7 Reasons to Avoid Acid Blockers If you have a Thyroid Problem

7 Reasons to Avoid Acid Blockers If you have a Thyroid Problem

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Acid blockers are used by millions of people each and every day and yet they have the potential to cause profound problems. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in thyroid patients where acid blockers can wreak havoc on thyroid function in a number of ways. 

And, in case you think I’m joking about how common these medications are, consider these statistics:

Levothyroxine (a prescription thyroid medication) is the third most commonly prescribed medication in the United States with over 101.9 million prescriptions out there right now. 

Omeprazole (a common acid blocker) is the 7th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States with over 68 million prescriptions out there right now. 

We don’t know how many people are using BOTH levothyroxine and omeprazole simultaneously but we can make an educated guess that this number is in the millions of people. 

If I’m taking a stab at the number, my personal guess would be definitely over 10 million people who use both simultaneously primarily because acid blockers are available over the counter and don’t always require a prescription medication. 

In fact, you may be one of these millions of people!

So what’s the big deal? Why is it a problem to take acid blockers if you have a thyroid problem?

In this article, I’m going to outline 7 reasons why thyroid patients, in particular, need to be wary about using acid blockers. 

These reasons range from its interference with thyroid medication absorption to increasing your risk of nutrient deficiencies and many others. 

And this is really just the tip of the iceberg. 

Let’s jump in: 


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What Are Acid Blockers?

Let’s start with some basics. 

What is an acid blocker? 

An acid blocker is a medication that reduces how much acid is either produced or pumped out into your stomach. 

Acid blockers are used for many medical conditions but are most commonly used for treating acid reflux. 

If you aren’t using an acid blocker for treating acid reflux then you may be using it for treating H. pylori (1), a stomach ulcer (2), or a gastrointestinal bleed. 

It doesn’t really matter why you are taking them, the effect is still the same as far as your thyroid is concerned. 

Why would you want to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach?

The idea goes something like this: 

Acid that your stomach produces naturally can be potentially damaging for tissues outside of your stomach. 

If you have acid reflux, that means that you may be pushing up stomach acid into the bottom of your esophagus which can damage the esophagus if it happens over many years (3). 

Your doctor will tell you that the best solution for managing this problem is to reduce how much acid your stomach produces. 

That way, if your stomach juices get pushed up into your esophagus then it won’t cause problems!

Doctors get really concerned about acid reflux because prolonged damage to the esophagus may increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer. 

And patients get really concerned because acid reflux can cause chest pain (4) and really hurts!

In theory, this method of managing something like acid reflux makes sense. 

how acid blockers impact thyroid health

The only problem is that using acid blockers is like playing a game of whack-a-mole. 

Using an acid blocker may solve the damage to the esophagus (even though it doesn’t actually stop the refluxing from occurring) but has the potential to cause more problems downstream. 

It turns out that your body needs that stomach acid that your acid blocker is blocking!

Stomach acid is used to digest food, to break down nutrients, to help your body absorb the nutrients you get from food, and even to absorb and break down medications! 

There’s also some evidence that stomach acid is beneficial to the little bacteria that populate your intestinal tract. 

The funny thing is, this is well known in the medical community and they know that using acid blockers long-term can cause problems. 

In fact, if you look at the back of the box of your acid blocker it will tell you that these medications were never designed to be used for longer than 2-4 weeks (5). 

But this doesn’t stop doctors or patients from using them for years and years and even decades in some situations. 

Long-term use of acid blockers has been associated with developing gut infections like Clostridium Difficile colitis (6) and increases your risk of breaking a hip or bone (7). 

These are just some of the downsides to using acid blockers, we will get into more in just a minute. 

For now, just realize that while acid blockers may temporarily solve some issues in the short term, they create way more problems than they solve in the long term. 

List of Acid Blockers (Check to see if you are taking any!)

Let’s do a quick check to see if you are taking an acid blocker. 

One quick thing to note is that acid blockers are available both over the counter from your local drug store as well as via a prescription from your doctor. 

So don’t assume you aren’t taking an acid blocker if you don’t have a prescription from your doctor!

Because they are so readily available and because they go by so many different names, it’s a good idea to check if you picked one up from the grocery store at some point. 

There are 2 main classes of acid blocking medications. 

