Acid Reflux and Painkillers
Natural Remedies

Painkillers & Acid Reflux Symptoms: Unhealthy Relations

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Posted by Sean (Westminster, MD) on 08/08/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I have had acid reflux for about 6 years now, though I was only diagnosed about 2 years ago (the first time I actually went for help). You asked on your site about painkillers; i used to take ibuprophin a lot for dental pain and things. I now only take it when I REALLY need it (1-2 times a month) and my reflux has not improved, even with adding ACV and Baking Soda. I'm also on Prevacid 2x a day, if that matters.

Posted by Katie (Kilgore, Texas) on 07/28/2007
1 out of 5 stars

I would like to comment on the theory that Ibuprofen causes acid reflux. well my husband never used ibuprofen or aspirin but he has Barrets espho. from years of Chocolate, peppermint and soft drink (with caffeine) and acidity and spicy foods like (tomatoes and hot peppers and things like that just mild foods) he has to stay away from and if you research you will find that all of these things break down the elasticity in your espho. and cause the acid to come back up into the espho. I know because he has surgery to repair an and the flap on his ephos. was gone from the acid from his stomach, ulcers from the years as a teen just drinking soft drinks and hardly no water. never smoked or used alcohol.

Posted by Ha (Chandler, Az) on 07/23/2007
0 out of 5 stars

re: ibuprufen and gerd -- In my case the connection is 100%. Never had heartburn. after 14 days with Naproxene 500 mG x2 Had 1st attack. ER misdiagnosed as suffering from Chest Pain Pleuritic and gave me 2400 mG as Ibuprufen dayly!! Now the gerd does not go away even with 20 mG x2 a day!!!

Posted by John (Hatfield, Massachusetts) on 07/19/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I ruptured my right deltiod in August of 2005. I took 2x200mg tablets of ibuprofen daily for 12 weeks. I got esophagitis along with LPR.

Posted by karin (meredith, new hampshire) on 07/02/2007
0 out of 5 stars

You asked if anyone else regularly took pain relievers and I have been a very regular Tylenol PM user (1-2 tabs, 3-4x/week for 4 years for sleeplessness. My doctor recommended I cut out cafeine which, duh, helped with the sleeplessness and so havent taken any Tylenol pm for a few weeks now. I am going to try the yogurt and other other remedies I've read about here. This has been expensive!

Posted by Craig (Gaithersburg, Maryland) on 06/26/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I have only ever taken Ibuprofen (Advil or generic). I may take it once per week. I am 32. Last year around December, I had a horrible bout of pain in my chest on the right side (first time ever). It radiated to my shoulder and my throat became parched. I immediately drove myself to the ER where they did multiple tests, EKG's and X-Rays and found nothing. It was determined that I had acid reflux.

I took Aciphex for 3 months and it seemed to work but I also modified my diet somewhat. I no longer take Aciphex as I don't want to have to depend on it. I still get minor episodes but not like that day. Maybe it is the ibuprofen, not sure but I will try the ACV for sure and switch to a different pain medication

Posted by Jill (St. Paul, MN) on 06/23/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I, too, have always been able to eat about anything without even heartburn! So what was I doing getting reflux all time and keeping me up during the night? The connection to ibuprofen makes sense for me. I started taking it for tense muscles after stressful work days; as well as anxiety about the stressful job so I could sleep. It worked for that wonderfully; but have had reflux problems since then. The ACV already has helped my syptoms. I have recently changed jobs, as well as started to excercise to relieve the daily stresses which should make it easier to eliminate the ibuprofen use. (and its side effects).

Posted by Linda (Atlanta, GA) on 06/20/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I have had heartburn from time to time over the years. Then I married a man who was always positive that his health was far better than mine - or anyone else's. In fact he talked as if I had one foot in the grave at the age of 32. He was always trying one obscure allopathic drug, remedy, herb, etc. He had read about a juice that according to a magazine of case studies that was produced by a company that sold the juice, it was such a miraculous health elixir that it could even cure cancer if taken in large amounts. All he talked about for a year was that juice and how I needed to try it. It was expensive and that was my excuse for a while. Finally I decided to humor him and drink the juice. If it didn't improve anything then at least I would hear no more talk of it. If it did improve my health overall then I would be a believer. The dosage of this juice was 1 - 2 ounces per day, but my husband insisted that I drink 16 ounces per day - because I was in such bad health (which was not true). I drank the awful juice and immediately had fire-breathing dragon heartburn. It was extremely painful but my husband insisted that it was the toxins coming out of my body - I should just stay with it and the heartburn would subside and my general health problems will disappear. The juice tasted like dilled blueberries but was supposedly made from some rare fruit on an island called noni fruit. I humored my husband at the expensive of my own personal discomfort of dealing with continual - non ending, severe heartburn day and night. After 4 cases of the juice had been consumed and there were no health benefits shown, but one new health problem (severe heartburn) I told my husband enough is enough - I will not drink that fire-breathing dragon juice ever again and I don't want to hear a single word about it ever again. I stopped drinking the juice but the severe heartburn did not go away. I gave it some time - to get it out of my system. Still had it - though not fire-breathing, scorching hot as before, but still severe. I began drinking baking soda mixed with water to ease the pain, but this only lasted a few hours at best - same with antacids. My doctor prescribed Previcid and that helped. It was great to live without heartburn but then I stopped taking the prescription because I do not want to take a pill every day for the rest of my life - that surely would damage my liver over time and cause a serious health problem. It has now been years since my last sip of the noni fruit juice and I sit here at 4 AM telling you my story because I went online in search of a home remedy for acid reflux that is longer lasting than baking soda and a better alternative than pills but instead found this site - saw you were looking for answers on why there is an increase in the cases of GERD over the last 30 years and thought I'd offer my personal experience of how an abundance of a juice making fantastic claims changed my life by giving me a permanent health issue - GERD. I believe if we expose ourselves to the wrong foods/drinks/ingredients over an extended period of time, we can cause a great variety of harm to out digestive system. What is wrong for one person may not be wrong for another. We are all different and I think we have come to assume through the practice of medicine and self medication from the readily available plethora of over the counter medications, we have begun to ignore the natural signals our bodies use to alert us to problems. After the first 1 - 2 days of fire-breathing dragon heartburn that began immediately after drinking the juice until it later became constant, I should have listened to my body - not my husband and stopped drinking it. There was obviously an ingredient in that juice that was reacting with my normal PH levels or something else within my stomach and/or esophogus in a very bad way.

