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GURD/Acid Reflux

givingrace's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Everyone, 

I have GURD. I have had it for years. My problem is this darn heart burn won't stop. I was told by my onc. To not take my prilosec 4 days before and after chemo.thats 11 days .  I am wanting to take tums but don't know if I should. When this rollercoaster is over I am pretty sure I will have a healthier diet closer alkaline and raw.But right now I'm lucky to even get water down. Any brilliant ideas ???

Posts: 289
Joined: Jun 2012

Hello GG:

I have had Acid Reflux most of my life.  With me Coffee is the main culprit.  I have heard that people on Chemo tend to have this acidity.   Also, there is a list of food that is acidic which does not help.  Tomato juice comes to mind. 

Bland Food is my not-so-brilliant idea.   Trouble following my own advice.

When I have stress, it seems to hit me in the stomach and I lose my appetite.  Years ago before I realized that coffee was the main culprit, I had some diffiulty swallowing.  I always worked in offices where coffee pots were bubbling or a coffee wagon came around twice a day.  I am my own worst enemy.

I have been switching around among pills for this problem.  Right now I take Pantoprasol, the generic of Protonix.

I take some Tums; don't know if I should.  In the past, I was told not to take Tums on top of certain pills because they would stop the other pill's action.  Wait a couple of hours, they said.   Better ask the doc.

One of my big complaints is PILLs.  I have about ten or so and wonder about interactions and side effects.  My pharmacist(s) are at a big supermarket and I don't think they are the brightest, but they are the folks we are supposed to consult. 

I hope you can alleviate the acid problem.

If something else comes to "mind" I will post once more.....................

Fed up with my gut,


P.S.  A year or so ago I went to a Gastroenterologist and he gave me an Endoscopy.  He saw a bit of irritation in the stomach; no big deal.  And gave me pills for nausea.  They did not help.




givingrace's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks Nancy, 

I can say that my acid reflux is worse during treatment.

due to having such an upset stomach during chemo I have actually been able to curb my coffee intake to probably 3 cups a week. That's like totally unheard of for those who know me. I don't know if my cravings will ever come back for coffee but at least that's not too much of a problem now. On the other hand I've been drinking lots of soda because of my upset tummy and that also causes lots of heartburn. So the last few days I've been so nauseous that I actually haven't even wanted to drink water or anything.  I'm grateful there's no throwing up but being constantly nauseous is not so fun then when you have heartburn on top of it. It's just twice as worse.

My friend who is the retired physicians assistant reminded me to have an apple everyday and after a few days that will actually keep heart burn away. So I had one apple and it tasted really good which was good because it was the first thing that tasted good in a while . It did mellow out my heart burn. funny thing though.... I decided I needed to eat something and nothing in the refrigerator sounded good so not being able to drive I ordered some Chinese delivery. What a  change in my tummy.Good move too. I have had more Chinese food in the last 3 months than I have in three years. 

I really think being on an alkaline diet at least 90% is probably a really good idea for me.

I also totally understand about the pill thing. I am always freaked out about slipping through the cracks and having a bigger problem then when I started. 

Hugs to you !



Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3696
Joined: May 2012


My oncologist never mentioned avoiding antacids or "ppi" acid production inhibitors. Did yout doctor say why it mattered ?  Have you tried Nexium, which you can get OTC ?

I coughed all the time on chemo, but the doc said it was not the Bleomycin, and pretty much left it at that. Turns out my reflux was so bad that I was inhaling ("aspiring") stomach acid gases, which scalded my lungs (fibrosis).  Reflux, besides scalding the esophagus, can cause it to become cancerous as well and even serious lung damage.  I would get Nexium, I do believe.  Because I have a hiatial hernia with virtually no sphincter-effect,  diet does me little good, except that there are numerous things I cannot ever eat, even early in the day.  A surgeon did a full upper GI on me when I had anemia about two years ago, and said that ithe hernia was not really operable, and he recommended against surgery.


I have used every stomach acid med on the market, and Nexium is the best thing I've  tried.  Nexium not only prevents acid production, but is curative of gi ulcerations.  Before the advent of  these modern drugs, people used to drink baking soda in water. Many still do, and the dose is printed on the side of the box with many brands. It is what my mother always used.  I use it for acute attacks, since it neutralizes the acid almost instantly upon arriving in the stomach.