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (commonly referred to as PPIs) – Medications that fall into this category include: Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix. Any medication that ends in -prazole is considered to fall into this class of medication. 
  • H2 Blockers (an older class of medication but still available over the counter) – Medications that fall into this category include: Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet, Fluxid. 

A couple of things to note when looking at this list:

The first is that this isn’t a complete list and you can still be on one if your medication isn’t on this list. 

Medications often take on different names in other countries or as generics flood into the market. 

Be sure to check your medication against the list of names found here

The second is that these medications are very effective at doing what they do. 

In other words, even if you are taking a small dose of either type of medication they are effectively blocking most of your stomach’s ability to produce acid. 

The potential side effects of this are seen when using low doses of acid blockers from either class of medication. 

Reasons to be Cautious of Acid Blockers as a Thyroid Patient:

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Let’s talk specifically about how acid blockers negatively impact thyroid patients. 

I came up with a list of 7 reasons why you want to be cautious using acid blockers if you have a thyroid problem but there are probably additional reasons not listed here. 

#1. They can decrease thyroid medication absorption. 

The first reason to be cautious of using acid blockers has to do with its ability to limit thyroid medication absorption. 

And here I’m talking about ANY thyroid medication including medications such as levothyroxine, Synthroid, Natural Desiccated thyroid, Cytomel, and liothyronine

Regardless of whatever thyroid medication you are taking, there is a risk that your body will not be able to absorb that medication if you are taking it with an acid blocker. 

And when I say “with” an acid blocker I’m not talking about taking it at the same time or anything like that. 

If you are using an acid blocker AND taking thyroid medication then you may have a problem. 

The reason is that acid blockers decrease acid production ALL day long and it is the reduction in acid that limits thyroid medication absorption. 

So even if you were to take your acid blocker in the evening and your thyroid medication in the morning, you may still experience this problem. 

Why is it important to ensure you are getting your thyroid medication into your body?

Well, if you have low thyroid function then it is your thyroid medication that is helping you feel better. 

If you don’t get enough thyroid hormone into your body then you will continue to experience low thyroid symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and cold intolerance

You may also find that your thyroid lab tests fluctuate significantly if you take your acid blocker off and on. 

This problem won’t occur if you take your acid blocker faithfully but you can imagine a scenario in which your TSH and free T4 levels fluctuate if you only use your acid blocker occasionally. 

This can make nailing down a dose that works for your body difficult and provide unnecessary diversions in getting to the root cause of your thyroid condition. 

Again, let me reiterate, this problem exists for ALL thyroid medications because your body needs acid to help break down the thyroid medication itself for absorption. 

#2. They increase your risk of developing magnesium deficiency. 

You will see a trend as we talk about the problems that acid blockers cause and many of these problems stem from nutrient deficiencies. 

For #2, we are talking about magnesium levels. 

If you don’t produce enough stomach acid then you will be more prone to developing magnesium deficiency. 

But why does that matter? 

Well, outside of its impact on thyroid function, we know that magnesium acts as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes in the body. 

But specific to the thyroid, we know that low magnesium impacts your immune system which may put you at more risk for developing autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 

It’s probably not the magnesium deficiency itself that CAUSES the autoimmune disease but it is the magnesium deficiency state that fans the flames of autoimmunity, so to speak. 

Magnesium helps to keep your immune system in check and helps fight and prevent inflammation by helping to produce anti-oxidants such as glutathione. 

We also have studies that show that supplementing with magnesium may positively impact thyroid function lab tests by improving the TSH (8). 

Magnesium is also required to produce the energy necessary to get iodine into your thyroid gland

Low magnesium means that the iodine you take or get from your diet will be less effective. 

As a thyroid patient, reducing your level of magnesium may put you at increased risk for not only making thyroiditis worse but also impacting thyroid function itself. 

What can increasing your magnesium level do for you? 

People who increase their magnesium level report that they get better sleep, have less anxiety, have more regular bowel movements, and have more energy. 

As a thyroid patient, you definitely want to ensure that you have proper magnesium and that may start with improving how much magnesium you are absorbing! 

Magnesium is primarily found in plant rich foods but you can also take it in supplement form which may be ideal for those on acid blockers. 

Even though you won’t absorb all of it, increasing how much goes through your system is still better than nothing. 

#3. They increase your risk of developing iron deficiency. 

Acid blockers also increase your risk of becoming iron deficient. 

And iron is another very important nutrient for thyroid function. 

Iron is required for an enzyme known as thyroid peroxidase to function properly. 

