Have you ever tried to get off a PPI like esomeprazole (Nexium) or lansoprazole (Prevacid)? If so, you might have experienced rebound heartburn. People who encounter this problem–and many do–may find it difficult to stop taking their acid-suppressing medication.
A Different Way to Get Off a PPI:
Q. Lots of folks have difficulties trying to stop taking PPIs for heartburn. It seems their heartburn comes back even stronger.
I succeeded by drinking psyllium at bedtime. It seems to form a jelly ball in your stomach that keeps the acid from getting up into your esophagus at night.
It doesn’t taste very good, so I mix it with an envelope of Emergen-C. I whip them together with water and chug the combo down fast. Otherwise I need a spoon! I no longer take PPIs and I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with my throat on fire!
A. Most people think of psyllium as a laxative. This soluble fiber is made from the seeds of Plantago ovata and is sold under brand names like Metamucil. When the fiber dissolves in water, it forms a gel-like blob.
This natural product is useful not only for relieving constipation but also against diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Moreover, regular use can help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
We were fascinated with your suggestion that psyllium can help control heartburn. One small study showed that 5 grams of psyllium three times a day significantly reduced heartburn (World Journal of Gastroenterology, June 7, 2018). Be sure to take it with adequate water or it could cause blockage. We hope your approach will help others who want to get off a PPI.
Can You Get Off a PPI With a Different Eating Plan?
Q. I’ve accidentally found an amazing way to get off of acid-suppressing drugs without having rebound reflux. I’ve been taking heartburn medicines for decades, ever since cimetidine first came out. Later, I started taking omeprazole or esomeprazole. Whenever I tried stopping these drugs, I got horrible heartburn.
This time, I discovered by accident how to get off them. I’ve been trying to lose weight, so I’ve gone low carb. I eat just one meal a day, because I’ve heard that intermittent fasting is helpful.
A week ago, I decided to try once again not to take daily medication to control my incessant heartburn. I stocked up on Tums and other antacids because I knew I would be in trouble once I stopped. Then I took my last Nexium and waited for the flames of hell to appear in my chest.
About 15 hours passed and I started to feel a little heartburn coming. I took a Tums and waited for the next round. I’m still waiting. A week later, I’ve not had any heartburn. I should be in agony, but I’m completely heartburn-free. I feel like singing!
Hopefully, this information will help others who were addicted to PPIs as I was. The solution is: Eat one meal a day and fast for 23 hours before you eat again. Stick to low carbs and water. Good luck!
Low-Carb Diet Can Help:
A. Research supports your accidental discovery. A very low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to help control symptoms of acid reflux (Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Nov. 2016; Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Aug. 2006).
We were not able to find research demonstrating that intermittent fasting is helpful for heartburn. However, people who follow a schedule of eating within a twelve-hour daily window or less seem to sleep better, gain less weight and have healthier hearts (Journal of Physiology, June 15, 2017). We offer several other non-drug approaches to get off a PPI in our Guide to Digestive Disorders.