Sunday, March 28, 2010

Balance on the edge of a knife

For a year I have been taking Prevacid, which is heavy duty Reflux medication, in an attempt to heal a lesion on my esophagus (known as Barrett's Esophagus). Apparently it worked, the doctor said to see him in three years.

What I found out directly, by looking this stuff up on the net, is that if you take it for over a month you are at risk for osteoporosis. it you take it for longer than a year and don't have osteo, you will probably get it, because this thing is a proton pump inhibitor, and inhibits calcium from entering the body. sigh.

So you take twice as much calcium and hope. I already have osteo, so this year has been one of Being Careful and keeping my fingers crossed.

I have since stopped the Prevacid, partly because of that, but partly because I was on a diet for a year, a careful, serious diet, and gained four pounds. Aha, I thought. Maybe it's the Prevacid, mucking about with my metabolism. In the two months since I stopped taking it, on the same diet, I have lost seven pounds. Aha, I thought. Lookit that. And of course the weight gain distorts the esophagus and makes the Reflux worse.

It has been a year of trying to balance two very different problems, each of which counters the other, since calcium needs stomach acid to work properly, and prevacid does it's very best to reduce the same acid to do its job properly. The people I feel sorry for in all of this are the women who took this stuff when it was being tested, some of them in their forties and fifties at the time, and suddenly found themselves looking at the rest of their lives with osteoporosis in it.


  1. Hmmmm, I am supposed to take nexium the rest of my life thanks to a bleeding ulcer I had a couple months ago. I also have a bad esophagas, but the ulcer was in the duodenum, whatever that is. The less medicine you take the better off you are. If I didnt take cumiden my ulcer wouldn't have bled. one medicine just calls for another to stop the side effects of the last one.

  2. thats about it, Harvey. My best friend these days is the pharmacist, who is trained on interactions and side effects. I don't expect the doctors to know, they got enough going on without having to read all that teeny print and do your homework for you...

    You might want to check out Nexium online, just to see what else it might be doing, too.

    You get older, you take pills. I think that's becoming a way of life.

  3. It's like J says -- "Remember when taking pills meant you were about to have fun?"

  4. Look into supplementing with magnesium, Mitts. And yes, I remember when drugs meant fun. Its true that youth is wasted on the young.

  5. calcium, D, and magnesium. I think I mentioned those to you at some point, way way back, as the big three in calcium use.

    However, i actually had a nurse not long ago recommend Tums to me as a good source of calcium, which suprised me, since it has been pretty much discredited as a source of anything, and a waste of money--the calcium you should be getting is negated by the acid-reducing effect of the other side of the Tums. And in order for it to work at all you have to take it every half hour, *g*

    One advantage to being young is that they are allowed a certain amount of Stupid Pet Tricks because of their resiliency. When you hit the ground then, you bounce. Now, we just lie there and wait for the paramedics.