Reader who cured GERD with low-carb diet interviewed on TV

Healthy Skeptic reader Susan Kazenas was recently interviewed on a Fox news affiliate in St. Petersburg, Florida about her success using a low-carb diet to treat GERD.

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  1. Todd S. says

    Within about 3 days of embarking on a paleo style diet, my reflux was gone.  It always irritates me though in these type of news segments how the doctors always seem to try to play down low carb at every chance.  Anecdotally, I drink coffee like it was going out of style and I don’t get reflux.  I eat one piece of bread and BAM!  I’m in pain.

    • JULIA GREER says

      Hello Todd, I was very impressed to here you say that there is a way to cure gerd. I am dealing with it right now. My Dr. just started me on Nexium 40mg daily and I dont really want to stay on it for good. Please tell me what you did to combat this problem.

      • Stranger says

        Start here: http://chriskresser.com/heartburn
        And here: http://chriskresser.com/get-rid-of-heartburn-and-gerd-forever-in-three-simple-steps

        (Second link tells you what to do. First link starts at beginning and tells you why.)

        Long story short: GERD is a result of low stomach acid and often bacterial overgrowth. Taking any acid-suppressants only damages it more. You need more stomach acid, unless there are other problems, like bleeding in stools, etc. Then, not sure.

      • Darrell says

        I have taken nexium for GERD for past 15 years at least. Started off with 40 mg and then a year ago cut myself down to 20 mg (against doctor’s advice] with no discernable difference in symptoms. A few weeks ago I began having some problems swallowing and felt like there was a knot in my throat. Three days ago I stopped eating flour products and refined sugar…sticking mainly to meat, nuts, and fresh fruit. There is a noted improvement, but I’m not sure if I should continue with the fruits due to their high carb content. I’m worried about developing Barrett’s if something does not change…anxious to see results of diet change . Incidentally I am a long-time heavy tea drinker and user of peppermint breath mints, which I have stopped both. Any suggestions welcomed.

  2. Chris Kresser says

    I had the same reaction.  Why didn’t they ask a doctor to comment on her experience?  Why didn’t they at least speculate on why low-carb would help with reflux?  Why didn’t they find someone (eh, hem) to interview about the mechanisms involved.  Instead they went straight from her to the standard fluff about coffee, smoking etc.

    Groupthink at it’s finest.

  3. Jane Kessler says

    I have GERD and have taken meds for 10 years. I am 63, white female. I quit the meds 4 weeks ago. I have been on the CSD for almost one year. I still have GERD but it is not as bad as it used to be. Where do I go from here?

  4. Rowan says

    I went off my antacids & proton pump inhibitors and have been on Atkins for a month. Instead of two days a week incapacitated by stomach problems… I have had one bad day in the whole month. Thanks so much for your heartburn series!

  5. says

    What a dumb news segment. They had it right with the low-carb information and then switched to the doctor who obviously hadn’t even seen the interview. Tobacco, coffee, please. I used to smoke and drink coffee like mad and didn’t have heartburn. It was only after my thyroid started crashing, I was low on serum vitamin D, and under a lot of stress that I started suffering from a LOT of heartburn and gas. I was also eating mostly pasta, vegetables and ice cream. Went paleo and it all went away.

    • Chris Kresser says

      Pretty amazing how they presented her story and then managed to completely ignore it and start talking about the same conventional nonsense that has failed everyone! Typical. Guess that’s why I never watch or listen to the news.

  6. Susan Kazenas says

    I agree with all of the above comments.  The doctor lead the viewers to believe that my heartburn went away AFTER I had lost weight, when I specifically said that within 1-2 weeks of eliminating carbs, my hearburn went away.  My weight-loss came AFTER the heartburn/GERD was cured, NOT the other way around, as “conventional” medical “wisdom” would infer.

    Also, I was in DC two days ago and had four separate meetings with members of Congress, and spoke of the link between PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors, i.e. Prevacid, Nexium, Prilosec, etc) and increased bone fractures.  PPI’s inhibit the proper absorption of nutrients and the FDA is now requiring these drugs to include this information on the patient information label.  Can we even begin to imagine the explosion of Osteoporosis we are facing with the multi-billion dollar PPI drug industry?  That’s why I spoke as a patient advocate from Florida on behalf of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. 
    BOTTOM LINE:  Carbs cause MANY problems!!!  Stop eating them, as they are unhealthy.  I also have been sick just from eating a slice of bread.  I live pain free and will never go back to eating carbohydrates other than healthy fresh-vegetable carbs, i.e. asparagus, spinach, green beans, etc.  Thanks to all for your comments on my Fox news video. 

