Health/Fitness

How I Got Off Nexium. For Good.

UPDATE (3/8/18): This post was written almost 8 years ago! That is hard to believe. I get emails occasionally asking how I’m doing now, so I thought I’d write a quick update at the beginning of this post. 

Getting off Nexium and moving to a real food / whole food based diet was the best thing I ever did for my health. (You can read more here.) I continue to eat clean for the most part.

I’m not on Nexium or any other regular meds. My IBS and gastritis symptoms are rare these days — usually if I eat things that are unusual or eat too much or too many different types of foods — like at a party. When I have a mild flare-up of heartburn due to spicy foods or eating too much, I take a swig of raw apple cider vinegar or sometimes I just grab a Tums. That usually does the trick.

I hope this post is helpful, but it’s just meant to be an encouragement and a starting point. It is not a substitute for medical advice. Chronic untreated heartburn is dangerous and needs to be managed carefully so if you want to get off Nexium or another similar drug, please do so under the care of a qualified physician or naturopath. Good luck!

how to get off nexium

It is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of Americans experience GERD symptoms every day. [source]

Acid-reducing drugs are among the most popular drugs on the market.  The numbers of people taking Nexium and other acid-inhibiting drugs is staggering. Unfortunately, the medical community has it wrong.  Reducing acid is NOT the answer.

Not only that, but when Nexium was first put on the market, it was recommended that people take it for no more than six weeks. (This is because some of its side effects are serious nutritional deficiencies which can lead to a host of more serious health problems, not the least of which is cancer.) Now people are put on Nexium and told it’s for life. TRUE STORY. That happened to me. At age 35, no less.

I have been wanting to write this story for some time, but I’ve been waiting until I was confident that I am truly cured of my GERD and gastritis.  I can’t say I’m entirely cured. I still struggle from time to time with acid reflux symptoms, but I manage them naturally. And my debilitating stomach aches are gone, gone, gone!

I want people to know that medicine for these symptoms may not be the best answer, and there are better (safer!) ways to treat GERD and gastritis. I want people to know that these medicines aren’t as safe as they may think they are. I want people to know that they are actually addicting and can create a cycle of dependence that is hard to break.

The good news is, it IS possible to wean yourself off of acid-reducing drugs if you’re willing to do the work. There is a better way, and your doctor probably won’t tell you about it. Not that I’m in any way qualified to dish medical advice, so do your research and come to your own conclusions. I can only tell you what I’ve experienced. I just want you to know you have a choice.

If you want to know How To Get Off Nexium, I hope this post will help.

But first…

My Story

After my third pregnancy, I was plagued by a variety of gastrointestinal ailments that I could never connect to a certain food or food group.  I would get awful stomach aches out of the blue, often sending me to bed or to the couch until they passed.  I went through a battery of tests, and was diagnosed with GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease), gastritis, and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) — what I affectionately call my gastrointestinal trifecta.

The stomach aches I had been having were blamed on gastritis.  It is important to note that even though I had a GERD diagnosis, I was not having heartburn symptoms. The IBS I’d had off and on all my life, so that was nothing new.

After trying several H2 blockers (Google is your friend) without success, my doctor put me on Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor (again with the Google.)  The Nexium kept the gastritis symptoms at bay for the most part, although I did have some trouble now and then.  When I inquired about going off Nexium, my doctor assured me that I would probably be on it for the rest of my life, but no worries, he said.  It’s harmless.

Say what?

Something about that didn’t sit right with me.  At 35 years old, I was being told I would be on Nexium for the rest of my life?  And here’s the funny thing.  When I accidentally missed a day of my Nexium, I would suddenly get heartburn symptoms. I hadn’t had heartburn symptoms before starting the Nexium; the Nexium was for gastritis, and that just seemed odd.

At one point, early on in my Nexium days, I tried going off it with horrible results.  I stopped cold turkey (I’ve since learned you must wean off) and I have never been so sick as I was that week with gastritis attacks and heartburn symptoms.  Again, it seemed odd that when I missed the Nexium, my symptoms were worse than they were before I started taking it, but I gave up and went back on it. For the next couple of years, I just went along with it, hoping some day to get some help but not knowing where to find it.

I even told my doctor about the symptoms I experienced when I missed my Nexium and inquired if it could be possible that my body was overcompensating for the acid-reducing meds, and both doctors who I asked immediately disregarded my concerns and said that wasn’t happening.  That’s a bit of foreshadowing for you.

Then last summer, my tummy troubles started to get worse again, even with Nexium.  I went to a new GI doctor and started a whole new round of testing, but nothing was discovered.  Over the last four years, I have experienced just about every gastrointestinal test known to man.  It. was. not. pleasant.  And to make matters worse, they couldn’t turn up a reason for my symptoms.

The Turning of the Tide

Around that same time, I came upon Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.  You probably know that story by now.  We gradually began eating more whole foods and less processed foods and industrial oils.  We moved to coconut oil and raw milk and grass-fed beef and pastured poultry and eggs.