If thyroid peroxidase is not working correctly because you don’t have enough iron then your thyroid will not be able to use iodine to create thyroid hormone

Aside from its impact on thyroid function, iron also plays an important role in helping your hair grow!

Hair loss is definitely a top concern for many thyroid patients as it is frequently a side effect of both low thyroid function and high thyroid function. 

Iron also helps you feel energized because of its role in providing oxygen to your cells for energy production. 

As a thyroid patient, you should be very concerned about iron because iron deficiency leads to impaired thyroid function which leads to decreased iron absorption and worsening iron levels

This downward cycle can only be solved by fixing both thyroid function and your iron levels simultaneously. 

Women are at higher risk for developing iron deficiency (with or without acid blockers) because of their menstrual cycle. 

Because most patients with thyroid problems happen to be women, this problem is amplified. 

Be sure to keep an eye on your iron status and ferritin levels if you have used an acid blocker in the past (or if you are using one now!). 

#4. They increase your risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Vitamin B12 is another huge vitamin for thyroid patients and it’s something that acid blockers can make you more deficient in. 

We already know that a huge number of thyroid patients suffer from sub-optimal vitamin B12 levels, somewhere around 40% (9). 

And this is concerning because of B12’s importance in helping your body to produce energy. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to symptoms ranging from decreased energy, to weight gain, to brain fog, and even depression. 

If these symptoms sound familiar to you it’s because they are some of the same symptoms that low thyroid can cause. 

This makes it all the more important to ensure that your B12 levels are optimal so that they do not cloud your picture or prevent you from feeling better!

Vitamin B12 is absorbed in the gut and stomach acid is required for its absorption (10). 

vitamin b12 absorption in the stomach

Low thyroid status reduces acid production in the stomach which is why so many thyroid patients suffer from B12 deficiency. 

When you add on further acid suppression from acid blockers, the problem often gets exacerbated significantly. 

As a thyroid patient, you should put a priority on testing your B12 status using the correct tests

Many doctors tend to order the wrong tests which may lead to undiagnosed B12 deficiency in thyroid patients, especially those that are also taking acid blockers. 

In some cases, thyroid patients may need to supplement with sublingual forms of B12 or vitamin B12 shots to bypass the intestinal tract. 

Bypassing the intestinal tract can help ensure that you are getting vitamin B12 into your body even while taking acid blockers. 

Obviously, it’s not recommended to take acid blockers and vitamin B12 at the same time, but if you plan to do this using sublingual or B12 shots is definitely better than using capsules or tablets. 

#5. They increase your risk of developing intestinal dysbiosis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. 

Suppressed acid production also leads to downstream changes in your intestinal bacteria. 

Your gut bacteria, known as your microbiome, play a synergistic role in maintaining the health of your entire body. 

Your job, as the host, is to put food down into your gut that helps healthy bacteria to grow and thrive. 

In return, healthy populations of gut bacteria then help your immune system to function, they can help alter your appetite, regulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin, and help reduce inflammation. 

This all assumes that you have a good relationship with your gut bacteria!

Many thyroid patients, especially those taking acid blockers, do not. 

Changes in your stomach acid alter how your food is digested. 

If you are not able to break down your food at the right time then you may inadvertently feed the wrong bacteria further down in your intestinal tract. 

Low stomach acid also changes the environment in which these bacteria can thrive. 

The use of acid blockers seems to create an environment that is favorable for the type of bacteria you don’t want growing in your gut or colon. 

This is why some people who take acid blockers over the long run have an increased risk of developing C. Difficile colitis. 

But even in the short term, you may develop overgrowth of bacteria in the intestinal tract known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO for short). 

SIBO leads to gut inflammation, further impairment of nutrient absorption, and additional symptoms such as constipation/diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, excess gas production, and more. 

Getting off of acid blockers can help restore your gut bacteria to its normal healthy state but you may also need additional treatments such as probiotics and prebiotics

#6. They may increase your risk of developing food sensitivities. 

Studies in both children and adults show that using acid blocking medications increases your risk of developing food allergies. 

In children, for instance, the use of acid blockers in the first 6 months of life results in a higher risk of food allergies compared to taking antibiotics (11)!

It’s not exactly understood why acid blockers increase your risk of food allergies and sensitivities but it’s thought that it’s related to two areas:

The first is through its impact on intestinal bacteria and your microbiome (which we discussed above). 