    • says

      It’s the same with the link between obesity and diabetes. I keep telling people the underlying conditions that cause obesity also cause diabetes, that while visceral fat is metabolically active and can make a bad situation worse (ditto for fatty liver), being overweight in itself doesn’t cause anything–it’s a symptom. And how do I know? Eating low-carb lets me have normal blood sugar. I don’t think I have ever gotten to the point of diabetes but I sure was getting reactive hypoglycemia. If my overweight was causing that then it shouldn’t have responded to diet. And the same diet that lets my blood sugar normalize also helps the weight come off. There’s a pattern here and most people refuse to see it.

    • Carmenj says

      The real issue for GERD is not so much low carb, it’s the wheat (in particular), “vegetable” oils are also implicated and other grains/legumes – only way to find out is to go off all grains & legumes for at least 6 weeks, then add back, one at a time to find your triggers (usually your GI sx return w/in 6 hours). Mine are clearly wheat, corn, most vegetable oils (I don’t know about oats or barley b/c they are not important to me). I can eat rice, quinoa & buckwheat flour, sweet potatoes or other high starch sources w/o problem. I need to note though, I follow a high natural/healthy animal (saturated/mono unsat) fat diet- 70%, no grains or legumes (I do eat small amounts of rice weekly), low carb (50-75g/day limit) 10-15% and moderate healthy animal protein -15-20% – very high nutrient density diet. I am a 53yo athletic female physiologist, (18% body fat- I was not nor ever have been overweight, max BMI of 21) who ate a fairly immaculate organic whole foods diet from 19yo onward. Despite have a history of lots of exercise & low glycemic index type whole foods diet (NO refined grains, no sweet drinks or fruit juice) – I still had hypoglycemia & HgA1c at 6.0. Not until I removed most grains & beans AND lowered my carbs, did I finally achieve HgA1c 5.4, Trig/HDL ratio .58, LDL sub type A, no hypoglycemia even w/ intermittent fasting of 12-22hrs. Obesity, hypoglycemia, glucose imbalance, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia – all are symptoms of a metabolic/inflammatory disorder that is directly related to macronutrient substrate balance as well as malnourishment of micro nutrients. Caloric or carbohydrate restriction only addresses part of the picture. Correlation of symptoms does not indicate causation. Vive Vida, Carmen

  7. Susan Kazenas says

    Comment to Jane:  Have you had a DEXA scan?  THis is the scan that measured bone density  You are at increaed risk of developing Osteoporosis.  If you have not, please have one.  It is likely that if you don’t have Osteoporosis, you probably have at least low bone density and you could still have a preventive approach.  Osteoporosis is a silent disease.  I was a strong and healthy 45 year old diagnosed with the bones of a 70 year old.  Osteoporosis is a silent disease; there are two ways of finding out.  (1) have a dexa scan or (2) wait until a bone breaks.  That’s the truth of it.  Wishing you the best…..please read Chris’ series on heartburn and gerd.  The low carb lifestyle is a lifestyle choice that we can easily live with. 

  8. Martine says

    The interview wasn’t too bad, for the media anyway. (I have low expectations). The talking head spoke to people like they were retarded (GERD is a big word, so I’ll speak sloooowly for all your morons out there).  However, Susan’s story was compelling even if the doctor segment was just more regurgitated blah blah blah.  I think most viewers will  tune out the doctor’s “advice”, that they have probably heard a million times before and focus on the new concept of low-carb eliminating GERD.  So all in all very positive.

  9. Susan Kazenas says

    Thanks, Martine.  I’m coming upon 1 year of changing over to a low-carb lifestyle and can count on one hand the times I’ve had heartburn.  And each time was when I ate high-carb foods.  I don’t need a doctor to tell me how I feel when I eat carbs – I live it everyday and know the truth.  I just want more people to understand; I can’t stand it that so many people are sucking in PPI’s instead of making a simple diet change and the medical community continues to lie about the food pyramid.  (And we continue getting fatter.)

  10. Herve says

    Hello,

    From all my symptoms (initial globus and now for last number of months with heavy draining phlegm throughout day -easing at night) I believe I have LPR or silent reflux). I’ve been trying to eat well, taking probiotics and dig. enzymes fairly consistently but still cannot get rid of phlegm draining and coughing it up.

    Just wondering whether anyone with this has been helped on low carb. diet? Many sites tell LPR sufferers to eat low fat and avoid meats. Not sure what the heck to do anymore but just trying to avoid having to get on acid reducers.

    Thanks Herve.

  11. says

    Comment to Herve:

    I found low carb, high fat helped reduce post-nasal drip, running nose and excessive sneezing, but this was long after these problems had first been substantially reduced by strenuously avoiding salt and salty food.

