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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mastic Gum Got Me off of Omeprazole

A year ago, I was hospitalized with severe and continuous chest pains.  All heart tests showed that my heart was very healthy, so the doctors headed into my stomach with an endoscopy and found severe gastritis and a duodenal ulcer.

Ulcers and gastritis cause a lot of gas and chest pressure.  This is what I was experiencing, but I also had a sick and burning pain in my stomach.

I was put on Omeprazole 40 mg.  The prescription was to take it for a year, but by January, having been on Omeprazole, I was starting to show signs of nutritional deficiencies in the form of my fingernails becoming very brittle.  I would just bump my hand on the wall or something and the tip of the fingernail that got hit would just bust off.  I have always had very strong fingernails, so I soon blamed the Omeprazole.  I do need to say here, however, that the Omeprazole was effective in decreasing my symptoms, and I would take it again if I didn't have other options.

Having celiac's disease already makes me vulnerable to deficiencies, so I'm always focusing on identifying signs that I am developing them.  I have tried several times to wean off of the Omeprazole by going 40 mg one day and 20 mg the next, and then 40 mg the next day, and then going 20 mg the next week on the first day of the week, nothing on the next, and then 20 mg on the next.  The doctor said this weaning process was important to prevent rebound acid production that would be at higher levels than there was previously.

I would do fine with the 40/20 weaning program, but the stomach acid would come back, as well as the gastritis on the the 20/0 plan.

I was still having some pain, while not severe, it was clear I wasn't progressing as well as I wanted in my healing, and the Omeprazole was making me feel dopey.

Being sick of taking the Omeprazole, I finally decided to do something else.  I ordered Jarrow's Mastic Gum after reading about it on Amazon.  It had so many positive reviews!  I tried it for some time with just 500 mg. and it did nothing for me, so I went back on the Omeprazole for a time, and then when my pain became more manageable, I dropped the Omeprazole, and went back on the mastic gum but went on a higher dose than I had before, to 1000 to 1500 mg. depending on how I felt for the day, which was up from 500 mg. the first time I tried it.

I have now been taking it for a month.  I went cold turkey off of the Omeprazole, which one should probably never do, which was against my doctor's advice, but I had had it with the Omeprazole and couldn't take it another day.  Just like with the Omeprazole, I take it on an empty stomach 1 hour before breakfast and with 16 oz. of water.

In this month's time, my stomach has improved dramatically!  I have no more ulcer pain or gnawing pains in my stomach or duodenum, and if in the afternoon, I feel a little nauseous, I take an extra 500 mg.

I have known about mastic gum for a year, since I started the Omeprazole, but I didn't take it because at the time I was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, and mastic gum is forbidden on that diet.  That diet, by the way, never cured me of my digestive problems, but did send me into the need of a gallbladder surgery, and clogged my husband's arteries necessitating the stents placement and the birth of this blog.

I believe the mastic gum is working because, although I did have triple therapy for H.pylori, and although I asked my doctor for a follow-up test 3 months after therapy because I was still having symptoms, I believe that I was one of the 15% that didn't have a complete eradication.  Mastic gum has been proven to kill
h. pylori in studies (click here to read the studies), and taking it, I believe, has brought bacteria numbers down that were re-colonizing in my stomach.

Why do I put this post on a heart blog?  Because chest pains that are non-cardiac in nature caused by gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause the same type of pain as a heart attack.  I know from my own experience that this is true.  Having had a spouse with chest pains, his description has helped me to know that some non-cardiac chest pains can be hard to decipher from heart related chest pains.

This knowledge can help those with health anxiety to calm down about their heart health if they have had a clean bill of health placed on their hearts, but still have perplexing pain.  But, if you do have chest pain and haven't had at least a stress-echo done on your heart, I would not dismiss cardiac reasons for chest pain, until you have at least been on the treadmill.   CT angiography is even better if you can get somewhere that has an CT angiography machine like our cardiologist has.  And by the EKG's do nothing for ruling out heart disease.  DH had many of those as recent as two months before his first angioplasty.

