Last Modified on Aug 08, 2014
Years ago, Earth Clinic contributors started writing in about acid reflux and GERD, with so many people suffering from these disruptive and dangerous digestive ailments. Then we began to notice how many were also writing about using large amounts of over-the-counter pain meds, specifically non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Could it be that overuse of pain killing drugs was causing the epidemic of acid reflux?
We know for certain that these anti-inflammatory drugs claim a toll on stomach and liver health. Some can trigger gastric ulcers and all must be processed by the liver, placing an extra burden on that organ so essential for digestive enzymes and cleaning toxins out of the body. Is this enough to disrupt the acid balance in the stomach and weaken the valve between the stomach and esophagus, creating your acid reflux symptoms?
Examine the first-person evidence described below to draw your own conclusions about the link between painkillers and acid reflux treatment!
Note: This page continues from Page 1 of Acid Reflux Natural Cures.
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[SIDE EFFECTS] I am having a lot of Reflux and pain after having Pain Killers, I would Like to try apple Cider Vinegar as suggested but there is no clarity as to when I should be having it... before having my medicenes or what. Please clarify so that I can start.
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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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[SIDE EFFECTS] I am just now finding out that I have acid reflux. I shattered 3 neck vertabrae and ruptured a disk in the thoracic area of my back. I was prescribed Lortab and 800mg Ibuprofin. I started feeling this constant urge to have to swallow about 2 yrs ago and felt like everytime I took my pills, it would get stuck in my throat. I was just diagnosed yesterday. Do you have any advice for me? Thank You.
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[SIDE EFFECTS] I used Ibuprofin for at least 20 years ( Ate them like candy.Thought they were like crack for pain)Then I developed Reflux.Tried everything. Until I stopped taking any NSAIDS there was no respite.What has worked for me is boiled ginger root tea, strained and kept cool,after a meal.(3oz) This has really helped me and the reflux is now barely noticable.I now use tramadol and Tylenol for pain. ( I have diabetic neropathy (sp?) so I need some relief fror that). No connection with those painkillers, but definitely with Ibuprofin.
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[SIDE EFFECTS] Up until two months ago, I had never experienced acid reflux. I've spent almost 50 years eating almost nothing but chocolate, citrus and several cans of diet coke a day.I then developed a sudden onset of acid reflux attacks -- to the point that my throat was closing up, causing me real terror for about 48 hours as I struggled to breathe. I am writing to relate what I think may have caused the problem (which I now seem to have on a regular basis but less severely).
I had minor cosmetic surgery that involved removing some of the "matrix fat" in my lower abdominal area. To put me to sleep for the surgery, I was given one Benedryl tablet. After the surgery, I had acid reflux -- although it remained mild and went away in a couple of weeks. I attributed the problem to the one Benedryl tablet. After the acid reflux went away, I thought maybe the Benedryl had been falsely accused. So I took a tablet to sleep one night, and the next day was fine. That night I took another Benedryl, and I had acid reflux the next day.
I stopped the Benedryl and was fine in about a week. I then had further cosmetic surgery and more matrix fat was removed from my abdomen. I took just one more Benedryl tablet for this surgery. The next day my throat was closing up and I've had daily acid reflux for 3 weeks now.
I am sure the Benedryl is part of the problem. I may also have been exposed to some bacterial infection in the doctor's office where both surgeries were performed under not overly sterile conditions (but then I've had plenty of surgeries in other doctors' offices with no problem re it not being very sterile). I'm just saying its possible I was exposed to some acid reflux causing bacteria in this doctor's office. It's also possible that the removal of the matrix fat itself somehow removed some sort of protective hormone in this fat -- just a theory.
I've also noticed that eating Flan seems to badly trigger the acid reflux (although I ate the same Flan constantly up until I took the Benedryl for the first time without a problem).
