• Too much acid.

    Asked by Judson on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

    Too much acid.

    My wife is 2 years and 2 months since diagnoses. 7 different Chemo's, one trial drug, one mastectomy. Cyber knife, and standard radiation. Our biggest challenge to date is now. Her stomach produces too much acid. She can't eat or drink. We have tried every drug we can find, no relief. Any outside the box thinking?

    36 Answers from the Community

    36 answers
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      Antacids....like tums or gaviscon or Prilosec or Tagamet.....Hasn't any Doc told you that? Prilosec 10mg can be bought over the counter and you take two a day.....UGH

      almost 2 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer (Best Answer!)

      IF you have tried every drug at the proper dose go on a mellon diet for a few weeks and try that.

      almost 2 years ago
    • biga17133's Avatar
      biga17133

      sorry to hear about this, I to started have acid trouble was eating tums and pepto bismol with little help and then it hit me i had started a new pill for headaches(butal/apap/caff50about the same time it started after a week of being on the new pill, the acid was driving me crazy,So i tried not taking the new pill because i never had this issue sure enough acid problem solved ,,has she started a new pill? how long has this been going on any chance something new was added? ,,,just thinking out loud still taking a bath by myself biga17133

      almost 2 years ago
    • Judson's Avatar
      Judson

      Been going on for 2 months now. Been running gauntlet of pills and treatments. She is having a hard time even keeping water down now.

      almost 2 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      Judson
      l am an oncology nurse and I don't know what has been tried or what drugs were used for your wife. You might want to try Organic low-fat milk to regulate the pH balance and neutralize the acidity. I hope this will help her.

      almost 2 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar
      SandiA

      I am so sorry she is going through this. I have had terrible reflux off and on for years. Prilosec morning and night is helping for now. I had a upper endo and colonoscopy today and the nurse told me he had terrible reflux and nothing helped and the doctors he worked with said it Is because he needs to take the Prilosec a half hour before he eats breakfast and dinner. He didn’t think it would make any difference but he said it did. I wish I had some other tips. Hopefully some others will and I hope she gets some relief soon!

      almost 2 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      We have food manufacturers who know nothing about health and health professionals who know nothing about food.

      What a country!

      Buy a few fingers of fresh ginger root. It ought to be available at your local health food store or Asian market. Slice up about an inch of the root. Heat some water to boiling. Take the water off the heat and throw the ginger slices in. 2+ cups of water is plenty. Add a teaspoon of honey, cover the water and let it brew for 5+ minutes. Have your wife drink the tea.

      @barryboomer is 100% correct about melons. Canteloupe, honeydew and all seeded watermelon varieties.

      Make sunflower seeds a munchie. Remind her to chew well. Try celery stalks for her to chomp on too.

      Does she eat veggies? She needs more. Salads are great. Skip the dressing. Learn how to make things tasty. Instead of iceberg or Romaine lettuce try fennel mixed with baby argula and other baby greens. Try fresh parsley mixed in as well.

      Root veggies will also help, raw or cooked. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus yadda yadda yadda

      Skip the cookies and the steak for a while. There are other great choices which will help her.

      Best wishes

      almost 2 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Is your wife's acid reflux cancer related? If it isn't I do suggest that she get a referral to a gastroenterologist who can get to the root of the problem. Constant use of OTC anti acids can affect the liver
      For me acid reflux and bloat are permanent late effects of cancer. What doesn't give me acid reflux gives me bloat.
      I find that adding turmeric to my food helps keep the reflux down. Also I drink that ginger tea with my meals that I know are going to cause acid reflux.
      Also if you must have cookies Get the thin ginger cookies at Trader Joe's, They are made with real ginger.

      almost 2 years ago
    • MaryAnn's Avatar
      MaryAnn

      I have had excess acid and many other digestives issues since my teenage years. The acid issue was definitely exacerbated with chemo six years ago, in my 50s.. A year after chemo I had chest pains caused by the reflux and was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition caused by years of acid erosion, and likely by the chemo irritation. I have been on a proton pump inhibitor for years called Dexilant, and I will be for life. Works beautifully! Get a complete workup by a good gastroenterologist.

