Hi Queazy Rider–I weaned myself off of Nexium, but did it slowly. I stepped down to lower and lower doses of Zantac until I was taking none at all to prevent “rebound” heartburn from abruptly stopping all meds. I was only on Nexium for 5 momths, but I developed SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), I believe from too little stomach acid. The Nexium and dietary changes did not help me a bit, but the Fast Tract diet gave me some relief.
I started having burning throat issues instead of heartburn, and saw a surgeon who does the Linx anti-reflux surgery. She ran a battery of tests to see if I was a good candidate. The manometry showed that my LES was not always opening. She did a Botox injection to try to correct the problem. The doctor advised me to do yoga and relaxation exercises to get my LES out of spasm. She said the Botox injection would not do harm, but might help. I did not notice an appreciable difference.She also observed that my LES opens when it should not during an endoscopy. The 24 hour Ph monitoring showed that I do not have much reflux, and that it is non-acidic. No wonder the PPI’s did not work!
I wonder if you also have non-acidic reflux. It is hard to find information about this condition, but it sounds like two recommended courses of action are to have anti-reflux surgery (although there are conflicting reports about whether this works, and it is extreme) and using Gaviscon Advance. I order it online as this formula of Gaviscon is not available in the United States. I occasionally use it right before bed, and it helps when I am having a bad day. Some days are better than others.
My surgeon doctor told me that based upon my test results, she knows the Linx surgery could help with my burping from the LES opening, but does not know if it will help with the throat soreness. I am awaiting news about the Endo-stim procedure to regulate LES function. It is currently done in other countries, but will be a few years before it comes to the United States. I have no evidence of damage to my esophagus, throat, and vocal cords despite the throat soreness, and I have been having symptoms since the beginning of 2013. I am thinking that I can wait for the Endostim to come instead of the Linx surgery, which leaves many people with swallowing difficulties.
For now, my best advice to you is to nourish yourself well, and do relaxation exercises as stress will not help you at all. Ask a surgeon who does anti-reflux surgery about a Botox injection to the LES. Walking is good exercise overall, and helps the LES. You can look up information on the Peoples Pharmacy website about weaning off of PPI’s. Good luck, and I hope you find relief. You will certainly receive help from this forum.