Peace in the Mid-Region



I had forgotten about acidophilus.


But I should start at the beginning. Which was my not-really heart attack in July, caused by an extra special flaring of GERD. Several factors contributed to this, including stress and the best gingersnaps I’ve ever had (and will now never have again) among them. The chief trigger, though, appeared to be my body developing an intolerance to meloxicam.

This was not good news, as next to Vioxx, meloxicam is the most effective NSAID I’ve used in a very long time. Not only did the deal with pain related to 40+ years of RA damage, but it also had a good effect on my Fibro. I tried to do without an anti-inflammatory for a while, but it very quickly became obvious that this was a Very Bad Idea indeed.

So, now what?

Due to a previously developed intolerance, I can’t take anything that ends in -profen, excluding an entire subclass of NSAIDs. So I tried naproxen. Which is a good anti-inflammatory, but it burns the crap out of your stomach.

Fast forward several months to late November. I was still on naproxen, which together with Humira, allowed me to have a really intense schedule with an equally intense workload, but also left me popping over-the-counter Zantac like they were mints. Nothing worked.

And then I had a conversation with my mother. Her bad hip had her dosing up on some heavy-duty painkillers and she subsequently wasn’t happy in the mid-region. I reminded her of how acidophilus can be a wonderful balm for opioid side effects, such as your stomach trying to eat itself and being rather blocked (if you know what I mean).

Amazingly, it only took me week or so before the light bulb went off and I realized that the advice I’d given my mother could also apply to me.

Some days are blonder than others.

In my defence, I had stopped taking acidophilus earlier this year, due to my body deciding it was intensely sensitive to everything. Although I had some in my fridge (it’s a staple, really), out of sight had meant completely and totally out of mind.

In case my body was still as hysterical as a supermodel who hasn’t had her lettuce leaf, I started with half a tablet. The next day, I took a whole tablet.

Four days after I started, my stomach had calmed down and my Zantac popping had been reduced by two thirds. The side effects are still there, but they are now entirely tolerable.

And yes, I know I wrote a chapter in Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis that includes mention of acidophilus. I know I’ve written posts about it for HealthCentral and that it’s one of the first things I mention to people who have bad gastrointestinal side effects from RA meds. But somehow, when it came to me spending 24 hours a day with a giant hole in my stomach, it never entered my mind.

This might be a good time for someone to smack me.


Disclaimer:
Although I’ve been told by the naturopath that acidophilus doesn’t have any side effects (except loose stools if you’re taking too much), I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend that you discuss this with your doctor before taking it.
  

Comments

Anonymous said…
good article.....going to try
this to see if it helps. Thanks
Julie said…
I can't tell you how many times I do the same thing! Blame it on the brainfog!
Diane said…
I don't have a problem with dairy products, so try to have at least one yogurt a day and it really does seem to help keep my system settled.
livingwithra said…
Meloxicam made me feel the best ever...until it ripped my stomach apart! Hang in there and hope your stomach is your friend and not enemy.
Andrew