    HTH

  12. gphx says

    I went on a low carb diet for other health reasons and was astonished when I realized one day not far in my constant companion GERD was gone. Totally gone. The only reappearance it made was after one high carb meal eaten as a test. The GERD was gone again a few hours later and hasn’t come back. I’m still eating as low carb as I can get.

  13. CPO says

    After reading your series on GERD I stopped eating grains three weeks ago and have experienced almost no heartburn since (really rare for me–I’ve taken Tums or one of those licorice chewable things for the majority of nights for the past 5-10 years). I don’t eat meat and can’t imagine a carb-free life, so I’ve still been eating carbs (beans, nuts, fruit, some potatoes, some dairy, some sugar even though I know I shouldn’t) just no grains, and it seems to be working. Thanks so much for the advice!!

  14. CPO says

    I should add that I’ve been drinking lotsa coffee and a fair amount of red wine during this grain-free period and, amazingly, still no heartburn.

  15. Cyndy says

    I started on low carb about 1-1/2 months ago for the purpose of getting some weight off. I’m down from a size 10 to a size 8 so far. One of the most wonderful side effects is NO REFLUX! I have truly suffered with GERD for about 10 years now and was up vomiting every single night due to burning acid in my throat. I also do not have the frequent migraines I had experienced before the low carb diet. I’m not sure what the connection is—I am just so thankful to be sleeping better, losing weight, no more acid vomiting and fewer headaches!

  16. Anna says

    I’m also feeling substantially better on the low carb diet after only 4 days. It is amazing how clueless the medical community is about GERD. After four months of searing pain in my lower sternum, two endoscopies, escalating dosages of PPI drugs, I’m suddenly feeling normal again.

  17. Susan Kazenas says

    I love all the positive feedback from those who have eliminated/reduced carbohdrates and the GERD/Reflux went away. I have been low-carb now for two full years, and the ONLY time my stomach hurts is when I eat carbohydrates. I CONTROL it, it doesn’t control ME. I love that, too. We need to remember that the medical community and drug companies don’t want us to cure ourselves, they want THEIR MEDICINE to cure us. It’s a multi-BILLION dollar drug industry folks. It’s a no brainer. I feel fantastic and glad that readers here do, too! I originally sent the email to Tampa Bay Fox 13 because I wanted to share what I had learned, and hoped it would help others. I’m glad it has. :)

  18. says

    Susan, you mean they want their medicine to silence our warning bells so we can go on to develop other diseases with symptoms for which they have more medicine to silence the warning bells until we’re fit for the undertaker :)

    • Susan Kazenas says

      Actually that’s not that far from the truth. Gerd leads to Barrett’s Esophagus which increases our risk for Esophageal cancer.

  19. Angelique says

    Chris, (or any of you who have some good advice!)
    I recently stumbled upon this blog after my mentioned h. Pylori might have some connection to my GERD troubles. The more I read the more I am convinced this might finally be a legitimate solution to my issues! I have already started cutting my carbs drastically and I am already noticed a difference! I have a few questions & would like some guidance from some more experienced converts to this way of life.

    Before I read this I was taking dexilant in the AM and zantacs before I went to bed because it was bugging me so much! I stopped taking the zantacs at night but I am still taking the dexilant because Im not sure if it is a good idea to cold turkey. Should I go off that one right away too?

    Also are there things suggested in low carb diets that I as a GERD sufferer should still avoid?

    I am planning on making an appointment with a doctor in my area (as soon as I find a good one…) to at least get my stomach acid levels and levels for those nutrients mentioned in the articles checked. I’ve been struggling with this since 2008 and since things just kept getting worse and worse I can’t takin mire and more medication along with trying a variety ” eat this, don’t eat this” lists. About half that time I have been consistently on some strong ppi a year of that being prilosec. I’m wondering if I should get tested for h. Pylori as well or if I should just focus on the diet & see if that takes care of it?

    Lastly, I have switched to a very low carb diet. ( at least I think I have!) To give you an example today I ate scrambled eggs with bell peppers, bacon, a salad with chicken & mixed berries, almonds, BBQ chicken, asparagus, & green beans. Is this a wise way for me to start?

