What Everybody Ought To Know (But Doesn’t) About Heartburn & GERD

toomuchacid

In the next few articles, I’ll be writing about the epidemic of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its mismanagement by the medical establishment.

In this first article I will present evidence demonstrating that, contrary to popular belief, heartburn and GERD are caused by too little (not too much) stomach acid. In the second article I’ll explain exactly how low stomach acid causes heartburn, GERD and other digestive conditions. In the third article I’ll discuss the important roles stomach acid plays in maintaining health and preventing disease, and the danger long-term use of acid suppressing drugs presents. In the final article, I’ll present simple dietary and lifestyle changes that can eliminate heartburn and GERD once and for all.

Heartburn and GERD are no joke

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Digestive Diseases, sixty million people experience heartburn at least once a month and twenty five million experience symptoms daily.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a more serious form of acid reflux, is the most common digestive disorder in the United States. Studies show that 10-20% of individuals experience symptoms at least once a week, and prevalence of GERD is increasing steadily.

Drugs for acid reflux and GERD are cash cows for the pharmaceutical companies. More than 60 million prescriptions for GERD were filled in 2004. Americans spent $13 billion on acid stopping medications in 2006. Nexium, the most popular, brought in $5.1 billion alone – making it the second highest selling drug behind Lipitor.

As sobering as those statistics are, it’s likely that the prevalence of GERD is underestimated because of the availability of antacids over-the-counter. This permits patients to self-medicate without reporting their condition to a doctor.

Up until fairly recently heartburn wasn’t taken too seriously. It’s primarily been the butt of bad jokes about Grandma’s cooking. But we now know that heartburn and GERD can have serious and even life-threatening complications, including scarring, constriction, ulceration, and ultimately, cancer of the esophagus.

Recent studies also show that the damage from poor stomach function and GERD not only extends upward to the sensitive esophageal lining, but also downward through the digestive tract, contributing to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal problems. IBS is now the second-leading cause of missed work, behind only the common cold.

Problems with the conventional theory

If you ask the average Joe on the street what causes heartburn, he’ll tell you “too much stomach acid.” That’s what most of the ads seem to suggest too. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures like the one at the top of this post in ads for acid suppressing drugs on TV and in magazines.

But there’s a big problem with this theory: the incidence of heartburn and GERD increases with age, while stomach acid levels generally decline with age (Fig 1).

Numerous studies have shown that stomach acid secretion declines with age. In one study researchers found that over 30 percent of men and women past the age of 60 suffer from atrophic gastritis, a condition marked by little to no acid secretion. Another study found that 40% of women over the age of 80 produce no stomach acid at all. 1

Figure 1. Mean stomach acid secretion from the second to the eighth decade. (from Wright, 2001 p.20)

graph of stomach acid secretion by age

Just as studies show acid secretion declines with age, it is also well established in the scientific literature that the risk of GERD increases with age.

If heartburn were caused by too much stomach acid, we’d have a bunch of teenagers popping Rolaids instead of elderly folks. But of course that’s the opposite of what we see.

In fact, according to Jonathan Wright, MD of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington state, when stomach acid is measured in people suffering from heartburn and GERD it is almost always low, not high. In his book Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, Wright explains:

When we carefully test people over age forty who’re having heartburn, indigestion and gas, over 90 percent of the time we find inadequate acid production by the stomach.

In Wright’s 25 years of conducting these tests, he found very few people with excess stomach acid. Excess stomach acid is only found in a few rare conditions like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome), and GERD is hardly ever associated with too much stomach acid.

What’s more, Wright and other clinicians have found that giving hydrochloric acid supplements to patients with heartburn and GERD often cures their problem:

In 24 years of nutritionally oriented practice, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals who’ve found the cause of their heartburn and indigestion to be low stomach acidity. In nearly all these folks, symptoms have been relieved and digestion improved when they’ve taken supplemental hydrochloric acid and pepsin capsules.

My own clinical experience confirms this. So far every patient I’ve had with heartburn or GERD has responded well to hydrochloric acid supplementation. We’d expect just the opposite to be true if these conditions were caused by too much stomach acid.

A symptom is not a cause

When I explain to patients that GERD is caused by not enough stomach acid, rather than too much, they are initially doubtful. “If that’s true”, they say, “then why do my antacid drugs provide relief?”

I’m not denying that the symptoms of heartburn and GERD are caused by stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus. Nor am I arguing that reducing or eliminating stomach acid with drugs doesn’t relieve those symptoms.

What’s crucial to understand is that any amount of acid in the esophagus is going to cause problems. That’s because its delicate lining isn’t protected against acid like the stomach lining is. You don’t have to have excess acid in your stomach to have heartburn.

Also, symptom relief doesn’t imply that the underlying cause of the problem is being addressed. Too often western medicine focuses on suppressing symptoms without paying attention to what is causing the symptom in the first place. The misguidedness of this approach is clearly demonstrated by the use of acid inhibiting drugs to treat heartburn and GERD – problems which are caused by not enough stomach acid!

The consequences of ignoring the cause

As I wrote above, Americans spend more than $13 billion on acid stopping drugs each year. This expense might be justified if antacid drugs were actually curing heartburn and GERD. But just the opposite is true. Not only do these drugs fail to treat GERD, they will make the underlying condition (not enough stomach acid) worse. This virtually necessitates the lifelong use of these medications for anyone who takes them.

While this is a nifty sales strategy for the drug companies, it’s a bitter pill to swallow (yes, pun intended) for those suffering from heartburn and GERD.

Curing a disease means eliminating its cause. When a disease is cured, the symptoms don’t return once the treatment is removed. This of course is not the case with drugs for heartburn and GERD. As soon as the patient stops taking them, the symptoms return. And often they’re worse than they were before the patient started the drug.

Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested in cures because they aren’t profitable. It’s much more lucrative to sell drugs that people have to take for the rest of their lives than it is to promote dietary or lifestyle changes that would cure the problem.

Therefore, although the drug companies are well aware that GERD isn’t caused by too much stomach acid and that low stomach acid causes serious health problems and complications, they continue to sell billions of dollars worth of antacids to an unsuspecting public. Even worse, these powerful drugs are now available over-the-counter with no warnings about the dangers they present.

Note: if you think this sounds strangely like the situation with the #1 selling drug, Lipitor, you’re correct. Lipitor arbitrarily lowers cholesterol across the board, even though evidence clearly indicates that high LDL cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. What’s more, low cholesterol is associated with greater risk of death in the elderly population. Something is definitely wrong with our “healthcare” system when the #1 and #2 medications are actually contributing to the conditions they’re supposed to treat. But I guess if you’re looking at it from the standpoint of the drug companies, who are in business to make a profit, it’s the perfect business model.

In the Part II I explain exactly how low stomach acid causes heartburn, GERD and other digestive conditions. We’ll also look at the primary causes of low stomach acid, and how you can prevent this condition from occurring. Read on!

  1. Sharp GS, Fister HW. The diagnosis and treatment of achlorhydria: ten-year study. J Amer Ger Soc 1967;15:786-791.

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  1. says

    I know so many people with this, including my husband, and they do say the antacids give relief, so I’m never sure what to say to that. My son had horrific reflux as a baby, which can also be food allergies (which he did have). I wonder if he also has abnormal stomach acid.

    • Calvin says

      First of all, I have been going through many websites for help and this is one of the best ones that I have found. Thank you for helping millions of people.I have something that might be able to relieve heartburn. FYI, I was in pain for about 2 months triggered by some steroids that did little to cure my rashes but instead brought along a friend name Mr.GERD.

      I have tried antacid.(Pills or Liquid all types)
      Verdict: Temporary Result. It relieves but that all it does at least for a while. Then it comes back in full force and I reckon if I am going to keep taking antacid is not going to solve anything.

      After trying various types of stuff, here is what I think is most effective for me in which you all can try. Here are the steps

      Step 1
      GERD is cause by reflux. To do that, you need to take anti-indigestion drug. Not antacid. They are different. I am outside now and can’t recall the brand but I will update soon on the name which I am taking.

      Step 2
      Then take papaya (cold ones).

      Step 3
      Then, you need to take Manuka Honey with UMF at least +15 (morning and before you sleep)

      When you sleep, don’t waste money buying those triangulated pillows for GERD. Just stack 2 pillows and tilt them slightly upright against the wall of your bed/ bed frame.

      All the best.

      • says

        Hi I have a question, I had bad allergies this year so I took a lot of apple cider vinegar straight shots for a month and now I’m experiencing gerd symptoms for over a month but you mentioned something about taking anti indigestive and the other day I had diarreah for a day and for some reason my symptoms reduced thanks to diarreah, is that why you mean taking anti indigestive instead? Thanks look foward for a reply

      • Rosa a says

        Yes, I was also prescribe by my doctor with anti indigestion drug to suppressed my GERD. I am using MOTILIUM (capsules or tablets) 3x a day before meals. I was also adviced to eat my meals in small pockets only. To lay down to sleep 3 hrs. after eating my meals Tomatoes, citrus fruits, mint and spicy foods and alcohol are a no-no.
        I also tried this, one tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar in one glass of water, before breakfast and before bedtime.
        For people with GERD, is a matter of managing the foods you take and changing your lifestyle.

        • Mina b. says

          That’s a good idea it’ll be hard but I think it well worth a try in not a big pill person so yes in starting this today

    • Jackie says

      I was having bad GERD to the point of vomitting profusely … Started taking HCL and was cured within few days! Only had to take the HCL for a few days for problems to disappear for months…when any symptoms of GERD reappear I take. HCL for a couple more days and that gives my body enough acid to train itself to make more and I feel instant relief from my painful GERD symptoms.

      • Mina b. says

        What is the H?? Stuff where can I find it ? Is it prescribed or over the counter or around the house type of stuff or natural I’m lost but I may gerd as well. And how much is needed sry ur probably repeating urself with my common question asked already a thousand times sry just want to feel better on days I want to enjoy trying new dishes

    • DaBaum says

      I would like to join this discussion, I have tried much of theses methods with no noticeable results. But in fairness I may be looking for fast results & not giving treatment enough time. I believe I suffer from silent acid reflux. So when I saw my doctor I thought I had bronchitis or something. Symptoms matched asthma. They checked me set I was fine and thought it possibly maybe silent acid reflux. Went to my Gastric intestinal doctor and he scoped me. Said all looked good. My main symptoms are coughing chronically, Constant swallowing. And occasional lack of energy. I have never had heartburn. No burning anywhere. I think my diet is pretty good but you never know. What can I do?

      • Jim says

        I suffered with silent reflux for 2-3 years before I found Dr. Jamie Koufman’s book “Dropping Acid”. I followed the low acid diet and within 2 weeks I was cured. It was amazing! Try it and stop suffering. I know what you are going through. Don’t suffer any longer. I think you can get the book on Amazon.

      • Tata S says

        I believe I have silent GERD as well. I don’t feel any actual burning or pain but have a chronic cough, like I am clearing my throat constantly.

  2. admin says

    Tracee,

    As I mentioned in the article, antacids will of course provide relief because they are suppressing stomach acid production.   Some of the more powerful PPI drugs can reduce stomach acid to almost zero.  If there’s no stomach acid to get into the esophagus, then there will be no acid reflux.

    That all sounds great until you realize that stomach acid is there for a reason.  It is essential to nutrient absorption (protein, carbs, fat, minerals, vitamins) and protects us against infection, including h. plyori, which is the primary cause of gastric and duodenal ulcers.  What’s more, as I’ll explain in the next article, heartburn and GERD are actually caused by too little stomach acid.

    So while antacids may provide symptom relief, they are 1) ensuring that the underlying problem will worsen and continue, 2) raising the risk of serious nutrient deficiencies (B12, calcium, iron, amino acids, etc.) and 3) increasing the risk of autoimmune and other digestive conditions.  I will explain this in further detail in the articles to come.

  3. says

    These drugs are also very hard to get off. I was on them for a year
    and it took me 6 months to get weaned. I did very low carb paleo + ACV
    shots after every meal, but it was still pretty unpleasant. The
    impetus for me was that I acquired chronic salmonella, which isn’t
    exactly garden variety food poisoning for a 20 year old. I think the
    very low carb was important to starve hydrogen producing bacteria
    (Hyperlipid talks a bit about this
    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/08/helicobacter-and-hydrogen.html

    )

    I think it’s clear in my family at least, where most of us have GERD,
    that it’s probably not GERD, but another more recently elucidated
    illness called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which is linked to an allergy
    to gluten. No gluten, no heartburn for us.

    But based on the most recent research, it seems like scientists are
    moving away from GERD= low acid to a model where all GERD is caused by
    immune system dysfunction. It will probably take a decade for most
    doctors to get the memo though…

    Perhaps allergens attack the acid producing cells or perhaps a high
    sugar diet unbalances your gut flora by allowing some hydrogen/methane
    producing bugs to go cray. The antibiotics they give you “just in
    case” of H. Pylori infection probably make things worse by altering
    the gut flora even more, probably allowing the inappropriate bacteria
    to proliferate further.

    • admin says

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for your comment. As I’ll argue in the next article, I think the sequence probably goes something like this:

      Chronic stress / environmental toxins / poor diet / antibiotic use >>> hypochlorhydria / bacterial dysbiosis >>> increased gas / impaired nutrient absorption / autoimmunity >>> dysfuntion of LES >>> GERD

      So I agree with you that a high carb/sugar diet and bacterial overgrowth play a significant role, and both of these probably contribute to autoimmune processes that are also involved.