      almost 2 years ago
    • tlalex's Avatar
      tlalex

      Geekling gave some excellent natural suggestions to lower acid. A few others are adding a small amount of baking soda to drinking water and/or unfiltered apple cider vinegar, chewing gum to promote salivating, eat an apple or banana, drink 1/2 c aloe juice before meals(natural laxative but can find some that has removed laxative component), put a pillow or big book under mattress to give a little lift and definitely the ginger tea with honey( lemon good to add too) first thing in morning to replace coffee and of course eliminate acid producing foods from diet.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      JUDSON,
      You didn't tell us if she's been to a gastro-intestinal specialist. If she hasn't, she needs to go to one to get to the bottom of the problem. Untreated gastric reflux can cause ulcers that turn into cancer in the esophagus or stomach. If she's been going to a specialist, change doctors and get her some relief.

      There are several X-rays or procedures they use to diagnose reflux, but while you are waiting you could buy over-the-counter Prilosec or Nexium, which should give her a lot of relief.

      Diet should be bland---no fried foods or spicy foods for sure! Raw vegetables are more difficult to digest than cooked. No onions. Over time she can experiment with different foods, but she could start by eating rice, potatoes, bread, with baked chicken or turkey. No citrus fruit because of acid.

      Once she feels better, there is a surgery to remedy this, and she should look into it. My PCP recently told me the above medicines are not good to take long term.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      BoiseB, did you know there's now a surgery for gastric reflux? I asked my PCP about it, and she's glad I only take the Nexium as needed, rather than every day. She agreed that long-term use is bad for you.

      almost 2 years ago
    • OwMahBoob's Avatar
      OwMahBoob

      Judson,
      What is usually prescribed by GI doctors (and primary care doctors) for GERD (Gastro Esophogeal Reflux Disease) are Proton Pump Inhibitor ("PPI") drugs. This category includes drugs you may have heard of, such as Nexium, Prilosec, and a number of others. If your wife truly has an over production of acid (I'm not sure if you're assuming that or if she has been tested and actually has been diagnosed with that), these are the drugs of choice for western medicine.

      You need to understand, though, that GERD (also known as "Acid Reflux") is not necessarily an over production of stomach acid. It's actually often due to an UNDER-production of stomach acid. The key issue is not how much acid is produced but the fact that the lower esophageal sphincter (that's the sphincter between your stomach and your esophagus) is too relaxed at the wrong time and it allows whatever acid is actually in your stomach (a lot or a little), as well as semi-digested food already mixed with acid, to leak up into your esophagus. Your stomach is designed to deal with acid but your esophagus is not. As soon as the acid touches the lining of your esophagus, it burns the lining.

      So the key to helping GERD is to prevent any acid from coming up into your esophagus. PPI drugs stop your stomach from making virtually any acid. Therefore, no acid can bounce up into your esophagus. So if you take them for a few months, it allows your esophagus to heal and then you can eventually go back to normal.

      But you have to be careful if you take PPI drugs for longer than that. Many people suffer from "rebound" reflux when they stop taking the PPI's and they produce even more acid than before.

      But the other important issue is that many people don't tolerate PPI's well and get side effects. You didn't say in your post but I'm thinking that your wife may already have tried some PPI drugs and didn't benefit from them. If that is the case, I highly recommend that you check out a post on a site called Heartburn-Help.com. Here is a link to that post:

      https://forums.heartburn-help.com/forum/heartburn-and-gastro-esophageal-reflux-disease/7735-the-all-natural-regimen-that-has-helped-my-reflux-problem

      It contains an amazing amount of helpful information on treating GERD all naturally. Read through the whole post. It recommends what to eat and not eat, as well as what natural over-the-counter products to take. I did everything it recommends and I've been GERD-free for years after having a terrible time with it.

      And, I have to say...although people mean well, and although there is a lot of good information in the comments above, there is also a lot of bad information in some of these comments. I strongly suggest you go to that link and follow the suggestions there.

      All the very best to you and your wife.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Hey, Tlalex,
      FYI, I read recently that you should NEVER put vinegar in your mouth unless it's diluted with water, because it ruins the enamel on your teeth. Everyone should mix vinegar with water to prevent that. Best wishes.

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      How much Zantac have you taken for 1 dose, 1 day.? I've been on it for years. Today the stupid wimps-called doctors say that you can only take 150 to 300 mgs of Zantac per day. When my marriage of 37 years broke up, the Air Force prescribed me 2,700 mgs of Zantac a day. I needed it.

