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Heartburn -- done to death, I'm sure, but HELP!

(59 Posts)
TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 09:07:32

Gaviscon makes me boak, even the tablets.

I don't drink milk, but only because it's disgusting, not because I'm intolerant or anything.

Standard Rennies are the only thing which doesn't make me heave, and they do take the edge off for a few minutes. I'm waking up in the night with basically a mouthful of acid. My GP won't give me omeprazole or ranitidine.

What can I do?! I have googled and every site which promises 'remedies' actually gives 'ways to stop getting heartburn' instead. I know not to eat big meals late at night, not to bend over/lie down, to avoid spicy food/citrus/greasy stuff etc. But REMEDIES are what I need!

What's your secret? Ice cream? Apples? Sacrificing the cat by a full moon?

MisselthwaiteManor Fri 27-Sep-13 09:13:37

I had these chalky tablets but they're probably the same as Rennies. I think they were calcium carbonate.

Yogurt helped soothe my throat but dairy makes it worse so was probably creating a cycle. Eating dry bread and sipping water constantly also helped a bit. Propped myself up on a heap of pillows at night but it didn't make a huge difference.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 09:17:16

I've heard that dairy makes it worse, even though most people swear by it for helping.

Even water gives me heartburn! Waaaaah sad

I've tried the pillows but it's really uncomfortable.

Sunshine200 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:21:07

Is there nothing else the doctor can prescribe? I got something that wasn't omeprazole or ranitidine, can't remember what it was called but it worked a treat. I kept it by my bed and often tucked into it in the early hours of the morning!

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 09:24:22

I asked. They said no. Take Rennies, drink milk, use extra pillows blah blah blah.

sleepcrisis Fri 27-Sep-13 09:26:46

I'm suffering terribly with it and I'm on 20 mg omeprazole, bottle loads of gaviscon and remegels after every snack! I'm surprised your GP won't prescribe omeprazole.

Things I have found to help are (and I'm sorry they're not really remedies): drinking a really really hot drink (peppermint tea for me) as soon as I finish eating, it seems to help the food go down and get digested quicker.

Not eating dairy

Sitting upright on a hard chair for at least an hour after eating - no lounging around on the sofa sad

Gaviscon really does help, but I often gag while I'm trying to drink it. Its truly hideous isn't it.

Have you tried remegel? Its not got as many ingredients so its not nearly as effective as gaviscon but at least they're chewy and far easier to take.

If I were you I'd go to a different GP and ask for the omeprazole. I've had it prescribed no problems in two different pg by three different GPs.

curlywurlyllass Fri 27-Sep-13 09:30:25

Flavoured milk(shakes) help me stave it off for a while and are now quite nice i was a milk hater till a few months ago
And orange rennies more like a sweety than medicine -or so ive managed to convince myself! But theres only so many u can have a day sad

Grrr@ your gp! When i grumbled to a midwife i was told its part of pregnancy and theres nothing that can b done. lies!!!
Is there another gp u can see for a second opinion?

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:41

I had gastritis pre-pregnancy and was on omeprazole daily for that. When I got pregnant, 2 different GPs told me not to take it any more. I have since seen a 3rd GP who agrees that I shouldn't take it. Nor ranitidine. He looked them up in his BNF and said they're one of the many, many useful drugs that they haven't properly tested on pregnant women and therefore aren't recommended.

I haven't tried Remegels. I will find some and give them a try, thank you smile

Hi curly grin
I was actually thinking of making a milkshake later with banana and maybe a bit of ice cream. Pretty sure I could manage that, even with my hatred of milk!

roofio87 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:55:51

I'm another one who was happily given omeprezole by my gp, he said pg women have been taking it for the last 30 years with no problems. im suprised they won't give it you!! I'd suggest trying again (sorry, not got much more advive I'm afraid!)

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 09:58:37

Good. I'm glad they gave it to you.

sleepcrisis Fri 27-Sep-13 10:20:21

You can buy both omeprazole and ranitidine over the counter, no?

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 10:22:13

I know. But if my doctor won't prescribe them, I'd prefer not to.

sleepcrisis Fri 27-Sep-13 10:24:05

Speak to a pharmacist, they seem to me to be far more knowledgable about drugs than GPs. If you search online you'll see that it really is very widely prescribed in pg.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 10:29:04

I really am aware of that. Honestly I am. And I appreciate the advice. I'm glad so many people are prescribed it. But if my 3 GPs won't prescribe it, I'm pretty sure that no pharmacist worth their qualifications will go against that. And I am prepared to listen, given that I have no medical training of my own.