      Did you take HCL/pepsin and/or bitters when you were coming off the acid suppressing drugs?

      • Judy says

        I am so happy to have found your info. I have had scope testing to show I have a hiatel hernia and acid reflux. I also have been diagnosed with allergic asthma . I use inhalers as I wheeze constantly. I also take previcid for acid reflux. I constantly try to clear my throat and cough quite often throughout the day in order to clear. Otherwise I am fit lifting weighs , cardio, tennis and am a very active 59 year old except for this huge problem. I am thinking I need to have surgery to correct the hiatel hernia and an very worried about the acid and my esophagus . Any suggestions would be so helpful. Also when you say 30 grams of carbohydrates a day, what can one eat to not go over that small amount? Proteins I am great with. I love milk so can switch to raw milk or soy if needed.

      • Travis says

        In regards to your sequence breakdown, listed above, I’ve tried to apply that to my “acid reflux” struggle but am not seeing the parallel.
        1) I have no chronic stress, or spikes in my daily stress.
        2) I live and work in relatively clean environments, nothing with higher than normal toxins
        3) My diet is pretty clean and raw. Lots of produce. The only compromise is hot/spicy foods
        4) I take no antibiotics

        But yet I have to remain on the “omnipotent purple pill” otherwise I have intense heartburn and allergic response in my esophagus, to foods I have not formed a list for, that results in my throat/esophagus restricting the movement of food to my stomach. Inexplicably, I need to drink something to help the food pass. I am not sure what causes it, or why it happens. But I do know that it has something to do with my GERD and only happens when I stop taking Nexium. No other over-the-counter remedy is as effective.

        Any ideas and/or theories that may bring light to this antagonizing complication?

        • Annmarie says

          Hi,
          Sorry to hear of your need to be on the “purple pill.” Have you had any stool testing done by chance? I tested positive for parasites and overgrowth of Candida, even though I’ve not been on very many antibiotics. I was bitten by a tick and have Lyme Disease and we believe that either Lyme or Bartonella (another infection) is causing my stomach/reflux issues. Because of the Lyme then the opportunistic infections have taken over in my gut. Anyway, I mention this just to give you encouragement to try to get to the root of the problem. If you have ever been bitten by a tick it is a very real possibility that a tick borne infection could cause those very symptoms. Stool testing can reveal how your overall digestion is working; how your probiotic count is, how you’re digesting fats ect. Stool testing was very much worth having for me. I hope yo

      • Nicole says

        So glad to have just found this. I was sick for a couple of week with some sort of bacterial infection. My doctor finally prescribed an antibiotic and along with it a steroid because my seasonal asthma seemed to be kicking-up. When the temperature, chills, swollen glands and sore throat departed, a chronic wheezing cough remained with no phlem in the equation. Then I started to notice other symptoms linked to acid reflux. I just bought some over the counter antacid medicine last night and I’m definitely seeing a difference, but I was worried about it going away. I’ll try the hydrochloric acid next. Jeez, welcome to modern medicine! Get rid of one thing and get another thanks to the medicines.

        Here’s to hoping it works!

  4. says

    Great post. I regularly get my clients to take the HCL test, originally promoted by Charles Poliquin, which will determine exactly how deficient in HCL they are. This helps GERD no end by allowing us to provide the optimum dose of HCL – it is there for a reason!

  5. Kim says

    Great info. I, myself, was diagnosed many years ago with GERD. Two years ago I had an upper endoscopic procedure that confirmed the problem as well as a hiatal hernia (common) and some esophageal damage.  I had been taking loads of these acid blockers for all these years and frankly there were of minimal benefit. And to think of the literally thousands of dollars I’ ve spent on these expensive and dangerous drugs. Fortunately, I’ve been completely off them for a few months now.

    Although I’ve yet to take HCL (will check it out),  I decided last November to change to a low carb diet. I consume very little grain or sugar but lots of fat and protein. Guess what? After a month or so, I noticed that my symptoms began to disappear! I knew I was on to something. I started reducing my dosage of meds to half, then realized that I no longer needed them at all. When I have ocasional heartburn, I will take an Alka Seltzer for heartburn and that takes care of it.

    I can’t tell you the relief I feel physcially and emotionally. Last year I read that these proton pump inhibitors prevent the absorbtion of key nutrients and create deficiencies. One of the most troubling is calcium and the resulting higher fracture rate in older women. They also prevent the absorbtion of many B vitamins including B-12 which I have been taking sublingually now for a couple of years. I rue the day the ENT doc. told my my “cough” was a symptom of reflux and put me on prilosec.  I found out a year and half ago that really I had asthma….runs in my family. 

    • admin says

      Thanks for your comment, Kim. I’m glad you’ve found relief with a low-carb diet. Try the HCL w/pepsin – it should also help. Finally, there’s a strong connection between GERD and asthma that I will write about in a future article in this series. Both are connected to hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid).

      • Ron says

        Hi i have Gerd and i been taking HCL its working but i still have the burning throat sometimes do you take the HCL 648 mg everytime i eat a meal or once a day.

      • Cat says

        Help!

        I’m at wits end about husbands acid reflux. He had a knee relaced dur to a infections caused by malpractice in an injury. After the kneww surgury 3 yrs ago he develped acid relux. other wise he is in great healh though he smokes. I have gone the probiotic route and just started HCL PEpsin. the reflux has gotten somewhat better but is still a big problem. the pepsin makes him feel strange .IDK if it is worth staying on. today we finally visited the doc about the reflus. of course he is prescribing the usual. Protonics prilosec and zantac. he is 59. the reflux wears him out. i dont know what to do. can he still take the HCL pepsic while taking a proton pum inhibitor???

    • Matt says

      Just some good advice here from someone who is thinking long term in the GERD world: Do NOT get in to Alka-Seltzer for heartburn issues! Main ingredient (Aspirin) can tear away at your stomach wall and send you down the road to an ulcer.

      I only say this because you have options! Milk of Magnesia and calcium carbonates (tums. rolaids) are less invasive.

      • Karen says

        Alka Seltzer Gold has no aspirin.

        Active Ingredients: Each tablet contains:: Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) (958 mg (Heat Treated)), Citric Acid (832mg), Potassium Bicarbonate (312 mg)

        Inactive Ingredients: Magnesium Stearate, Mannitol

  6. says

    This series is very timely. I’ve been suffering from increasing problems with heartburn/GERD for 1.5 years – but I’ve already been mostly LC for 6 years and have recently been going more “clean”/paleo, so I’d be interested to see if your hypothesis covers my situation. About to undergo an upper endoscopy to see if there are any structural problems to be found. Would absolutely love to get off the meds and fix the root cause if I can. Richard Nikoley linked here with a list of what he advises for getting PPI-free quickly. Staying away from the Scotch will be tough, but I’m willing to try if the evidence you present is convincing! :)

    • admin says

      Thanks for your comment, Eve. Stay tuned! The next article will be coming out soon.

      Unfortunately, you might have to ease off the scotch for a while. The reason alcohol can be a problem is the sugar content. I believe GERD is primarily caused by bacterial overgrowth. Bacteria thrive on simple carbohydrates. One of the most effective ways of treating GERD is a low-carb diet with very little sugar. Since most people with GERD have low stomach acid, replacing stomach acid with HDL & pepsin capsules is also helpful. More on this later.

  7. says

    I don’t see what causation declining stomach acid has with indigestion, reflux and GERD. Age does correlate with postural decay, and postural improvement causes a reversal of GERD. I suggest that the actual cause is mechanical- the pressure on the stomach being caused by slumping and excessive sitting. The acid is then pushed up into the esophagus. Simple, and hard to sell a drug for.

    • admin says

      There are plenty of people without postural problems that have GERD, including infants. Infants do have hypochlorhydria, however. The connection between declining stomach acid and GERD is quite clear, as I’ll explain in my next articles. In short, low stomach acid encourages overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria, which in turn raises levels of gas in the stomach (hydrogen and methane primarily), which puts pressure on the LES and causes it to malfunction. Stomach acid is there for a reason. It inhibits bacterial growth, ensures proper assimilation of protein, carbs and fat, promotes vitamin and mineral absorption, and more.

    • Marcus DiMarco says

      Interesting thought, but wrong. How can you explain the cessation of GERD when people take acid supplements (HCL)?

  8. Jim says

    My wife had “acid reflux”, and began taking HCL w/pepsin with her meals.  It helped a great deal in preventing the symptoms from occurring.  However, it wasn’t until we began eating a grain-free, low carb diet that the need for HCL went away.  Now she never has the reflux episodes.

    • Marcus DiMarco says

      Ya this is an interesting phenomenon. This must be a slight allergy to grain and seems to be very common.

      Personally I would eat grain when I wanted/needed to but making sure to take a HCL supplement.

      Have you tried digestive enzymes in addition to HCL before eating grains? It may be an insufficient amylase enzyme in the body that causes this possible allergy.

  9. Jae says

    I never had GERD per se but had some really bad stomach problems I misinterpreted as food poisoning until they didn’t go away.  My chiropractor diagnosed low stomach acid and gave me HCl/Pepsin and poof! I was normal again.  But that was in 2000 and I still have to take it every time I eat.  I hope you’re going to address ways to restore the ability to produce stomach acid normally again.  I gather from the comments above that a low-carb or low-grain diet is recommended, but I’m an athletic person and my experiments with low-carb diets have been disastrous.  It’s very clear I need carbs to function, so I hope there’s some other solution.

    • Marcus DiMarco says

      Ya. Good thinking. The only thing I could recommend is cleaning out the colon/ digestive system. The best way I know to do this is Diatomaceous earth. It will help clean out the junk stuck to the intestine walls including parasites if they are there. Getting the digestive system all cleaned out could help things like acid production become normalized.

  10. Daniel says

    The prevailing theory is NOT that typical GERD is caused by excessive stomach acid. Rather, the prevailing theory is that poor lower esophageal sphincter function allows those with normal stomach acid to experience GERD.  Since it is more difficult to control LES function (all known techniques involve tweaking neurotransmitters, as the LES is ennervated by the Vagus nerve, leading to significant side effects), controlling stomach acid, which brings symptom relief, is considered superior.  The reason young people don’t have more GERD is simply that they have superior LES tone. Older people, on the other hand, lose LES tone (for unknown reasons) and thus experience more GERD.
    There is room to debate the side effects of acid suppression, but your article doesn’t do that.  Instead, it seems you are arguing against a straw-man by claiming that doctors and Big Pharma think that hyperacidity causes GERD.

    • admin says

      I’m aware of the prevailing theory and will address it I’m detail in the next article. Nevertheless, there is still a misconception amongst the public that GERD and heartburn are caused by excess stomach acid. That’s why I started the series with this article. Also, it’s important for people to understand that hypochlorydia is a primary contributing factor to GERD (again, more on this tomorrow). This is not the same as simply observing that GERD isn’t caused by excess acid. That would indeed be a straw man. Stay tuned for the next article.

  11. Kim says

    To Jae:
    If your initial efforts to go LC were a problem, that may be an indication that you do need to give up sugars and grains. These are truly addictive! If you need more energy calories, use starchy veg as opposed to bread, pasta, cereal. etc. Even if whole grain, they are still highly processed, man-made foods. Also, nearly all grains contain anti-nutrients like gluten, phytates and lectins that cause all sorts of digestive issues among them, GERD, Leaky Gut, IBS, etc.  Once you detox from grains and sugar, I think you’ll feel better in the long run.

    To Daniel;
    I don’t think the author was trying to create a “strawman” by saying that too much acid causes GERD. On the other hand, can there by any doubt that the profits from these acid blockers drive Big Pharma sales? Let’s face it, like so-called “high cholesterol”, GERD was a medicalized disease that “needed” a pharmceutical solution.

    • Marie says

      I admit, I was addicted to sugar. You wont believe how much candy and junk i used to eat in a week! Why? Because I have a fast metabolism, I could eat whatever, not exercise, and not gain weight! Weird, I know. Then one day I caught a cold and developed a nasty cough with it. Well, my cold went away but the cough didnt. I thought it was asthma so id huff on my inhaler, but it didnt get rid of the cough. one day i woke up and all this acid is coming up my throat, i could taste it! Ive been plagued with this awfulness for a month now and already desperate to make it go. What do you think caused my gerd doc?

  12. admin says

    Jae,

    I wouldn’t give up on low-carb yet as a treatment for your G.I. issues.  I’ve found that the majority of athletes don’t eat enough fat when they switch to low-carb.  If you’re burning a lot of calories, you have to significantly boost your fat intake when you reduce carbs to provide adequate energy and avoid weight loss.  Also, as Kim suggested, there is often a transition period that can be difficult when your body is learning to use fat as its primary energy source rather than carbs.  L-carnatine can be helpful in this regard as it aids in fat metabolism and will help you get energy from the fat you eat.

    If you do continue to eat grains, it’s imperative that you prepare them properly (soak and/or sprout).  This breaks down the anti-nutrients Kim mentioned and makes them more digestible.  With your history of digestive problems, it may be worthwhile to get a gluten intolerance test from enterolab.com.  Gluten intolerance is dramatically underdiagnosed and can cause serious G.I. issues.