Right about that time, I read this article by Dr. Mercola.  Disclaimer: I take everything he writes with a grain of salt because he’s a bit of an alarmist. But this article hit home because I knew instinctively that he was right.  It just made so much sense.  Here’s a snippet (emphasis mine.)

In the study [source] above, more than 40 percent of healthy volunteers experienced heartburn, acid regurgitation and dyspepsia (pain and fullness in your abdomen) in the weeks after stopping the drugs. These were symptoms they did NOT have before!

It appears the drugs lead to “rebound acid hypersecretion,” which is an increase in gastric acid secretion above pre-treatment levels within two weeks of stopping the drugs.

Essentially, because these drugs slam the brakes on the acid-producing pumps in your stomach, when you stop taking them that built-up acid can be unleashed with a vengeance.

Meanwhile, studies show that up to 33 percent of people taking PPIs continue to refill their prescriptions without an apparent need for them. Could it be that many of these people continue to refill their prescriptions because they have severe withdrawal symptoms each time they run out… and are assuming they need MORE of the drug to help them?

This is a vicious cycle — one that can easily lead to tolerance and dependency on these drugs.

That was my experience EXACTLY.  This article by Harvard Medical School backs up Mercola’s claims and points out that PPI meds can inhibit your body from absorbing calcium and B12.  Harmless, huh? I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly what I consider harmless.  B12 deficiency and bone loss both run in my family.  I knew then and there I wanted off this medicine and ASAP.

Taking Action

I started reading about how to manage GERD and gastritis naturally, starting with Mercola’s article and then whatever I found by googling the topic.  I decided to try to go off Nexium again, but this time I did it right.  (You have to wean yourself off, and then you have to implement a lifestyle modification program to help your body heal.)  I’d already learned from experience that carbs trigger my heartburn symptoms, so I started drastically reducing my carb and sugar intake.

For a few weeks I stopped drinking wine and reduced my coffee to one a day, and I watched my portion sizes (over eating exacerbates the problem too.)

I ate a lot of apples (they naturally help your food digest.)  It helped that I did this last fall when apples were fresh, crisp, sweet and delicious.

I took vitamin D3 supplements, and I was already on probiotics as recommended by my GI doctor.  I can always tell when I miss a few days of probiotics; I start to get bloated after meals.

The Results

After going off Nexium back in October, I had one or two gastritis stomach aches, and none for the past few months.  I still experience mild heartburn if I eat too many carbs, but as long as I watch my carbs and sugars, I’m fine there too.

I have been Nexium-free for six months and with my low-carb, whole foods eating habits, I haven’t felt this good in years.  Not only do I feel better, but I’m saving the time and money that I was spending on doctor visits and uncomfortable medical tests and being incapacitated with stomach aches.  I will gladly spend that money on better food for our family and that time on making things from scratch.

More Information

A couple of months ago, I found a doctor (an M.D.) who takes a holistic approach to health care.  She has given me more tips to stimulate and improve my digestion naturally.  She recommends taking Swedish bitters and digestive enzymes with meals, which I do sporadically.  She also recommended mixing a Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water and drinking that daily, but I tried it once and I just can’t stomach it.  I’m doing okay without it, thankfully.

I recently discovered a series of posts about heartburn and GERD by The Healthy Skeptic where he links GERD to the over consumption of carbs and sugars which causes bacterial overgrowth in the stomach. As I’ve followed this series of articles, I find myself enthusiastically nodding my head in agreement because everything he says makes total sense based on my personal experience.

In Closing

With permission, I am reprinting the conclusion to Chris’s series of articles on heartburn and GERD.  This sums it up perfectly, in my opinion.  Emphasis is mine.

The mainstream medical approach to treating heartburn and GERD involves taking acid stopping drugs for as long as these problems occur. Unfortunately, because these drugs not only don’t address the underlying cause of these problems but may make it worse, this means that people who start taking antacid drugs end up taking them for the rest of their lives.

This is a serious problem because acid stopping drugs promote bacterial overgrowth, weaken our resistance to infection, reduce absorption of essential nutrients, and increase the likelihood of developing IBS, other digestive disorders, and cancer. The manufacturers of these drugs have always been aware of these problems. When acid-stopping drugs were first introduced, it was recommended that they not be taken for more than six weeks. Clearly this prudent advice has been discarded, as it is not uncommon today to encounter people who have been on these drugs for decades – not weeks.

What is especially disturbing about this is that heartburn and GERD are easily prevented and cured by making simple dietary and lifestyle changes, as I have outlined in this final article.

Unfortunately, the corruption of our “disease-care” system by the financial interests of the pharmaceutical companies virtually guarantees that this crucial information will remain obscure. Drug companies make more than $7 billion a year selling acid suppressing medications. The last thing they want is for doctors and their patients to learn how to treat heartburn and GERD without these drugs. And since 2/3 of all medical research is sponsored by drug companies, it’s virtually guaranteed that we won’t see any large studies on the effects of a low-carb diet on acid reflux and GERD.

