One of the most common queries we get from clients who come to us with acid reflux is “how do I know when it’s time to stop taking the Reflux Inhibitor?”. This is a decision that can be pretty stressful for people to make when they’ve finally found something that gives them relief, and that’s completely understandable! So the aim of this post is to help you feel more confident in this transition. We’ll look at how the Reflux Inhibitor actually works and what signs to watch out for that indicate you can start reducing the dose and/or stop taking it.
What Does the Reflux Inhibitor Do?
If you’re already on the RI (Reflux Inhibitor) then you likely already understand its mechanism. But just in case, let’s do a brief recap.
When clients comes to us with acid reflux, they’ve often been trying meds like acid blockers such as PPIs for years without success or with *some* success – meaning the acid reflux comes back as soon as they stop the PPI. Why is this? Well, it’s because these medications treat excessive stomach acid, whilst one of the main causes of acid reflux is actually low stomach acid! This is something you can learn more about in our post: Debunking the Myth: The Truth About Low Stomach Acid.
By gradually increasing acidity with the RI, we can restore functioning of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter muscle) to prevent acid reflux completely. This is something that requires a lot of dosage adjustments initially, as no two people will have the exact same levels of acidity in their gut. This is something we delve deeper into in our guide to the Heartburn Relief Kit dosage which you can learn more about here.
Let’s Talk Dosage
When you start taking the RI, you start with taking 2 once daily before your heaviest meal. These are taken 5-10 min before the meal to prepare your gut for digestion by increasing acidity right at the moment the food hits your stomach. We consider 2 RI to be the standard starting dose and this can be increased up to a max of 5. Once you’ve hit the sweet spot in terms of dosage, you continue taking the RI over the course of an average of 120 days (however this can be a longer or shorter period depending on the person and really isn’t set in stone).
During this time, your gut starts producing the correct levels of acidity itself and this triggers the LES to start closing properly consistently so that you no longer need as high a dose of the RI.
Signs That It’s Time to Reduce And/Or Stop Your RI
- Your acid reflux flares up: this is often an indication that your body has started producing more acid and you no longer need as high a dose. At this point we recommend reducing the RI 1 at a time over a few days and monitor your symptoms. If symptoms improve, it’s a sign to keep reducing it and you may be at the point where you can stop it completely. One thing to bear in mind is that if you’ve only been on the RI for a few weeks this can mean the complete opposite and can be an indication that you actually need to increase it. So the general rule is, if you’ve gone past the 90 day mark it’s worth trying to reduce it first as it’s more likely that your natural acidity has increased.
- Your acid reflux has been consistently improving for a number of weeks: Once you’ve had consistent improvements for a few weeks you can trial reducing your dosage and again monitor your reaction. If your improvements stay stable on the lower dose, stay on that for a few weeks (or days depending on how long you’re into the 120 day program) and go ahead and try reducing it again until you get to the point where the next step is to come off it completely. We do recommend being at the 120 day mark before stopping it completely in order to have longterm resolution of your symptoms.
- You’ve hit the 120 day period and your symptoms are resolved: At this point you can definitely stop the RI. We recommend cutting down gradually over a week or two depending on how your body responds and the dosage you were on. If you are on just 2RI daily at the 120 point with consistent relief you should be able to just stop completely.
Maintenance: Keeping Symptoms At Bay For Good!
Once you’ve restored your natural acidity levels, your acid reflux will stop becoming a chronic issue. However some people will find that they get bouts of it now and then if they eat a super large meal or indulge in a food that triggers their symptoms. For this, we recommend having our Digestive Catalyst on hand. This is great for adding those extra digestive enzymes to help break down that food when you need it. Whilst you CAN take these daily to get the most out of the other benefits of digestive enzymes, they don’t always need to be taken daily following the RI and can be taken once a week, once a day, twice a day, or whenever you feel you might need them.
Many of our clients will also keep a few Acid Relief capsules on hand, which come with the RI in our Heartburn Relief Kit. These are very soothing on any irritation and can be really helpful to have if you do get a little heartburn now and then.
Our consultants are always on hand via Facebook Direct Messager should you have any questions at all throughout and following your journey with us, and we also have an amazing client Facebook community group that offers support to previous and existing clients which you can join here!