And the other is through its impact on protein breakdown. 

When your stomach acid is low your body is not able to adequately break down certain proteins which leads to larger protein fragments that then may react with your immune system (12). 

The end result is that your immune system starts reacting to foods from those protein fragments and you end up with food sensitivities. 

Aside from the fact that you don’t want food sensitivities at all, thyroid patients already have to be very vigilant about what foods they put into their bodies. 

If you limit the foods that you can eat even further with the use of acid blockers then you are making your job at finding the right diet for your body that much more difficult. 

#7. They may lead to inflammation in the gut which can negatively impact thyroid conversion. 

Finally, through some of the mechanisms previously mentioned, acid blockers can result in inflammation in your gut. 

This is a problem for thyroid patients because the gut is a big source of thyroid conversion and the creation of T3 thyroid hormone

Conditions such as gut inflammation, intestinal dysbiosis, and even SIBO may limit how well your gut can convert T4 to T3 which may have an impact on your free thyroid hormone levels. 

Clearing up gut inflammation is a quick way to indirectly improve thyroid function through this mechanism. 

Getting Yourself Off Of Acid Blockers

After reading this, you may be asking yourself how the heck are you supposed to get off of your acid blocker. 

After all, some people, perhaps even you reading this, may have been taking an acid blocker for years or even decades. 

People in this situation always get frustrated because they know if they stop taking their acid blocker they will end up with acid reflux because of acid rebound (13). 

What are you supposed to do in this situation?

It starts with understanding what actually causes acid reflux in thyroid patients. 

In many cases, thyroid patients suffer from acid reflux because they are not producing ENOUGH acid. 

Remember, low thyroid states reduce stomach acid production. 

As a result, many thyroid patients are incorrectly placed on acid blockers which can make the problem even worse. 

On the flip side, even those with high acid content often benefit from taking additional stomach acid. 

Taking additional acid, in the form of supplements, can help your body digest food and improve your microbiome. 

It may not sound intuitive to take acid if you have a problem with acid but it works by treating the root cause of acid reflux. 

If your acid reflux doesn’t stem from low stomach acid (as it does in many thyroid patients) then it probably stems from an unhealthy microbiome from consuming processed foods, dairy, gluten, or even another stomach condition such as H. pylori. 

The key to fixing acid reflux is finding out the source of your acid reflux and fixing that problem. 

Once you do, you should be able to throw your acid blockers away and never look back. 

Wrapping It Up

Acid blockers, including proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. 

Thyroid patients, because of their propensity to experience acid reflux, are often taking both thyroid medication and acid reflux medications. 

This promotes a problem in thyroid patients because of the importance acid plays in absorbing nutrients, gut health, and thyroid medication. 

The result may be worsening thyroid function for patients who take acid blockers!

If you are a thyroid patient using acid blockers then fixing the root cause of your acid reflux will help you to get off of your acid blocking medication and improve thyroid function. 

Are you a thyroid patient currently taking an acid blocker? 

If so, do you think you have experienced any of the negative side effects mentioned above?

Have you had your nutrient levels for vitamin B12, iron, or magnesium tested?

Did you know that you shouldn’t use your acid blocker for more than 2 weeks?

Have you tried getting off of your acid blocker? If so, how did you do?

Leave your questions or comments below! 

#1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365691/

#2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534792/

#3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/barretts-esophagus/symptoms-causes/syc-20352841#:~:text=Barrett’s%20esophagus%20is%20a%20condition,to%20thicken%20and%20become%20red.

#4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15851-gerd-non-cardiac-chest-pain

#5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429051/

#6. https://www.cdc.gov/cdiff/what-is.html

#7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19333676/

#8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214647414000282

#9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18655403/

#10. https://www.ebmconsult.com/articles/vitamin-B12-absorption-mechanism-intestine-intrinsic-factor

#11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137535/

#12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5464390/

#13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29195714/

should you avoid acid blockers if you have a thyroid problem?

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About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

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56 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Avoid Acid Blockers If you have a Thyroid Problem”

  1. Hello,
    Is sn otc calcium carbonate (Tums) ok for occasional use? I’ve read that calcium can interfere with thyroid meds so it needs to be kept several hours apart. Also, I’ve seen products with alginate (sp) that act like a barrier to keep existing stomach acid from washing back up. I have Hashimoto’s thyroid and am getting some tests for suspected hiatial hernia so I need some “safe” help with reflux in the meantime. Thanks!

