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Last year, I started taking PPI Prevacid for acidity. I was prescribed 30mg/ day but it was causing me lot of burping and belching. So, I use to take it every 2 days or every 3 days when the burning sensation would return. I don't do well on medication and usually I am prone to side effects, so I always take only minimum amount needed.
But, after taking PPI's for 6 -8 months I am unable to digest any protein meat (chicken) and vegetable ( chickpea, peas beans, nuts). Whenever I eat protein I get very watery diarrhea and I feel very tired due to water loss. Initially, I thought it was pouchitis. I have taken flagyl and another antibiotic without any success. And, with my observation, I feel I am unable to digest and break down protein.
Is anyone dealing with this issue ? Can PPI's and antacid do this to you ?
Did anyone succefully treat this without external medication like digestive enzymes?
I am already dairy / lactose intolerant and cant have dairy,some nuts , and ginger . The list of food items I can eat is getting shorter and it is hard .
Please let me know how I can help digest proteins better?
Thanks a lot !

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PPI's reduce acid production of the stomach, but acid is needed for digesting protein. It also plays a role for iron absorption. I would not want to take PPI's on the long term.

If you have problems with acid reflux, have you already had a gastroscopy to find the reason? I don't have such reflux issues, only very occasionally and only weak symptoms. Perhaps others here can give you more advice.

Hello SteveG,

Yea, I had an Endoscopy  before my GI doc gave me PPI's. During the procedure, doc looked for any inflammation in esophagus, stomach and little bit of small intestine. They checked for H. Pylori and took some tissue samples.The results were normal.  

I know, that is why I am sad and scared. What if treating acid reflux caused me to have this issue permanently. Its frustrating and I feel helpless.

I am also scared to take medication due to such side effects. Already, steroids did lotta damage to my body .

Also, I stopped taking PPI's 3 months ago hoping I will start producing more acid which can help break down protein, but still no luck.

I hope some one can help me as well.

Thank you so much for your reply and listening .

Thanks again !

Last edited by meghspd

Hi Meghspd,

Sorry you are going through this.  I can’t imagine 8 months of PPI would permanently affect your ability to break down proteins but your GI would be able to opine on that.  I would not beat myself up over that.  Have you tried bowel slowing meditation?  Some on this site have watery stools from protein also.  For me, I can say that I do also, especially if eaten without fiber.


Hello meghspd,

you can also try enzymes to help with protein digestion. Some foods like pineapple contain such enzymes. And of course there are supplements for that purpose.

Another thing to try is bitter herbs extract or increasing the intake of bitter salad / vegetables. That stimulates the production of digestive juices of the liver and pancreas.

If you are dealing with reflux especially when laying down, have you raised the beadhead a little bit? Does soda or yoghurt (should be better tolerable than milk with a mild lactose intolerance) help you to reduce reflux symptoms?

@Doug K

Thank you . Yes, I take 3 Imodium's / day. Any more does not help. In fact, I find it difficult to empty the pouch.
Slowing the output hasn't helped with water absorption and stool formation.
The thing is, I use to have  formed stools for almost 5 years till November 2022. I didn't need any fiber supplements as I had enough in my diet. Once I started PPI's, the burping started. And then, after 4 months, I use to get bouts of watery stools when I had chicken or eggs. But, it would go back to the formed output.So, I would always think it was bug or something.
But now, the watery stools are an everyday thing if I eat chicken, eggs, pork or any veggie protein like chickpeas, peas as well. That was not the case before.So, I am bummed and disappointed. Its hard  to go back to where I started.

Oh ! You have watery output when you eat protein? But does it affect your water absorption and make you dehydrated or tired ? I don't mind watery output if I was absorbing enough water .


I will have to try digestive enzymes but wanted to stimulate my body to produce more . I am afraid, once I start taking it externally my body would stop making it completely. Thats how I got my lactose tolerance. I used to drink lactose free milk after surgery even though I was not lactose intolerant  and didn't consume dairy so it would easier on my pouch. So, I think my body didn't need to produce the enzyme anymore. That's my theory.

