I'm so sorry to hear you are so bad with this problem and hope I am not going down the same road. I do empathise as I have been feeling pretty much the same this week. I've been struggling with health isssues for years and this acid problem is not very nice at all. I feel miserable at work but luckily I manage. I did think that being on holiday for a week I would start to feel better but not so, therefore I am not looking forward to going back. I think my posture at work does not help either. I'm going to get a chiro session and see what he says and if he can help.
I can't read any of these books either as they also make me feel worse. I sometimes struggle to read some of the posts here. I'm trying to keep positive but it's not easy. I'm determined to beat this and think that my problems also stem from me not sticking to anything and getting on with my life.
I will look up the protocol your friend took as I am looking into everything. You didn't say if he was able to stop his meds.