    Kim, as I mentioned to Daniel, I’m aware that the prevailing theory of GERD is that it’s caused by a dysfunction of the LES.  We’ll be looking at exactly what causes that dysfunction (hint: low stomach acid has a lot to do with it!) in the next article.

    You hit the nail on the head re: Big Pharma.  The most profitable drugs for them are those that only address the symptoms, because that means patients will be dependent upon them for the rest of their lives.  It’s even better when the drug actually guarantees the persistence of the symptom, as is the case with PPIs and GERD.

  13. Jae says

    Chris,

    Thanks for the reply about low-carb.  My experiment was several months on Atkins, so there was plenty of fat, but I grew incredibly stiff and fatigued till I could only hobble when I tried to run, and when I went back to my normal diet it took several months for the stiffness to wear off.  It was awful.  Regarding anti-nutrients, I have celiac disease and no matter how careful I am about gluten my acid problem doesn’t improve.  I eat almost no processed foods, of course, because of avoiding gluten.  So this is still all not quite adding up for me personally, but I’d like to get to the bottom of it so I’m looking forward to reading what else you have to say.

    • NoGlutenEver says

      my spouse’s main symptom from gluten, from cross contamination or very small amounts, is heartburn. No gluten, no heartburn. Unfortunately, 20 ppm (which is what it takes to label a food as “gluten free” ) seems to be not gluten free enough for him. The Glutenzap forum has been very helpful in finding the very few processed foods he can eat without issue. No gluten, no heartburn!

  14. Chris Kresser says

    For those who aren’t yet aware, I’ve published Part II and Part III of the series.

    Part II explores the hidden causes of heartburn and GERD.  Part III presents further evidence for the theories presented in Part II, and examines the connection between GERD and H. pylori (the bacterium that causes stomach and duodenal ulcers).

  15. says

    This may be a bit conspiracy theorist but…i wonder if primary care physicians (like say my GE Dr.who Rx’d me Prevacid for the rest of my life) get some kind of stipend (read kickback) from Pharms for doing so?

  16. Chris Kresser says

    I think the vast majority of physicians are good people trying their best to help others.  Unfortunately, they are also victims of our broken health care system. They’re overworked, which leaves little time for them to read the relevant scientific literature.  Instead, they get most of their information about drugs from the pharmaceutical companies themselves via sales brochures and sponsored conferences.  I honestly don’t think most doctors are aware of the research I’ve presented in these articles.  That said, I do wish more doctors would make it their business to be aware of the relevant research and not simply accept what they are told by drug companies.  See my article When it Comes to Drug Claims, Skepticism Is Healthy for more on this.

  17. Mookie forest says

    I find this information absolutely incorrect. too much acid is the culprit. I’ve been taking Prilosec for 10+ years; my symptoms have resolved. The drug had absolutely saved my esophagus

    • Chris Kresser says

      You’re going to have to do better than that, Mookie. Of course Prilosec stopped acid from going into your esophagus. It almost completely halts stomach acid production. But that doesn’t mean acid reflux is caused by too much stomach acid. Did you actually read the article?

    • Marcus DiMarco says

      Guaranteed that you have low calcium, B-12, and Iron. The Prilosec may have saved your esophagus but it will destroy your health via osteoporosis and anemia if you don’t get off of it. There are ways to have all of it, go back and read the article for the sake of your health.

  18. Amy says

    This makes complete sense to me for GERD! My problem is a little more complicated though, so I’m not sure what to do. Nearly 6 months ago I developed a bad case of gastritis after a stress-filled year and lots of spicy food and a caffeine overdose. Normally, I take DGL and the gastritis heals in a month or 2. I didn’t have any on hand so, in desperation, I took Pepcid. Pepcid temporarily helped relieve the pain almost instantly, so I decided to stay on it, and then added DGL. When my other gastritis symptoms (nausea, indigestion, bloating) continued for a few momths, I decide d to have an endoscopy with a biopsy. By that point, the pain had largely subsided. The endoscopy revealed mild gastritis. Both of my h. pylori tests were negative. However, after the stomach biopsy, I started having knawing, burning pain again but now a bit further down. I suspect that the biopsy was responsible for this and continued on Pepcid to reduce the irritation and promote healing. It’s been nearly 3 months since the endoscopy/biopsy and while the knawing/burning has gotten better, it’s still not completely gone. My doc said a PPI would work better but I was too afraid to take anything stronger than an H2 blocker. Aside from the slow healing, the most alarming thing to me is that since I started the Pepcid 6 months ago, I’ve developed chronic heartburn. I would always get some heartburn with gastritis, but only when I ate high fat food and only during the acute inflammation. Now it seems like the gastritis is mostly gone but the heartburn is here every day. I suspect that Pepcid screwed up my whole stomach and I want to get off it, but I’m a bit afraid that I’ll be overproducing acid and that the gastritis will flare again. I’m not sure why else I get gastritis when I don’t take aspirin, NSAIDS, use alcohol, or have h. pylori. But now it seems I have GERD too, and I didn’t have this complication until using Pepcid. I’m going to try to wean myself off it slowly. My docs keep telling me to just take more and take it with antacids.

    • Chris Kresser says

      Hi Amy,

      You might want to work your way through this series and try some of the things I suggest in the last article on treatment.

      Good luck.

  19. Amy says

    Thanks so much, Chris. Your articles have been so helpful! I’ve been a vegetarian and heavy carb eater for years. In recent years, I’ve also become very bloated, so your theory seems to make sense. I’ve reduced my carbs (not yet as low as you recommend) and added more potent probiotics. I’m amazed at how much better I’ve been feeling since doing just that! No bloating, heartburn or knawing stomach pain lately, even after spicy food! Keep spreading the word – I think you’re on to something!

  20. Ed says

    Ever since I’ve been on a low carb diet (<10% carbs, >70% fat), I’ve only experienced heartburn once.  My wife and I had a strawberry and whipped cream dessert and I ate about three times what I normally do on other occasions, and I was up half the night with a severe buring sensation.

    It was a good reminder that exercising some discipline alleviates some many negative aspects of eating.  It did take me about six months to reduce my carbs to under 80 g a day.  That approach allowed me to make gradual changes without feeling deprived and listless.

    I also exercise every day and my body has made the transition from burning carbs for energy to burning fat.  I also rely a great deal on coconut products because they provide quick energy.

  21. says

    Great!  I am a physical therapist and make a habit about going over GI issue with all my patients;  I specialize in Visceral Therapy.  It is crazy how many of them take these drugs for years……and never bother to ask the doctor about getting off of them,  and the funny thing is that many of my patients read the warnings that say you are not to exceed 6 weeks, but they continue to take them,  Why?  I plan on handing out your article in my clinic;  Thanks

    MK

  22. anna says

    I have doubts about the argument that as we age our acid is lower, and therefore we shouldn’t have GERD. We should take into consideration accumulative effect – if we weakened our LES during earlier decades of high acid, it’s possible that we pay for it at a certain age, in combination with other factors, such as increased weight. I am obviously not a medical doctor, and English obviously isn’t my native tongue.

    • Chris Kresser says

      The fact that stomach acid declines in elderly people is well-established in the scientific literature. The decline is primarily caused by an increase in rates of H. pylori infection as people age. As I’ve explained in this article, GERD is caused by low – not high – stomach acid for most people, so it makes perfect sense that elderly people (who have low stomach acid) have GERD.

    • Marcus DiMarco says

      anna, why then do elderly people who take extra acid in supplements (HCL) no longer have a weakened LES? The acid keeps the LES closed. If the acid is low, the LES opens. Make sense?

  23. says

    I have heard of exactly what you are saying.  I had a friend who actually thought she was having heart problems because of acid reflux type pain.  When her doctor advised her to take a hydrochloric acid supplement this pain went away.  It wasn’t too much stomach acid, but too little that was the problem.

    By the way, could you fill out my Drug Adverse Reaction Survey?  http://PrescriptionDrugProblems.com

  24. tori says

    I have a friend who is over 65 and has GERD that makes her too thin as she has trouble digesting and causes her distress. She takes Prilosec daily. I have suggested she take ACV instead but she says she has a very bad reaction to even a little vinegar. How can someone like that take Betaine?
    She won’t listen to any alternative medicine approaches and insists she has too much stomach acid. I sent her the New York Times article about how doctors are finding that taking Prilosec and those types of drugs can lead to c.difficile and other infections and that made her cut down on the Prilosec. The article though did not talk much about GERD.
    Her GERD is largely stress -elated she says, so that’s one thing that she could work on. Basically my question is, if people with GERD have a bad reaction to vinegar (I’m assuming that would extend to Betaine) what can they do?

    • Chris Kresser says

      if people with GERD have a bad reaction to vinegar (I’m assuming that would extend to Betaine) what can they do?

      It won’t necessarily be the same response. She can still try everything else I mentioned in my article on treatment.

  25. says

    Tori,

    When people have a bad reaction to ACV or HCl, it’s often because in addition to GERD they’re dealing with gastritis as well. So yes, even a little acv or hcl will exacerbate the already inflamed tissues. When this happens with people I see, I know I have to go slower and heal that stomach lining before introducing HCl. Things like deglycyrrhizzinated licorice (DGL), aloe vera juice and fish oil may help. Many companies formulate supplements with a combination of known gut healing nutrients as well.

  26. James says

    You make some interesting points. However, to maintain credibility, it’s critical that you support what you say with scientific data. For example, you need to provide a reference for a research article is you make the assertion that lowering cholesterol is detrimental in older people.

  27. Andrew says

    I just got over H.Pylori about a year ago and I FINALLY feel normal. BUT sometimes when I get hungry or wake up some morning my stomach has a gnawing pain for about 5 minutes. My symptoms slowly went away once I got off all the PPI’s (I was only on them for about a year on and off them… maybe a total of 3 months) and my acid reflux/gurd went away then the burning and nauseous.. now I just have one minor symptom and that is the gnawing every blue moon. I’m thinking this is because I have overgrowth bacterial in my gut from your article. Could this be the case? Also, what would you suggest I do? Or is this something that is just going to work its self out over time like my other symptoms? Thanks.

  28. says

    I don’t have heartburn but do have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) which caused some distress but also caused me to become so hoarse I couldn’t speak. After drugs, five doctors, diet and lifestyle changes without result, I dug up some old research and found alginic acid compound (AAC) to be very effective. The research clearly indicates that PPIs do not have any measurable effect on LPR. I’ve quit the PPIs and Xantac and can speak again. The mixture does contain an antacid that I would rather not take but since it is the only thing I have found that has any effect, I take it.

    I seriously doubt that acid is my problem but suspect digestive enzymes such as pepsin were causing the irritation.

    If anyone cares to read my entire blog about it, you should read the oldest posts first which means you should start at the bottom of the page.

  29. Dan says

    So you didn’t mention anything about what foods to eat. You always hear people complain about how they can’t eat spicy food because they have heartburn. Is this true? Should they not be eating spicy food? Or is this another myth?

  30. Joe says

    Chris,

    When I was 8 weeks old I was diagnosed with GERD. From then until I was about 8 or 9 I was put on virtually every prescription drug to reduce acid production. I came off the medications for a few years and then around ages 12-15 I was on Nexium. At age 15 I had a Nissen Fundoplication to physically prevent acid from going into my esophagus, but (fortunately) the wrap undid itself and a barium swallow test indicated that there is no sign of the wrap at all. In 2009, when I was 19, I started working on an organic farm and was introduced to Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation, and since then I have been trying, to the best of my ability, to follow her dietary guidelines. While I can say that I rarely have heartburn anymore, I have experienced on and off pain of what I think is a hiatal hernia, pain of the ileocecal valve, joint pain, I passed kidney stones in January, and I have a rapid heart beat. So I’m wondering if I’m still not properly digesting and assimilating the food I’m eating. Do you think that a paleo diet would be a better fit for me, and if so would it be viable, economically and in terms of time, for a college student?

    Thank you for any suggestions,
    Joe

  31. John says

    Hello Chris – Thank you.
    I have been paying hard earned money to ruin my health but I plan to turn things around. I was treating for IBS and wide-ranging food allergies. Essentially I was producing IgE in my GI tract for almost every plant-based food. I was not having asthma or anaphylaxis; simply awful abdominal pain and sinusitis. While trying to rule out EE, I was found to have GERD and put on acid reducers. In the course of several years of modifying my diet to suit my allergies I found less and less reprieve, going backwards with even more stomach and abdominal pain, frequent loose stool production, fatigue and poor ability to fend off infection. I thought my decline was due to a poor diet from avoiding so many fresh fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. On a recent colonoscopy I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease / Ulcerative Proctitis (UP) and put on Canasa and Apriso with a recommendation for VSL#3. Maybe it was the sheer quantity of pills I was about to start gulping down, but something clicked. I have asked my GI MD to weigh the needs for me to be on Ranitidine and Omeprazole. With everything I am rapidly learning, I want to dose up on VSL # 3, reduce complex carb intake, let stomach acid rebuild and hopefully heal my GI tract. Who knows – my allergy response might be partly due to the toxic environment inside of me. Wishful and uneducated thinking perhaps, but maybe I could reduce the auto-response to food proteins if my GI immune system can heal and re-educate itself. Dear God, I can only hope so.
    Again – thank you for what you do.
    John.