    Like I said, I’ve been doing this for 2 days now so any guidance and suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • Susan Kazenas says

      Hi Angelique- I can’t speak to the medicine and how to take it or cut back. However, when I started my low carb diet two years ago, I stopped taking my PPI altogether after being on the low carb for about 1 week to 10 days. Your low carb diet foods you have listed looks great. Biggest foods to avoid are starches and refined foods. Think about your grocery store…..on the outside perimeter are your produce, fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and meat. On the inside aisles are your high carb and/or refined foods- breads, pasta, rice, cereals, noodles, etc. I stay away from the inside aisles. Meats, cheeses, salads, fresh veggies are all great and will make you feel great and heartburn-free. If you’re on Facebook, look up “low-carb Lifestyle- a change for good.” I have posts there which have photos of food, a long list of suggestions of what I normally eat. (Look under my post entitled “What can I eat?” It’s lengthy, but I’ve been doing this for over 2 years and am more than happy to share information. It’s extremely important to get off of PPI’s. They have now been determined to increase chances of bone fractures due to the malabsorption of important nutrients in food, namely calcium. I took PPI’s for years and was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at the age of 45. PPI’s are now required to include this warning for increased risk of bone fractures per the FDA. I hope this information is helpful, and congratulations….you’re on the road back to controlling your own health…and you may not even have a doctor agree with you but your health will be the perfect testimony of the truth.

      • Susan Kazenas says

        Oh, and one more thing. The chicken is good, but the BBQ has a lot of sugar. This will affect insulin levels and will make you hungry, and sugar is not a great combination with low-carb diets. Try sauteeing your chicken in some margarine with garlic, lemon, capers, and other spices.

        • Angelique says

          Thanks Susan! I wasn’t feeling as good this morning as I was after the first day I tried this diet and I think you helped me figure out why. I will have to check out the facebook page. Thanks again for the helpful guidance!

          • Susan Kazenas says

            There’s a simple way to tell if you’ve had too many carbs and/or sugar. Go to the diabetic section of your local Walgreens, CVS or Walmart and buy a bottle of KETOSTIX or KETONES test strips. Just pee on the little test strip, and when it changes color, you can be sure that you’re not having too many carbs. Or if it turns too dark, you know you can tolerate adding more back into your diet. It’s a tool to help you learn your body and how it’s responding to your diet change. Also if you’re diabetic, I would definitely talk to a doctor before drastically changing any diet, especially when it has so much to do with insulin levels in the body.
            I look forward to Chris weighing in on this. All that matters to me is that my GERD is gone.

            • Angelique says

              That’s good advice Susan. Just out of curiosity, now that you are of your meds and I assuming your stomach acid levels are back to normal, do you find that anything bothers you besides the high carb foods? Because the “typical” reflux diet tells people to avoid citrus, tomatoes, spicy food, high acid food, etc. Are any of those things actually legitimate concerns as far as you’ve experienced? I know thing like this can often be on an individual basis too.

  20. says

    To anyone with suggestions,
    I’ve had digestive issues for years which started off with GERD and now includes Gastroparesis. I’m intrigued by the low carb diet and how it can help but is this possible when someone like me struggles to keep weight on? Losing weight is the last thing I want but do want to get rid of digestive issues. I’m familiar with bone broths and make weekly and gluten free but still eat potatoes, yams, white rice, buckwheat, squash and most root veggies. Would appreciate any feedback!
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

  21. Sturg says

    I have been suffering from gastric reflux since I was 13 years old. I am 37 now, many years of pain!
    I have cut out the fast nasty carbs (bread/pasta/rice etc) for 4 days now and there is a noticable difference, still mild infrequent reflux though. I am hoping that as the low carb days pass this will improve. Am I correct in still eating carb veg, carrots etc?. I dont want to loose out on all the other good benefits for the sake of a few carbs in good old fashioned veggies!

    I am however confused with other websites that prescribe a HIGH CARB diet to combat acid reflux eg: http://www.livestrong.com/article/527765-acid-reflux-carbohydrate-digestion/
    Totally contradicting!
    Sturg

  22. Hans says

    I’ve been eating low carb now for 3 weeks and before that I ate pretty well except for grains and legumes. Loved bread. I’ve now cut that out as much as I can along with the legumes.

    I don’t have a bad case of GERD but every nite I can feel the mild burning and once in a while I do wake up with phelm in my lungs. I take apple cider vinegar pills and that helps but their effect is not long lasting.

    I don’t think the low carbs has made a difference yet and I am wondering if it’s because I have such a mild case of it. I was also diagnosed with the H. Pylori bug but I am wondering if I should take the antiobitics to kill it.

    What makes my GERD get worse is coffee and exercise it seems. Two things that are death for me are lemon grass and mint. Sets my stomach on fire.

    I’ve also had my gall bladder taken out about 6 years ago.

    In summary so far it doesn’t seem to have removed it for me. But I will try the ketones test strips and maybe I am consuming more carbs than I think I am. I’ll stop taking the acid vinegar pills in case they are making the problem worse and try to add some protonics to my diet.