[SIDE EFFECTS] I have been using ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) for acid reflux for over 2 years. I started having reflux after I had a sore foot and was prescribed 600 mg of Ibuprofin 3 x daily. prior to that time I could eat anything. After a couple of weeks of the large dose of Ibuprofin I could not eat anything without severe Reflux. After using antacids for a long time I tried 2 TBS. per 8oz ACV to Water 1/2 hour prior to eating. It worked better than all of the antacids to releive the symptoms and the reflux slowly went away.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I have had symptoms of GERD for about 4 months-coughing, lump in the throat, terrible sore throats, etc. I can't pinpoint what the cause of it is. I have noticed though, that when I take aspirin -Excedrin, for several days in a row, my symptoms act up. Since I suffer from migraines and sinus headaches, Excedrin (2 pills) would be the only relief for me. I also thought back to when my symptoms of GERD began. Doctors had put me on rounds of antibiotics. When one didnt work, they prescribed another-several times. Again, I was taking aspirin during the same time as well. I truly believe there is a connection between the 2. Now Im hoping to find a natural cure, as I sit here typing and my throat's on fire! =/ I think Ill give the ACV a try.
Replied by Colin
Halifax, Yorkshire England
Replied by Ren
New York, Ny
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[SIDE EFFECTS] In response to the acid reflux/ibuprofen link. I was a regular user of advil cold sinus during the fall to help with sinus headaches. I have suffered from reflux off and on for 5-7 years. I also am curious about a possible antibiotic link. I was prescribed tetracyclene in the 70's for acne. I took it for at least a year. In 1996 I was prescribed another cyclene antibiotic and it really bother my stomach.
[NAY] I worked in Gastroenterology for years and GERD is not neccesarily caused by Ibuprofen.' People who get stomach ulcers (caused by the bacteria, helicobacter Pylori, a corkscrew bacteria that burrows into the stomach and causes the nasty ulcers) are advised not to take IBUPROFEN, Aspirin, and any other Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, because they thin the blood, and cause the ulcer to bleed. H.Pylori is easily cured with a triple antibiotic regime (which is quite uncomfortable, but it does work).
As for GERD, it is mostly caused by stress, caffeine, alcohol and over eating, and having a hiatal hernia contributes as well. I am all for natural cures, However, they may just mask the symptoms.
My husband never had heart-burn. He Had a gastroscopy for stomach problems which was Gastritis, and it was discovered then, that he had damage to his esophagous.
Interestingly our Endoscopy Suite, we found that people with symptons of pain and burning had less Barret's, because they usually sought treatment before damage occurred.
My husband has been on Protonix since he was 53 years old (he is now 66)and over the years, protecting his esophagous with Protonix, his Barrett's is actually healing.
He must have a Gastroscopy every 2 years, to keep track of this condition, as Barrett's Syndrome (caused by acid reflux into the esophagous which changes the esophageal lining from normal to that of the stomach)is abnormal and is a pre-cancerous condition because stomach lining doesn't belong in the esophagous.
For people who have non-healing Barrett's or excruciatingly painful GERD, there is a procedure called Nissan Fundiplication that has been helpful. Look for a G.I. or General Surgeon who has done many of these procedures and ask if he will talk to previous NF patients that would be willing to talk to you, about their results. Hope this Helps.
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[SIDE EFFECTS] My husband and I suffer from headaches (bad ones). In 1995 he introduced me to ibuprofen, which greatly helped his headaches, and mine too.' He had been taking it for headaches for several years. In 2000, he thought he was having a heart attack, and went to the hospital. There, after many tests, they determined it was reflux. Two years later, I too, turned up with mild reflux. A few years later, we figured out that ibuprofen relaxes muscles, can cause constipation as well as relaxing the LES stomach valve and causing GERD. We very rarely use ibuprofen now, but still suffer from reflux problems. Orange peel/orange peel extract helps, as well as using a 2-week prilosec treatment when needed. Coffee is poison for me now! I try to keep away from coffee so I can drink wine now and then.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I have been suffering with acid reflex for about three weeks now.' I am 46, in good health, trim and eat a fairly balanced diet. I do indulge in sweets occasionally and have three or four cocktails on the weekends. I have never had gastric issues, never had heartburn, not even with my two pregnancies. Early in December I had a nasty spill on the ice and landed directly on my tail bone. For the pain I was prescribed Hydrocodone with ibuprofen. I took about 10 pills out of thirty, but did not continue because I didn't like the way it made me feel. I continued with basically round the clock doses of advil instead. My suspicion is that my reflux is due to heavy ibuprofen use. I am now taking Prilosec OTC. I have been on it for a week and have noticed only a slight improvement. I also have a very annoying lump feeling in my throat that comes and goes. If anyone has had a similar experience what have they used and is this a temporary sort of situation or is it possible that this is an issue I will always have to deal with?