So once again it’s up to us to discover the truth and be our own advocates.

Please know that I have no desire to bash the medical and pharmaceutical communities.  I have dear friends and family employed by both, and I don’t believe anyone is out to perpetuate this vicious cycle and harm countless American citizens.  But the fact remains, it is not lucrative to promote holistic health care methods, and we as a culture seem content to treat the symptoms rather than the cause.  I just wish people realized the quality of life they COULD have.

This post is for those of you who are where I was a couple years ago. You want to know how to get off Nexium, but you don’t know where to start.  You want a better quality of life, but you aren’t sure how to get it.  If it’s helpful to just one person, it’s worth telling my story.

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. Please do your research, consult a qualified health professional, and come to your own conclusions.  And feel free to share.  I just want people to know they have a choice.

NOTE (May 2013): I have since written an update to my situation. You can read that here: Epilogue

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443 thoughts on “How I Got Off Nexium. For Good.

  1. I’m not clear about cutting the nexium tablets in half. Mine are solid tablets. Is it ok to cut them so as to wean off them>?

  2. I hope this thread is still active. First and foremost, thank you for creating this blog. I went cold turkey off the purple demon 2 days ago and I am suffering today. So bloated, full, burping non-stop, not a pleasant feeling. I also took 40mg per day, will start take every other day. GI appt next week to discuss. Like you, I never had heartburn, I was on the purple demon for chest pains from “possible Gastritis” as I have a hiatal hernia. I have been taking digestive enzymes and probiotics for months now, purchased DGL today. Will also start modifying diet hardcore and trying ACV. My reason for this: the purple demon caused a SEVERE iron and B12 loss resulting in an iron transfusion and B12 injection for a year now. Also caused osteopenia at age 39. I have taken the purple demon for about 6 months now daily. Again, thank you for your blog. So much wonderful information that sadly doctors will never relay to you. I hope you are still doing well!!

    1. Hi Jennifer. Best of luck to you. I am still off it. Hooray! I still get some acid reflux from time to time, but nothing I can’t manage with a swig of ACV or if it’s really annoying, I’ll take a Tums. (I got a more natural type of Tums at the whole food store – no dyes or stuff.) Good luck!

  3. Believe it or not my 28 year old son has been on this family of medications for 24 years. Not your average case, Very premature, sick baby, had hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, and it’s consequences, as a result. One consequence is oesophageal varices and they nearly killed him when he was little. Then he was put on several medications to protect them (varices bleed profusely when they are compromised), one was to keep his BP artificially low, the other to stop acid attacking them. He does have reflux, apparently because the varices, and the ones which were sclerosed, and are now scars, have distorted the junction between his stomach and his oesophagus. Can’t do anything about the reflux. I would like to get him off the medications but, believe me, you will do anything to protect varices when you’ve seen your child throw up half his volume of blood. So, in order to do so, I have to still keep his stomach acid low. How? Any suggestions. They have to be good because the consequences of getting it wrong aren’t just a bit of heartburn or a pain in the tummy. It truly could be life-threatening if I got it wrong. Sometimes you’re between a rock and a hard place.

    1. Hi Marilyn. Yes, unfortunately, sometimes we are between a rock and a hard place. Your son’s situation sounds extreme, and I am not qualified to give medical advice so I would suggest consulting someone like a naturopath or a doctor who uses a holistic approach to healthcare to see if there are any natural ways to help his condition. But sometimes medicine IS necessary. And for those times, we are thankful we have it, yes? 🙂 Best of luck to you and your son.

      1. Thanks for your input Jo-Lynne,
        Yes, I will talk to a doctor I know who has this sort of approach. Although I have had some very good advice from naturopaths in the past I don’t know a good one in this area (and I’m picky when it comes to naturopaths seeing I’m a hard science type of person who’s not all that impressed by flowers and crystals,etc). Nevertheless, my son was given about 10 years to live and I believe that the naturopath-suggested supplements I have given him (mainly St Mary’s Thistle) have made such a difference that for many years now doctors who look at his blood tests don’t believe that he ever had cirrhosis. However, I know that he did because, among other indications, an ultrasound showed it with incredible clarity at a time when he had severe acites (fluid around his liver). The radiologist really enjoyed showing me the difference between my son’s liver and a normal one. Happily, his liver is behaving itself now.
        That still leaves him with varices and the need to protect them. So, I now realize that what I’m looking for is an alternative medication or natural substance that will do the same job but is kinder to the body.
        This discussion has helped me to move from a vague wish that I didn’t have to give my son a potentially harmful medication to knowing what I need to ask the right doctor. I plan on moving slowly and very carefully.
        Thanks heaps,
        Marilyn

        1. PS Yes, sometimes conventional medicine is life-saving and the only wise choice. I would not have my son if I had stuck to my previous ideas. You’re right, his case is extreme, and he has multiple problems but none of them have affected his personality, his intelligence or his sense of humour. He is hard work but I wouldn’t be without him for one moment.