  32. JC says

    Just had an upper endoscopy yesterday and was changed from omeprazole to pantoprazole for my GERD. (40yo otherwise healthy male.) Looks like I have some reading to do. Any suggestions on how best to approach my ENT doc with this information?

  33. Calvin Wong says

    I just want to confirm this articles true. I believe I am one perfect test subject considering that I have never had GERD or even occasional heartburn until recently when I was given steroids to treat my rashes. While the rashes gone off after 2 weeks of taking it, the steroids brought side effects like GERD which is now a headache I am facing. I have tried antacid and it is only temporary relieve and then, it will come back feeling even worst such as esophageal spasm so much my jaw can hurt. When I have visited the doctors, they all prescribed me acid blockers which again works only short time, but problem is each time when I popped one if those inside me, my stomach gets bloated up and my stomach starts to growl.

    Now I am only believe drugs should be avoided at all cost and natural remedy from mother nature is still best. While writing this, I am still having this drug-inflicted GERD and if anyone of you has a great solution, please let me know. Thanks.

  34. Jennifer DeRooy says

    I have been burping a lot for the past six months. I have tried all kinds of antacids to treat the problem, and they don’t seem to help. Do you think that low acid could be causing the problem? I’m still taking Ranitidine 75, but am afraid to stop. I burp the most after dinner, but even during the day, with little in my stomach, when I move around I burp.

    • Jasmine286 says

      I also burped continually on this medication.. It became so normal that I even forgot I was doing it..Horrendous! I stopped the med and after about a month it gradually stopped.. I re-introduced Lemon Juice, Ginger Pickles and digestive enzymes with my food.

  35. Pat says

    I have been suffering with excessive phlegm in my throat for a few months, had heartburn approx. twice/week for about a month, then it went away, initially I was told that I have allergies, then had testing and the allergy results were negative, then an ENT did a barium swallow and showed that I had moderate gerd. I’ve been on PPI’s for a month now, have completely changed my diet, cut out pop, caffeine, alcohol, etc., the phlegm has lessened, but it is still there, doctors are now telling me that I may have to remain on the PPI’s indefinitely. I’m now afraid to go off the pills for fear that the phlegm will come back fast and furious. Not sure what to do, any suggestions?

  36. Chris says

    I recently saw an ENT and was diagnosed with “silent reflux”. I have persistent post-nasal drip and frequent throat clearing. She scoped me and saw redness on part of my nasal cavity just above my throat and redness around my larynx.

    I’ve recently read Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure by Dr. Jamie Koufman, which recommends reducing high pH level foods. I don’t have much of a problem with GERD in the common sense… heartburn, indigestion, etc.

    I’ve read all 4 of your articles and am not sure what connection low stomach acid may have with “silent reflux”. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • PaulaB says

      I had frequent throat clearing and constant post nasal drip, plus frequent sinus infections and headaches and a feeling of a lump in my throat for several years. Since eliminating wheat and most grains, most dairy from my diet (paleo/primal) the sinus headaches/infections, allergies, and post nasal drip are gone along with most of my reflux which was found to be causing the “lump in the throat” feeling. I’m reading Chris K’s articles to find keys to the remaining issues, but Chris, from my experience, I would try eliminating grains, dairy, and sugar for a month and see how you feel.

  37. Jatin says

    Does sleeping on the left side of the body help with acid reflux more than sleeping on the right side? I had read somewhere that since the stomach pit (for the lack of better word) is towards the left side of the body, it will keep the acid from getting into the oesophagus linings?
    Btw… I just stumbled upon your website when I was googling about my fasting sugar levels and I love the content… Thank you.

  38. Jackie says

    Thanks SOOOO much for having this info available!! can I ask a few questions… I KNOW that I have a gut imbalance and I am trying to move myself to the GAPS diet. I noticed that it get bad when I don’t get enough calories??? not sure what this means. Also, it started with major bloating for awhile and then went to chest pain (seriously felt like a heart attack) and then heart burn/cooling in the throat and and chest pain. (right in the center of chest and back) I am not worried about my heart as I have had it checked and all is well in that department! thank goodness! I am only 27!

    I have been downing homemade chicken stock, cutting out grains and adding good fats. I will check out the HCL for sure.

  39. Catherine says

    Hi. I had H. Pylori. It was eradicated back in May 2011. I feel that the symptoms are back. I did not understand where it came from until reading your article. I was told by the nurse that it was cause by something I ate. Prior to getting diagnosed I was popping rolaids excessively because I was always sick to my stomach. I didn’t know that they cause the stomach acids to decrease. I looked over at my chart and saw “GERD” as a diagnosis. Can I be safe to say that H. Pylori was the initial source of this? I was prescribed ‘Zantac’, which I don’t take frequently. I don’t even take my diabetic meds frequently from fear of getting sick. I am a mess. I am keeping track of the foods that are giving me discomfort (learning that the hard way). Uggh! I am totally eliminating lying down after meals and decreasing meal sizes. I am far from overcoming the problem. I think the level of my stressing over it is causing me to tighten up. Question: If I stay away from Zantac, Prilosec, Rolaids and Tums….what do a girl take to alleviate the nausea when stumble across the wrong foods? Can rolaids every now and then cause a major effect on my condition?

  40. Tracy Campo says

    I have had gerd for 20 years and have been on acid blockers regularly. This past year I developed excessive stomach gas. I can feel the gas moving around in my stomach. I saw a GI doctor and he did a colonoscopy and perscribed an acid blocker which made sypmtoms worse. I have not taken any acid blockers, have been watching my diet, and taking tums occasionally. I still have excessive stomach gas. Is it the carbs and low stomach acid causing the problem?

  41. says

    This is such a GREAT article. You describe everything so clearly. I was just talking to my mother-in-law about this very thing. She is on long term prescription antacids (she’s turning 80). She’s going to mention this to her doctor.

    Have you heard of Dysfunction of the belch reflex? My daughter told doctors for years that she couldn’t burp. They shrugged if off and put her on antacids (since her early teens, she’s now 19) telling her she had reflux. Interestingly, she never described the pain in her chest as burning, it was always a pressure. Eventually a scope showed that she probably doesn’t have reflux – although the GI doc put her on more prescription antacids. That sent me in search of something, anything and we thankfully found a great nutritionist who identified some food intolerances in my daughter. Since changing her diet she has minimal gas and discomfort. I think it’s funny/sad that no one took the inability to burp thing seriously and just pushed it off as acid reflux.

    I recently found information on-line about the inability to burping. The information here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3623025 describes my daughter exactly (my husband has the same problem).

    I don’t think there is a cure but if you have any ideas we would love to hear them.

    • Margaux says

      Hi

      I saw your reaction and I had to ask this. I struggle with the same problem (can’t burp) and it’s awful. I feel really sick sometimes because I’m filled with air. I tried a lot and the doctors can’t find anything. Do you already know the cause or a cure for this annoying/embarrassing problem?

      Thank you!

  42. Linda says

    What an interesting website, lots of food for thought. I developed Gastritis after having my gall bladder
    removed three years ago. I subsequently developed gluten intolerance, followed by salicylate intolerance which escalated to chemical sensitivity. Sounds horrendous I know, but I was forced to start looking after my body and am now on a restricted but nourishing diet of mostly vegetables and some fruit, with fish and a little meat. I still have the gastritis and have been on a P.P.I for over a year with no change to speak of.
    I have a new direction to pursue after reading this article, so remain optomistic that I will get my digestive system working again without inflammation. Thank you and good luck to everyone out there.!

  43. Ben says

    Hi Chris,

    I alreay eat a very clean paleo diet and max about 150g carbs per day. I have just developed GERD completely out of the blue. Since i already eat well, what can I do? Fatty foods seem to be a trigger for me, but I already don’t eat wheat and gluten for my IBS (and obviously paleo reasons) so I need fats for energy!

    Thanks

    Ben

  44. says

    People need to stay off the Antacids and other pain relieving medicines. I believe in 2010 the United States spent over 10 million in heartburn/GERD medicines. I believe that a natural and healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and water is a better solution.

  45. Colin says

    Hi , can you help me plz , I’m on clopidogrel and aspiran due to a heart attack and stenting there after,I take lansoprazole twice a day for burning pain in middle of back and chest , had all the tests (on heart) which have came back ok.I’m now beening told its GERD , the lansoprazol are not working , and seem to make it worse . Any feed back would be great as I’m at my witts end . Thanks colin

  46. Anne says

    Hi, I have been on a Paleo diet for approximtely 9 months and have generally felt great. 3 months ago I started developing acid reflux, 95% of the time it happens after lunch (this seems to be time-related only as what I eat for lunch and dinner are the same thing…meat and veggies). People keep telling me it is because I am eating too much meat. I have also recently developed symptoms of IC…both reflux and IC point to being overly acidic, don’t they?

    • Tenley says

      Anne, I’m in a similar situation and I’m wondering how the past year has gone for you. Could you share an update? And assuming you’re now well, what steps you took to get here? I’m dealing primarily with silent reflux, though, and other “acid” conditions. Thanks!

      • says

        I have big improvements when I eat AIP-Paleo. I don’t have the acid reflux, however, I do feel like my list of food intolerances is growing and getting worse over time, even though I’m avoiding the ‘bad food’ as best I can. Any thoughts on this?
        Paola

  47. Sarah says

    I have been suffering from acid reflux for 2 years now, I’ve been tested for Coeliac Disease as I have bloating and pain when I eat anything with a lot of wheat, that came back negative. I feel like I’ve tried everything and it never stops, my throat always feels burnt. I also have Muscular Dystrophy and I keep asking my doctor’s if it could be related but they say no, all my family members and people I know with Muscular Dystrophy have stomach problems too. At my wits end with this reflux though, your articles are really interesting thank you.

  48. getmeoffthisPPI! says

    Chris,

    As my name suggests, I really want to be off my PPI. First off, I’m 22 years old and have been on omeprazole (Prilosec 20mg) for 10 years now. I’ve had GERD symptoms since I was a baby and they get really bad anytime I have any stress. When I had a scope at 11, my esophagus was torn up and thus I was prescribed the PPI, since then, my esophagus has healed up well. I am all about doing what our bodies were naturally made for and thus and trying to get off any medications (I’m only on PPIs though). What would you recommend doing for getting off this stuff? I weened off and have been off for about a week but yesterday started having serious symptoms and have had nonstop heartburn since.

    I actually took a prilosec today (kind of wish I hadn’t, but I’m sure it won’t kill me) but nonetheless would like to be off. Anyways, I’d love to get a good plan for getting off the PPI in a way that I can still live a very busy life while doing so.. Thanks for any help!

  49. Help Me !!! says

    Hi Chris , I am 18 years old and have suffered occasional heartburn from the age of 12. I do very rarely exercise but on the occassional times I do I sometimes get heartburn. Recently I had a sinus infection and it got better with antibiotics but near the end of my antibiotic course I had a meal one day from outside and straight after that I got a high fever for the next two days followed by pain in the chest , palpitations, these symtoms were worse when i lied down on my back. I was not sure if these symptoms were caused by my stomach or infection. After getting antibiotics and following a BLAND diet these symtoms have gotten better but 3 months late one symptom still remains I get frequent hiccups after eating and they continue for the next two hours or so. They are not constant hiccups but one or two then they stop then 5 minutes later start again. These hiccups are worrying me. I dont know if its after effects of the infection or me being ill from the meal I had from outside that day. Any advice would be appreciated.

  50. Sneha kurgan says

    Hi Christ,
    I think I have actually brought on the acid reflux and am miserable. Found out a month ago that I was pregnant the second time around. Unlike my first I did not have any morning sickness but terrible fatigue so initially suspected something wrong with my thyroid. Then I started having an uncontrollable urge to eat spicy food and loads of lemon juice.I do eat spicy food otherwise too but this was really all I wanted to eat, pickles. I am Indian so pickles are loaded with chilli.
    Did not realise the acidity was the discomfort I was feeling for about two weeks and then the doctor told me what I felt was heartburn but it is normal for the first trimester. Told to take antacid but tried it only once since it took the burn away but not the pain, Rantac did not make me feel any better and now not only am I hungry frequently but the gas bloating and heart burn keeps me up all night. Not able to manage any of my work or my child. Don’t know what to eat because am so scared of the heartburn through the night.
    Please tell me this will go once I am done with my first trimester in four weeks. Never has each day dragged so long
    Please help
    Sneha

    • Brooke says

      Sneha Kurgan,

      Did you find relief? Did it go away after 1st trimester I am also pregnant and suffering from vomiting, upset stomach and a horrible, bitter acidic taste in my mouth. I’m positive it’s acid reflux. It’s literally zapping the life out of me. Did you find any miracles? Hope all is well. ~Brooke

  51. Brian says

    Chris,

    I have been suffering from heartburn and acid reflux since April. I was diagnosed with H Pylori but have eradicated it with antibiotics (confirmed with stool test and endoscopy). However, my endoscopy showed a small hiatal hernia and the biopsies revealed eosinophilic esophogitis (EOE). I do not have swallowing trouble, only GERD type symptoms. Do you have any theories on what causes EOE and if that or the hernia might be causing my issues? I have heard food allergies typically cause EOE but I am of the belief that you don’t suddenly become allergic to something without an underlying cause. Is it possible that fungus and or parasites could cause this condition? Thanks.

    • Jana says

      Brian, my daughter just got diagnosed with EoE. How are you doing? Are you having any luck controlling the symptoms? Any tips? Thank you!