    • Hi Carla,

      I suppose using it occasionally won’t be a big problem but you’d still want to treat the underlying cause so the acid reflux goes away for good.

  2. Hi Dr. I’ve been on Zantac Nexium Prilosec for 34 years and I have a lot of Mucus In my throat, I am on level thyroxine for 34 years also. Please help me figure this out I feel just miserable with acid in my stomach and throat thank you. Iverson Levante can you doterra oils. to help with my health do you know if these oils would be good for you

  3. Hi Dr Childs,

    Soooo glad I stumbled upon your site. I have been taking Omeprazole since 2003. I began testing hypothyroidism in 2009. While I was at the Dr’s office for this, the Dr asked me how long I’d been losing my hair. Never pursued thyroid meds at that time because I was also, pre-diabetic. In 2014, I had full blown type II diabetes. Got on meds for that. They never came around to my thyroid again until 2019. Now, half my hair has fallen out, I have metabolic syndrome, was considering gastric bypass, though my BMI wasn’t high enough. I had a hemi-thyroidectomy and a parathyroidectomy mid 2020. Since then, my hair has not grown back, I cannot lose weight no matter how hard I try and I’m pretty darn miserable. THIS is such a game changer for me!! I have begun the process of getting off Omeprazole. I am taking every other day and will continue to wean off it by skipping an additional day in between as I go, until I am good to get off of it entirely. Do you happen to know if long term Omeprazole causes a chronic cough and if so, will it potentially go away once I am off it?? I’ve had a chronic dry cough since 2010. It’s quite debilitating. Thank you so very much for posting all of this invaluable information!!

    • Hi Michelle,

      I’m unaware of a connection between omeprazole and a chronic cough but there are many potential triggers including acid reflux. You’ll need further evaluation to figure out the exact cause.

  4. Hi,
    I’ve been on Omeprazole since 2009 for GERD and have been dealing with chronic headaches and fatigue since June of 2020. I found out during subsequent testing that I have Hashimotos but my other thyroid levels are fine every time they are checked. Later testing told me that my B12 is low and dropping despite taking more supplements than I have in my entire life. My ferritin was low (not iron interestingly enough) but I got an iron infusion and that fixed it (maybe temporarily??). My magnesium level is on the low end too. So I’ve got all the markers! But I don’t know how I’m supposed to stop taking the PPI. It doesn’t matter one bit what I’ve been eating recently, if I don’t take the pill by 11am I have a burning in my esophagus relentlessly. I still don’t know what’s causing my headaches and fatigue, but I’ve had 2 endocrinologist tell me it’s not the thyroid antibodies. I am thinking maybe the B12 deficiency, so I put myself on B12 shots. My doctor gave up on me a long time ago and labeled me “depressed”.


  5. Can you advise myself and I guess others, how we can come off omeprazole? When I try to stop after day two I can feel the acid coming up again. Usually in the morning about 8am and again early evening. I try to handle the acid pain and cough I get because of the acid, but have to give in and have a tablet. I really want to stop taking these tablets I’ve been on them over a year. I’ve no idea why this started up as I’ve never had acid reflux before. But, I have it now. I don’t want to stay on these tablets. I’m back taking levothyroxine (after 3 years on NDT, because the price for them went sky high), I’m 67 and been on levo since I was 28. I’d really love to come off the omeprazole though.

    • Hi Julie,

      I will have a more complete set of guidelines in a future article but you can check some of the responses in this comment section for additional help in the meantime!

      • I’m on omeprazole as well. I’ve been on it since early 2015 after I had the gastric sleeve done. I can’t stop taking it or like Julie said the acid comes up and I suffer all day. I had my last 2 kids after the surgery and that was a nightmare. I gained 3/4 of the weight back. My youngest now is 3. I’ve been working on trying to lose weight again and even water will cause the acid to come up. I’ve been struggling with thyroid disease since I was 22 when I found out. I’m 42 now. I’m trying everything to get my thyroid better. I feel like a zombie walking. I’m so tired all the time , brain fog is awful, my body aches so bad. No offense to anyone but I feel like an old decrepit lady. I can’t get anything done. I have 5 littles and no energy or the desire to keep going. That’s how bad I feel. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have health insurance either.