          1. It sounds like you have a lot to consider, but you’re doing a great job weighing all the options and taking care of your son. I wish you both the best. 🙂

  4. Acid reflux is due to a clogged liver/gallbladder.
    Doing a liver flush periodically, until passing 2,000 stones is the key.
    Some people stop reflux after only one productive flush.
    The Dr Clark liver flush is the most common, but for those that can’t handle the epsom salts.
    http://www.curezone.org/cleanse/liver/huldas_recipe.asp
    Drinking apple juice with ACV and lime or lemon juice a couple glasses per day for a week.
    On the last night, before bed drink 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil with grapefruit juice.
    In the morning, there should be some gallstone/liver stones floating in the toilet.
    Liver flushing shouldn’t be done more than once per month.
    This kind of flush should normally, be followed by a Dr Clark kidney cleanse.

  5. Thank you for this blog! I’ve dealt with stomach issues since 2008 (pain, gas, nausea bloating, etc). I’ve tried countless PPIs and meds for acid reflux. I’ve been to an ENT, gastroenterologists, family doctor, internal medicine. Been on prilosec, Nexium and Protonix. I’ve had a Barium swallow test and Endoscopy and they found 3 ulcers, even while taking Nexium. The H-Pylori test came back negative so the Dr. said he thought it was from taking pain killers, which at the time I wasn’t taking an excessive amount. I was put on Protonix b/c my insurance wouldn’t pay for Nexium anymore. After 3 months I still had stomach pain. I was given sucralfate and didn’t help. I finally decided to go see an acupuncturist. I had 1 acupuncture treatment and was given 3 herbal medicines to take (1 chewable, 1 drop and 1 powder). After 1 week, I felt like a different person. My stomach pain went away, my nausea and bloating went away. I felt normal again after 6+ months. I attribute it to the 3 herbal meds he gave me. What a world of difference. It’s been 2 months since seeing him and my stomach has rarely bothered me at all. I highly recommend if you’ve tried everything and tried different doctors for different opinions to try a highly trained eastern medicine physician. I have my life back, all thanks to eastern medicine from Dr. Wu http://www.healingartacupuncture.com/. Feel free to contact me for more indepth insight into my experience with eastern medicine and even if you don’t live in the area, I’m sure Dr. Wu would be willing to help you find someone in your area to see. I know my stomach issues are probably a life-long journey, but I want to share my experience with everyone b/c I struggled with pain for so long, I want everyone with the same issues to get the same relief! Good luck and God Bless!

  6. I was on 40mg a day of Nexium for 10+ years. Over the last 6 months I have got myself down to 20mg a day, do you think it would just be okay to stop and supplement with Zantac till the re-bound period is over? Or should I do 10mg for a while? I buy over the counter and 20mg is the lowest they offer, so not sure how to get any lower without just stopping. I take digestive enzymes, protiotics and vit D3 daily. I’ve also just recently stopped coffee and dairy and I am significantly limiting my carb intake. Please let me know your thoughts.