    Funny how until my twenties I was fine. Drank tons of coffee and ate lots of fatty food. Then came the weight gain in my 30s and one day GERD and gastritis just snuck up on me. Been living with it for years now. Tried the purple pills for a while and it brought me initial relief badly needed and helped my esophogus heal. But I dont’ like any drugs that alter that delicate balance of how our bodies functions. They just are band aids and often create other side effects needing more drugs. So I stopped taking them and switched over to Apple Cider Vinegar Pills.

  23. Susan Kazenas says

    Again and I so glad to read comments about how people are feeling better after removing substantial carbohydrates. BYE BYE GERD without medications. @Sturg, I really don’t care what’s out there in writing about how to cure GERD. I just care about what’s in my stomach, and low carb has cured my GERD and I am free from PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors which are the acid-reducing drugs such as Pepcid, Prilosec, etc.) These PPI’s also inhibit the absorption of nutrients and studies support that people are at increased risk of fracturing a bone because of this over time. Doctors prescribe these meds for years and they’re only meant to be taken short-term. Someone else asked about vegetable carbohydrates- they’re the best kind of carbs to have. Generally low in sugar, carbohydrates, and high in nutrients. Think about your favorite grocery store…..the outer aisles generally have low carb foods, the inner aisles have the processed and starchy foods, grains so avoid the inner aisles and the temptations which will tear up your stomach and esophagus. Keep the comments coming! TO YOUR HEALTH!!! :D

  24. mkadlec says

    For years I had an issue at least once a month, with food getting stuck in my esophagus and it would take hours to go down. One day I had to go to the hospital to have it removed. I was diagnosed with GERD and was told by a specialist that I would have to take PPIs for the rest of my life. I was also about 60 pounds overweight at the time (5’7″, 220 lbs), although I had GERD issues even when I was at optimal weight when younger. After 6 months on a fairly relaxed Low Carb diet and only walking for 30 mins a day, about 5 times a week, (relaxed meaning I would still occasionally eat whole wheat pasta, and brown rice) I lost 60 pounds. What I didn’t realize until I hit that goal was that I had absolutely no episodes of heartburn or stuck food since I started (and I hadn’t touched my PPIs or any acid medication) At first I just dismissed it as weight loss, but recently I went on a camping trip where I wasn’t in control of the food. White flour pasta, potatoes, and loads of sugar. The heartburn was back right after. Low Carb is now a lifestyle for me, and i’ve never felt healthier.

  25. Susan Kazenas says

    Sorry, I guess I’m a little bit behind in responses. First, Angelique, acidic foods are acidic foods period. My stomach is sensitive to orange juice and any other acidic, high citrus drink. Fried foods don’t bother me as long as they’re not breaded with flour, i.e starchy carbohydrate.
    Stephanie- I’ve heard and know of people with gastroparesis. I wouldn’t even pretend that I know how to counsel someone and would respectfully only leave that to a medical professional such as Chris. I can only speak to how MY body has been healed as a result of reducing starchy carbohydrates from my diet.
    MKadlec- yep, that’s what I’m saying. Remember that PPI’s are HUGE money makers for the drug industry. They don’t WANT us to know that we can alter our diet and heal ourselves…..they WANT us to buy their RX and that’s what it’s all about.
    And for anyone else who questions or references conflicting websites- all you have to do is try it. If it works for you, what else do you need? If you READ something but your stomach still hurts, then it isn’t right for you. But if you try it and you feel better, then you feel better and that’s awesome. I’ve seen, heard, felt and lived enough to know what I’ve experienced and speak about is the truth. I have no kick-backs from drug companies, no claim to fame, no desire to be rich unless it’s from the lottery. (HAHA) I just wanted to share my experience so that others could feel better, too. There’s NOTHING in this for me. I’m just your every day average person. Here’s to your health and the ability to lay flat in your bed at night painfree.

  26. Rebecca Foxworth says

    I’m so confused. I’ve never had problems with heartburn, belching, or acid reflux. In switching from a low-fat, almost vegan diet to a more ancestral template, I’m belching and hurting all the time. That’s the only problem that’s worsened (or, in this case, developed), while other things (weight, blood glucose, triglycerides) are getting better. What the heck?

  27. Laurie says

    Susan, I looked up “low-carb Lifestyle- a change for good” on Facebook and it come up with 0 results. Should I be looking it up by a different name??

  28. Piotr says

    Just my experience:
    I had high bloopressure for 4 years and GERD and other stomach problems for two. I was taking Omeprazole and Losartan daily. I did the elimination diet (I have a great doc now), and that helped the GERD some, initially, but I continued eating rice (all brown) and some legumes. I stopped the elimination diet and have added everythign back in inlcuding milk, coffee, etc., but have now dropped all grains and legumes, and am off both drugs, with my integrative medicine doc’s approval. I also lost 20 pounds, which I needed to loose. I now maintain my weight easily by upping protein etc when I start loosing weight, and drop back down by increasing green leafy and lowering eggs/meat etc. I’ve been off Omeprazole and Losartan for about 1 month, and my BP is still coming down, slowly, but better each week and is now safely out of the prehypertensive level as well.
    Just one person’s experience. It seems the trick is a willingness to explore/research your own reactions. The elimination diet is a great first step, it would seem.

