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When does a person who has suffered from GERD know he/she is "healed"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 11, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I read Melissa's story about her experiences with GERD re-posted on MDA's time capsule here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/weekend-link-love-159/#more-22927 (thanks for sharing, Melissa). Her story prompts this question. As a former GERD sufferer who abused Priolsec (proton pump inhibitor), Tagamet, Tums and any other stomach acid reducing product, how do I know when my stomach acid levels have recovered to "normal"? Can several years of abusing such drugs cause your stomach to quit producing acid longer term?

I've been taking HCl with most meals for most of the last 10 months or so. I'm down to about 500 to 750 mg per meal and would obviously like to drop these. I don't have any GERD symptoms when I don't take the pills but I do believe I have better digestion when I take a couple of pills versus when I don't. By "better digestion," I mean that I actually have an appetite and want to eat 3 to 4 times a day. When I don't take HCl, I have very little appetite. Thanks.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Yeah, it seemed like 6-7 months for me.

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417ac0e162dc468b8ca61a574e5cd3c0

on September 23, 2011
at 08:04 PM

Tom: I have not read Melissa's story. But based on what you state:

It is very difficult to objectively measure when/if you are back to optimal, so the main measure would be subjective (patient's description/ symptoms etc.).

Yes, it takes time for the stomach to heal/recover after you have blasted it for a while, but my experience in helping/coaching numerous patients off of these meds/OTCs is that is takes about 6-12 months (assuming: 1- they are eating an appropriate modified paleo diet 2-they are exercising and very physically active, 3- they are not under substantial chronic emotional stress and 4- they are not taking OTHER meds and 5- they are not morbidly obese) to recover. Most people should be able to restore normal function, only a small number will have problems.

Lastly, I would not use the idea of having an appetite 3-4 times per day as a sign of better health. Many super healthy paleo-types are only hungry 2 times per day (me included) ..this does not make us unhealthy. If you are truly sticking to a reasonable Paleo-type Diet and you are very physically-active and have relatively low stress, then I would start to ween off the digestive aids/HCL. You will very likely be fine, but you'll know soon enough. Good luck.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Yeah, it seemed like 6-7 months for me.

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