  7. HI JO-LYNNE,
    I WAS ON THE WEB AND SAW ALL YOUR ARTICLES ABOUT NEXIUM[OMEPRAZOLE/LOSEC] AND IT WAS INDEED A VERY GOOD AND WELL PUT /SOUND ADVICE.
    LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME I HAD A WISDOM TOOTH REMOVED AT MY DENTAL HOSPITAL PRIOR TO EXTRACTION COMMON PROCEDURE IS TO GIVE PATIENT AN ANTIBIOTIS CALLED FLAGYL I TOOK IT AND BECAUSE I HAD A DRY SOCKET MY OWN DENTIST GAVE ME ANOTHER DOSE. MOUTH HEALED VERY WELL AND OFF I WENT ON HOLIDAY TO THE NORTH OF SCOTLAND.
    FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS I BECAME MOST UNWELL THEN TOWARDS END OF HOLIDAY I HAD TO SEE A LOCAL DOCTOR AT THAT POINT HE THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE A LINK TO THIS ANTIBIOTIC AND THE OMEPRAZOLE AND HE ASKED ME TO SEE G.P ON RETURN A.S.AP WHICH I DID. I DIDNT WANT TO EAT AND STARTED TO FEEL VERY SICK AND THIS FEELING WENT ON AND ON WITH NO ANSWERS IT WASNT TILL A NEW DOCTOR SAID IAM SENDING YOU FOR EMERGENCY ENDOSCOPY AS THERE IS AN OBVIOUS CAUSE. BACK FOR ROUTINE CHECK UP MY PROF AT DENTAL HOSPITAL WAS ALSO VERY CONCERNED HE DECIDED TO CONTACT E.N.T CONSULTANT AS I COULDNT SWALLOW AND EVERYTHING WAS LYING IN MY GULLET.
    SEEN WITHIN A WEEK WHERE ON TOP OF ENDOSCOPY I HAD BARIUM SWALLOW AND THEN A FINE NEEDLE BIOPSY OF THROAT FINALLY A C.T. SCAN AND THERE IT WAS I HAD MY THYROID WRAPPED ROUND MY OESOPHAGUS. SEEN BY A THYROID SPECIALIST WHO THEN FOUND ME TO BE MOST UNWELL DID MANY BLOOD TEST FOUND DEFICIENCY IN VIT D WITH POOR IRON LEVELS BUT DURING EXAM SHE FOUND I WAS TAKING OMEPRAZOLE AND ASKED HOW MANY YEARS WHEN I TOLD HER 30 SHE NEARLY FEEL OFF HER CHAIR. NEXT THING I KNOW SHE IS E-MAILING DOC TO TELL HIM I MUST COME OFF THIS STUFF AS IT CAN INTERFERE WITH OTHER MEDICAL MATTERS ONE OF WHICH THEY HAVE FOUND IVE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION AND HAVE NOW BEEN PUT ON AN ANTICOAGULANT CALLED ELIQUIS. NOW I STARTED TO SUSPECT COULD THE A.F. BE CAUSED BY ME TAKING OMEPRAZOLE AND THE ANSWER CAME BACK THAT TESTS IN THE U.S.A HAVE FOUND A LINK TO CARDIAC COMPLAINTS.
    FOR MANY MANY YEARS IVE SUFFERED WITH VERY BAD JOINT PAIN I.B.S SWEATING POOR WHITE CELL COUNT LOW IRON LEVELS AND IAM NOW TOLD THAT THERE IS A LINK. I HAVE NOW BEEN PLACED ON ZANTAC 300MGS AT BEDTIME H2 BLOCKER AND I AM HAVING 10MGS LOSEC[OMEPRAZOLE A.M WHICH I WILL BE WEANED OFF WHEN I DONT KNOW.
    SO GOING BACK TO NEXIUM AND OTHER NAMES I WISHED THAT I HAD NEVER EVER BEEN PUT AND LEFT ON THIS DRUG FOR 30 YEARS THERE IS INDEED A LESSON FROM ALL THIS AND I THINK IT SHOULD BE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION TO WARN PEOPLE ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THIS. SHORT DURATION PERHAPS O.KBUT 30 YEARS IS A DISGRACE.
    IT WOULD INDEED BE VERY INTERESTING TO HEAR IF ANYONE HAS MANAGED A T.V. SLOT ON A CHAT SHOW ABOUT THIS DRUG.
    I REMEMBER SITTING IN MY DOCTORS SURGERY AND ON HIS TABLE THERE WAS A MUG PROMOTTING THIS LOSEC NO DOUBT HIS COMPUTORS CAME FROM THAT DRUG COMPANY AS WELL.

  8. This is a very good post! I’m just sad you encountered healthcare professionals who told you it would be for life. When I have prescribed medications in this category, I TELL people “this is not a medicine you take for life…it is a medicine you take while we get to the root cause of the problem.” In fact, most health insurance companies also take this medicine seriously and regularly send letters to MDs/NPs/PAs to send alerts that a patient has been on the Rx too long. I applaud you for taking a well rounded approach to reducing your symptoms and I agree that excessive carbs seem to be what sends most people in search of these types of medicines.

    My only thing to point out is that some people truly have pre-cancerous changes in their esophagus called Barrett’s esophagus and for them, these medicines can prevent changes that could be lethal.

  9. I have been on Nexium since 2002 with once a day mostly first thing in the morning! I have had problems with bowel movement, flabby abdomen that is difficult to reduce even with vigorous exercises, and constant pain on left side of abdomen while driving. How do I wean off Nexium with this particular dosage? Do I move toward Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for the first week and eliminate a day from above suggestion each week? When do I start using the H2 otc and start weaning from this one until I no longer need these medication and start the healthy food consumption? Thank you for bringing this addiction to my attention!

    1. Hi William, the best thing is to find a doctor or naturopath willing to help you wean off safely. I did it slowly using the advice of the Mercola article I linked to in this post, but I am not a professional, so I can’t really give medical advice. I can just share my story. Good luck.

  10. Thanks so much for this blog and keeping up on these comments. I’m at the beginning of this– I’ve had vague burning/nausea stuff on and off for awhile, with a big flare up in the last month. I just did a four day trial of Nexium– my doctor said he did NOT want me taking for a long time. I was already feeling a lot better by the time I got to him, but I took the stuff anyway and did fine. I stopped taking it, and then a week later I had a whole new symptom– terrible stomach ache after a tough spin class and eating a little bag of almonds. Like my stomach hurt all day. I’m not sure how I got to this blog, but I did, and now I’m really thinking I shouldn’t take any more of those type of drugs, and that I need to do something else to fix the issue. I already eat pretty well, but there’s room for improvement and consistency. Instead of being like, oh hey, I feel better, let’s eat a bowl of spicy ramen with a giant diet coke, then shovel three snickerdoodles and two glasses of sauvignon blanc (that was last Thursday). Anyway thanks for all the info!