  29. Diane says

    Hi Susan,

    I tried to find you on facebook by typing in low-carb Lifestyle- a change for good and am unable to find your posts. Can you please help?

  30. Diane says

    Hi Chris,

    I have found your information to be extremely informative and plan on trying your suggestions. However, I am a vegetarian so will find it difficult to find adequate sources of protein, iron, etc. I will eat/drink dairy products, but do not eat meat, poultry or fish of any kind. Can you make some alternate suggestions of what I can include in this new diet so I’m getting proper nutrition?

    I suffer from GERD, but do not get heart burn as one of the typical symptoms. Instead the GERD seems to attack my asthma and I have difficulty breathing when eating the wrong foods. Prior to getting GERD, my asthma hasn’t bothered me for years so it took a long time to figure out what was wrong. I still haven’t been officially diagnosed but my doctor seems certain that GERD is the culprit. She prescribed meds but I have refused to take them after reading about the bad long term side effects. I have always preferred a more natural approach.

    Thanks so much for your help, I pray we can all overcome this horrible disease.

    • says

      Hi Diane

      Cutting down on salt and salty food can help a lot with breathing problems, including asthma (and especially childhood asthma). Maybe you would like to try it?

  31. Diane says

    Thanks, Margaret. I don’t eat much salt anyway, never been a fan. I eat healthy for the most part, just finding it really difficult to find good sources of protein, iron, etc on this new low carb diet I’ve been reading about here when being a vegetarian. It’s been a struggle but it sounds like everyone here has had amazing results. Glad to hear it.

    • Susan Kazenas says

      Hi Ya’ll. Life has been crazy as I’m preparing to send a child off to college. The Facebook page is outdated because I’m writing a restaurant critic column as well. The FB page is “Low-Carb Lifestyle- A Change for Good. For vegetarians, a low carb lifestyle would definitely be challenging. My daughter is pescatarian (sp?) and eats lots of almonds, eggs, fish, and vegan burgers as protein sources.

  32. Lisa says

    I’m going to really put forth my best effort into going low carb. But as kid who grew up where pasta was/is a comfort food, it may not be so easy the first couple of weeks! My biggest concern is that I have asthma. When my GERD kicks in, it triggers attacks. It was my Asthma doctor who insisted that I go back on my Nexium (I had quit taking it for a couple of months, and had rebound GERD which just about killed me)–So, reluctanly, I went back on, and sure enough, I was able to get my asthma back in control.

    Does anyone know if the LCD will keep the rebound effect of Nexium away? I am absolutely fearful of the rebound and more of an asthma attack I can’t control. Thanks for any suggestions!

    • says

      Hi Lisa

      As I have written previously, cutting down on salt and salty food can help a lot with breathing problems, including asthma (and especially childhood asthma). Maybe you would like to try it? – In most people’s diets, I believe bread contributes the highest salt content.

  33. Peter says

    Has anyone else noticed an increased sensitivity to certain perfumes/smells when going a little astray from low carb diet? I too had my GERD (tums and PPIs) cured through stopping eating grains/legumes, nearly a year ago. But every so often I will fall off the wagon and lately I think I’ve noticed a connection between eating too many carbs (starch) and being really sensitive to certain smells, commonly related to perfumes.

    • Susan Kazenas says

      That’s totally interesting, Peter. Through the holidays I enjoyed foods “off the low carb beaten path” and am totally sensitive to perfumes. I would’ve never thought to connect the two, but I guess there COULD be some kind of correlation. Truly interesting. I know ONE thing for sure….I pay dearly for eating foods that hurt my stomach, i.e. starchy carbohydrates. They are violently rejected by my body now. It’s up to me to heal myself. I can, and I will. Again……

      • Mary says

        Hi Susan Kazenas,
        I too have terrible heartburn. I have been on Nexium for over 10 years and want to stop taking it. I have read all of your post here and find them helpful. I would like to know how you are doing and if you have any new advice? BTW I could not find you on FB. THANK YOU :-)

  34. Jamal Stroman says

    Asthma (shortness of breath)
    Ringing in ears/head,
    Oily blackheads in upper ear,
    White particles in back of throat,
    Itchy anus,
    Joint pain (fingers, toes)
    Pain in center of back (started years ago as faint pain when touched., now ever present.),
    Tightness in neck/chest,
    Constant belching (flares up at times especially after eating but persists at almost all times),
    Pain in stomach and chest
    Pain right side (bottom of rib cage/liver area),
    Dizziness
    Memory loss (people’s names I’ve know for years)

