I was one of the few lucky ones that never had heartburn when I was morbidly obese or during the years I had the LapBand. That is until I revised to the sleeve. (I would say this is the ONLY downside of the surgery.) Severe heartburn started almost immediately and I got on a daily dose of omeprazole. I hate taking prescription meds on a regular basis but I hate breathing fire more. Eventually, I was up to two pills a day. Unfortunately, long-term use of omeprazole is not recommended. The stuff is apparently bad news bears. My doctor tried to switch me over to ranitidine, but that didn’t help. I tried quitting cold turkey. Don’t do it. It hurts. A lot.
I felt like my options were pretty limited but my determination, as always, is obnoxious. After much reading, I landed on the apple cider vinegar (ACV) trend. I take about one tablespoon of ACV in a little bit of warm water two to three times a day. Heads up: it doesn’t taste good. And it can burn, especially at first.
The first few weeks, I would take the ACV and take an omeprazole every other day. Then I gradually went down to one omeprazole every three days. Then every four. Right now, about two months in, I am taking an omeprazole as needed (meaning maybe once a week) and slowly trying to see if I can switch it out for ranitidine. Has it been easy? Heck no. I felt like I was overcoming an addiction (and perhaps I was). There were nights when I had to sleep sitting upright. There were days when the heartburn was horrible. I bought a bottle of ACV for home and for work. Anytime I would feel extreme burning, I would drink a little.
So have I completely overcome heartburn? No. It’s still here. But not to the extent it was. I was drowning in acid. Right now I will feel it on occasion every few days.
The days I eat more wheat and high-carb products, the acid comes back worse. Getting off omeprazole has been one of the hardest things I’ve done, but I’m thinking long term. I don’t want to live my life depending on it.