    1. LOL Stephanie. I so hear ya. That is how I live (or lived). I have to be more careful now. My stomach is still temperamental, but I can manage okay with diet, digestive enzymes, probiotics and the ACV. Good luck!

  11. Jo-Lynne,
    Thank you so much for this website and to all who posted your comments regarding the usage of Nexium. I am happy to report I am successfully off of Nexium!!! Praise the Lord! I too stumbled on this site trying to find out how I could discontinue the use of Nexium although my GI specialist and GP doctors said I would have to stay on this for life. The symptoms I was having were severe chest pain in the upper right corner under the breast, no heartburn but pain in the espophageal area and some burping. I prayed for God’s healing and began changing my diet: from sweets to smoothies, identifying which foods caused gas and started eating non dairy products. I also drank ginger tea religiously; ate ginger mints, drank aloe Vera juice and avoided all foods that can trigger the symptoms of GERD. I also took for 2 months the probiotic meta supplements from Wal-Mart (~$7.60 for a 14 day supply). I also took 2 tablets of GAS-X. Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar only made things worse. However, every once in a while, I would take a teaspoon of Baking Soda to an 8 ounce hot glass of water. Sip on it, then I would burp and much of the pressure from my chest would dissipate but only for a spell.
    The way I came off Nexium was first cold turkey and that DID NOT work! Then I came upon your article Jo-Lynne . The first week I would take 1 40mg, then a 20mg, then 2 40mg because I couldn’t take the pain. I kept this cycle up for a solid week. Meanwhile, I followed an extremely strict diet with no sweets or foods that triggered the reflux, and only eat 4 hours before going to bed. The next week, I only took 20mg tablets for a week and a half; and also the probiotic meta supplements. After 4 months of having been on Nexium I’m off. Thank God, to all of you who shared your posts because I read them all and everything helped. I hope this can help somebody.
    Best wishes.

    1. I also failed to mention after I had stopped the Nexium altogether the 2nd time, I had the WORSE heartburn. Anything I would eat, if I didn’t have full stomach, the heartburn would be really bad. I figured out that unhealthy snacks or added sugar caused the heartburn. Once I corrected this issue, no more heartburn, no probiotic supplements but I did notice Chobani plain yogurt did the same thing as the supplements and Stopped the heartburn.

  12. I have been on Nexium for close to 10 years. I was put on it from chronic gastritis from having my gall bladder removed. I came off of Nexium 9 days ago and it is brutal. I went cold turkey. I never had hot flashes before and have been having them since coming off Nexium. Brutal heartburn too. I have been using DGL and eating tums like candy. I was going to go back on but thought I am over a week into this and maybe it would start to subside. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Lorraine. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having such a rough go of it. I am not qualified to give medical advice, and I know that untreated heartburn can be dangerous, so my best advice is to seek the help of a doctor or naturopath who can help you wean off safely. I wish you the best!

  13. I was able to get off Nexium thanks to reading blogs like this, Thank YOU for posting this and helping others have hope. I was told I would always have to take it and trying to go off it was horrible. A friend told me to switch to rantidine as it was easier on the body to get off of. I was able to go off be switching to rantidine sold at Target, I started with the 150mg and slowly (over 8 months) cutting down the dose to now I take a quarter of a 75 mg pill. THanks again:)

  14. My Dr. prescribed Nexium along with pain pills after an accident to “protect” my stomach. I was on it for 3 months.I stopped Nexium cold turkey 3 weeks ago. The first week was awful,the second and third better but I still have heartburn everyday,although the reflux at night has stopped. I am taking the licorice,Tagamet ,and Tums as needed. How long does the rebound acidity usually last?

    1. Oh my goodness. Pain pills are hard on the stomach too! Gads. Well, it takes a few weeks, for sure. I still have occasional flareups, and it’s been years for me. Do be careful b/c untreated acid reflux can cause other medical issues. If it doesn’t get better, try to find a doctor who is sympathetic to your desire to get off the meds and will help you do it safely. Best of luck!

  15. Hi,

    Reading about your experience with, Nexium and the main stream gastro establishment’s disregard of gerd’s
    real causes/cures helps people like me . I have been on this awful drug for 4 years and want to get off it. It is
    pretty scary to learn that it is a hard process but I also feel that there is hope. So…..thanks for sharing your
    story.

