx magnetic bead "bracelet" shows the most promise.

I have had acid reflux problems all my life. For over 20 years I have had Barrett's Esophagus. I was on PPIs (up to 80mg omeprazole) for 15 years until I had a fundoplication which failed following a violent bout of norovirus but was repaired with laparoscopic Collis-Nissen revision surgery earlier this year.
I have experienced nearly everything from raging heartburn like a blow-torch down the throat, having to sit up for 2 hours in the middle of the night with searing esophagitis pain; I've had most of the unpleasant side effects from constant bad breath, through all the other LPR symptoms including blackout coughing fits, having to sit up for 2 hours in the early hours coughing. And I've experienced the unpleasant side effects (called "dumping syndrome") of a reduced stomach following the Collis procedure.
And I'm constantly researching all aspects of this and associated conditions. So if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Regards
Chris Robinson
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replied November 28th, 2014
Acid Reflux doubts
So you advise me to follow through my medication.
Today it is my first day of taking the medication.
1. Omesec Omeprazole 20mg (1 capsule to be taken immediately before meal, preferably in the morning)
2. Domperidone 10mg (To take 0.5 to 1 hour before eating, 1 tablet three time daily.
3. Gaviscon syrup (10ml once after meal)


I didn't take drug number 2 three times today. Just one time today. Tomorrow i will abide with the dosage instructed.
But even though i take the med, i still have acid reflux today (the sharp acidic taste at the back of throat and bad breath) So i take again Gaviscon in the sachet. Still a bit left abit of acid i think.
I googled and it is said drug no. 2 can cause cardiovascular problem.
Today i feel a bit of chest pain and somewhere down my chest, not sure which organ. maybe it is because i did endoscopy yesterday.

Thanks Chris for clarifying. I was so confused with the recommendation on the internet. Antacid is not recommended most of the time. Like what you said, they said like they are just to suppress the acid, not solving the root problem, and causes your stomach to have more bacteria or yeast. Some said that once you are on antacid, you will be on them forever. One you don't take, the acid reflux will be worse.

I think it occured very frequently this month because i put on weight. Although i am not obese, i have a huge tummy. Previously it only occured when my pants were tight. Now even though i try to wear loose, it keeps giving me acid reflux. I will try to go to the gym, lose weight or at least flatten my tummy. So i can bend and do any exercise as long as it is not done within 30 min after meal right?

Do you mean all other recommendations do not work?

Apple cider vinegar doesnt work? It has been recommended over and over?
Probiotics, Digestive enzyme, licorice, chamomile tea, etc.
They don't work? One person even said on curezone or somewhere, he just drank calm tea and don't eat till 4pm for 2 days, his acid reflux is gone forever. Maybe his is a special case or mild one?

Is it really true that acidic food doesn't cause acid reflux? I saw from Internet that we should avoid citrus food, tomato-based products, even gluten-free, ginger tea, aloe vera...OMG!On livestrong website, etc.
I have been drinking a lot of lemon juice last month, not sure is it causing my acid reflux to be frequent?
My doctor only asked me to avoid fried oily food, tea, coffee, ice-cream and chocolate. I don't know why though.
Look! Different websites/people suggest different things.

Are there cases where people really get cured without surgery? That is really cured without having it recurring ever again? I don't have heartburn or any other symptom. Just bad breath and acid taste.
i tried putting books under the bed, but i was sliding down. I think this will be the same with wooden blocks. So i may wanna buy the inclined pillow for acid reflux. I need to ask my friend to buy in Singapore.

So you have recovered from acid reflux from the repaired surgery? Really thank you for providing such an informative answer.
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replied November 30th, 2014
Thanks Chris for such an informative reply. My post yesterday was not published, now i have to re-type. Maybe it is because of the links I posted. I have a lot of questions and hope you can shed light on them.
Medication and other remedies:
Ya i have doubts on anticids or other medication because they are not recommended on many websites. Some sites are not really selling me anything like livestrong or etc.

I just started my medication.
Omesec Omeprazole 20mg (once a day right before meal, prefarably in the morning
Domperidone 10mg tablet (to take 0.5 - 1 hours before food)
Gaviscon syrup (to take after meal if necessary)

I have one month supply and i will go for the appointment in 2 months time. Don't know whether is it that he expects that i will recover. But anyway, if it continues, i will go and consult sooner to get more med.
I googled and read that domperidone can cause cardiovascular problem. Sth like that if i remember correctly. I also got prescribed ranitidine by another doctor who arranged me for the endoscopy. But i didn't take since the endoscopy doctor prescribed me another batch of med.
I didn't take no.2 three times a day because i keep forgetting and because it has to be 1 hour - 30 min before meal. Maybe once a day.

Just want to ask your thoughts, you don't think the stuffs below will work?
1.Apple cider vinegar (a lot of ppl recommend this)
2.Licorice (difficult to find this in my country)
3.Probiotics, disgestive enzymes ( i just bought mega acidophilus of kordel, and gnc's flax seeds to improve my bowel movement and this i hope)
4.Aloe vera, chamomile tea and many more.
Also all sorts of things they claimed have helped to cure in cure zone website. One even said he took calm tea and eat nothing till 4pm for 2 days and his is gone. And remedies offered by another person - I will send you the link in private message: link 1


Diet
Do i really have to avoid ALL Dairy, Red Meat, Egg and Beans. I need those. Do i have to avoid gluten. I don't know what i am left with since i just eat what my mom cooked. I saw the ebook with the food you sent. Those are recipes and I don’t always cook.
My doctor just asked me to avoid oily, fried food, tea, coffee, chocolate and ice-cream. He just asks me to eat less in fact. He asked me whether i smoked but i don't .
Regarding acidic food, most websites would recommend to prevent citrus food, tomato based food, soda which are acidic, you mean it doesn't have any effect on acid reflux? Even in the cookbook you sent me has asked to avoid acidic food? Your analogy of HCL burning on our hands means that I can eat anything?
Thanks for the cookbook but I don’t cook. Also I am living in Asia, some of the ingredients might not be commonly used or found. But I will try out.

