Acid Reflux : does anyone suffer with indigestion... - Thyroid UK

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Acid Reflux

Cat-222 profile image
30 Replies

does anyone suffer with indigestion and acid reflux. I do really bad at the moment, have been on Lansoprazole for 3 weeks and it doesn’t seem to be helping much. I get a lot of trapped wind which is really painful. Had an ECG which is fine. Any advice would be appreciated.

30 Replies
greygoose profile image

You probably have low stomach acid, not high - a lot of hypos do - the symptoms are the same. PPIs lower the acid even further, so of course they don't help. What you need to do is raise the acid level, not reduce it even further. Have a look at this article:

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to greygoose

Thank you for your reply. I think I have low acid , I did the bicarbonate Soda test and burped after 9 minutes, mentioned to my doctor but they disagreed and put me on medication and because they are not helping want to put me on stronger ones. I am at my wits end 😪 I tied digestive enzymes and they didn’t agree with me. Someone said if my oesophagus is damaged apple cider vinegar will not help. If the stronger meds do t help they want to send me to have a camera put down and think I have a hiatus hernia.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Cat-222

Doctors don't know it's possible to have low stomach acid because they didn't learn about it in med school, and if they didn't learn about it in med school, it doesn't exist! But, we hypos know!

Who told you ACV won't hoep if your oesophagus is damaged? Did they say why? Because I can't think of a reason. Try it and see. Certainly stronger PPIs won't help!

Digestive enzymes aren't likely to help, either.

Have you had your B12 tested? Low B12 will exaccerbate the problem. As will low salt in-take. So make sure you get enough salt.

Are you optimally medicated for hypo? Or do you think you need an increase in dose. It's low T3 that causes the problem.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to greygoose

One of my customers who takes it he said if there is damage it could make it worse.My B12 is optimal, top of the range probably because I was having injections for a while. It was 150pmol/L the range was 37.5 - 150. My Ferritn was 110ug/L range 13 - 150.

If I have too much salt I get a migraine so have to be careful.

My TSH is 1.27, T3 3.”92 and T4 19.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Cat-222

Do you have pernicious anemia? When did you stop having B12 injections, and when did you get that result?

What is the range for the FT3?

Saying that the ACV could further damage an already damaged oesophagus is not the same as saying that the ACV 'won't work'. It will raise your stomach acid level.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to greygoose

No I do it have pernicious anemia. My B12 was low and with my symptoms I thought it would help. I was seeing someone private and they suggested it.The T3 range was 3.1 to 6.8 so I am at the lower end. I told my doctor but she didn’t want to know as I am in the range.

I am scared to stop the Lansoprazole in case my symptoms come even worse than before which can happen. The burning went up to my throat and I couldn’t lie down. It’s not as bad now but I do get pain in my chest and pressure in my neck between my collar bones sometimes it is painful and my tongue hurts and is rough and sore. Very strange.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Cat-222

Well, I should think the problem stems from that very low FT3. You need to be taking T3, but I know how difficult it is to get hold off. Have you seen an endo to ask for it?

Do you take vit C? I find that can sometimes help with low stomach acid, and tablets won't hurt your oesophagus if it is damaged.

What happens with low stomach acid is that the undigested food lies in the pit of the stomach and ferments, causing volcanic like eruptions that force what little acid there is up into the oesophagus.

Your GP souns awful! Can't you change her?

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to greygoose

Thank you for your advice.I can’t really afford to see a private endo and I think it is a long wait on the NHS. My doctors are awful not helpful at all just keep sending me for test after test because I said I had chest pain they did a blood test to check I didn’t have a blood clot that was scary.

I do take vit C when I remember they are big capsules so a bit difficult to swallow.

I do find it hard to digest food especially meat red meat more and my stools are soft sometimes loose in the mornings.

The problem is I live in a village and we only have one doctor’s surgery.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Cat-222

Well, you will find it very difficult to digest food with low stomach acid.