  16. This site has inspired me to stop Nexium and hang in there. A month ago, with my doctor’s okay, I stopped Nexium suddenly. I didn’t realize it would have been smarter to wean myself off. My doctor prescribed Sulcralfate instead as it is not a PPI and can be taken as needed. I had been taking Integrative Pro-flora Immune probiotics. I began taking Integrative Rhizinate 3X and Similase digestive enzymes as directed by the nutritionist at our health food store. Reading the possible side effects of Sulcralfate made me decide not to use it either, so after two weeks I quit the Sulcalfate. Heartburn has not been a major problem for me. I have no problems at night as our bed has been raised for many years. I am now back to eating most foods with only minor problems. I find that chewing sugar-free gum helps if I have heartburn. I also sometimes rely on Rolaids or Galviscon. My digestive problems have been resolved by using the Integrative products and I am hopeful that the acid reflux symptoms will decrease even more in time. My worry is that the reflux is harming my esophagus and at my next doctor’s appointment I will address that. Some of you may experience harsher symptoms as the body adjusts to not having Nexium, but I encourage you to stay strong and give yourself a chance. There are many heartburn remedies out there and some will work better than others for you. I feel good about stopping something that could essentially “poison” my body. Good luck!

  17. Hi Jo Lynne, wanted to tell you my story to see if I am going in the right direction. Last Nov. week before Thanksgiving, I made the choice of getting off Omeprazole because I found it to cause asthma and low bone density. I was tired of having coughing fits before dinner and after dinner. I also read about PPI’s and what they do to our bodies. So I came down 1/2 capsule for 2 wks. (oh noticed that omeprazole had stopped working too and was on for more than 8 yrs.) then came off and had an upper GI done. Found to have a small hiatus hernia plus I also don’t have a gallbladder… Have been battling stomach pain and bloating since December. In the meantime I changed my diet- no dairy, no fatty foods, no sugar, no gluten, and no red meat just yet. Last week I had a appt. with my ENT for hearing problems, on his counter top he had some pamphlets on LPR (Laryngopharygeal Reflux) (stomach acid in the throat) the (silent reflux). Every symptom I have so I asked the doctor about it and told him I think I have this. He agreed with me as well but will need tests to confirm. Found out that I have had this all of my life since birth. I am now seeing a nutritionist who told me to take Swedish bitters once a day, digestive enzymes 2x a day and stay off gluten. So basically what I want to know is- I’m I still having stomach pain, could it possibly be the omeprazole causing this discomfort, if so what do I need to do? I would like to find a holistic M.D. but having a hard time. I can’t seem to get the right answers…

    1. Hey Caryl, I’m sorry, but I’m just not qualified to give advice. I honestly don’t know the answer, and I wouldn’t dare guess. I KNOW how frustrating it is to find the right doctor, and I feel your pain. I wish I could be more help. (BTW, my doctor told me to do the Swedish Bitters and digestive enzymes with every meal. It does seem to help when my gastritis and reflux is acting up.)

      A couple of ideas. You might check the Westin A Price Foundation – http://www.westonaprice.org. They have TONS of info and there may be a way to search for a doctor in your area.

      The other thing is I just read a book about healing your body with food. This might be helpful: https://www.jolynneshane.com/what-is-your-body-telling-you-fastmetabolismfoodrx.html

      Also, my friend Lydia does nutritional counseling. I’m not sure if she can do it all remotely or not, but you can reach out to her: http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/

      But ultimately, I highly recommend doing this under a doctor’s care because untreated reflux can be harmful. I wish you the best!!!

      1. Hi Jo Lynne, I wanted to update you on my progress. After your reply, I did a research on Alternative Medical Doctors because I felt that my problem needed both medical and alternative solutions. I found 3 doctors in my area, 1 was so booked up that I wouldn’t see her for a year. Called a husband and wife team and got an appointment the very next day because of a cancelation. She did some kind of computerized test on me and found that my adrenal gland was not functioning as it should, also found that I wasn’t absorbing my magnesium, I had Ebola at one point, had pin worms, and had about 5 different types of streptococci bacteria. She changed some vitamins and gave me digestive enzymes, probiotics and told me to stay off of gluten, sugar, all dairy, and no meats, some fish and gave me a diet to follow for my blood type also had me to make some chicken bone broth to help heal my stomach. After four days I started feeling better, no bloating, no more pain and I was starting to digest my food without it running through me. I will be on this diet and treatment for four months and then I’ll go back to see her and hopefully on my way to recovery. If I hadn’t done anything at all and just done what I thought I needed to do on my own, I would still be in pain and still losing weight. If I went to my doctor he would have put me on more PPI’s and never researched the root of my problem or I might be in the hospital by now. After 4 months of no relief I had to do something, I’m glad I saw your forum, it got me moving in the right direction… Thanks

        1. Caryl, thanks for this information. SO happy for you. It takes a lot of dedication to do it this way, but you will heal your body and be SO much healthier in the long run. Keep us posted!!!