Thanks, all. I have a few ideas from this.

Artisticme Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:44

Have you tried Zantac? It's ranitidine you can buy over the counter but about have the dose of prescription. Doesn't take it away completely but I take one in the morning and one at night and it's definatley calms it a bit. smile

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 27-Sep-13 10:58:05

Just to say (although I appreciate you aren't keen on the omeprazole etc. route anyway) that if you can't get a prescription, it's unlikely that a pharmacist will dispense to you if you're obviously pregnant. I am currently somewhat indignant about this approach after being told this morning that I can't be sold eyedrops over the counter because "we aren't licensed to dispense during pregnancy". I should have realised as soon as they asked if they were for me but it didn't occur to me that anyone would consider something which goes on my eyeball to be potentially harmful to my 36 week foetus confused.

Anyway, back on thread, I've found the Rennie extra "ice" to be good OP - better than the standard Rennies.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 11:07:11

I tried them too, mycat. They also made me heave. Maybe I am pathetic, but it was the fact that they foamed a bit in my mouth!

You're right about the pharmacists. They wouldn't even sell me Buttercup syrup the other week.

doobeedee Fri 27-Sep-13 11:32:02

Is there a specific reason for them not giving you the pills? I just bought my ranitidine from the supermarket. If there's no specific reason, just go and buy some.

doobeedee Fri 27-Sep-13 11:34:36

Oh and about pharmacists not wanting to despense it, they sell it everywhere. Supermarkets, Wilkinsons, even Home Bargins!

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 11:37:08

I did say in a previous post. He looked in his BNF and said they were part of the set of medications which have not been sufficiently tested on pregnant women. Many medications are the same, because obviously they can't test on pregnant women. So they may well cause no problems in people who take them, but they're not recommended for use in pregnancy because they don't know. Everyone has an anecdote about how they took [whatever] in pregnancy and it didn't do them any harm, but in the absence of any medical training of my own, I'm going to have to take the word of my GPs.

doobeedee Fri 27-Sep-13 11:40:24

Sorry. I didn't read the whole thread before posting. I think you're just going to have to put up with it then. Nothing else works for me either. Gaviscon doesn't even do anything.

froubylou Fri 27-Sep-13 11:41:42

I know how you feel re not wanting to buy something the docs have said no to. Had the same issue in the summer with piriton. Eventually I managed to get my midwife to speak to the consultant at the hospital who said she would prescribe piriton in my situation so I happily went and bought some.

You have 3 choices really I think. Either suffer with the heartburn, boak whilst doing the Gaviscon or buy Omeprazole over the counter.

Would giving yourself a dose of Gaviscon in a syringe be any less boak making for you? If its just the texture of it in your mouth (I hate it too) if you get a calpol syringe and squirt it straight down your throat you shouldn't actually feel that much in your mouth IYSWIM.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 11:45:12

Ooooh, that's not a bad idea, frouby! I think it is the texture. It's worth a try!

I made a banana milkshake about 20 minutes ago and it's been the best 20 minutes of the whole week! I can feel the heartburn lurking, but it's nowhere near as bad. Even if it comes back soon, it worked for a while grin

Penny31 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:30:55

My heartburn was really bad and making me vomit, waking me up very hour. My doc gave me omeprozole too. I would rather not take anything but I was reduced to tears and it was making me so ill I had no choice. I tried a couple of other things from the doctor too. Their main concern was that prescribing som heartburn remedies and cause the uterus to contract!

I hope the omeprozole isn't harming my baby sad I will feel awful.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 12:38:30

Oh, Penny, it won't be.

greentshirt Fri 27-Sep-13 12:47:22

Can you add some gaviscon to a milkshake?!

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 12:48:02

Now that's not a bad idea...

roofio87 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:50:45

sorry op, my post wasn't particularly helpful. take or don't take whatever you feel comfortable. I've had one person tell me they swear by drinking coconut water after meals and one that said a handful of almonds a day helped. not tried either myself but maybe worth a go?! hope you get some relief soon!

MisselthwaiteManor Fri 27-Sep-13 12:57:39

I was wondering about infant gaviscon you know the little powder sachets? Tipped into a glass of something. But if you can stomach normal gaviscon in a milkshake then that might be your problem sorted!

andadietcoke Fri 27-Sep-13 13:02:51

Weird that about the GP not prescribing ranitidine. The MW in hospital recommended it to me, and it was what I was given the night before my csection to prevent reflux. Still, though, respect your reasons.