      Almost all of last year I took 36,000 MGs PER DAY. I went from 150 to that because of Whooping Cough. I spent over 9 months in bed. The stupid Fs- whined-you can't do that. I wrote notes-SHOOT ME THEN. IF I CAN'T EAT, I DIE. I need to take 300 to 900 mg a day now. I bought OTC Zantac at a box store-Costco. I'd probably be dead if I hadn't done that. Stupid Fs--

      TUMS-ZANTAC neutralize stomach acid. Don't go so up with NEXIUM, PREVICID, or PRILOSIC, as the inhibit the the production of stomach acid. I was put on one of those and ended up in the ER for severe dehydration..

      People think of unnecessary tests and drugs for a doctor to keep practice-keep from being sued. Well it also includes not giving medicine or not giving enough medicine.

      almost 2 years ago
    • happydyad's Avatar
      happydyad

      You might look into Poly-MVA. For your purposes you would want to call the company AMARC. I have used this for 3years. It gave me back my energy and stamina. It also encourages appetite and helps mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy. It’s costly but you can get a substantial savings directly from the company. Wishing you and your wife a resolution to this problem and a future of good health, judy in Ky

      almost 2 years ago
    • Terri's Avatar
      Terri

      I just got Diagnosed with GERD and this is all very interesting for me. I thought I was having heart problems. I am on 40 mg Pepcid twice a day.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Barbara, one of the Dr.s who did my surgery was one of the first to do that surgery. I am not really a candidate for that kind of surgery. My acid reflux is more often than not caused by leaning over. Of course there are a number of foods that trigger it also. I know how to avoid those foods but sometimes I get tempted to eat them. I can avoid foods but I can't avoid leaning over.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      BoiseB, I'm just learning about the surgery, but most acid reflux is caused because the muscle guarding your esophagus from the stomach acid going upwards loses its strength as you get older. I think they now have a way to remedy that. Also my sister said her surgery for that was to correct her hiatal hernia, so there's probably more than one solution.

      BoiseB, you are lucky you feel better without medicine, but remember that acid in your esophagus causes ulcers and cancer. A sore throat can be a sign that the acid was that high up and irritated your throat.

      Meyati, if you do a search on Zantac, sites like drugs.com or the standard PDR will tell you the maximum allowed. PDR is what doctor's offices use. I don't know about Zantac, but they are now learning that long term use of PPI's like Nexium and Prilosec can cause kidney problems.

      Meyati, although I know nothing about the medicines, my dad's PCP prescribed Zantac when he first diagnosed him. A few years later he started vomiting blood and went to a GI specialist, who said my dad had gotten ulcers taking Zantac, and that he needed to take a PPI from then on. He did fine on Prilosec 40 mg till he died at 92. Have you considered taking a different medicine since yours is so bad?

      I'll definitely check into the surgery when I see my GI specialist, but otherwise I wouldn't be able to stop my medicine completely, kidney problems or not. One time when I was out of Nexium, I couldn't even sleep. When I got to the nausea stage, I got in my car and went to buy it over the counter.

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Barbara-I know that we rush through readings, and so many people say so many different things, but I said that I ended up in the ER from 2 doses of a PPI. I was severely dehydrated. They had to use a neonatal needle to start an IV, because my veins were blowing. My cheeks were stuck to my teeth during that time. I had a painful row of sores on each side of my mouth. The tip of my tongue stuck to the back of my front teeth.-and both sides of my tongue were stuck to my molars. I sounded like a severely inebriated person. The ER called in a drunk specialist-my labs were perfectly clean from any form of intoxicants. Then they were worried about my kidneys.

      I've been taking Zantac since 92 or 93. I've had GERD since about the 3rd grade. My hiatal thing has been totally burned out and everything is black. and has been black.

      I'm not going to change to anything that just about killed me, and my GI agrees with me.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Meyati, I did read that, but had no idea a PPI could dehydrate you. I guess it's related to the kidney problem you mentioned that they now say is a side effect of PPI's. I remembered you had GERD as a child. What does it mean that you are "black" inside? I don't blame you for not wanting to rock the boat.