But.... if you have been checked out properly, the use of stomach healing nutrients like mastic gum may help eliminate some or all of that pain.  I am not earning any profit from Amazon on this blog.  I want to keep my pledge to not earn any kickbacks for providing my own experience to help others out through my blog posts, but I am including the link to the Jarrow mastic gum for your convenience.  Here is the link.

I sure hope this helps someone out, because the information was not easy for me to find, and it would float my boat, if someone was able to get relief sooner than I did.


23 comments:

  1. Just found your blog through google. I have had gut problems for years! I just started mastic gum yesterday at 1,000 mg morning and night since I have read SO many rave reviews about it. Here is one from a doctor that treated me for parasites years ago ~
    Mastic Gum - an Ancient Remedy - Kills H. Pylori

    Mastic Gum is an old remedy used for centuries as a chewable gum effective against H Pylori. This is readily available at the health food store. An excellent article on Gum Mastic by Karina L. Gordin appears in the October issue of the Townsend Letter. She interviewed Dr Leo Galland who recommended Mastic Gum in capsule form (1000 mg twice a day) to a patient with gastritis. Not only did the gastritis clear up, underlying ulcerative colitis also went into full remission. A 1998 landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine on Mastic Gum, showing activity against H Pylori, is largely responsive for renewed interest in this old remedy.

    I would LOVE to have a healthy gut after 30 years of having a bad one...hoping and praying!

    Love,
    Lori

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  2. One question...how long did it take for your pain to go away?

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    1. Hi Lori, I tried Mastic Gum a year ago and it didn't seem to help. When I tried it this second time I did the 1000 mg. for a few days, and that did the trick. It took two weeks for the pain to go away, but I noticed some relief immediately. I'm still doing well. I do have celiac's disease and when I get cross contaminated with gluten, I have trouble, but because I know my ulcer it cleared up, I can easily tell when it's the gluten that is causing my pain, which lasts a few hours. The constant pain is long gone, to my great relief! Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog!

      Debbie

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    2. Clarification note: The second time around I did 1000 mg. twice a day for about a week and then I was able to go to 500 mg. a day which I did until I ran out of pills. Very scientific. ;) I no longer needed it!

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  3. Thank you so much for replying. I have been on it for almost a week and am starting to feel better. I have been reading a forum where people discuss mastic gum. There have been incredible results. The main lady overseeing it had to cut out all gluten, also, to be completely well. I think I have h. pylori so I may need to take it for a long time.

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  4. How abt gastritis without h pylori? Would it help for that?

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  5. I'm not really sure because there are many causes, i.e. allergies, reactions to supplements, etc. I did have a new recent bought of gastritis in the last three weeks and Mastic gum helped it again. I guess it wouldn't hurt to try. Sorry I don't know anymore.

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  6. Hi Deb,
    Just bumped into your blog accidentally loonking for info bout Mastic Gum. Just curious, Why do you say Mastic Gum shoul not be taken (forbidden) on carbohydrate diet?
    greetings

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    1. Hi Joseluis, Mastic Gum is fine on a regular diet, meaning that if you are eating regular foods that include carbohydrates, no problem. But, for those who are following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which is a diet formulated for people with Crohn's disease and only includes monosacchride carbohydrates, Mastic Gum will negate the benefits of that diet because it has polysaccharides in it which feed the bacteria that exacerbates Crohn's disease.

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  7. I got of Pantoprazole with Mastic. Works as good as 'regular' medicines.
    I use Mastic from Jarrow formulas, but also other brands are a good choice.

    I found a video on youtube, this is what te bottle from Jarrow looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI8c7VRggnI

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the link. I am so glad that the Mastic Gum worked for you!