The vit C I take is SimplySupplements vit C with rosehips, 500mg, and the tablets are really a very decent size and easy to swallow. If you could take one before every meal it might make a difference. :)

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to greygoose

Thank you. Are they good quality? I try and only buy the best ones. What is rosehips good for?Do you have any suggestions how to come off the PPI’s safely. I have been on them in total for about 4 weeks.

Would anything else help me to digest food better?

Many thanks 😊

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Cat-222

How do you judge good quality? I've never had any problems with them, and I've been taking them for a long time.

Rosehips are high in vit C.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about coming off PPIs, the one time I had to take them, I just finally got fed up and stopped them cold turkey, along with all of the other gunge I was taking - long story, but you can find it on my profile - but I wouldn't necessarily advise anyone else to do the same!

I can't think of anything that would improve your digestion apart from raising your stomach acid. And, the best way to do that is to increase your FT3. And the ony way you can do that is to take T3. You must have a whole host of other symptoms, too! Have you considered buying your own?

Noelnoel profile image
Noelnoel in reply to Cat-222

An excellent source of vit c is acerola powder. It’s taken by dissolving in water or juice if you prefer. The vit c content is very high

Timso profile image
Timso in reply to Cat-222

hi hope your well … I am on omeperazole but not working after 27 days some days feel better than others, but most days get some burning in my chest & top of the back and Like you my tongue feels sensitive so frustrating …. Did you come off the ppi ?

Cornwaller profile image
Cornwaller in reply to Cat-222

Hi, so sorry to here about your ordeal. I see your b12 is optimal or even high. However, some of your symptoms are consistent with b12 deficiency - migraine, sore tongue, anxiety. For reasons no one seems to understand some people need to have regular b12 shots to control the symptoms - were you better / less bad when taking the shots? If so can you get b12 shots and see if things improve a little?

It may also be worth trying to reduce gluten. Fresh cabbage shredded can help with acid reflux - I know it sounds weird!

Might it be worth writing to your GP asking to trial t3 therapy? This forum can advice on the arguments to put forward. If this is refused then others on this forum can advice alternatives.

I wish you well.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to Cornwaller

Thank you for your advice.When I was having the B12 injections I didn’t notice any difference. I am having acupuncture at the moment which has helped with my sleep and palpitations. My therapist gives B12 shots so I could ask her. I will try anything to feel better.

I have cut out gluten and caffeine, don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Have low carbs and trying to cut down on dairy. It’s very difficult to know what to eat.

I will ask my GP about the T3 but don’t hold out much hope. I just wish I could afford to go private but have spent a fortune on seeing private doctors and therapists. I went to one who specialises in hormones hoping she could help with my thyroid and she put me on HRT which didn’t agree with me and messed my hormones up.

humanbean profile image

Did you know that, in most people with indigestion, the cause of indigestion is stomach acid levels that are too low? Adding acid helps a lot of people more than suppressing it with PPIs like lansoprazole.

There are reasons for taking a PPI - they can't be avoided by everyone. Some of those reasons are :

1) Taking NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. They can erode the stomach lining and somehow taking PPIs prevents that - but I don't understand how.

2) People with ulcers in the gut might need PPIs temporarily while ulcers heal. Also in cases of SIBO or H. Pylori.

3) In cases of stomach/gut cancers PPIs will probably be needed.

But assuming there isn't a good reason for taking PPIs then the chances are you will benefit from actually taking more acid. The best forms of extra acid are cider vinegar and/or lemon juice. If you want to experiment than start with just a teaspoon of either in a glass of water. Start sipping it (using a straw to reduce contact with the acid) 5 - 10 minutes before a meal and throughout the meal.

After finishing eating rinse out your mouth thoroughly with plain water and spit it out. If it doesn't do any good try increasing the amount of acid up to a maximum of 1 - 2 tablespoons.

About an hour after rinsing with plain water you could clean your teeth if you felt it was necessary. The reason for the delay is that acids soften tooth enamel, and saliva hardens it up again. You need to wait to clean your teeth until enamel has hardened up, otherwise brushing will remove the enamel.

If you want to understand why any of this matters and why it works you will need to learn something about Acid Reflux and how the stomach works. A very thorough description is given by Chris Kresser in this link :

That is part one of a total of 6 articles - the links to each article are given at the bottom of the previous article. Alternatively, you could download the e-book offered on the link I've just given, which as far as I can tell covers the same material as the 6 separate articles.