      My dad said his started as a child. He remembered his mother gave him baking soda for it back then. Yuk

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Black as burnt--- I have color photos of my throat, stomach, colon-thanks to the military. This generation looks at them, the date, and they say-I guess you won't get cancer or ulcers from it. My GI is really good. He listens to what I say- he reads the old records, and I think that he admires me for how I handled the Whooping Cough. He felt so badly, and he asked me why I didn't contact his desk and keep calling. I reminded him that non-stop coughing, and tremendous sinus and ear problems-non-speaking belong to the ENTs, and I have a good ENT and Family Doctor. He said that was true- he would have only been able to refer me, but he said that he would have have talked to the ENT. I thanked him.

      When they stopped making my stomach med in 2016, I was so sick-and the meds my family practitioner gave me made me sicker. Anyway, he said, "If you were so sick, why didn't you go to the ER?" I told him that I was too sick to go to the ER. His eyes were filled with compassion, and he said that he understood.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      I'm glad you've got some nice doctors now.

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      It really helps---

      almost 2 years ago
    • paulapaula1234's Avatar
      paulapaula1234

      A few things that helped me that may also help her:
      Doubled the dose of zantac
      Avoided ginger and mint as they can relax the muscles... including the one keeping acid down. It helps with nausea but acids reflux is completed different and can actually make it worse.
      Lemon helped (counter intuitive I know.)
      Avoided high fat and sugar.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      JUDSON, please update us. Has she tried limiting the above foods or gone to a GI specialist?

      almost 2 years ago
    • Ashera's Avatar
      Ashera

      Hi Judson - Things that help me (most of the time) and mostly I've learned from trial/error game.
      I had dose-dense chemo and it affected everything in the alimentary canal - the soft mucousy tissue from lips through the stomach and beyond to the rectum. During treatment - I immediately had thrush and cracks in corner of my mouth - a stomach that refused most foods and constant diarrhea that scalded and burned tissue.

      After the chemo was finished, most everything slowly healed but my stomach still did it's acidy thing. Mouth healed after every round with sludge of lidocaine and diflucan - but most food didn't work. The acid was horrible. I went on long term Nexium but then weaned myself off because long term use causes vitamin deficiencies - lots of your B vitamins rely on acid to be digested. I realized I had to look at individual foods that started the acid.

      Nothing with tomatoes - pizza sauce, meat loaf, soups, stews, etc. Nothing high fat - fried foods out. I do eat full-fat greek yogurt and milk with no problem. I can't eat ice cream. I added coffee after a year but with half-half but never black. and only one cup in the morning, on its own without food. I can't drink tea anymore. I finish whatever I'm eating by 4:00 every afternoon or it will back up overnight. I use 1 zantac a day. I use occasional alka-seltzer. Tums are a joke for me - I have to be careful with carbs - like breads or cereals - and sadly all chips are out. Spicey foods avoided - vegetables lightly steamed - favorites that work for me are the squashes and spinach thrown into everything. Mashed potatoes - both white and sweet work fine. I eat chicken - baked - no skin, organic - and salmon/tuna that is wild cauught. Swai, cod if wild caught. Avoid all fish farm raised.
      Eggs, only scrambled, and only occasionally - proceed with caution. Bacon - even organic, uncured forever out for me.

      I invest in Muscle Milk - a rather pricey protein/nutrient dense drink and order from Amazon. Vanilla and plain chocolate flavors work best. I sometimes cut with half milk and sometimes do a day where a couple of those are added if I've not eaten. They seem to never cause excess acid and cool/coat my stomach. I lived on those during the chemo year and my protein level stayed really high. I buy the kind that are around 14oz-240-310 cal a bottle. The kind in the grocery stores are usually half that amount. I've not tried any of the other drinks as they are not as nutritious as Muscle Milk. I don't like powders as they don't mix as smooth and thick as the bottles.

      All I can think of now. Maybe some of this info might help. There is no one-size-fits all with this problem - just a combination of ideas and working with your doctor. The drugs like nexium/prilosec are wonderful - proton pump inhibitors but of course with long-term use, side effects. There are ways around that a doctor can help with. Pros/cons on most everything with this cancer journey.

      Wishing your wife and you the best figuring out this part of it!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Judson's Avatar
      Judson

      We have been to see a GI several times. Latest concern is she has developed Thrush, which is a fungus. She is on so many medications at this point it's hard to keep track.