Have you tried the different types of gaviscon? I couldn't have some but the double action one was more palatable. The propping up in bed did work for me too, but it was so nice to sleep flat again when I got home after delivery!!

MildredH Fri 27-Sep-13 13:15:51

OP, I'd wait a week or so and go back to a different doctor and say its worsening and affecting how much nutrition you're about to keep down.

I'm on omeprazole and it made a huge difference.. I really feel it when I forget to take it.

The BNF states- not known to be harmful in pregnancy. I'm a doctor myself and I think looking at risks vs benefits the benefits definitely win!

It's definitely worth persevering. Other measures will help but it's miserable finding everything you eat and drink causes you a problem.

Good luck OP

grassalwayslooksgreener Fri 27-Sep-13 13:22:47

I swore by 'Tums' tablets and mints such a Tic-Tacs or extra strong mints.

Hope you feel better soon its one of the downsides of pregnancy thanks

BummyMummy77 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:19:56

I've had it for years before hand. I never twigged what it was until someone pointed out GERD when I was 5 months pregnant.

Slippery Elm works to soothe the throat, papaya enzymes are great, fresh papaya if you can get it also.

I've been prescribed pantoprazole which has pretty much knocked it on the head. It's meant to be more effective and safer than opramazole (it's category 'b' in the states rather than 'c' like opramazole). I'm pretty sure you can get it in the UK too.

Be careful with the chalky anti acids. Some are not so safe in pregnancy, google them first.

Another thing I saw on a forum which has worked for me is apple cider vinegar. Just a couple of tea spoons. It's rank but it works. Or pickle juice. It's acid but it tricks your oesophagus into closing.

Really, the sleeping sitting up sucks but it's better than having acid dripping out of your nose at 4am.

BummyMummy77 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:20:54

Oh, and a teaspoon of baking soda in water.

BummyMummy77 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:24:47

Just googled it, you can get pantoprazole in the UK.

I really don't want to scare you and I'm sure it's rare but bad prolonged stomach acid can damage your oesophagus and lead to throat cancer. Every doctor and midwife here thought prescribing aggressively outweighed risk to the baby.

And I'm a massive hippy that probably won't even immunise for quite a while.

PinkParsnips Fri 27-Sep-13 14:26:18

I totally feel your pain. My doctor wont give me ranitidine or omeprazole, he wouldn't only give me their cheaper version of gaviscon which is rubbish.
Milk also makes mine worse not better -

The only thing

PinkParsnips Fri 27-Sep-13 14:34:31

Oops sorry posted too soon!

Meant to say mine is terrible at night, I'm having reflux while I'm asleep which is making me choke and vomit.

The only thing I've found is to not eat for 3 hours before bed but that doesnt help if yours is all day.

I must admit I have taken a ranitidine when it's been really bad as NHS website says they are ok but I don't like to, so am watching with interest.

Also just to say I read that propping up with pillows actually squashes your stomach and can make it worse you really need to prop the whole head up the bed up apparently.

sleepcrisis Fri 27-Sep-13 14:45:33

Ooh yes cider cinegar really works. Pickle juice is delicious but I find if it doesn't work then I get pickle burps all day which is pretty unpleasant.

Nhs website says its safe to take omeprazole in pg. very odd that GPs are going against this. Also my doc showed me the bfN which also said fine to take. If I remember correctly it was ranitidine which was more ambiguous in its wording.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 14:48:02

I'd wait a week or so and go back to a different doctor and say its worsening and affecting how much nutrition you're about to keep down.

It's not.

Propping up the head of the bed is a great idea! No annoying pillows. Will get on that when DH gets home to help.

Coconut water, almonds, papayas, a syringe to shoot Gaviscon down my throat. All going on the shopping list.

Thanks, all. I'll keep trying new things!

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 14:49:06

Cider vinegar works!? Right. Adding that!

Oddly, I think I could swallow that just fine. I think it's the milky consistency of Gaviscon which disgusts me so much.

BummyMummy77 Fri 27-Sep-13 15:09:34

Gavison makes me barf at the best of times.

Interesting the opramazole has come up ok in the UK testing. I usually trust the NHS more than the US health service.

I ripped the house apart in tears the other day trying to find some opramazole from the UK that I got for bad hangovers lol. Oh those were the days.

I'm shocked at the docs not prescribing. I'd have thought mum's lack of nutrition and sleep not to mention the dangers of GERD would outweigh any tiny potential problem they haven't even found with the drug.

Acid reflux is taken a lot more seriously here, I can't wait to have the op after this baby is out. I'm not getting pregnant again until I do!