Glimpse of hope
May i know if there is any case that acid reflux will be gone forever? Or i have to fight with it forever? My doctor said that doing exercise may tighten the muscle? True? So do you mean once i have acid reflux due to the loosening of muscle, i will probably have to deal with it the rest of my life? I don’t have other symptom though like heartburn? Or it will progress to that stage?
Exercise
I put on weight recently. Although i am not obese, i have huge tummy. So my guess is that my weight gain causes it to be out of control and frequent. Previously besides the terrible breath - strong bitter taste- after waking up (which will be cleared after eating), i will only get acid reflux and the bad breath (normally this time the bad breath- acidic feeling behind the throat - is hard to mask) if my pants are too tight after i eat.
I will start doing exercise, hitting the gym diligently to aim to flatten my belly. I can do any bending as long as it is at least 1 hour after food?

Bed
Regarding the wooden blocks, i couldn't find any wooden blocks, maybe i am going to buy those special inclined pillow in the future as there is none in my country? I try to put thick books but i feel i am sliding down <- maybe this is normal.
Masking of bad breath
In your experience, do you find anything which can mask the bad breath from acid reflux which seems to be difficult to be gone? You mentioned excess acid is the easiest to remove. One or 2 times I took antacid (Gaviscon sachet) once my acid reflux or bad breath strikes , it removed the taste. But then sometimes it doesn’t. Is it because not enough? I am worried I am taking too much also if I keep trying to down the sachet. The sachet is 10ml each.


So are you free from acid reflux or gerd now after the repair surgery? You indeed have gone through a lot. Thanks for your contribution for the community in all over the world.
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replied November 30th, 2014
Experienced User
One thing I dislike about this forum is they cannot tolerate links. I hate spam as much as anyone but there's caution and there's caution! I find myself frequently spending hours typing responses which are better dealt with on an external site which a simple link would serve.

Drugs
Your doctor has prescribed well. 20mg omeprazole is the normal low dose. The advice is to use the lowest effective dose. For many people a 4 week course is sufficient. However, if the dose doesn't work and after 4 weeks you have found no change, he may want to try something else. Omeprazole is a Proton Pump Inhibitor that reduces the acid produced by the stomach. Ranitidine is a less effective acid suppressant, an H2 blocker that interferes with the messages being sent to the stomach to make acid.
Domperidone before food can help peristalsis. A better drug, cisapride, is no longer available in UK or US as it has been linked to a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular problems. It's now likely Domperidone may be removed from some countries' prescribing lists for similar reasons. However, the links are tenuous and risk extremely low and it may help with your problem.
Gaviscon is a good standby for helping acid reflux. It sits as a raft on top of the stomach contents.

Many have found apple cider vinegar, liquorice, aloe vera etc help. Personally I am not a fan of alternative therapy but have no problem if it's supplemental. Those listed above may soothe and treat symptoms whilst not actually addressing causes. And they have not undergone the rigorous safety trials and controls of the established drugs. But try them as an adjunct by all means.

There is evidence that probiotics are helpful, particularly if taking acid suppressant medication, to help boost your immune system.

Diet
You will need to keep a food diary to discover your own particular trigger foods.
Although, as I have previously said, their acidity won't affect your stomach's acidity, many find citrus fruits and tomatoes are triggers. I personally have tolerated them OK.
Fatty foods are a common problem. They don't break down in stomach acid (for the same reason oil and water don't mix). They can stay in the stomach for longer being sprayed with more acid that won't be neutralised. Eventually some bile may be permitted to enter the stomach from the duodenum to help. Bile's normal job is to help break down fats after they've passed out of the stomach. If bile refluxes, it has a horrible taste and will also contribute to the bad breath. And acid and bile refluxing together can cause Barrett's Oesophagus which can lead to cancer.
Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are drugs that may relax the muscles around the lower oesophageal sphincter making it less effective and making reflux easier. In moderation you may find them tolerable. I have always enjoyed a cup of coffee in the morning and another in the evening and a glass of red wine with my dinner.

Many people say to avoid spicy foods. Because they feel them burn the back of their mouth, they think they'll burn their oesophagus - but they won't. Only if the food has a high fat content which much Asian food doesn't because of the heat at which it is cooked. (The patient support charity I chair in the UK enjoys a curry evening each year, originally instigated by our senior consultant gastroenterologist.)

Exercise
Walking definitely helps - it aids peristalsis and helps keep you fit. Beware of exercises that compress the stomach after food though.

Bed
I use bed risers (looking like strong upturned flower pots). But many use bricks, wooden blocks or piles of books. If you find you slide downhill, a tip is to place a second pillow under your knees.
Bed wedges and pillows aren't as effective as they often result in your body hinging in the middle which can actually have the opposite effect of compressing the stomach.

I have no easy answer for the bad breath. I use mouthwashes and mouth sprays but with my reflux under control it's not so bad.

The fundoplication wrap was the best thing I did. But it may not be right for everyone.

All the best
Chris
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