        Thanks, Devon

        • Hi Devon,

          The reflex acid production is due to dependence on the acid-blocking medication and something called rebound acid hypersecretion. The dependence on the medication doesn’t mean your body requires it, though, it will just be hard to get off of it. You’ll most likely need to slowly taper off it.

  6. Hi Doc,
    I have been on a PPI for 2 decades.
    Its very very addictive & unable to get off as it causes dreadful burning in the gut, the esophagus, etc & one just gives in!
    What do you suggest ?
    I did buy your duo, adrenals & thyroid supplement but havent even used them.
    I,m a bit lost.
    (I have other issues & they seem to get my attention more).

    • Hi Heather,

      I would try first with a step-wise reduction in your acid blocker as opposed to the cold turkey approach. Eliminating acid blockers cold turkey can lead to rebound hypersecretion but if you slowly taper off your dose then that usually prevents this issue.

  7. Had thyroid test done, t-3 / 4 reverse t-3 / 4,, Wish i could tell you more except that my TSH reading was 69.. put me on Levox, 175 mcg. Every 3 months i go from one extreme to the other. Thyroid reading has only been right once in 8 yrs. I, thinking 175 mcg is TOO much, What would YOU say the dosage might be, just off the record,, Thanks

    • Hi Joe,

      There really is no scientific way to predict the dosage that someone might need. The best you can do is try and guess based on weight but that’s not very accurate. The game you are playing with your doctor basing your dose off of your TSH is the problem, not the medication. You can learn more here: https://www.restartmed.com/thyroid-controversy/

  8. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I just got through taking 3 medications for h pylori and one was an acid blocker. Still waiting for lad results from breath test to make sure it’s completely eradicated. At same time was just diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and inflammation of esophagus. I have strong suspicion my dr. will put me on proton pump inhibitor and acid blocker. How would I correct the problem of hernia and esophagus without these medications?

    • Hi Gayle,

      I will be coming out with a post which outlines natural therapies for acid reflux but it’s not out quite yet.

  9. Hi Dr. Childs,

    I had taken acid reducers for years until I stopped drinking coffee. I now drink herbal coffee and rarely have acid issues. I do take your T3 Conversion booster which has changed my thyroid numbers dramatically! I have not had to go on prescription thyroid medication because of your supplement. I am grateful for the supplement and all the knowledge you share.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Marlene,

      Thanks for sharing and I’m glad it’s working for you! Also, great job on getting off of acid blockers.

  10. I’m rather concerned at the figures you give in this article for optimal ferritin levels
    Everything I’ve read and heard from the thyroid community and medics is that ferritin should be at the very minimum 70 ng/ml snd ideally at least 90-100 ..?

    • Hi Marion,

      You really don’t want a high ferritin level as iron is toxic to the body. You want ferritin to be at the lowest acceptable level for thyroid function and hair growth. Raising your ferritin higher than that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run and provide minimal if any benefit. Most people who recommend high ferritin levels are missing other more significant factors which influence both thyroid function and hair growth, they are just pushing down on the one lever they are aware of.

  11. Hi, I had my thyroid removed two years ago and am on levothyroxine 100mcg, took private blood test my t3 is low had to fight with gp to get my dosage upped another 23mcgs. I have been cutting in half to go slow. I was given ppis as have barretts esophagus why i dont know as i do not get acid reflux but do get pains in my back. Told got sliding hiatus hernia also. Ppis made me so much worse and i stopped taking. Gps do not want to know. I have a gallstone and they want to remove my gallbladder as they say thats causing the pains in my back but i am not convinced and reluctant to go through with it, to be left with more problems .

  12. Ps also
    Perhaps you could suggest a maintenance regime using natural products for thyroid people who are prone to acid reflux and related things .

  13. Hi Dr Childs – I’ve suffered from acid reflux for several years and have almost eliminated caffeine and eat fresh tomatoes only occasionally. I had trouble with the extended release protonix wearing off in 8 hours and tested positive for H-pylori after speaking to my primary doc. I did a 10 day dose of 2 antibiotics as well as protonix and after I completed the antibiotics a few days later the issue returned. Incidentally I tested negative for h pylori a few years ago when I had an EGD after suffering extreme gastritis. I guess my question is, will a good probiotic help healing the h pylori and what do you do to fix the acid reflux. I elevate my bed and also have lost a few pounds but this has not really helped. Most of my issues start around midnight and I try not to eat after 6 pm with evening meal being light. I had thyroid cancer with RAI and surgery and worry about the negative side effects of too many medications, I was recently started on statins for high cholesterol.
    I like the research you put in your information and look forward to the good information.