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San Fenando, Philippines
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[SIDE EFFECTS] hi' have had acid reflux for a number of years until the last few months i was an avid ibruprfin user taking 1600 miligrams a day for a knee problem. The last few weeks has been pure hell for me. backup on my esophgus, where at tines have to try and get it up.. A feeling of peanut butter in my throat, mucus all the time.. have been taking previcid to no avail, now have double op on a new medication aciflex, watching my diet.. doctor will do the endoscopy to see if i may have caused some damage to the esophogus or stomach.
[SIDE EFFECTS] GERD. Thanks for the info on your site.' Two weeks ago, I had a tooth extracted and ended up with a dry socket. I was given 1000 mg of erithimicin per day. This was the beginning of my troubles. After two days, I decided to stop and I started taking 3 ibupropins for the pain, 2x per day. A few days later, I was in so much pain, I thought I was going to have to call 911. I finally made myself throw up (6x) and I got some relief. I can see now that I was poisoning myself. Now I know what not to do! Thanks!
[SIDE EFFECTS] I had been treated with zithromax for pneumonia but what seemed to trigger the severe, sudden onset of reflux was taking 200mg of ibuprofen twice within the week for pain in my neck during that time.' The ibuprofen caused a gastric ulcer since I had been on periodic courses of prednisone earlier for acute asthma which resolved after seven weeks of antibiotics. When I got the pneumonia I had no asthma but a high fever, fatigue and pain in the neck. Steroids can cause ulcers but I didn't think the effect would last that long as I was not taking any at the time. I woke up choking at night with reflux and started protonix. Stopped after about one year and since use digestive enzymes, honey, camomile, ACV with baking soda. Caution: Prevacid ia a fluoridated medication. Along with the reflux, I began severe hypothyroid symptoms I believe caused by Diflucan and Advair which are both fluoridated. Have been doing the borax detox twice a week and have reduced thyroid medication from 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 gr Armour.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I found this very interesting.' I was recently taking percocet for a horribly painful episode of sciatica. I've just stopped taking it in the past couple of days, but suddenly I have (the past couple of days) the worst case of acid reflux I've ever had. It's so bad I've been searching the web for some solutions. Right now EVERYthing I eat seems to give me terrible acid. I completely believe that pain killers can do this to us.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I was baffled as to why all of a sudden for the past month I was suffering from severe Acid Reflux. Granted I've had various gastro-related problems (inherited IBS) and not ever exactly a person with a cast iron stomache, the Acid Reflux was entirely new. In fact, it started when I ended up in the emergency room with severe chest pains (feared it was the heart). I was prescribed Nexium and told it was Acid Reflux. I'm in my late thirties, slender and in good shape, a recent mom, and practice a healthy diet. I hate sodapop and most junk food, all with the exception of coffee and green tea, which I was drinking heavily. But while suffering rather severe throat pain and heavy acidity in my mouth recently, I was cutting down my caffeine intake and eating smaller portions of food... without much change. I'm trying the ACV and baking soda for relief... I'll report on its effectiveness soon, I hope! But going back to when this all started, I have to say I began taking Ibuprofen rather regularly (daily) for about 2 months for pain from a slip and fall accident prior to the Acid Reflux problem. For me anyway, there is definately a correlation. I plan to put the Ibuprofen away possibly for good!
Replied by Fanny