CrispyFB Fri 27-Sep-13 15:51:57

There is another drug similar to omeprazole but hasn't been around for as long. It is used in the US in pregnancy. Lansoprazole is the name. It costs more to the NHS however..

Worth looking into if you haven't already?

Purplefrogshoe Fri 27-Sep-13 18:02:51

I had awful heartburn and i found the only thing that helped for a little while was loveheart or refresher sweeties

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 18:03:50

Did you tell me that before? Someone on here mentioned lovehearts and refreshers and I'd forgotten. Added to the list, thanks!

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 27-Sep-13 18:09:51

I was also going to suggest propping up head of bed, or just put pillows under the mattress at head end.

bonbonpixie Fri 27-Sep-13 20:28:07

Hi OP, I completely understand how awful you must feel. I had heartburn from around 5 weeks in until 5 minutes after DD was born! It's horrendous. However you are looking for non Gaviscon remedies.... I used honey. High strength manuka honey. I had a spoonful three times a day and I can honestly say that it really helped. Also completely stopped bending over - sounds stupid but I guess we all do it so often don't think about it until I was making conscious effort to stop. You will look a bit silly picking things off the floor but for me it made a big difference.

BummyMummy77 Fri 27-Sep-13 21:03:15

I've heard of the honey thing too. Lots if people swear by teaspoon of honey, teaspoon of baking soda and couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.

To be honest I'd drink cow piss if it got rid of my acid.

Bending over does NOT sound silly. If I bend it's toast. Acid coming out of my mouth for hours.

TobyLerone Fri 27-Sep-13 21:37:26

Manuka honey is ON THE LIST!

Thank you smile

katebakes Fri 27-Sep-13 23:59:40

penny I think omeprazole is ok to take during pregnancy. The warnings on the NHS website say that it is deemed safe which is very rare, because
even if medicine is totally pregnancy safe the warnings are never as clear cut. So if they're willing to say it's ok, then it really must be.

FishCalledWonder Sat 28-Sep-13 00:04:27

No advice, just sympathy. I think heartburn in pregnancy is nature's way of making you long for childbirth.

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 06:51:24

Thank you, fish. You're so right!

Ginnytonic82 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:14:29

I find chewing gum helps during the day, especially peppermint flavour. Also my mum told me to try eating porridge, it's weird but it does seem to keep it in check!

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 08:18:19

Will add chewing gum to the list. And I always have porridge oats in, do will give that a try smile

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 08:18:28


wickedwitchNE Sat 28-Sep-13 09:55:14

Hey I know you have a super long list anyway, but my friend cant stand milk or gaviscon - she highly recommends mint choc chip ice cream!

Anything with peppermint in can help stave it off, the tea is good straight after eating as hot water helps too apparently, and then when it comes on she uses natural yoghurt or ice cream to soothe it. As a last resort I have sat and sucked on ice though it is obviously very temporary.

Hope you find something which works for you!

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 10:23:53

I'm happy to anything which might help to the list. So mint choc chip it is!

When I was suffering with gastritis before I got pregnant, peppermint tea actually made it worse. But that was more indigestion pain, rather than heartburn. I haven't tried recently, so it won't hurt to give it a go.

Thanks smile

BummyMummy77 Sat 28-Sep-13 13:43:46

I thought peppermint was one of the top things to avoid? It's awful for me and a couple of friends it know that much.

brettgirl2 Sat 28-Sep-13 15:48:16

You can buy Omeprazole otc so I suppose potentially dh could say it was for him.

The Lanprazole/ panprozole etc they prefer not to prescribe because they are newer so there is less evidence re safety in pregnancy.

Your dr is just being an arse, they are meant to agree treatment with you.

I have hiatus hernia by the way so I took omeprazole throughout both of my pregnancies. Lots of people take Omeprazole so there is lots of evidence its safe.

The USA 'evidence' is a load of bollocks, basically they have a load of pregnant rats about 20x the normal dose. It seemed in baby rats to cause heart defects in the study. But we are human beings not rats and if you fed them 20x the normal dose of 'safe' paracetamol it would kill all of the rats. hmm

It's sad but I researched it a lot.

BummyMummy77 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:42:04

brettgirl it's not sad. When you've spent evenings not sleeping puking up acid going to the moon and back makes sense lol.

Weird that they'll use the new ones in the states and not opramazole. Wish I'd known that, I waited for ages to get a prescription and could have just used my good old opramazole!

Can you have the op for the hernia? I'm getting it done as soon as baby is out.

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