  52. Anna says

    Chris,

    I have read each of your articles on GERD. Thank you. I think everyone should read these articles. I have read the GAPS book and am applying the principles. Over the past 3 years, I have tried so diligently to get off of the PPI’s that I was put on at the age of 24. At the age of 32, when I learned of my bone loss from these awful meds (that doctors so casually prescribe). I began my quest to get off of them and doctors don’t know how to help you – their reply is a summon to a life on PPI’s. I too agree that they are just doing their best. I tried everything for 2 1/2 years, everything you talked about in your articles. HCL was very effective, but my stomach became too sensitive to continue. I was tested for H – Pylori twice as I was coming off of the medication and it never showed up. Finally, I decided to have a Nissen Flundoplication after trying everything I could think of. It has been a long road and it is still not over. I would stand up before Congress and beg them to put tighter restraints on PPI’s. Until you have tried so diligently to get off of them and have realized how difficult it really is after a dependance on them for 8 years – you come to an understanding that it is criminal to prescribe PPI’s. They were never meant for the body!

    My question is: Once you have a full wrap Nissen, what do you do if you still have reflux? I would greatly appreciate your approach now – considering that I am already on the GAPS diet, take a good quality pro-biotic, cultured veggies, keifer, no alcohol and am not over weight. What would a person do then? Can it be your next article. Please. Thank you.

  53. Kevin says

    Great article, can’t wait to read parts 2 & 3. I suffer from esophageal burning and am taking two Nexium 40 mg tablets a day with no relief. Booked in for an endoscopy 25/10/2012.

    Regards,
    Kevin

    P.S. I hope the drug company’s don’t start leaning on you, they have a lot to lose.

  54. Keith says

    Hi Dr. Chris,

    Really enjoying the material I have found her thusfar. I have had numerous bouts with what I am assuming is reflux over the years. What generallty happens with me is that I eventually vomit and immediately get some relief at least for a while. Sometimes the urge to vimit comes very quickly and almost undeniably without warning, i.e. pulling over while driving and vomiting. I had akidney stone a few years ago, am 47 years old, have a history of neck problems that cause serious headaches that also result in vomiting and then usually immediate relief. I know some of my triggers are coffee and chocolate and will work to reduce them as well as take some of your other advise. The over hte counter drugs like Oxyprezole etc. worked to stop symtoms when taken daily but I know they are only masking the problem and no longer want to be held hostage to them and the pharm companies. I sound like a very unhealthy person but usually am very active and seemly otherwise quite healthy, I am not overweight. My chiropractor once told me that there are spots in your spine that have an effect on digestion, do you know anthing about there role if there is any, body is a system so doesn’t seem to outlandish to me. Any thoughts would be helpfull. P.S. I have used baking soda and water for years and when it gets bad that doesn’t work for long.

      • Jana says

        I think it depends on how bad it is. My daughter got diagnosed during her scope (we were looking for something else) and doesn’t vomit or has difficulty swallowing. Just bad heartburn…

  55. Emerson says

    Hello Chris!
    Love your article. I’m been taking omeprazole 1 tab in am, 1 tab in pm before meals for 6 months and seems to be controlled, except when I have coffee, and more recently a persimmon (not fully ripe) which caused me to have a painful swollow and felt like my esophagus was being squeezed on top (not even gaviscon helped). I never had this bad of a reaction to TANNIC ACID. Is that common from tannic acid? LC diet definitely works for me. I would really like to try HCL with Pepcin. What brand do you suggest? Where would I get HCL, pepcin at? What dosages do you suggest to begin with? I’m glad I found this article, breath of fresh air! Any suggestions would help. thanks

  56. Kathy says

    Hi guys/Chris,
    I am a Biosignature practitioner and appreciate all too well this issue.
    I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion for someone taking Pariet for a hiatus hernia situation?
    The person currently sees a Chiro, but am wo seeing if there are other options other than this?
    Would a gluten free/Low fructose diet help also in this situation?
    What about restoring stomach acid depletion which has been depleted with proton pump inhibitor use for years now?

    • Trish says

      I have a sliding esophageal hiatal hernia.

      When I was taking enzyme supplements with Hcl, one day I actually felt the sliding hiatal hernia relax back into position. A month later, per my doctor, the upper endoscopy procedure showed no hiatal hernia. So the information in this article is very helpful so perhaps you can give it a try as well.

      Now that I have a small ulcer I can no longer take the Hcl, and some of the hiatal hernia symptoms are resurfacing. I need a protocol to heal the small ulcer and also increase my body’s ability to digest food. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

  57. says

    Having had reflux for 20 years and constant throat clearing all of my life I have finally found some relief, due to Chris Kresser’s articles. Admittedly, it’s only been two days but I have never been able to go for even ONE full day without my prevacid or prilosec. I started by taking two small, over the counter acid reducers and adding about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to my morning cherry juice. I have never eaten huge mounts of carbs so I didn’t change that. I took a couple more antacids before bed. That’s IT. I have not had any reflux and the throat clearing is a little better already. If this keeps working I will be so thrilled and grateful. It’s awful to think that you have to take some pill for the rest of your life. And I haven’t spent one cent!
    What initially caught my attention was the idea of too little acid. since I was a teenager I have had episodes of terrible stomach pains, where I would be doubled over. A friend told me (And this was 35 years ago) that they might be caused by NOT ENOUGH ACID, and that this meant that my stomach wouldn’t work. Next time it happened I tried orange juice and VOILA–the pain went away. I really wish doctors would think things through a little better. I cringe to think of how much money I and my insurance have spent on those pills. THANKS!

  58. Brooke says

    Hi. I am pregnant, 15 weeks along, and experiencing horrible GERD (or so I think). Not a lot of heartburn but a dull pain or pressure in my upper stomach (by breastbone), vomiting, and the most horrible bitter taste in my mouth that I cannot get rid of. The taste is what is literally zapping the life out of me, as well as the nausea, gurgling stomach and vomiting (1x a day-evenings). Food seems to digest very slowly. My doctor has put me on an anti-nausea medication for the time being. I am not interested in the otc/prescrip GERD meds because all my reading indicates they just relieve symptoms. **Any idea if the hydrochloric acid supplementation is ok during pregnancy? Thank you.

  59. Carol says

    Hi Chris, I am trying to help my brother sort out his health. He was taking Lansoprazole for about 15 years,(not on its own, but with several other drugs along side to help with severe stress) until September 2011. In December 2011 he started to get symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome, only all over his body at night when he tried to sleep. He has discussed this with his doctor many times and no help has ensued. He symptoms have become progressively stronger, and now feel like strong electric shocks that can make him shout out, his skin, especially on his face, is extremely sensitive, to the point that when the bed covers touch his face or lips he jolts awake. His sleep is now so awful… an hour or two here and there, he is exhausted. Can long term use of PPIs cause such a disruption in the body. The doctor just wants to give him anti-depressants. I’m sure there must be a better route to recovery…..
    I would be grateful for ideas to explore. Thank you.

  60. Rena says

    I discovered Chris Kressler’s articles when I was having an episode of too little stomach acid and actually Googled those symptoms. Years ago, when I was a teen, I used to experience bouts of extreme stomach discomfort, where I would be doubled over and my stomach would be distended. A good friend told me that that sounded like too LITTLE acid and suggested orange, lemon or tomato juice. This did the trick right away. In my early 30s I complained to Docs and an acupuncturist that I had very slow, sluggish digestion. I was told that “as we get older our organs do slow down.” Later, when I had chronic heartburn, I was prescribed prevacid, which I took for 15 years. When I read Kressler’s essay on too little acid the puzzle pieces started to come together. What could it hurt, I thought, to go off the prevacid for a short time, and keep drinking sour cherry juice and eating vinaigrette and taking vitamin c. The only addition was that I started taking over the counter acid reducers (cheap store brand) twice a day. That was a few months ago and I have no uncontrollable reflux. The other thing I stumbled upon, by accident, was chia seeds. My husband had read about all the bruhaha– how they were full of EFAs and provided energy etc. So I started taking a large spoonful a day. Unintended benefit: sluggish digestion solved. I haven’t added up all the money we are saving but I do thank Kressler for helping me to get over some really chronic problems. Finally, could Doctors PLEASE stop telling people that their problems are due to age? I was, like 32, for Pete’s sake, when I first heard this. My 80 plus year old friend says she wants to paste them every time she hears this. In my case, the problems really were not age, but a series of digestive troubles that began when I was in my teens. Medicines like Prevacid are one size fits all, very lucrative and not always necessary. BTW, the reason I trusted Chris Kressler and wanted to try his suggestions was that he is not selling anything. I’m glad I did. Cheers!

  61. Karl Andersen says

    I am 16 I have heartburn almost everyday and I have modys (maturity onset diabetes of the youth) it it’s getting worse every day. My angroconologysr said stop drinking milk. It’s worse. I need help I feel I can just drink a glass of water and it will spill threw holes in my assofogus. Please help!! Email me at surfer pro11@gmail.com

  62. rob hartel says

    I just read your article on heartburn/GERD and was very surprised,and now,very upset with my local doctor! I have had these problems for quite some time,so I went to my doctor about it….he prescribed two meds (Omeprazole and Ranitidine) for this problem,and told me I would have to take them indefinetely. I have been on them for a few years now,and still have the problems daily…after reading this,I now know why! I have suspected that this ‘cure’ was all about big pharma making money! I would really appreciate any more info you could provide on this subject and any advice you would be comfortable giving!
    Thank you!
    Rob H.

  63. Greg says

    Ok, so this is how it works.

    You get reflux, because your sphincter that opens between the stomach and small intestine is not opening properly. Why, because your stomach for some reason is not producing enough acid. (I think maybe stress for eg, has used up all the acid because you’ve been activating it too much so when the meal arrives there is not enough acid)

    It may seem like there is too much acid, this is because it starts going up your esophagus, which is not used to even weak acid in the stomach and you get the reflux pain. It might seem really acidic, but actually its not acidic enough for your stomach and that’s the big problem.

    So the solution really is, increase the stomach acid, to make the sphincter open in time, so that your stomach doesn’t overflow.

    So what does everyone do, make the stomach more alkaline, either with bicarb soda with chewable tablets or proton pump inhibitors (PPI) or H2 inhibitors. Sure it gives you quick relief, but it doesn’t solve the problem and get you stuck in a cycle that is hard to get out of, unless you need healing for some damage somewhere, but sometimes the reflux is the damage and that’s what needs to be stopped.

    So what happens when you use PPI, you make your stomach more basic, by stopping all the acid producing cells, then your esophagus feels better because its not getting burnt all day long with an overflowing stomach.

    This is ok for someone who drinks beer and coke all day long and eats rubbish food (which is very acidic) they need this drug because they are probably actually making their stomach too acid as well as overflowing it with acid food.

    But for people that have a bit of mild reflux, PP2 messes you up, as you get a short term cure, but then its hard to get off, as if you stop it, your stomach cells are not really working, so you get reflux rebound as some activate, as the stomach isn’t opening into the small intestine properly yet so you start to get reflux again.

    So, when I stopped my PP2, since I eat really good food, I found I was getting terrible reflux, a lot worse then before, and also the food wouldn’t go down, it took hours for the stomach to open and release the food it was terrible.

    The way I actually fixed it, was to drink Coke! pH of approx 3.4? The way I though it up, was it was 5 hours since lunch and I couldn’t even drink water as my stomach wouldn’t go down with reflux. I drank slowly 600ml of coke, and my stomach emptied. So next dinner, I drank some coke before hand, then drank coke with the meal and then some after and the reflux and the stomach emptying problem began to stop.

    So the coke made the stomach more acidic, and this prompts the spincter in the small intestine to open faster as it thinks digestion is complete, this releases the stomach contents into the small intestine, which in turn, stops the stomach overflowing into the esophagus, causing the burn and pain. After drinking the coke and meal, I took a spoon full of Manuka Honey to help the healing process of the Esophagus.

    So I think, I’m going to do some experiments now, when eating a really rich meal, my theory is that you get reflux, because it takes too much acid to digest the food, so you run out of acid, and then the stomach doesn’t empty and then you get reflux because its overflows into the esophagus. So maybe a drink of coke can help prevent a heart burn at night time later?

    Everyone’s situation inside could be different, and coke might not be good for some people, but I’m just saying what worked for me, as it was really really hard to get off the PPI, but the crazy thing is Coke saved me. So to me all those Bicarb tablets and PPI are stupid as they don’t fix the problem, unless you have a massive erosion somewhere which needs healing, that’s why I’m saying maybe this is not your problem so you should seek pro advice, as I probably have no idea what I’m talking about…

    I guess you can use HCL tablets, but that seemed really risky to me, so I tried Coke as I knew how bad it was for you due to the high pH. Funny since I think my problem was that I was too healthy, and got a bit stressed. And eating too healthy just made it worse and worse as my foods were too alkaline and this made my stomach not open and made the reflux worse and worse.