  14. I have been on omeprozole for 8 years! I had a TT and neck dissection in 2017 and another neck dissection in 2021 for a recurrence of the thyroid cancer. my last PET CT they said I had a hiatal hernia – a small one and a gallstone. Would getting the hernia fixed help me get off omeprozole?????

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Possibly, there are also many people with Hiatal hernias that don’t have issues with reflux. Hiatal hernias are one of those things that get the blame by doctors for various issues in the gut even though they are mostly harmless. It’s just an easy thing to point to and say “this is the problem” so the doctor doesn’t have to worry about it.

      Here is a quote directly from the mayo clinic:

      “Most people with a hiatal hernia don’t experience any signs or symptoms and won’t need treatment.”

  15. What can I do to get off omeprazole? I’ve been on it for about 20 YEARS. I have a hiatal hernia and I have intense pain when I stop taking the drug for even a day. Please help!

      • Perhaps you could post a link to your blog post? I’m sorry but it’s unhelpful if you don’t offer any suggestions to getting off the meds.

        • Hi Cathy,

          It’s not finished yet or I would have linked to it. The information you guys are looking for is too complex for a quick comment on a blog post but I do have plans to write extensively on the topic in the coming weeks. This is one blog post out of 500 and one request out of hundreds that I am currently working on but I will get to it in the future. If you’d like to keep an eye on future blog posts when they come out then check back on this page periodically: https://www.restartmed.com/blog/

          Alternatively, you can join my weekly email list by downloading any of my free resources here: https://www.restartmed.com/start-here/

  16. Hi Dr Westin I am on eltroxin and have just had a colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Have been prescribed prazaloc. Was told I have h.pylori. what do I take for acid reflux in place of prazaloc. Thank you

    • Hi Karen,

      I am going to create a list of natural therapies in a future blog post. The best thing you can do is treat your H. pylori for now. That should allow you to wean yourself off of the acid blocker.

  17. Dr. Childs I completely relate to all you’ve said about acid blockers. I tried everything I could uncover on the internet to relieve myself of the 25-year habit. I changed my diet, added in acid, tried pre and pro biotics, various herbal concoctions, etc., but still had irritating/painful reflux. I had a work-up by a GE and he said there is nothing wrong (gastritis, hiatal hernia, esophagitis, SIBO, celiac disease, H Pylori, etc.) and insisted the only way to control the reflux is to take the pill. Every doctor (western medicine) I’ve seen says the same thing. To add to my problems, all my new healthy eating habits, switch to Tirosint with careful practices of taking other meds around it, etc., have resulted in my TSH showing my thyroid as overactive along with low T3. I am taking your supplements (thyroid daily essentials and T4-T3 conversion), but so far I still have hypothyroid symptoms. As you’ve warned, the Endocrinologist that I see won’t go down the paths you’ve suggested in your teachings. I’ve come to the realization that the real world of medicine (the one available to most of us) is basically ineffective to every day problems.

    • Hi Denise,

      Have you tried a stepwise reduction in your acid blocker dose? Quitting cold turkey can cause acid hypersecretion. You can solve this problem by slowly tapering down your dose to prevent this rebound effect. This effect happens with a lot of other medications as well so doctors should be familiar with it.

  18. I have Hashimotos and I also have a hiatal hernia from childbirth. Reflux has been manageable for the last twenty years by sleeping elevated, not eating a few hours before bed, and watching what I eat. Now it seems like it is worse and elevated sleeping doesn’t help and I wake up coughing. Pepcid helps but I don’t want long term problems . I should also say I am probably toward the back half of menopause . I am not sure which direction to go with this.

    • Hi Melissa,

      I am going to write an article on natural therapies for acid reflux that you can take a look at. The best thing you can do is whatever it takes to get off of your acid blocker.

  19. I have thyroid medicine and acid reflux meds. My thryoid tsh level jumps all over. I take levothyroxin early morning then dont take famatodine for a least 4 hours. My doctor put me on 40 mgs twice a day which I believe has really messed up the thyroid meds. I was just put on B12 because the level was quite low.Magnesium is at 2.0 What are your suggestions? Forgot to say, I have no thyroid. Had it removed 5 years ago. Nodules weregetting quite large.

