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papaya enzyme, acid reflux

my whole life i have suffered from bad stomach aches. since i was a little girl, under 5, i have had them. in junior high school i was hospitalized for vomiting so much i became dehydrated, then in the months after that i lost about 30 lbs (i only weighed 130 to start with.) so i spent my high school career underweight and scared to eat much. i avoided spicy foods, soda, pizza...i ended up having my appendix out when i was 17 and that seemed to help for a while. i put weight back on and now am considered plus sized and quite comfortable with that.

i was diagnosed with acid reflux last year (age 34) and everything started making sense. the doctor said that i have probably had it for years and didnt know. well, i knew i had SOMETHING wrong, but no one ever pin pointed reflux. i was given a Rx for aciphex and it worked ok. ive tried pepcid and it worked ok.

my biggest concern was that i was having trouble sleeping, my heart would pound only when i got in bed to go to sleep. this would happen a few nights a week, and i was able to correlate eating late with the pounding heart and "insomnia." my blood pressure always checks well, my doctor checked all of my blood levels and everything else was healthy. she couldnt figure out why this was happening.

in my hours of internet research i read that acid reflux can sometimes cause the pounding heart symptom! i started taking pepcid ac at night right before bed and began sleeping like a baby. after trying that for a few weeks i became concerned that i was taking a medication daily that said on the label not to use more than 2 weeks at a time. so i began researching again for another more natural method to control the reflux and the pounding heart symptom that came with it. i tried a few things, some didnt help, another made it worse. then i stumbled upon the suggestion of papaya enzyme. i already had papaya enzyme, which i had purchased when someone told me it would help naturally prevent gas (which i didnt think it did.)

ive been using the papaya now for a few months and its working amazingly for me. i turned my mom onto taking it when her Rx for heart burn (also aciphex) wasnt working. she takes a Rx for arthritis that she cant do without, which unfortunately causes heartburn.

my mom and i are loving papaya enzyme! she got some for my brother, who she said "burps all the time."

my brother called me last night to ask if papaya enzyme could cause diarrhea. he eats a fairly consistent healthy diet and said that was the only thing that he had changed. i suggested he discontiue use of the papaya enzyme and thought i would ask here. i havent noticed anything different about bowel movements, other than i am more regular now that i use the papaya enzyme.

does anyone else have experience with papaya enzyme or have any other suggestions for indigestion that i could pass on to him? thanks in advance!


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
My roll of papaya enzyme tablets says on it that overuse could cause intestinal issues, yes. Do they still work for him if he doesn't take as many?

Another option for digestive health is bromelain, which is a pineapple extract of some kind. I don't know whether it has the same possible side effects, but it might help to try that or switch off or something.

Also, my chiropractor does a great job treating reflux and related issues, maybe a chiropractor visit would be an idea?
May. 5th, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
I notice that on the ingredients for the papaya enzyme that bromelain is listed. i will check around my local health food store and see if they sell that or pineapple extract individually.

i had never thought to see my chiropractor for reflux, i will ask about that next time!

my brother said that he had only taken 4 tablets as suggested as the recommended dosage. i might even suggest he try taking beano.

thanks so much for your suggestions!
May. 5th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
It could easily be something else. Is it really diarrhea or could it just be loose stool from eating a lot of fiber-rich foods? Diarrhea is usually self-correcting, but he may wish to talk to a doctor if it continues.
May. 5th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
And by doctor I mean a real doctor. ;-)
May. 5th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)
he described the stoll problem he was having, and i wont do into detail here but it sounded pretty gross! i am sure he will see his doctor if it continues, thanks!
May. 5th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Good. I have a tendency to avoid doctors at all cost so I really should follow the advice I just gave you!
May. 5th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
I don't know about the enzyme, but actual papaya fruit gives me a very loose stool. The first time I ate it I thought it was a fluke, but then a week or so later I bought it again and the same thing happened. So... yeah. :P

It could be one of those things that the more a person eats it, the less it affects them. If the loose stool problem isn't terrible, and your brother really wants to get the benefits from the enzyme, maybe he could soldier on for a week or so to see if it gets better?
May. 6th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
I bought a bottle of papaya pills for a coworker who suffers from ulcers, and she tells me that her ulcers hardly ever bother her anymore, she has more energy, and eats less! :-D
May. 6th, 2009 10:50 am (UTC)
i am so glad to hear this- i love the stuff!
May. 6th, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
Papaya enzyme made me have an allergic reaction - swollen tongue and throat style. Hah!

Best way I've found to deal with my acid reflux is by regular use of a proton pump inhibitor (which is a different class of drugs than Pepcid, which is an H2 blocker... Aciphex is a PPI, according to Wikipedia) and through eliminating/cutting down on trigger foods (mostly coffee, chocolate *sob*, oranges and pine nuts).
May. 6th, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Oh, and regular exercise.
May. 6th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC)
yeah there are things i know i cant have, coffee, a lot of tomato and citrus, spicy stuff too :(
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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