  18. Hello Jo Lynne. Thank you for the story on your blog. I am one of those who has been taking PPI’s or H2RB’s for decades. I started with Zantac (took for first 7 years) in my early 30’s which gave me horrible tremors. They stopped within a few days of stopping the drug. I started taking the Nexium and had no side effects I was aware of for a long time. I have tried several times to get off the Nexium I have currently been on for the last 10 years. (20 years for both classes) I have had the rebound reflux you are talking about while trying to get off. Horrible! I supplemented with DGL Licorice Root and AlkaSeltzer Heartburn Relief. They gave very temporary relief but did help. I will use them again, only this time I will add what helped you as well. From your story, I am getting impatient about stopping. I have been trying to just reduce dose over a couple of weeks. I am starting tomorrow (as I have already taken my dose for today) to ween off again. I have planned it out over 6 weeks. I am headed to my health food store today for RACV and Swedish Bitters in hopes that this will ease the transition. I have been making food changes for quite some time but haven’t noticed it being related to carbs or sugar. I will now watch for that. I know this is long but I am hoping to help others as well. I want to tell others out there a bit of my story that may help. I was as many others, diagnosed with IBS, then GERD and placed on the drugs. Short time at first, then forever when the symptoms of stomach aches and reflux did not improve. I tried everything over the first 10 years and got very little relief after quitting my initial drug of Zantac. After getting on Nexium, my digestive symptoms mostly went away. I loved the freedom it brought me with my new found relief. Then about 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with low vitamin D and fibromyalgia. After years of inquiring, and not finding any information about how I came down with this horrible disease, I did the not so obvious, obvious thing and took out the big long information package sent with one of my prescriptions and started reading. Turns out, that these drugs can cause “fibromyalgia-type symptoms.” Yep! Says it right in the information booklet. The only thing keeping me going through the musculoskeletal pain is and has been gentle yoga every day. I now know I MUST get off the Nexium! I will try once again to ween myself (this time over 6 weeks) but will turn to a Naturopath if I am unsuccessful. I wanted folks to know about the Tremors from Zantac, and the Fibromyalgia thing because I know the incidence of that is rising right along with the prescribing of the drugs. I also reiterate that people need to include their doctor if they have serious diagnoses and to see a Naturopath for help weening. As a nurse, I of course want to try myself first but will not hesitate to seek professional help if needed. I am DONE with these drugs that alter the quality of my life! If you have had either of these diagnoses on these drugs, please talk to your doctor about quitting the drug. Thank you, JoLynn, for your blog and I hope some of my experience will help others like you have helped me.

    1. Brenda, I am so sorry for you having to fight these horrible diseases because of PPI’s. I went off cold turkey from Omeprazole back in late Nov. 2015. For 4 months I battled a nightmare of constant pain until I said enough is enough… March 5 I had an appointment with an Alternative Medical doctor that it took several months to locate near me. She has made changes to my diet for my blood type which is helping tremendously. She also found pin worms, 6 different types of streptococcal bacteria, a nonfunctioning adrenal gland, e coli bacteria, and I wasn’t absorbing magnesium. I’m sure that if I had continued on my same path I may not be here now because I was losing weight hand over fist from not eating, right now my weight is stable plus I’ve gained a pound or two back. To make matters worse I have no gallbladder and am dealing with LPR (Laryngopharygeal Reflux) (stomach acid in the throat) the (silent reflux) which I have probably had since birth. I have come to the conclusion that physicians don’t know a lot about what causes symptoms of certain illnesses; they just give out meds (along with side effects) to cover up what is so easy to control by safer and cheaper means. I love my new doctor, she probably has lengthened my years a bit and eliminating a lot of pain. I believe diet has a lot to do with our health so don’t give up, keep searching till you find your answer to reverse what medicines have taken from you.
      Caryl M

  19. I am elated to know that I will have the opportunity to finally remove this last pill from my medicine cabinet!! I suffer from reflux, a hiatal hernia, gastritis, IBS and gastroparesis all at the age of 32. I have been on Nexium 40 for 6 years, but after reading all of this information this has given me more motivation to want to properly stop taking the medication. I am also looking into Dr. Sebi’s Cell food to see if it improves my overall health and get back to feeling great again without having to double over in stomach pain. I never stopped by had it not been for a commenter on Facebook that directed me to your blog. I never would of imagine that such news would be making waves and opening eyes of those that have been misinformed for years. Look up JAMA Association of Acute Gastroesophageal Disease with esophageal histologic changes. Thank you so much!

  20. My favorite new awareness is that taking antacids leads to overgrowth of H.Pylori, which gives stomach ulcers. And yet taking antacids leads to healing stomach ulcers caused by H.Pylori. I decided to choose not to get an overgrowth again of H.Pylori in the first place! The antibiotic regimen is very harsh.

  21. I had gastric reflux for 30years. Been on Nexium since it was released. I then discovered Herbalife Aloevera concentrate, No longer have to take Nexium and can now eat Double Pepperoni Pizza at night – Un-thinkable before.

    1. that’s great! but please share how you did it…did you gradually wean off nexium while taking the aloe or went cold turkey. how long did it take?

      will appreciate the detail. thanks…so much and congratulations on your victory over nexium!

      1. I just stopped taking Nexium cold turkey and started on Herbalife Aloe. Now if I have a spicy meal at night, I simply glug Aloe straight out of the bottle. Probable 20ml. Herbalife Aloe in Australia comes in Original, Mango & Mandarin flavours (Mango is my favourite).

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