    Chris,
    I started reading this website yesterday and haven’t stopped since. I noticed that some people have been posting comments for years too. I’ve been dealing with different symptoms over the years. I’m 37 now. Asthma since childhood. Used Primatene Mist then Albuterol to quell it. Over two decades, I would only have asthma symptoms when I got around particulate that I was allergic to e.g. pollen, pet dander, dust. I would go 2-3 years before having buy a new rescue inhaler because didn’t use it much.
    At 12 years old, my ears started to ring. Doctors told me it was tinnitus for which there is no cure. Around 14-15 y/o, I began to develop black heads in the inside part of my upper ear (Fossa Triangularis). A few years later, I started to see white particles lodged in the back of my throat. They came out if I sneezed or picked at them and they smelled horribly. Later , I develop an itchy rash about the anus. Early to mid 20s I started to experience joint pain in fingers which has now spread to toes. Late 20s I started to feel a slight pain in my thoracic spine. It was faint at first but over the last 10+ years has grown into an ever present nagging pain and my spine sometimes clicks when I breathe deeply. At 31, the last time I was truly active, I was overcome with a thickness in my throat and shortness of breath while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut. It didn’t feel like asthma.
    At about 33, I began to belch constantly annoying the hell out of my co-workers.
    The urge to belch was constant but worse after eating and upon waking. The belching is accompanied by in and out painin stomach and chest. At 35, I started to feel a soft burning sensation just under my ribs on the right side. That sensation has seen become a nagging ever present pain. Most recently, I’ve get flash dizziness where for a split second the room spins and I’ve forgotten the names of people with who I’ve worked for several years.

    I’ve gone to the ER (4-5times), General Practitioner, Cardiologist, ENT, Pulmonologist, Gastrointerologist, Orthopedist (spinal pain), and an Naturopathic Doctor. They’ve done X-rays, Ultrasound, MRIs, Stress Test, EKG, endoscopy, and allergy test. All the test show that I’m fit as a fiddle except the GI doctor said I had slight inflammation at my LES and GERD so he put me on Nexium. He said it would eventually cure me of the tightness in my neck area and belching. He also told me I can get off of it if I felt better. I used it for about 3-4 weeks and the belching stopped but I stopped using them in April 2012 because I didn’t want to be dependent on pharmaceuticals. Of course, the belching returned and I’ve just lived with it until now.
    January 2013 came and I began to use my Albuterol rescue inhaler multiple times per day due to the tight feeling I’m my chest and shortness of breathe. I used 2 entire inhalers with 1 1/2 months. Went to my GP and was given Asmanex, then Flovent, then Symbicort. These pharmaceuticals didn’t restore me to my Albuterol-once-in-a-while state. It was here when I read about the connection between Asthma and GERD. So, I started taking Nexium and was able to go a day without using Albuterol. Shortly after, I noticed that eating actually triggered asthma episodes.

    I started to piece together that the asthma isn’t due to particulates but by something within my GI system. I had been on a raw foods diet for weeks but still no relief. The ND prescribed an enzyme with pepsin and 220 mg of HCL. I took 1 tablet and took my wife out and ate a regular dinner. That was Thursday night and I couldn’t swallow my own saliva and had to use Albuterol . I didn’t feel any burning sensation though. On Friday, I found candida diet, GAPS diet, and VLC diet. I’ve stopped all meds except Symbicort and began a candida cleansing fast on Friday night. On Saturday, I used Albuterol twice during the morning hours. Sunday I didn’t need to use it. It’s midday Monday and I don’t feel it coming on.
    My plan after the cleansing fast is to use one of the above mentioned diets or a hybrid and continue with the HCL, enzymes, probiotics, and anti fungals. I’m not sure which diet is best but I’m leaning toward hybrid i.e. candida diet minus the grains (like GAPS). Which do you prefer? I live in Fairfield County Connecticut and I’ve never had acupuncture done. Do you think it could help me?

    P.S.
    Pulmonary doctor prescribed Advair and Singulair. I haven’t started these drugs yet. Not sure that I will since Symbicort and fasting have stopped the need for Albuterol every 4-6 hours. Besides, I believe these asthma symptoms are caused by my GI issues. Also, I’m sure I’ve used antibiotics at some point but I cannot remember when.