  64. says

    Thanks for your information regarding GERD. This information has helped me, as within the past month and a half, in being able to reverse and control the GERD that came upon me within the past year. I am a 71 year old male that was a bit overweight for my build (184 lbs.) Slouched at the computer and drank more beer and red wine that I needed as well as eating more carbs than necessary. After cutting carbs, gluten free and nearly no grains I am 165 and running 5K’s again – using HCL w/pepsin – 4 caps with early dinner – no late evening snacks and 1 glass of red wine for dinner. Calcium citrate supplement after meals with digestive enzyme most times. Have found unsalted almonds useful as well as high quality sea salt. Using high quality probiotics as well. Had GERD cough and daily acid reflux. I feel that I have it all under control – also have been able to stop calcium channel blocker that I was on for 5 years – caused my ankles to swell and also probably contributed to esophagus disorder – changed to an ace inhibitor for about 10 and saw the side effects-cough is one major one, stopped that and now my blood pressure is better than it has been for 5 years. 122/76 yesterday. I filled the Dr.s prescription for Prilosec as I was feeling awful – so close to taking it but kept reading the potential side effects and just couldn’t take it. I stuck with the HCL and kept increasing the amounts till I reach 4 at dinner. I am so glad that I followed the suggested recommendations that I found here and by other nutritionists. I write this not so much for me but for all of you who suffer from GERD and from taking blood pressue meds that can help but also can really hurt you. I know a friend that has been on Prilosec for over 10 years and claims not side effects or has not been bothered by any. I can’t believe that undigested food in the stomach can be in anyway healthy for long term. I trust I am not speaking too prematurely but for now I am grateful for the may sites that proclaim alternative solutions to the major pharmaceuticals that the doctors are so quick to prescribe. It does take some effort to accomplish this but in the end it is quite doable without resorting to harmful drugs.

    • Dave says

      Hi Edward, so how are you doing now after following the recommended suggestions? Just curios to know because I have similar problems as you. Your advice will help me get over my daily heartburn. Regards

      • says

        Not totally well as I had hoped but still following the protocol.My primary issue now is a reflux cough but I am hopeful that continuing to do what has been working will eventually resolve that and the acid reflux in total. A very good paper is at http://www.medicalmasterclass.com/Relux%20cough%20explanation.htm about the cough. I can live with the way I am at this point – I still have times of day that I feel the cough urge more than others. Chewing almonds, some food in the stomach will usually cause that to dissipate. It really is a fairly complex issue as all of the digestive system including the nose and ears is connected and related. . . so patience and keep researching. Best

  65. Trish says

    I felt much better when I was adding a digestive enzyme to my protocol. Hcl or Pritease.

    The problem is that I have a small ulcer at the base of my esophagus. Twice after taking the Protease containing enzyme supplement the capsule either burst or merely opened immediately after taking it and I was choking and coughing up blood. After researching, I found that Hcl and/or Protease containing enzyme supplements are best to be avoided if one has an ulcer.

    I am taking a digestive enzyme supplement without either currently. But without the Hcl or the Protease my other digestive symptoms are flairing.

    I’m gluten free (including all grains), and dairy free (including caisen and whey), and basically eat steamed vegetables, bone broth, vegetable soups, split pea or lentil soups, and organic animal protein. I can stomach raw foods, but somehow they bother my lymph glands and/or thyroid if that’s at all possible, so I cut them out of my diet.

    I had a stool test done that showed very low levels of pancreatic enzymes. So I’m currently taking a 15 billion mixed strain probiotic and an enzyme supplement with amylase and lipase, plus I’m taking 2 1,000mg capsules of Glutamine daily. And I have LPR.

    Any advice on what to do for the small ulcer at the base of my esophagus as well as the lack of appropriate Hcl levels? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  66. David Thor says

    Very interesting article!
    If I may I’d like to share with you all the hell that has been this past year for me.
    I am (or was) an active 32 yr old male, loves the outdoors and just being alive.
    Today I can’t work, don’t go out for long periods and can’t make any future plans out of fear of my condition.
    It started with a horrible vertigo attack out of nowhere, followed by an ambulance ride to the hospital.
    Now 11 months later (to make a very long and hard story shorter) I have been to numerous doctors and specialist (GP, ENT, Optometrist, Dentist, chiropractor etc…) desperately seeking answers with no luck.
    My main symptoms are dizziness and extreme fatigue as well as headaches, numb/tingling hands and an overall fog-head feeling. I feel like I have become my own doctor so to say and after putting two and two together I arrived at this website. Before my attack, as well as currently, I had suffered from heartburn for years as well as chronic diarrhea. I never felt like I needed to seek medical attention for these problems and settled for antacids and trying different diets. Now however, I’m wondering if I might be suffering from some vitamin deficiency (B-12). Perhaps I am unable to absorb necessary nutrients due to my constant bathroom trips. I am slightly puzzled however because I have had blood work done without my GP suggesting any problems. (I have read that accurate b-12 tests are a little more complex, but its hard to criticize a doctor :/ )
    If you have any insight or suggestions I would appreciate them so very much!
    I would like to thank you before hand for answering all the people here and providing answers to those with none.

  67. murali says

    i have severe middle chest pain and some times in my back and some times at my upper stomach, i feel my chest is so tight and lots of pain but it not pains continously. i cant concentrate on my works on behalf of this pain. i just confused either it is heart problem or acidity?

  68. Anonymouse says

    I’ve been suffering from acid reflux since I was 13 years old, tried all the medications the doctors could think of with unsatisfactory results and an unsustainable drain on my families and my own income after I became an adult. I’m now 28 years of age and I can tell you honestly that the best, easiest and cheapest remedy I’ve found for acid indigestion/reflux/gerd is a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. I recommend you just take it like medicine and chase it with some water, it will provide relief for at least a couple hours of not the rest of the day depending on what you eat. If it’s too much for your tongue you can mix the vinegar with some water but to me that’s just stretching out an unpleasant thing rather than just getting it done. It’s cheap, effective and doesn’t cause bone loss like those purple pills the pharm companies have been shoving at us for years. I recommend organic apple cider vinegar from your local healthfood stood as it has so many vitamins and nutrients in it but regular old distilled white or apple cider vinegar from the grocery store is just as effective. Also I’ve found sleeping on your left side
    helps tremendously reduce my instances of waking up with fire in my throat and vocal cords. Hope this post helps some people, I know how terrible it is to live in pain and fear your favorite foods.

  69. John Burns says

    Ok guys … you need to read this and Chris … I’m curious to see a reply to this question as this has not been asked by anyone else before to which im surprised.

    I myself suffer from daily GERD acid reflux ect however here’s the part I dont understand;

    If you’re saying that acid reflux is caused by TOO LITTLE stomach acid then why do PPI drugs resolve our problems and cure our symptoms? Surely if the problem was too little stomach acid then simply by taking drugs to REDUCE stomach acid would make the problem worse, right? It’s logical.

    This for me flaws this theory. PPI’s are desiged to reduce stomach acid …. so you would expect them to make the reflux worse by further reducing acid?

    Also, people on here say tomatoes, coffee and orange juice all contribute to reflux, well, these foods actually spike acid production, so again, you would think that eating high acid foods that promote acid secretion would actually help the problem, not make it worse.

    I am still to buy into the whole too little stomach acid causes reflux, think about it using logic.

    I would appreciate some feedback and an answer from Chris. Thanks.

    John

    • says

      John – great question but . . . there can be many causes for acid reflux – one is calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure. Blocks calcium which in turn softens or relaxes the tissue around the blood vessels – also the esophagus which then is relaxed and stays open when it should be closed – that is only one cause. There can be more and combined even. Some Dr.s agree that “trigger” foods that are acidic may not be a problem but a hiatal hernia – that allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. The hcl with pepsin seems to let you know if you have low acid by doing the simple test. It seems logical that as one ages the production of many hormones and other body functions reduces so that the reduction of stomach acid in the aging makes some sense. The HCL and taking calcium citrate to retone the esophagus after 5 years of damage by amlodapene seems to be reversing my acid reflux issues. The simple solution is of course to take PPi’s and hope they help. I understand for some cases they just make things worse or have no significant improvement. I think if you read as much as you can from as many sources as you can you will find answers to some of your questions.

  70. alanna says

    What about LPR? Silent Reflux? Do the same principles apply? I am seeing a naturopath because I don’t want to take PPI’s. An ENT diagnosed me with GERD, (and prescribed prevacid) but my symptoms are more specific to LPR. I’ve been on HGL/Pepsin, and probiotics for about 10 days now. (And since being on them,. have developed the cough, not sure if that is related or what).

    This all started with a sore throat, that I’ve had for 2 months now. Initially, I had no symptoms. The throat pain seemed to feel better in the morning and worse as day progressed. Now I have a cough and and throat clearing. It doesn’t seem to matter if I eat or don’t eat, the burning still occurs. My diet has been extremely clean for 3 months (I had cut out caffeine, sugar, chocolate, before symptoms started); have lost around 45 pounds.

    It’s only been 2 months of constant pain and I’ve been really down about it all. Especially when I read so very little results with treating silent reflux. I don’t want meds and I don’t want surgery. Any advice? Anyone have any idea about how long a natural remedy may take to start feeling better?

    Thanks

    • Daniela says

      Hello, my 16 year old daughter has exactly the same symptoms as you. She’s on omeprazole now 40mg per day but it does not help. Diet totally clean, does not make a difference. ENT wants to continue meds but I am really against it. She on them now 6 weeks! GI doctor wants to do a chest xray and then gastroscopy.

      Did you find out anything else?

      Daniela

      • Anna says

        I was on PPI’s for over 10 years. I am now a 35 year old mother and reflux has been my nighmare, but I’ll tell you what. Going grain and dariy free has changed my life!! I have always had a clean diet, but filled with grains and dairy. Chris’ recomendation to go on the GAPS diet for reflux really does work. One of the best life changing books for me was “Breaking the Visious Cycle” – by Elaine Gottschall. This book along with the GAPS book are a must read if you are to really understand reflux. It will not cure refulx over night, but give it a couple of months and you will see a difference. Your daughter is lucky she has only been a PPI for 6 weeks, because 6 weeks will turn into 10 years. (Doctors have not concerns with PPI’s. I have seen many and all will give you a year perscription without any reservation. My GI doctor told me he would like to keep me on them for life. I asked him what about bone damage, he said, “We will give you a bone drug like Boniva to counter the effets.” REALLY – you want to kill me!!) If you can order both books, read them in their entirety and then follow the diets, your daughter will have success. Right now is the perfect time to address this, because if 6 weeks turns into years, the LES valve may become too atophied for such a great remedy and she will most likely have the need for a Nissen. Now is the time to go grain free and dariy free and Elaine’s book will give you a perfect understanding as to why. It is working for me and I believe it will work for your daugher, but you can not make mistakes with the diet. You must do it 100%. Good luck!!

        • Anna says

          Oh, I failed to mention, I had reflux so severe, I had asthma induced asthma. However, the GI doctor refused to think it had anything to do with my digestion and reflux and the pulmonologist insisted it had everything to do with reflux. The GI doctor told me, “Doctors like to point fingers.” Doctors don’t know anything! My asthma was literally diagnosed as uncontrolled asthma. I was miserable!! I finally took things into my own hands and read the books, began the diet and am finally seeing success with the reflux and the asthma. Do the diet 100% doctors will just drive you crazy. I should know, I have seen the many and the best. Diet will change your life more than anything you could discover from a doctor when it comes to reflux. This is my opinion.

          • Daniela says

            Thank you so much. I will check up on the book. We also bought “Dropping Acid” by Dr. Kaufman which gives a lot of recipes but was not the biggest help since we understand pretty well what types of foods to eat and not eat. Most of the symptoms that she suffers from seem to be related to LPR (silent reflux) more than GERD itself. Therefore, the omeprazole she has been taking for weeks now does not give her immediate relief in that moment because she does not have bad heart burn. She has constant clearing of the throat, slime, a dry cough and a sour taste in her mouth a lot of the time. So, it is clear at this point that the PPIs do not help with this illness – at least not what she has. Did your GI doctor recommend a gastroscopy or pH monitoring? Did you have one? This is what we seem to be looking at in the near future. Let me know and hope you are okay.
            Daniela

            • Anna says

              Yes, the list of tests I have gone through are many. I have had 3 endoscopies, 2 manometry tests, 2 pH Impedance studies, 2 gastric emptying studies, and 4 chest x-rays in dealing with this challenge. I too used to clear my throat and even have a stuffy nose from the severe reflux. What I have learned is that at the end of the day, after going through all of these tests, is that the only help the doctor can give is PPI therapy along with H2 blocker therapy and or the Nissen surgery. So, it is sad, because you go to all of the trouble and expense of these tests and the outcome is really the same as if you had not gone through so many tests, and that is medication.

              Because my challenge went on for so many yearrs, I used many natural remedies, including aloe vera, chlorophyll, DGL, HCL, apple cider vinegar, manuka honey, varieties of enzyme therapy, calcium, pro-biotics, etc. I learned how to culture vegetables, make coconut kefir, juiced cabbage, etc. I even called into the radio show of Dr. Jonathan V. Wright and spoke to him about what I should do and he gave me two recommendations, he told me to stop eating anything that may be an allergy food and to take d-Limonene. I found the d-Limonene somewhat helpful, as all of these remedies are somewhat helpful. I was tested twice for H-Pylori, and did not have it, but took a months supply of mastic gum, just incase. Anyway, as you can see, I really tried to find answers and tired everything and still use many of these remedies daily.