Rocquie's picture
Posts: 857
Joined: Mar 2013

GG, I hope you are feeling better today. If your doctor has told you not to take your prilosec for 11 days, perhaps he could recommend something to use instead? Since stomach problems are such a common side-effect from chemo, I had 4 different prescriptions for it.

Antacids can interfere with some antibiotics, but that doesn't mean you can't use them at all, just not within 2 hours (for the ones I have taken). I would clarify with the doctor about what prilosec and chemo have to do with each other. 

I'm glad eating apples helps. Something else tummies love is ginger. You can drink ginger tea or munch on candied ginger. I love the stuff and use it often. I grate fresh ginger root for cooking and add it to smoothies. Also, it will warm you up. Very, very soothing.




illead's picture
Posts: 875
Joined: Aug 2012

Most likely it is the pectin in apples that helps as it is very good for your stomach.  I also agree with Roquie about ginger, it is really good for anything from the chest up and soothing to the stomach.  It is also excellent for sea sickness, so sounds like a great idea for your problem.  Love your new pic, very pretty.


Anonymous user (not verified)

i have it bigtime but have found the following really handles it for me. Before anything else is drunk or eaten, drink a  full 16 ounces of room temp (not cold) water in the morning and wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything else. Limit cofee to 2-3 cups (not giant mugs) of coffee. Drink a full 16 ounces of room temp water after finishing coffee for the day and after each meal. Before going to bed drink a tall glass of luke warm water with 1/2 tsp baking soda. This will greatly reduce any reflux. In my case it completely eliminated it. Important - Avoid cold drinks Even if they do feel good on an acid stomach. Hope this helps. We are all different so what works for me may or may not be work for you.

allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi GG,

 I have had heart burn/acid reflux all my life...as far back as a kid I can remember the horrible burning in my chest. My grandmother would have me drink a 4 oz glass of tap water mixed with a tsp of baking soda which would give instant relief. As a matter of fact, this is all I used during my chemo treatments, sometimes up to 3 or 4 times a day. My Oncologist said it was fine to do, but you need to ask your doctor before trying it. Maybe this will help during the time period prilosec isn't allowed. This last summer I was prescribed prilosec and it has been a miracle pill for me. I take one pill in the morning along with my vitamin and calcium pill, and I have not had one single incident with heart burn since starting it. I hope you find relief soon. Love, Sue

Follicular NHL-stg3-grd 2-typA-Dx 6/10-age 64.

givingrace's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Everyone, 

I thank each and everyone for you ideas, suggestions, experience sharing and support. 

I finally have the GURD under control.  That was really bad . I now eat an apple everyday, take nexium at night, and I'm gonna start doing smoothies again w/some ginger. I used to do the ginger thing but really got off track with my eating healthy. 

This last chemo was pretty difficult I still can't fathom going back in three weeks it just makes my stomach turn. But I will and the cycle will start all over. 

I canceled my port. I fell threw the cracks and had to do iv again. My arm is sore but not like the time previous. 

I am scheduled for on on the 29th but don't know if I'll do it. 

My pet scan should be scheduled soon so I'm actually excited for that. I'm going to believe that I'll be cancer free by around NOW!!!

IM SO HAPPY I HAVE YOU GUYS AND GALS ON MY CHEERLEADING squad. I can't do this without you. 

Have a Marry Christmas and Happy Holidays 

I love you all !!!

Hugs :^)


donald51's picture
Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2008

Change of diet is a must for the cancer as well as side effects from treatments. Switching your diet to one that is acid free is the most beneficial in fighting the beast as well as bread. Yes, I said bread! Why? Glutin. When my wife figured out that the glutin in the bread and so much more was the cause of my gurt and stopped feeding it to me, it didn't take no time at all before I could feel the results. This was a few years back and now I will occassionally eat something with glutin, cookies, cake, etc. and it will almost instantly remind me that I should leave it alone.


givingrace's picture
Posts: 161
Joined: Nov 2012

Yes Donald I do agree with your opinion.  The healthier I eat the better I feel.  I have gotten so off track with food I am at the point I just eat what sounds good. I spend an average of 15 days a month being nauseous. I'm determined to get back on track after my treatment in February. Joel Furman has a great book I like following it's called Eat to live. It changed my view on good eating. 

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