Posted by Tammie (Muskogee, Oklahoma) on 06/13/2007
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Re: Acid Reflux. Honey helped. Not cured as yet. My thoughts are that last year I went through several rounds of steroid treatments. This is what kicked my reflux off but it also included a lot of ibuprofen due to biceptual tendonitis. So far I haven't tried the apple cidar vinegar because I've been so full of H2blockers. I'll definitely try after reading this.

Posted by Ashley (Charlotte, NC) on 06/13/2007
0 out of 5 stars

You know. I am sitting here trying to find a cure for the intolerable acid reflux I've been suffering with for the past 2 days. Never in my life have I ever experienced it this bad. I was involved in an auto accident this past Saturday and the doc at the hospital told me to take Ibuprofen for pain up to 600 mg at a time. Well, we didn't have any ibuprofen, so I grabbed the naproxen sodium instead. I have been taking 2 of these once a day since Saturday with a meal, though I haven't taken any since Monday. The symptoms started Tuesday and woke me out of a dead sleep Wednesday morning. I have tried chewable antacids, OTC rx strength antacids, and even milk. Nothing has helped. Is there evidence that naproxen sodium does the same thing as ibuprofen when it comes to acid reflux? I've take both medications at various points in my life for pain, but never with this result. Could it be another underlying condition that has caused it? The acid has caused painful sores in my mouth as well.

Posted by Tracy (Lafayette, Colorado) on 05/04/2007
0 out of 5 stars

Hi. I became a skate skiing junkie last winter and was taking quite a bit of ibuprofen for aches and pains as I was getting in shape. One night I woke up with the most horrible burning pain in my chest. Because my mom has Acid Reflux I knew what it was. I thought it was just my age (41) and that I had inherited it. But, after finding your site, I realized it must have been from the Ibuprofen. I began taking two tablespoons of ACV with 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda and a little bit of water to dilute it enough to make it palatable, 3 x a day. It worked GREAT! I've been on the regime for a about a month and a half, taking a couple days off once a week. I haven't had any of the really bad chest pain in three weeks but I can tell that I'm not totally healed yet because, often my upper chest feels "full" like there is pressure in my upper lungs, especially toward the end of the two-day break from the ACV. In the last couple of weeks I also quit alcohol of any kind and about a month ago I started chewing my food really, really well. I'm thrilled that the regime is working so well and that I haven't had that horrific burning, pain in so long. Thanks!

Posted by Adam (Aurora, CO) on 05/03/2007
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I do feel that Ibuprofen can cause acid reflux. I have not yet gone to the doctor for diagnosis, but it is 3:30am in the morning and I am investigating the severe discomfort I am going thru on the internet. I have taken Ibuprofen occasionally in the past for minor aches and pains, but recently I suffered an injury to my foot for which I have been taking Ibuprofen regularly for nearly two weeks. Up to this point in my life I have never had an issue with heartburn or any other digestive issues. The last two nights I have been going thru extreme acidic discomfort. Since there have been no other changes in my diet or lifestyle I can only come to the conclusion that the Ibuprofen has played a role in my recent bout with acid reflux.

Posted by Paula (Manassas, VA) on 05/02/2007
0 out of 5 stars

i have had a/r now for over two years and i have been taking nexium and this has not completely eliminated the problem. i do take ibuprofen as needed for headaches and with the job i have that is quite regularly (2x wk), thanks for the information on this drug interaction.