      The Carafate while helpful is tough to mange because you can't eat an hour before or an hour after. taking it 4 times a day limits the window to eat. She also takes the magic mouth wash as needed.

      She's also taking Dexilant, Levsin, Zantac, Diflucan, Nystatin. She can keep a few foods down but not many.

      Milk Muscle (vanilla only) and Gummie bears have become the staple. Thank god they are 1/2 off this week at Sprouts. Our German Shepard puppy has benefited greatly as well. :) Vitamin water Pomegranate flavor. Pickles help also? Canned pears on lactose free cottage cheese, tuna fish salad.

      We had to suspend Chemo. IV's are out because they make her sick and she refuses any sort of tube feeding. My concern is this is this related to progression. Scans not until June.

      Problem with 1 step forward and 2 steps back, you start to run out of road.

      Thank all of you for your great answers!

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      @Judson-- I'm so sorry to hear any of this. My heart goes out to you. I have one question-Is she taking any probiotics to help with this? I've had bad stomach problems since the 1960s, and I depend on probiotics. The Thrush made me think of that.

      God bless you and your wife--

      almost 2 years ago
    • Judson's Avatar
      Judson

      If I could give any advice to a person just starting this battle, it's stay ahead of your nutrition. That's actually harder than it sounds. My wife started out as TNBC stage 4, it was this blur of treatment options, or lack of. Chemo is so hard the body you really don't have much room for error.

      Oh and she loved food. If I was being honest probably not the best kinds of food. But if you have person that's terminal do really want to nag them about what they eat? I struggled with that question everyday. Every Happy meal I went to get I felt guilty, but also happy she was eating and of course just wanting her days to be pleasant.

      None of this is easy.

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Judson, I do understand. My father passed from stomach cancer in the 1950s. I was his cook. It was a struggle to find foods that he could eat without getting sick, and he got sick a lot. They didn't have chemo then, but it spread to his liver, and that made digestive problems.

      I agree, why worry about long-term nutrition, when none of us will be around a 100 years from now?
      The idea is to get through today, this week, and this month-not to worry about high cholesterol 20 years from now.

      They couldn't start my head radiation treatment until I gained at least 20 lbs. They wanted me to gain 30 to 40. I had only a few weeks to gain it if I had a chance of living. Success, but head radiation often causes people to suddenly lose weight and starve to death while eating hamburgers, malts, and french fries.. With enough extra weight a patient has a chance to live long enough for them MAYBE TO FIND A CURE.

      I'm still a tiny person with 20 extra pounds on my stomach and hips. So doctors see me-the apple shape-and they want me to lose 20 to 40 lbs-start running marathons-swimming- etc. I don't expect any of them to be an oncology radiation specialist for a rare head cancer-but they should listen long enough to have their nurse call my onc-radiologist and confirm this, instead of fighting with me. I tell them that cancer and my stomach problems trump everything else, so reduce my stress levels by shutting your mouth. I tell them that kale is the enemy of every head cancer patient.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Meyati, I don't know why they would even comment on an extra 20 pounds, especially to a cancer patient. I've always heard they want cancer patients to have some weight to spare before they start treatments.

      My parents lived to be 92 and 89, both being ?10 or 15 pounds overweight. Although they didn't have cancer, my mother's weight loss from pneumonia hastened her death.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Judson, you said she's seen a GI doctor 3 times. Have you considered calling the GI doctor and the oncologist and asked them to try something new for her reflux. Is she a candidate for the surgery for reflux? Have you thought of getting a second opinion, possibly at a teaching hospital?

      I noticed you said she's terminal. Many Stage IV patients live for many years if they're treated. I hope she can resume her chemo. Best wishes.

      almost 2 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      New Mexico is a target state for the war against diabetes and these stupid doctors do what the CDC tells them to do.

      almost 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      I can't believe that doctors wouldn't know it's better to have a little weight to spare. When my mother got pneumonia a year before she died, she was in the hospital, couldn't eat and lost 20 pounds in no time---which also meant she was too weak to walk and was discharged to a nursing home---that weight loss led to her demise.

      almost 2 years ago
    • efjbjmNenna's Avatar
      efjbjmNenna

      Hi there, nice webpage you possess here. https://shop4shoe.com

      about 1 month ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more triple-negative breast cancer, lobular questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Lobular page.