              However, nothing, not any of these remedies even touched my situation like did diet. Getting rid of grains and dairy for a period of time allows the body to become back in balance. At the end of the day, after all of my efforts, the simplicity of diet has been the best answer. The GAPS diet is not simple, it requires a lot of work and there is a huge learning curve. However, what seemed to be overwhelming at first, such as making bone broth, has now become very easy and going without grains has become easy too.

              The root of any reflux problem, silent or not silent will lie in the gut. It really does and the book, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” and “GAPS” really help us to understand why. For so many years I denied that the GAPS diet would be that effective. I just kept trying different types of remedies and there was small amounts of help with each one, but not nearly the help as removing grains has been. It is hard to see the correlation, but it really has been all the difference.

              If the LES valve is loose, or if a hiatal hernia is present, that needs to be taken into consideration. But for your daughter, who is young and probably has fairly descent HC levels, one year on the GAPS diet and she may feel good again and actually have better health at 18 than she did at 16.

              I am sorry your daughter is struggling, but it sounds like she has a wonderful mother that is looking for healthy answers, so that she will not become one stuck on medication for life. You will never look at the body and life the same way after reading both books. You will be forever changed and begin to see links to all health problems that begin in the gut and therefore need to be healed in the gut.

              Much luck to you on your journey. You will find success, because you are way ahead of others and are searching for truth and help.

              Let me know if you have any other questions.

              • Alanna says

                Hi Anna,

                I have a couple of questions. How long did it take you on the GAPS diet before you felt relief? Did you have a burning throat?

                I was off dairy, grains for 6 weeks when my symptom of sore throat appeared. So I do not know if this was something that just popped up, or could acid have been hitting it for a while before the sore throat? Seems to me that not much acid in the throat would cause it to hurt in the short term. I wish I knew when/why this started happening?

                I tried Dr. Kaufman’s low acid diet and hated it. No fruit, lots of bread and grains. I have to look into the GAPS. I haven’t eaten much in the way of grains or dairy for the past 4 months….

                I’ve tried just about everything you have listed (in the short time that I’ve had this)….

                Are you pain free symptom free now? How long was the process? (I know you said you had reflux for 10 years; was it GERD or LPR?)

                Thanks,
                alanna

              • Daniela says

                Thank you, Anna, for all your good feedback. I’ll await your answers to Alanna, as I would be asking the same questions ;)
                in addition, I’d be interested to find out the difference between the GAPs diet and the paleo – I guess I can look that up online.
                very best,
                Daniela

                • Anna says

                  I’ll try to answer the best I can. It took two months before I started noticing a difference on the GAPS diet; however, after the first month there was enough of a difference to feel excited to continue. Paleo has such a wide range of interpretation. Some people are 100% Paleo and some are 90% Paleo. I have now moved from the GAPS diet to an auto-immune Paleo diet, which is referred to as AIP. I have some auto-immune challenges as well, so that is the route I have chosen at this point. AIP is the strictest form of Paleo, but a healing diet for those who are not in good health. The best way to really get an in-depth understanding of the principles of living this way is to go back to that basic understand in “Breaking the Viscous Cycle”. If people choose to live Paleo, without a deeper understanding of the digestive tract and the influence on our health, I feel they are doing Paleo in the dark.

                  A few years ago, I worked with Dr. Thomas Cowan and here: http://fourfoldhealing.com/2007/11/08/gerd/ is a good article on GERD that helps begin an understanding. Dr. Cowan puts many of his patients on the GAPS protocol. Some Paleo people focus on organ meats and high pro-biotic foods, but I have met some that do not have a clear understanding of healing foods. That is why GAPS is important, it is similar to Paleo, but really focuses on healing the gut with foods. Large amounts of pro-biotics foods and supplements are critical in GAPS. Bone broth is a must! GAPS eventually can move you toward introducing grains again in the form of properly prepared, such as soaked or sprouted. Paleo is a life-style of a non-grain way of life. There is controversial here, but really I have felt it depends on the over-all health of the person as to whether grains can be a part of the diet again. With my health challenges, I may opt to stay on a GAPS diet the rest of my life, but for my children and family, I believe grains can and should be a part of a healthy diet. That is controversial.

                  I have never head of the doctor that you all referred to that encouraged grains and no fruit as part of a diet for different types reflux. That absolutely goes against all the science I have read. I don’t know if you have read Chris’ opinion on the pH myth, but another interesting thing that I understand is “…problems resulting in bacteria fermentation are: (1) production of excess amounts of short chain volatile fatty acids (organic acids); (2) lowering of the pH of the blood as these acids are absorbed; (3) over growth of bacteria as the undigested carbohydrates provide food for bacterial proliferation; (4) mutation of some bacteria such as E. coli because of the exchange in pH in their colonic environment; and (5) excess toxin production caused by the overgrowth of some pathological bacteria.” From “Breaking the Visious Cycle”. You see why you need to cut of the food supply to these organisms. That is the only way you can change pH, not by adding grains – that would never work.

                  There are many blogs out there that are helpful with healing diets. There are many new Paleo cookbooks that have been released this year, which all would help you follow the GAPS diet tastefully. I have ordered cookbooks off the GAPS website and Lucy’s Kitchen has good ones as well. Amazon will lead you to the best Paleo cookbooks and that will lead you to the best blogs about eating and living this way. There are also many GAPS blogs that have been very helpful for me.

                  Now, depending on your overall health and the root reason of your reflux, my good friend is a naturopath and his favorite remedy for healthy people is just plain old HCL. Dr. Mercola has a good article to help you know how to use HCL or find a natural healer that can walk you through using that supplement. You do need to take it responsibly, but it can be incredibly effective.

                  I hope this helps. As you begin your search, you’ll be surprised the resources that will come your way. One blog will lead you to another, just take the time to read both the books I recommended first, it will save you a lot of time in understanding the principles.

                  Good luck on your journeys to health. Healing takes time. This I know from personal experience, but people are changing their health with these healing diets. One of my favorite motivating TED talks is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc by Dr. Terry Wahls. She will motivate you to make huge dietary changes. I love to show my friends and family here talk.

                  Much luck!!

      • Alanna says

        Hi Daniela,

        First off, I hope for wellness for your daughter, as this is a miserable condition. So prayers for healing to her. Regarding my condition, it has been 3 months with no improvement yet. I am still seeing a naturopath, as I did not want to take the PPI’s. So far we have tried probiotics and HCL-Peptin, plus digestive enzymes. Now we are trying DGL, and some other herbal remedies. I have also tried a myriad of other tweaks and things I’ve read about. For instance, the Acid Reflux diet by Dr. Kaufman….I’ve read a book (the only book) solely about LPR. In my case, I have not had a diagnosis based on scientific testing; it was just a look down the throat. They will not do further tests, unless you do the drug trial.

        LONG Story short, I’ve done a lot of research. What I understand is that GERD, is more responsive to diet changes, and drug treatment than LPR. Also, it seems that what works is varied and individual.

        My advice to you is continue to research LPR (and Gerd), and look for alternative remedies. The mainstream medical system at this point is only addressing the symptoms, not the root problem/cure. Taking the PPI’s opens a doorway to more problems and dependence on the drugs (if they work). Other therapies, may be helpful, (naturopath, acupuncture, yoga. diet). I have read accounts of many people curing their Gerd/LPR with diet. (Although in my situation, it does not seem to matter what I eat).

        Best of luck to you. Keep us posted on your results :)

        • Daniela says

          Hello Alanna,
          thanks for your feedback. We are on the same page. We also have the book by Dr.Kaufman, we thought it was quite depressing, actually. It made my daughter cry as it pointed out little cure and help for LPR and often leading to cancer etc.
          We are stopping the omerpazole as its not helping at all. It seems also, like you said, that diet does not matter, really. She feels the same way after an ice cream cone as she does after a raw kale salad. Same symptoms. Some days better, some days worse. The GI doctor wants a chest X-ray and gastroscopy, which we are considering.
          Please keep me posted if you come up with anything that helps!! Its much appreciated.

          thanks a lot and blessings to you.
          Daniela

          • Marina says

            Hello Daniela, Alanna –

            I have LPR and I was on GAPS for two and a half years. Unfortunately, it did not help with the condition. Or, should I say I was only able to eat vegetables and protein and fat/organ meats and broth.
            Perhaps, I did not do that right, perhaps LPR is not only diet, perhaps..something elase or all of the above.
            I eneded up depressed from no ability to move forward with anything beyond typical autoimmune protocol. I did are eggs – a lot, but still had some eosinophilia…Any deviation will bring back the symptoms.
            The diet worked very well for sugar swings and migraine and some other conditions, but not with my LPR or CC. The diet was very important life journey and learning experience, but…I ended up with a few medications and at least for now chose to be on med and have some dietary releif. Now, should that be someone around who could tell that this is my life, my limits and that is the way to go – and do have certain “cheating”, so move from 100 % diet to 95%. But I was assured that I just need to go to stage 1 and start all over again. Probably. I did. But eneded up with lots of issues. One could say that I stressed myself out for nothing. That could be also true. But ideal world did not work for me…For that cause. But did lot of good things. I am now eating everything, but consider reduce and then, perhaps eliminate grains and dairy. If I could as I do feel worse – body ache, etc. But emotionally i am much better. As far as Dropping Acid…by Dr. Koufman. I know people who eats grains and feels quite fine…I know who is able to find a balance…So it is impossible to say who is right who is wrong here. Diet is very powerful tool but this is only part of the story. It is by the way four fold healing….
            Best of health and luck!

              • Tom83 says

                Hi. I am able to get my LPR under control by using Nexiam (Nexium) daily. At one point I have also been able to get rid of it entirely, and my GERD, by eating nothing but raw fruit, vegetables and green smoothies for about 10 days. I wanted to transition to a raw vegan diet, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep it up, even though it definitely helped!! Right now I’m trying to find an approach that works but is more doable for me. Thought this info might be useful to you and other LPR sufferers out there. All the best,

                Tom

                • Alanna says

                  Thanks Tom! I am glad diet changes gave you relief. With my situation, diet does not seem to make a difference at all. But thanks for adding your thoughts. Best, Alanna

        • Daniela says

          Hello Alanna,
          One more thing I wanted to ask you, are those enzymes working for you? I have my daughter on probiotics as well as Green Vibrance every day. I don’t know what DGL is?
          The ENT “diagnosed” her very quickly, even before meds. Looked down her nose into her throat and said she has GERD, put her on omeprazole. That was in May. It has done nothing! ENT keeps prolonging the treatment, promising it will eventually help, just has to be “taken longer”.
          What are your thoughts on this? You don’t believe the meds help for this, right? Again, they have not helped in Aly’s case so far.
          thanks again!
          Daniela

          • alanna says

            Hi Daniela,

            DGL is a licorice extract that is supposed to promote healing. I am not sure about the enzymes…I have not had significant improvement yet. Regarding the meds., they surely help to stop acid in some cases; promoting healing. But I am not an advocate of masking the cause. Not to mention that I am a nursing mom.

            MY naturopath thinks I may have a hiatal hernia. The ruling out process going this natural route is a longer path.

            I understand what you mean about your daughter getting depressed. The other LPR book I read was the same, (and that was written by a doctor who had LPR). Within this process, though, we have to not believe the label of no cure. This thing came on suddenly and it can go suddenly (as far as I’m concerned).

            I am going to see a bodytalk practitioner next week. (More alternative medicine). I have to drive an hour 15 minutes one way to get there.

            If you would like to stay in touch for moral support etc., email me at aswenster@gmail.com.
            I believe we all need support in this.

            Blessings,
            Alanna

          • alanna says

            PS. I was diagnosed the same exact way. This is very common. Then, they try the drug trial to confirm diagnosis.

            I can email you the research I’ve done if you want to look at it. I’ve compiled a list of possible causes, and possible cures (that have worked for some)

            • Daniela says

              Thank you so much Alanna, I will email you. What do you think about about a gastroscopy? Have you had one? Her GI recommended doing a gastroscopy and inserting a small pH monitor in her esophogus to see what the pH is for a day or two. We are also most likely getting off the PPI tonight and getting HCL supplements and she is already taking pure aloe vera juice mixed with water every day and following the diet as well as she can. Let me know what you think and hope you are doing okay.
              Thanks for your suggestions,
              Daniela

        • alanna says

          Hi Anna,

          Thank you for your feedback. I have read just about everything about GERD/LPR that I can get my hands on.; much of it conflicting. I tried HCL-Pepsin, for a month with little effect. Of course, I don’t know if that was enough time, or if the dosage was currect (prescribed by my naturopath). I am eating very clean, juicing – cut out sugar, processed food, coffee, grains. I would say I’m pretty much on a low carb diet. However, I’m vegetarian.

          Were you diagnosed with LPR or Gerd? It seems from what I have read that LPR is much harder to treat with diet/lifestyle changes.

          I am glad that you were successful. Thanks for your information!

          • Anna says

            I am not a doctor, just a mom, but I’ll share with you what I have learned. I have been diagnosed with LRP and GERD, if that is possible. I have seen so many doctors in 4 different states over the years, that I have had the opprotinty to have both diagnoses. I have also been diagnosed with a nutcrakcer esophogus, which has been frusterating as well. Really, I have yet to meet anyone who has the degree of health challenges that I have, but there is a possitive story, because healing diets are effective and helping me tremendously.

