T Nation

acid reflux

Due to a faulty stonac valve I have acid reflux and take a drug to help me out. I take Losec. Besically it dramatically cuts the production of stomac acid.

Does this effect my digestion of meals ? Will it take me longer to digest protein for example?
If it does, how should I alter my eating habits ?
Will I absorb less from my food than a normal person and more of my meal ends up out the poop shoot ?

I asked my Doc, but he doesn’t understand my conserns as a weight lifter and my goal to get huge.

It’s tough to say. According to rxlist.com, Losec works by decreasing the secretion of gastric acid. In other words, it is a roundabout way of treating your problem. With less acid, there is less of a chance that any will seep through the faulty valve. As such, I’d have to assume that you’re at a disadvantage in this regard. My best suggestion would be to experiment with quantities at each sitting to see whether you’re handling them well.

That is what I assume also. That is why I hope someone can help me shed light on this.

I have a faulty valve as well. Does the losec work for you? What do you plan to do about the valve problem?
To this point I have lowered my acid producing food intake and it has made a difference. I’ve been taking the alka-seltzer acid relief (when I have to) and it usually does the job. I haven’t noticed any difference in my body weight to this point. It will be interesting to hear from others on this subject.
Side note: Ephedrine always brought my acid levels up dramatically. So I don’t even bother with it anymore.

I may have a similar problem from time to time, could you two list your symptoms?

Lets just say that it burns like holy hell at the base of the esophagus. It happens more frequently when I am lying down as the acid creeps up and works its way into the esophagus. It’s a pain like I’ve never had before. I also find that it can be brought on by stress as well.

I’ve had a friends who suffer from heartburn/acid reflux do very well with an herbal product called DGL, a form of licorice. Following is some information I copied from www.MotherNature.com. Licorice is a wonder herb used by the Chinese in many of their forumlas for its balancing effects. If you try it, just be sure to buy the DGL version and not the candy. It may not fix dysfunctional valves, but it will help with some of the side effects.

Even if you’re a deliberate eater, you may have chronic heartburn. There are many possible causes, including stress, age, and poor digestion. You may have chronic heartburn because you’ve been infected with Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that contribute to stomach ulcers.

People are more prone to heartburn if they take medications that affect the muscles of the esophagus. And they’re more likely to get it if they have a hiatal hernia (a hernia of the diaphragm).

Whatever the source of the problem, the mucous membranes of your esophagus are probably inflamed and irritated, says Melissa Metcalfe, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in Los Angeles. That’s one area where supplements might be able to lend a helping hand.

An excellent herb to soothe those tissues is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, according to Dr. Metcalfe. For one thing, DGL has antispasmodic action, which means that it helps to control various muscle actions that can affect your digestive tract. The herb also helps reduce acid reflux by calming a cramping stomach, she says.

The primary medicinal benefit of DGL, however, is its ability to increase and build up the protective substances that line the digestive tract. By stimulating the body’s natural defense mechanisms, licorice helps prevent the formation of ulcers and lesions due to the irritating acid, says Dr. Metcalfe. It’s also a powerful, localized anti-inflammatory.

“It’s the first thing I recommend to people. It’s a great initial treatment,” says Dr. Metcalfe. The typical dose is two 250-milligram capsules taken 20 minutes before mealtime.

Rather than swallowing the DGL with water, Dr. Metcalfe suggests that you suck on the capsules and let them dissolve slowly in your mouth. You can also get DGL in chewable tablets, which dissolve as you chew them. “You want the licorice to coat the inside of your throat and esophagus to cover those inflamed and irritated tissues,” she says.

Use it for four weeks and then assess if it’s working, she suggests. If it is, your throat should feel less irritated. If not, see your health-care practitioner.

I’m also going to say you are at a disadvantage here. You need optimal production of stomach acid for optimal breakdown of protein. Optimal acid levels also trigger proper digestion in the small intestine of all foods. Not to mention the fact that the acid acts as a barrier to many different kinds of bacteria and food born illness. I had reacurring acid reflux pretty badly at one time in my life. I never had it checked by a Doctor though and managed it effectively (and to this day) using an effective digestive enzyme and trying to eat many small meals. I can still eat right before I sleep and even in the middle of the night without much more than occasional bloating. I don’t think this will help your particular situation. You might want to mention to your Doctor that your concern is valid to anyone, not just a lifter or body builder. This situation could lead to other problems in the future, anything from preventable food poisoning to colon cancer. No, I’m not kidding. But no major cause for alarm, I am absolutely certain a good Doctor will know what to do. You may have to alter some parts of your lifestyle, like how and when you eat.


[Note from Mod: No need to scream. Kill the caps please.]

The Losec is a wonder drug as far as my case goes. It really is night and day. I used to have “the burn” several times a day and be woken up in the middle of the night and have to pop a rolaids.
Now, on the Losec, I NEVER have any syptoms. NONE!! It is fantastic. Twice I decided to see if i could stop, it came back with a rage.

Not sure if i’ll ever do anything about the valve, my Doc hasn’t said anything and i have been on Losec for 2 years now. My problem is genetic, my brother has it, my father, and my grandfather.
To the person who asked for the symptoms: I felt a burning just above my stomac, some times in my trought and sometime I could taste something sour in my mouth. It was horrible.

Great information on this thread so far! Does anyone know where you can but this DGL? And the Losec is a prescription drug, correct? Do you watch what you eat now at all RK?
Thanks again for the info…

Yes it is prescription. At least in Canada it is.
I do watch what I eat, but I don’t need too, the drug works that well. I only watch what I eat because I weight lift.

Before I started on the drugs I tried all kinds of changes to what I eat, nothing really made a difference.

I know ppl say ibuprofen reduces protein absorption, things like losec must… that is my guess anyway.
What about tums or Rolaids? any studies on those and absorption of foods ?

I have had reflux problems my whole life and besides my prescription med, the only relief I got was when I was on a ketogenic diet (no reflux med) and I even drank coffee during the diet. Not sure why it worked and don’t want to do it forever. If you are on the meds I would think that eating small frequent meals would be the way to go.

BodyIQ, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is available at most health food stores. Cheap.

Straight licorice root can cause sodium and water retention at higher doses, which is why DGL is preferred. 97% of the glycrrhetinic acid is removed (the constiutent that causes sodium/water retention). You get all the benefits, none of the downsides. Won’t fix the bad valve, though.

This is some sobering stuff. I’ve just noted some of the first symptoms over the past month. A sort of burning, crushing chest pain (just under the sternum), and borderline sore throat (particularly in the mornings). I’ve called my doctor, and he recommended doubling up on the dose of over-the-counter stuff like Cimetidine. Tums has also been of some help, but both remedies only work for a little while, and aren’t really enough to get rid of some of the causitive agents like an empty stomach, carbonated drinks, etc. Does anyone know if this stuff tends to come and go, or is it pretty much a case of “once you get it, you own it”?

I have had it for ever, really bad sometimes, but yes it does come and go. Some weeks I would be eating several tums a day, some weeks none at all for the whole week.