Posted by Christine (Aurora, co) on 04/28/2007
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I'm completely floored about the info on ibuprofen causing reflux. I was using ib. several times a day because of back injuries from a car accident when my reflux started. I use it from time to time still but was put on Protonix (a proton pump inhibitor)for my reflux, and am figuring out that it is RUINING my health. I diddn't know that PPI's inhibit absorption of calcium, minerals, B-12, healthy digestion, etc. I gained 15lbs within the first 9 mos. of starting it --and i don't gain weight like that. Since then, I've had 2 babies & the weight doesn't come off; I only lost 10lbs after the last one in the 5 mos after birth --that is not normal. I'm almost positive my thyroid is off and I'm estrogen dominant --I have to take progesterone. I've tried getting off this PPI 5 times, and no luck --each time I fail the PPI becomes less effective and now I have breakthru reflux even though i'm taking the PPI. Has anyone had luck weaning themselves off of a PPI????

Replied by Irene
Asheville, NC

I am responding to Christine from Colorado. I had very bad reflux which even caused asthma for yrs. It was due mostly to a hiatal hernia which was very large. Even though I've fallen many times in my life, I never broke a bone till last summer. Since then I broke my left wrist twice in 6 mo. and found out it was the result of taking Nexium and other PPIs for yrs. It keeps your body from absorbing calcium and other important minerals , so I decided to have surgery. I researched and found the "best" surgeon on the East Coast in Ocala, Fla. and had several procedures done at the same time. A new surgery called EsophyX where they put a special instrument down into the esophagus to make a new valve; and then I had a laparoscopic procedure called Nissen fundoplication. My doctor does a loose wrap so that you can burp and pass gas (one of the negatives of the older versions of the Nissen. My hiatal hernia was so large that half my stomach was protruding into my chest, pressing on the lungs, therefore the asthma and breathing problems I had. Well, it's 8 wks. post surgery--it's a long recovery--the surgery itself is not too painful afterwards. It's just the 6 wk. semi-liquid and soft food diet (good for losing weight) and I still had lots of burping and gas and some burning. Last week, I started eating some normal foods like salmon and mashed potatoes and salad and felt great for a week or so; I assumed I was healing, but I've had a relaps e the last 4 days and have that annoying gas and burning feeling and constipation (which has been a problem since surgery). I would say this could be a solution, but I am not going to recommend it at this time. I do NOT take Nexium or PPIs any more though, but do have to take gas pills and an over-the-counter pepsid once or twice a day on the bad days. I will never take those prescription pills again.

I will give periodic updates on my progress. I do understand from reading blogs on the type of surgeries I had that it could take at least 6 months to feel better. There are ups and downs, so when I'm in the down period, I naturally feel that maybe this isn't working. I'm trying to be positive though. I take every digestive enzyme and probiotics on the market, baking soda, DGL licorice and nothing seems to help this gas, and hence the burning. Any other remedies out there? I'm tired of spending so much money and not getting help. Thanks, Irene

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

Hello Christine,

Most all the NSAIDS from aspirin on can cause acid reflux and worse problems such as bleeding PUD (peptic ulcer disease) causing anemia. I think your back problems will probably fare better painwise as well as acid regurge wise if you replace that NSAID with MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). I think you will find few to no adverse reactions to it also.

Replied by Susan
Ormond Beach, Fl

Had a Nissen Fundoplication in Feb. 2010 and it seems to almost be the answer to a GERD nightmare. Had a sliding hiatal hernia that had started causing damage to my escophagus and 3 doctors said it would lead to cancer. No brainer to have the surgery. Only drawback is that my mouth after a week or so after surgery began to feel like it was hit with a blow torch. Understand the acid can now just slide right up into the mouth and, if not controlled, could cause damage to one's teeth. As for ibuprofen which is so often mentioned, I can't take it as it causes photo-synthetic reaction to sunlight.

Replied by Janice
Boulder, Co

Hi Irene,

I too had a fundoplication surgery about two months ago and had the same huge hiatal hernia that you describe where my stomach was up into my chest. I do not seem to have the acid reflux anymore and can swallow, thankfully. However, just like you, I have had some very bad days. It's tough to stay positive and have also had a problem with constipation. I now have bleeding hemorrhoids due to the constipation. I'm very healthy, don't smoke, drink, don't eat sugary/white foods and have never had this problem before. I'm going to try the ACV and see if that helps. I am very low on iron, calcium and vit D due to the use of PPI's for over 3 years so I'm trying to increase my levels of those by using blackstrap molasses. I can get lots of anxiety about the operation since I just don't feel right in there. I've had tingling in my feet and legs which has been annoying and unsettling. I have done lots of research on the negative outcomes of the surgery and have found that if the vagus nerve in being pressed on, many of these symptoms can result. I'm hoping that the swelling will go down eventually. Let me know how you're doing and if anything you've found seems to be helping. Keep trying to be positive and support is key!

Posted by Jim (Pittsburgh, PA) on 04/15/2007
0 out of 5 stars

I just read your site today on acid reflux. My reflux developed when I started using an advair inhaler for my asthma. The reflux reduced quickly when I was switched to singular pills, but now I have to put up with a little more asthma. I tried the red wine vinegar and baking soda this morning, because that is what I had on hand. I added an artificial sweetener for taste. It is too soon to say, but it is soothing.