I will try the bitter herd salad . That is a good suggestion. I can't consume dairy even a little bit. Not even the amount used in fillers for pills. I immediately bloat and cramp. I am miserable till it is out of my system which is 3 -4  days.
Soda helps with my acidity And I do drink little bit when symptoms are really bad. Mostly I control it with diet.

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I will keep them in mind and give it a try.


ohh !! Yes, our body gets use to it pretty quickly.
When I had Ulcerative Colitis, I was treated with Steroids.Dose use to start at 60 mg to control the symptoms and tapered slowly. But, every time I would go below 10 mg my UC relapsed. I became steroid dependent and it wreaked havoc on my bones.

I had osteoporosis, and Avascular Necrosis in 5 joints when I was 24 years. I went through total hip replacements and knee replacement surgeries on top of Jpouch surgeries . It significantly affected quality of my life. I wish I had heard about Jpouch sooner and got it. Although, it has its ups and downs and not an easy road at least I could have saved my joints .

Anyways, thanks for your reply and listening.

I take plant enzymes after I eat a meal that has protein (beans, chicken, eggs, etc.) and it seems to help me digest them: I have less gas and stools are more formed.  They are by "NOW" foods.  When I eat melon (including cucumber) with any other food it makes me feel extremely bloated.  I can only eat it by itself, hours away from anything else, especially protein.  If I eat anything after 5 or 6pm, I get acid stomach from lying down too soon after eating and I go to bed around 10pm.  The level of acidity depends on what I had.  Sometimes it's a stomach ache, sometimes it's just a little bit of burning in the back of the throat.  Anxiety increases the acidity, of course.  It seems to increase all inflammatory responses in the body as well.  I think it's the after-effects of too much cortisol.  I am noticing this more and more.  One of these days I will have to re-instigate my meditation routine.  It really helps decrease anxiety, which seems to be the father of all my maladies.

I'm also investigating the low FODMAP idea.  I think there is something to it.  I decreased my oat milk consumption when I learned it was high on the FODMAP scale and noticed less bloating immediately.  I'm going to keep looking at it to see what other dietary modifications I can make.  My diet is already not the worst FODMAP-wise, but I am sure I can make some more alterations for increased gut health.  My experiments in the last year or so have been somewhat successful, but not scientific enough for me to pin down exactly what is happening.  Hopefully time will give me more data and I can report back more conclusively.

@meghspd posted:


Thank you so much for all the info. I will check the enzymes out. Do you also get diarrhea after eating protein because you are unable to digest it ?
For me too my acidity levels depend on what I eat.

My stools are more watery and I experience more gas sometimes after ingesting protein.  I guess that means I'm unable to digest it very well, from what I have read.   

Does anyone know what to do about severe burning and spasms after bowel movements. It’s like when you get up to walk, your poop just instantly goes to your rectum and it starts pressure and severe burning I mean so bad it brings tears. Anyone can help??

Aloe applied to the anus and a little inside has really helped me, depending on the kind of discomfort: it speeds healing and provides immediate relief as well.  I often take aloe internally (juice or caps) as well to help with healing from the inside.  If the burn is from frequent stools, Calmoseptine helps me. Also, psyllium powder, 1 tsp with 8 oz water, before each meal helps the stools be better formed (but not hard at all-because of the 8 oz of water) and provides a mucous layer that protects the anal tissue. If my rectum is tight from trying to hold in the stool, I apply magnesium spray to the skin around the anus (but not on the anus) to help relax the muscles there. A bidet can also help avoid the irritation from so much wiping.  I have a hand-held attachment that I got from amazon that I very easily installed myself.  It's only cold water but I live in the south so usually that isn't too problematic.  I also apply pressure to the pouch with my hands to avoid straining the anal sphincter and help empty the pouch completely so I won't have to visit the toilet so frequently.  The other thing that helps is time. Nothing I have found brings immediate relief.  When I have had this issue before, it has taken a long time to heal. I hope you find at least one of these things useful, and I'm sure others will have more suggestions.

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