  35. Margaret Wilde says

    Hi Jamal Stroman

    With regard to your tinnitus, both tinnitus and Ménière’s disease are affected by fluid retention and would therefore be improved by cutting down on salt and salty food, because salt tends to hold excess fluid in the body. Reducing salt intake reduces breathing problems too. – So you may like to try cutting down on salt, a simple, non-drug measure.

    All the best to you.

  36. corazon tiongson says

    Chris,
    I amazed and very impressed by the amount of information that you are sharing with people. In fact, there are no words to describe how grateful I am to have stumbled on your site. I’m just beginning to learn things that I should have learned a million years ago.

  37. Heather says

    I love everything I just read! I’m scared! I’ve been on ppi’s for 19 years! I’m scared to go off but I need to! My health is important but on another note….I’ve been losing hair for so long and I can’t hide it anymore. It used to be thick and long and now it’s thin and weak and tangly! I also have Polycystic ovarian syndrome. I want to get off these pills because I believe my hair loss is from them. Has anyone noticed any hair growth after stopping their PPI’s????? I rarely go in public anymore! Need help and suggestions!

  38. Susan says

    Hi, Dr.CHRIS KRESSER L.AC.

    Thank you very much,very very much.
    I’ve been on SCD for 3 months. I’m much better now.
    Susan

  39. Rebecca says

    Hi Chris & Susan,

    I have been touched by your Heartburn articles and by Susan’s story.

    I have been on and off Nexium 40mg for almost 2 years, each time I try to quit it I end up with horrible burning in my stomach and chest that I never had prior to starting this medication. I was given it when I was hospitalised for chest pain, which turned out to be an allergic reaction to an antibiotic at the time, so I was wrongly given Nexium and havent been able to give it up since. Both times I tried to quit the PPI I was off it for 7 weeks with horrid burning etc. My new GI said he believe I am suffering from ‘acid hypersection’ and asked me to try another PPI, however they make me horribly dizzy, so I stopped taking it after just 2 days. I am now trying to battle through the ‘acid hypsecretion’ on my own, I have purchased probiotics, use Gaviscon when needed, and also slipper elm powder.

    I have just started on a low carb diet yesterday, but havent noticed any real benefits yet.

    Do you have any idea how long this ‘Acid reound’ will last?

    I get it all day every day, the only time I have relief is when my stomach is full of food.

    I look forward to your advice,

    Rebecca.

    • Susan says

      Hi,Rebecca
      I’m a Chinese,My English isn’t very good.So maybe I made mistakes in express myself, you can ask me if you are confused.
      Because everyone is different,maybe you’ll work out the way suit you.
      SCD is the basic,bone broth is important.then my other way is;

      1, drink enough water,about 1 liter a day,at least 1 hour after meals.
      2, chop,blend your food. Don’t drink or eat cold thing. Keep yourself warm.Don’t walk barefoot.
      3, Can’t go to bed hungry. Can’t go to bed full. you’ll work out when is the right time for you to go to bed after supper. And if you can’t sleep, fell hungry,re-flux, should get up, eat something, sit for a little while,then go to bed again.
      4,Can’t talk too much, watch TV or play on computer less then 1 hour a day.

      At the beginning of SCD,you’ll feel very,very hungry, you’ll lose wight,you’ll doubt if it’s right or not,several times I wanted to stop, but now I’m ok, and I can put wight on now if I want.

  40. Susan says

    Hi,Rebecca
    you’ll work out which food suit you.
    Like bone broth, SCD think chicken is good,But I can’t drink it, I can only drink beef bone broth.
    I’ll write later.
    Susan

  41. Lisa says

    I’ve been on the low-carb diet for almost 4 weeks. Felt great the first 2 weeks but now the reflux has returned and have had a terrible headache (feels like a sinus headache which my doctor said is caused by the reflux) for 4 days. I’m taking various vitamins, minerals and probiotics. I think I’m eating enough carbs – sweet potatoes, fruit, vegetables and rice occasionally. Tried the HCL but my stomach couldn’t tolerate it (burning). Not sure what else to do….any suggestions?

  42. Rebecca says

    Its been 8 weeks off the Nexium for me, and for the first time ever yesterday I had a day with no burning in my stomach, I felt normal again. Today there is a slight burning feeling, I really hope this is a sign of improvement. I take probiotics daily, and when my reflux was really bad just a couple of weeks ago I was using slippery elm/mashamallow powder in warm water/milk. Also Gavison liquid at night. Lisa, how long did you last off your PPI last time you quit it?

  43. Jake says

    I cannot find the actually video to watch. I saw this article after reading all of your other articles on Gerd because i am in dire need of some help. Im young but my Reflux is out of control and i have been Immobilized to my bedroom for almost 9 months now.

    i was wondering if there was some other place i can view the video because it is not showing up for me to watch. Thanks for the helpful articles.

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