    • Hi Shirley,

      The best thing you can do is optimize your thyroid function via medication (as necessary) and do whatever it takes to get off of your acid blocker. It doesn’t really matter how far you take your acid blocker away from your thyroid medication because it suppresses acid production all day. It sounds like your low B12 and low magnesium likely stem from the chronic use of the acid blocker. You would probably also find yourself low in Vitamin D if you were to check as well.

  20. I’ve had a problem with bloating, from what I assume to be SIBO, about 2 to 4 hours after dinner. I don’t eat _any_ processed food, and read that an iodine deficiency can cause SIBO. I started taking 225 ug Potassium Iodide after dinner, and it seems to have solved my bloating problem

  21. I have tried for years to get off of acid blockers – taken them at least 20 years now. I used to take prilosec every day, but eventually got it down to just a pepsid before bed because that is only 12 hours. I just was diagnosed as hypothryoid, and I had anemia for quite a while which is why I tried to get off acid blockers – to no avail. I’ve used probiotics and a lot of other things. I actually don’t have a gallbladder which I think worsens the problem. I’d love to know of another way to get off of these stupid things because I know they aren’t good for me!

    • Hi Rosanne,

      Once you are on acid blockers you may experience rebound hyperexcretion of acid when you try to stop them. This makes you believe that you still need them but, in reality, it’s a response from the body. For this reason, it may be best to try a step-wise decline in acid blockers as opposed to a cold turkey approach. I am also going to come out with a set of alternative treatments in a blog post in the future that you can keep an eye out for.

  22. I have Barrett’s Esophagus and have been on PPIs for a year. This February, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and was offered thyroid medication, which I turned down, since I don’t have too many symptoms. Now I am wondering–if I took the thyroid med, would it help my stomach produce the acid it needs and stop the GERD?

    • Hi Jan,

      It definitely may help. Your acid reflux could be from other causes though, as thyroid dysfunction is certainly not the only cause of GERD. It’s hard to say without more information but based on what has been stated, it seems like it has the potential to help.

      • Dr Childs,
        My daughter had reflux and eosinophil esophagitis. Her GI put her on steroids “indefinitely”. She stayed on them a few months but she also started drinking aloe vera (pharma aloe vera 3x strength) every day. The doctor was angry at me for stopping her steroids but when she did the scoped her esophagus she could not believe that it was completely healed. She also wouldn’t believe that the only other thing we did was the aloe vera and she said it was impossible that it healed it. But we know otherwise 🙂 I used to be a hospice nurse and aloe vera was very helpful with cancer patients who had mouth sores and trouble swallowing. We also learned from her GU doctor that your poop has to be like soft serve ice cream lol sorry for the comparison but that’s how it was described to help prevent reflux so She takes flax seed every day and also beets as needed which are high in magnesium. She stays away from any stool softeners that can be “habit forming “ She went from having terrible reflux several times a week to now maybe 1x every 3-4 months : )

        • Hi Tricia,

          Glad to hear it! Thank you for sharing and I’m happy you were able to find something that worked. I’ve also had great success with different herbs/oils/botanicals in treating gastrointestinal issues.

  23. Thank you so much for your article! This should be talked about so much more!
    I have Hashimotos and after developing some gallbladder issues, I realized that I’m actually low in stomach acid which creates this whole chain reaction of reduced bile production and flow etc as well as absorption problems of a range of nutrients (iron, B12, zinc etc).
    Apparently Hypochlorhydria is common in people with thyroid issues. Do you have more on this subject too?
    Thanks again for your very informative page.

    • Hi Jana,

      I do not but I have it added as a topic to write about in the future so eventually, I will have more to say!

  24. I wonder if you could help with a dilemma? Although we have an holistic MD, and take no Rx as a rule, we are in a difficult situation. My husband had pancreatic cancer, which was discovered in time, but necessitated the Whipple procedure. His surgeon wants him on pantoprazole for life. He is having kidney issues, anemia, requires a high dose of thyroid(natural) suddenly, and still has some severe acid reflux if he eats the wrong food. I was advised to give him baking soda before bed, but then he had a problem with extremely foul smelling gas. He takes digestive enzymes and a host of supplements too numerous to mention. I know that the problem is that he needs the stomach acid, but his conventional surgeon isn’t on board with that, needless to say. I have no expertise in this, especially if the problem stems from the surgical alterations from his 13 hour surgery. I am at a loss for what course of action to take. Can you help, or direct us to a practitioner who specializes in this?


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