SlowDragon profile image

Suggest you reread your previous post

Shows low FT3

Which brand of levothyroxine are you currently taking

Many people find different brands are not interchangeable

How much levothyroxine are you currently taking

Did you request trial on liquid levothyroxine via GP

New guidelines for GP if you find it difficult/impossible to change brands

If a patient reports persistent symptoms when switching between different levothyroxine tablet formulations, consider consistently prescribing a specific product known to be well tolerated by the patient. If symptoms or poor control of thyroid function persist (despite adhering to a specific product), consider prescribing levothyroxine in an oral solution formulation.

Physicians should: 1) alert patients that preparations may be switched at the pharmacy; 2) encourage patients to ask to remain on the same preparation at every pharmacy refill; and 3) make sure patients understand the need to have their TSH retested and the potential for dosing readjusted every time their LT4 preparation is switched (18).

Levothyroxine is an extremely fussy hormone and should always be taken on an empty stomach and then nothing apart from water for at least an hour after

Many people take Levothyroxine soon after waking, but it may be more convenient and perhaps more effective taken at bedtime

When are you currently taking levothyroxine

Is PPI at least 4 hours away from levothyroxine

No other medication or supplements at same as Levothyroxine, leave at least 2 hour gap.

Some like iron, calcium, magnesium, HRT, omeprazole or vitamin D or PPI should be four hours away

(Time gap doesn't apply to Vitamin D mouth spray)

Are you taking any other medications or supplements?

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to SlowDragon

Please be gentle with me as I am feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and depressed with what I am going through.I know my T3 is low but because it is in the range feel nothing will be done about it. I mentioned it to my GP and they didn’t want to know, I also said my T4 was high at 19.

I was taking Wockhardt 25 mg and 50 mg MercuryPharma. A week ago I picked up my prescription and am now taking 25mg MercuryPharma and 50mg Almus.

I asked for the liquid thyroxine and they refused because of the cost at £128 a bottle.

I am taking by thyroxine and hour before I have breakfast.

I take the Lansoprazole in the evening before my dinner.

I am taking CBD oil for anxiety after my lunch and dinner.

I take selenium, zinc, probiotics, omega 3 and when I remember vitamin D and have just brought some B complex.

My worry is if I stop the Lansoprazole the acid will come back worse than before. I don’t like taking it I have been getting pain in the upper left side of my chest down the middle up to the lower part of my throat and my tongue hurts and is sore.

I thought about cutting my thyroxine down to see if my T4 comes down and I feel a bit better. I am really struggling with work and cannot take any stress, someone had a go at me at work last week and it made me feel I’ll. I was shaking and felt horrendous. I am a Manager but don’t feel I can cope with the responsibilities anymore. It’s very hard.

Hypopotamus profile image
Hypopotamus in reply to Cat-222

I appreciate your situation, but listen to what people are telling you. The acid reflux is due to having too little stomach acid to digest your food properly. Your issue is not too much stomach acid.

If you can't digest meat, then don't eat it (at least until you feel better).

I thoroughly recommend the ACV (with the mother). 2 teaspoons to start off with in a glass of water about 15 minutes before you eat. I also recommend Water Kefir as I am highly suspicious of the over-the -counter Probiotic supplements.

Your stress at work is also making you worse. I know that it is difficult in your present situation, but you must learn to be less affected by it.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to Hypopotamus