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  8. Dear Deb,
    my stomach seems to feel better, but burping is still there. how long i must take to clear the h pylori

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  9. I found there are a lot of factors that caused the burping for me. For instance, eating a heavy meal before going to bed, and eating foods that didn't agree with me. My burping triggers are legumes in large quantities, concentrated tomatoes, and foremost onions. I had to cut out the onions entirely, and cut the beans down to 1/2 cup per day. I'm still trying to discover if I can even eat concentrated tomato products because I am also getting hives from them. You might try going on an elimination diet to see if you are sensitive to any foods. I went on the elimination diet outlined in The Digestive Tune-up by John McDougall, M.D. Another thing that helped me was a digestive Enzyme called Trienza sold by Houston Nutraceuticals, www.houston-enzymes.com. They help to pre-digest your food. Another thing is to make sure you eat several small meals a day instead of three larger meals, and pay attention to making sure you chew your food well. Hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found there are a lot of factors that caused the burping for me. For instance, eating a heavy meal before going to bed, and eating foods that didn't agree with me. My burping triggers are legumes in large quantities, concentrated tomatoes, and foremost onions. I had to cut out the onions entirely, and cut the beans down to 1/2 cup per day. I'm still trying to discover if I can even eat concentrated tomato products because I am also getting hives from them. You might try going on an elimination diet to see if you are sensitive to any foods. I went on the elimination diet outlined in The Digestive Tune-up by John McDougall, M.D. Another thing that helped me was a digestive Enzyme called Trienza sold by Houston Nutraceuticals, www.houston-enzymes.com. They help to pre-digest your food. Another thing is to make sure you eat several small meals a day instead of three larger meals, and pay attention to making sure you chew your food well. Hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Deb, thanks so much for ur feedback.
      I am taking raw virgin coconut oil to help me with my gastritis and h pylori
      Also, do u tink Apple cider vinegar is helpful? pls guide me

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    2. Dear,
      Did u notice any side effects of taking Trienza?? Also, have u had success with coconut oili

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    3. No side effects from the Tri-enza, and I e-mailed the doctor who formulated them and he told me I shouldn't have any.

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  11. Dear Deb,
    How long shud i take mastic gum to kill h pylori? Also cani use jarrows brand or nutricology brand? plz guide me
    Ramu

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  12. Dear Deb Hadden.
    I see no improvement inspite of taking the coconut oil and mastic gum. Can you suggest what we can do? BTW, im h pylori positive

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  13. Sorry that you are still having trouble Ram. To get rid of the h.pylori I had to go on terrible heavy duty anti-biotics that cost me a ton of money and were prescribed by my physician. The Mastic Gum helped with the after effects. A lot of people are touting coconut oil, but I am on a low-fat plant based diet and so I can't take it. I highly recommend the reading of a book that helped immensely called, Dr. McDougall's Digestive Tune Up. I went on the elimination diet outlined in this book and also took three supplements, the Tri-enza, of which you already know about, as well as the Mastic Gum, and also Slippery Elm. After I wrote this article, I had had another flare up. I do have celiac disease, so that has something to do with it, but after following the above protocol, I am much, much better, and have been for two years. The only time I have trouble now is if I fast too long, or if I get glutened. In the elimination diet, I discovered that I was also allergic to raw onions, and also magnesium supplements. Unfortunately, we are all different, so what might work for me, might not work for someone else. Also, I would recommend not drinking any sodas, alcohol, and you might also look into taking a probiotic. I don't have any particular blends to recommend. I am not a medical person, so my recommendations only come from personal experience as opposed to medical knowledge. You've been dealing with you stomach trouble for quite awhile, so I hope you feel better soon.

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  14. Thank you for this wonderful post. Do you know if it's possible to take mastic gum and omeprazole at the same time (as I wean off omeprazole)

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    1. I would also like to know the answer to this. I am still on PPI's but want to start with the mastic. Can't stop the PPI'S as the pain gets too bad.

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    2. Unfortunatelly, I don't know if it's okay to take both at one time, but I can tell you what has worked for me. Mastic Gum initially helped me, but now that a long time has gone by I have learned that I must stay off of gluten, cut concentrated tomato products, raw onions, and strong spices down to about once per week and not to overeat. When my stomach is particularly troublesome I now take slippery elm and that give relief within minutes, and that, I'm sure you can take with PPI's, although it does coat the stomach so may block the work of the PPI's.

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