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Trapped gas can cause excruciating pain that mimics a heart attack. If you are taking protonix for heartburn, you could have a great deal of trapped gas.
There are two schools of thought on using drugs like protonix to treat heartburn and acid reflux. Both have merit, I believe.
The first school of thought is that of mainstream medicine. This says that the drug will help any stomach or esophageal irritation caused by reflux to heal, thus alleviating the heartburn. To a certain extent, I believe this is true.
There is another school of thought, popular among homeopathic and naturopathic healers, that after we reach the age of about 40, our bodies do not make as much acid for the purpose of digesting our food as they did when we were younger. As a result, we more often have indigestion.
The undigested food may then remain in our gastrointestinal tracts, and it may ferment, causing great amounts of gas buildup.
Taking a drug like protonix will then make the problem worse by getting rid of the acids we need to break down the undigested food.
Those who follow this school of thought generally prefer to prescribe digestive enzymes or similar instead of protonix, which is a member of the drug family known as proton pump inhibitors.
So, it may be possible that the protonix is aggravating your problem with gas.
Also, a decrease in gastric motility can contribute to the problem of trapped gas, as well, because the gas does not move out and down as it should. Certain medications can cause a decrease in motility, such as sedatives, anti depresants or pain medications. If you're taking any of these regularly, this could contribute to the problem, too.
I hope this is helpful to you.