Thank you for your advice. I just wish the doctors recognise low acid, I did mention but straight away they said no. I had a bad night pain in chest, throat and stomach, feel lousy. The PPI’s are making it worse which I told the doctor and they just want to give me stronger ones. Do you know if it’s OK just to stop them considering I have been taking them for 4 weeks.I am worried my symptoms will get worse. It’s so sad when we can’t reply on our doctors. Many thanks

arTistapple profile image

Just a wee aside. I can have all the symptoms of acid reflux. Lots of bother in the past. However one day I thought I am really going to look at this - sort of following what was happening from a slightly different viewpoint. Purely concentrating on the pain and burning and it’s position. I know it sounds weird. After a while I realised the reflux sensation was coming from the top down - not bottom to top. It starts (surprisingly?) in my thyroid area but can spread down to my stomach. Investigations showed minimal inflammation and a very slight hiatus hernia. No-one was looking in the thyroid area. Another story but the camera just got rammed down past the thyroid. Anyway after monitoring it, I found high sugar foods caused it. I try really hard to not have those any more. I can get away with a minimal amount but pay dearly if I ignore this. May have nothing to do with your situation but I am so glad I don’t have to bother with those meds any more.

Popeye44 profile image

Did you know that L-glutamine can help heal the oesophagus and the soreness you are feeling? It's a naturally occurring amino acid which we get on our food and it's excellent at healing mucous membranes, particularly leaky gut which is linked to auto-immune diseases. It's also effective in healing ulcers. B12 controls the build up of L-glutamine in the body so if your B12 isn't good you may have low L-glutamine too. We get it through diet but often when you have digestive problems the diet tends to be adapted to help prevent things like heartburn and then you might not be getting sufficient L-glutamine which will compound the issues. You can take it as a powder, in tablet form or if you want to try bone broth it's loaded with it . I take a 500mg tablet 15 minutes before food if I have had any gut issues and my husband has them a couple of times a week because he takes Sertraline which is also known to deplete levels. L-glutamine also helps with anxiety. Initially you could try a couple of 500mg doses per day and when you start to feel better reduce it or stop completely. You may well find you don't need Lansaprozole at all.

You mentioned loose stools in the morning. This is probably caused by Vitamin C which is known to be an effective cure for constipation in IBS.

Batty1 profile image

Yes I live with this issue for 20 years you probably need a different antacid pill or take a over the counter chewable antacid and really examine your diet (dough) type of food are definitely not recommended when you are having a HB flare the acid makes the dough blow up.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to Batty1

How do you deal with it? What do you take? It’s horrible really debilitating.

Batty1 profile image
Batty1 in reply to Cat-222

I do get the random gerd attack which I believe is (medication induced not thyroid but arthritis meds) and I combat this by taking over the counter chewable antacid NOT with my prescribed HB meds couple of hours away from it or a couple of hours before bed when my gerd is flaring and seems to bother me more at that time…. No tight waisted pants/shorts or tight chest band bras which agitate it and no high fat foods at least for me its been a kiss of death and going to long with and empty stomach.

You really have to figure out what your specific triggers are and modify and I know its not easy and It’s definitely true hypothyroidism can also cause this issue but doctors just won’t see it that way at least mine never have and always manage to blame me.

ICE187 profile image

I was hypo for 7 years before my official diagnosis. I had acid reflux bad during this 7 years. I could trigger it by just squating down or bending over. Any spiced up foods would trigger it. Once triggered, I could tilt my head forward and clear fluids would come out of my mouth. I took Esomeprazole Magnesium for temporary relief. Once I started on Levothyroxine, my acid reflux stopped.

userotc profile image

If/when you resolve your thyroid levels (as advised on here) the reflux is no better, you could consider seeing a Naturopathic Nutritionist. I know you're concerned about costs but presume you pay your acupuncturist?

Despite only being a student NN at present, I was soon able to resolve GERD in a college clinic. But each case is likely different so may not be relevant for you, as a good NN should explain.

Cat-222 profile image
Cat-222 in reply to userotc

Thank you for your reply. I am with Simply Health which covers my acupuncture. I pay a small monthly amount and get an allowance up to £260 which is a great help.

Fortie profile image

HiI have had chronic gastritis for many years - the lansoprazole/omeprazole drugs do not work for me. There is another family of drugs which might help- ask your doctor - you could ask to try Nizatidine. This family is classed as H2 antagonists. There are 4 in this category.

Fortie profile image

in additional - my Acid Reflux is caused by too much acid and therefore a need to reduce acid by medication from your doctor - there is a need to protect the esophagus from acid as this caused inflammation which causes the symptom you are experiencing. Hope this helps

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