            In the link to the Duke University study that I posted in a previous post, they went on very few carbohydrates a day. Mainly their diet consisted of meat and vegetables. The success in the study was impressive. I repect people’s choice to be vegetarian, if it is for religious purposes, but if it is for health reasons, I feel they are making a big mistake. There are many who have been vegitarian for a decade now, and are coming out and saying it wrecked their health. Most end up with nutrinal deficencies. On the Healthy Home Economist blog, which is a geat blog by the way, she writes a couple of articls on celebrities ditching vegitarism to get healthy, one being Angelina Jolie. Another bloger that writes about vegitarism leaving her nutritionally deprived, is the lady from auto-immune paleo. My opinion is that one of the authorites in nutritional information comes from the Weston A. Price foundation. They would never endorse vegetarism.

            Now let me explain what I know about hydrochloric acid and meat. Our bodies are smart, but are lazy, if we allow them to be. Our bodies know how much HCL to produce to digest our foods and close our LES valve. If we do not have enough HCL, the LES valve does not get the message to close properly. This is why HCL supplimentation is so effective for so many. It helps the body retrain to give the proper signals. Quailty meat for example, takes good levels of HCL to break it down and extract the nutrients, if you are eating a vegitarism diet, I am just assumeing your body is not producting proper amounts of HCL. People who suppliment with HCL may need it for quite some time, but I would say the majority of people should try get off of it after 6 months. When you take HCL, you are retraining your body, teaching it how much HCL to make. Your are helping to create that flow of acid that triggers the LES valve to shut. If you have a hietal hernia, there are many chiroprators that work to fix that. That should always be tried before sugery. Taking bitters and cabbage juice 1/2 hour before eating also helps to create more HCL.

            People that choose to be a vegetarian rely on beans for protein. Some paleo followers eat beans, but many do not. The GAPS diet categorizes beans as a carbohydrate, which is not allowed, because it feeds bacteria and makes gut dysbiosis much worse, which for some may be part of the reason for reflux. The only beans you can have on the GAPS diet are white (navy) lima beans and then legumes. For someone to successfully do a healing diet, they can not be a vegetarian. I have not worked with the author of this great article, because his waiting list is huge. I do follow his podcasts and read emails. I am assuming that those he works with that are vegitarian, and not practicing for religious purposes, that would be the first thing he would change. If you do produce normal amounts of HCL, try some grass-fed steak and give that HCL something to do.

            Like I said, I’m just a mom, but these are my thoughts. Much luck!

  71. more prescriptions says

    It seems that it is a serious industry under the heartburn condition. I can not belive that there were actually more than 60 million prescriptions for in back in 2004. It makes me think that now there are more than double….

    • PJ says

      I believe pharm companies are taking us for a ride! My husband & I both got Lyme disease-he had Medicare & I had no insurance so I searched for Doxy on Internet & people were saying to get Bird or fish biotics. Sure enough there was Doxy, ciprofloxacin. Amoxicillin & more. I ordered a bottle & when it came it was identical to my husbands medicine-same color, same 4digit number on the pill, same dosage. Ever wonder why animals like dogs take the same meds? It’s a racket no doubt.

  72. James says

    Hello, I’m a 19 year guy and about a month ago I started getting shortness of breath then a few days later I got indigestion or heartburn. I took some antacids (liquid) and it got rid of it. I still went to the doctor and told him this and he just put me on a month of taking heartburn medication. I would get burning in the back of my throat sometimes too. I just took my last pill today and I’m still having shortness of breath. Not really sure what my next step is I’m just tired of it and want it gone. I’ve never had persistence heartburn neither. Also sometimes ill have to clear my throat and spit up mucus, but that’s it. I haven’t had any sign of heartburn in weeks just shortness of breath and occasionally clearing my throat. any replys would be helpful thanks.

  73. dianedraytonbuckland says

    I never had GERD or any skin rash problems etc., my entire life until after 4 & Half years of water fluoridation -which is in everything we drink and through the food chain and we have to bathe in it also – water fluoridation is the dangerously corrosive hazardous waste pollutants from phosphate fertilizer industries and co-contaminants.

    “Physiologic Conditions Affect Toxicity of Ingested Industrial Fluoride,” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, vol. 2013, Article ID 439490, 13 pages, 2013. Richard Sauerheber, doi:10.1155/2013/439490. Available online at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/439490/

    Fluoridation = What you are drinking, bathing in and it’s all through the food chain:-

    Hydrofluoric Acid – Acutely toxic chemical
    http://www-esh.fnal.gov/CourseHandout_Mat/Hydrofluoric_Acid_Safety_Handout.pdf

    Explaining the truth about “water fluoridation” and the phosphate mining industry   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEZ15m-D_n8&feature=share

    FLUORIDATION CHEMICALS
    http://afamildura.wordpress.com/fluoridation-chemicals/

    Fluosilicic Acid. TOXNET profile from Hazardous Substances Data Base  http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides/fluosilicic.acid.toxnet.hsd.htm

    ~~~~~~~~

    Fluoride Class Action http://fluoride-class-action.com/what-is-in-it
    ~~~
    Floyd Maxwell Chemical Engineer
    Fluoride from a Chemical Engineer’s perspective
    http://y2u.be/4_U0A27L1A8

    ~~

    http://www.abilene-rc.com/newsdetail.asp?article_id=1051&HL=News%3ASafety+issue+closes+city+fluoride+room

  74. luis says

    I drink apple cider vinegar and straight shots 3 times a day and for 3 weeks now I feel so acidic and gerd like symptoms. Has any one done that or am I the only idiot? Please any advices

    • tori says

      I think it’s better to sip it slowly in a glass of water, not drink it in shots. I have never drank it in shots. I have taken tablets, they are OK.

  75. Terry says

    Chris,
    I have been reading over all of this and a bit confused. I am 54 had upper GI yesterday and was diagnosed with a medium sz hiatus hernia with moderate patch inflammation . Diagnosis erosive gastritis and hiatus hernia. Recommended Nexium and misoprostol. No caffeine,chocolate,spicy, alcohol or high acidic food all of my favorites

    I was having a routine colonoscopy and thought a good idea to have the upper done. I do not have heartburn. The only symptoms are excessive gas and occasional bloating after a meal.
    What would you recommend for my situation? I just need to heal the esophogus and the hernia I think
    Thanks,

    Terry

  76. Ney says

    Hi dr..for about four weeks now i do experience frequently regurtitation of watever i eat or drink..i also feel like somthing is stuck in my throat and oesophugus and feel it more wen i eat or drink and it is always there..also i had upperstomach fullness even aftr little meal but it went off…i feel pain and in the left side of ma chest and ma back….last week u had endoscopy and wat was found is mild gastrits in stomach and duodenal ulcer….was given ant acid and omniprazole and panadol but no relief…am becoming very nervous….what this can be…any remmondation please…..i look forward hearing from you

  77. Amie says

    I am confused by the use of Betaine HCL? I have read a lot of information on how to use it. Is it only to be used when you eat a protein meal? or at every meal? After meals I feel like I swallowed a rock (no matter what I eat) or even if I drink too much water at once. I have Celiac, Type 1 diabetes (40 years) Hashimotos and have been treated for GERD for many years off and on. PPI meds do not work. The pressure in my stomach is so bad that some days I can only take small breathes as my diaphragm is being jammed up into my lungs, I feel like I need to be stuck with a pin! I am also sure I have leaky gut as I have sore joints and muscles, anemia that has not gotten better on the Celiac diet and other symptoms. So, is there is a step by step instruction on how to get started on Betaine HCL? I was taking 2 capsules at each meal as directed on the bottle. On the second day I thought I had died and gone to heaven! The pressure had gone down considerably and I felt like my meals were going through my system better (I could hear it!) as well the pressure up through my shoulders had eased up too! On the third day I woke up in extreme pain and burning up to my nasal passages? I am not sure how to proceed at this point? I want to start the SCD soon but I am in the middle of moving and it would be hell to not have my own kitchen to start it properly but I would like to keep on the Betaine HCL if I can? any suggestions?

  78. Catherine York says

    Chris,

    Great article. I’m looking forward to reading the follow-up ones.

    My other half has been on Omaprazole since before I knew him – so more than five and a half years! Even before I met him, I was aware that this sort of medication was only supposed to be taken for a period of a few weeks to allow a stomach ulcer to heal, I asked him if he had – or had had – a stomach ulcer and he said that no, he didn’t think so…but he had the bacteria that caused it…or something. So I asked him had he been treated with antibiotics and he said he hadn’t! So he was prescribed a drug which would make his body less able to fight off the bacteria instead?! And is still taking it 6, 7 years or more later?!

    All he knows is that if he doesn’t take one, he suffers. I’ve tried to get him to understand what they’re doing to him, that it can’t possibly be a good thing to have low levels of stomach acid but he can’t see past the fact that it hurts if he misses a dose…

    Salt into the wound: I went to see my doctor a couple of days back. I’d had several bouts of gallstone pain (it’s been a problem, off and on, for 10 years but I’d had several bad bouts in close succession) and the last one had been followed by a night and a day of reflux – which was, as I was at pains to make clear to him, the first time I’d experienced any indigestion-like symptom in several years. I was asking for advice on lifestyle and diet to try and keep these symptoms under control and I was also a bit concerned about pancreas function/possible damage. So guess what?? He said (paraphrasing here), “Don’t eat fatty meals; let’s try you on these,” and handed me a prescription for Omeprazole! For goodness’ sake! I told him I would be reluctant to take it and explained why…he just flannelled and told me to keep the prescription and maybe give them a go if I changed my mind. No faith in the mainstream medical establishment at all: I believe they are trained, indirectly, by people who have an interest in making money (eg drug companies). Nice to see that your mission is to identify root causes of illness and seek to cure, rather than treating the symptoms with drugs and/or surgery – this is exactly in line with what has been a big bug-bear of mine for many years.

    Cheers again, Catherine

    PS My beloved sister-in-law is a GP and she knew nothing about gallstone attacks and biliary colic…

  79. Mark Hilbrink says

    Guys, this is great stuff. But I haven’t seen on here (altho admittedly I haven’t read EVERY comment!) anyone addressing the actual MECHANICS of acid reflux: namely the esophagus/sphincter muscle being OPEN, which ALLOWS the acid to come up in the first place! So how do we get this thing to close???

    I have recently weaned myself off the troublesome PPI’s (in my case, Omeprazole), but now have been REALLY SUFFERING from heartburn (acid buildup)! (I’m a 54-year-old, so maybe most bets are off, anyway…)

    I’ve tried the bed elevation trick (set that way for years), and have recently tried the ‘drink-quart-of-warm-water-at-once-and-jump-up-and-down’ trick, but to no avail. I’ve even seen folks recommending drinking apple cider vinegar for relief, too, which makes no sense to me, given that cider should be by its very nature ACIDIC!

    HELP!

    Mark H.

    • says

      I posted not long ago that HCL with pepsin helped me and that I felt better. Well I spoke a little to soon. My cough would not go away so I recultantly tried Prilosec that the doctor wrote for me. It seems to work great at 1 20 mg pill a day yet I countinued with pretty much the same diet. Even had a bit of beer and wine now and again. After 2 weeks it got worse, the relux so the doctor said 2 pills a day and it got really worse. I stopped that for a time and did feel better but was having more reflux and cough. I saw the doctor again and we agreed to have an endoscope which showed some stomach gastritis and a polyp in the stomach and some irregular color in the esophagus just above the Z line or junction to the stomach. All were biopsied and the only one a bit of a problem was the esophagus spot was Barretts which reflects some cells changing from esophagus cells to intestinal cells. It was non dysplasic and small as I understand. So again PPI”S but nexium and stronger, 40 ml per day. In addition I discovered that Pepsin the digestive enzyme from the stomach is what migrates into the esophagus and when acidified by anything over a ph of 5 or possibly even 6 ph can cause injury to the tissue. And the pepsin stay on in the esophagus. Apparently PPi’s only slightly reduce the pepsin while diminishing the stomach acid considerably. So while HCL can help with digestion I now wonder why we would add pepsin which seems to only add fuel the the fire as they say. So with the slight damage to my esophagus year scopes will be require to watch and see what happens to the Barretts tissue and if it progresses or stays the same or even a remote possibility that it could revert. The other possibility is that it could be LPR rather than GERD. That is in the upper airway. So according to Dr. Jamie Kaufman of the Voice Institute of New York who is the expert in the field of LPR, in her book STOPPING ACID, THE REFLUX DIET COOKBOOK AND CURE. Being very careful about diet can greatly improve ones condition. In fact her recommendation for Barretts is lifelong medication and a very alkaline diet-eating only foods that have a maximum PH of 6. As well as yearly or more frequently. There seem to be some new approaches to addressing Barrets like Radio Frequency Ablation to gently burn away the bad cells to allow for regrowth of the appropriate ones. So very long posting but that is where I am now – trying to follow those recommendations as well a juicing green to try to help rebuild cells etc. I am having a trans-nasal scope this coming week by an ENT specialist to see if that upper airway stuff has been involved in any damage. Sorry for the long post but that is what I have learned in the past month or so. Best to all who are suffering. By the way the UK version of Gaviscon is pretty helpful in stepping down from the PPIs and works for better sleep at night to. Have to search the inter net to get it from the UK as it is different from the US brand and his not supposed to be allowed to be shipped here. You can get it. Oh by the way calcium channel blockers – blood pressure medication, can cause acid reflux – I took one for 5 years and no doctor ever told me that could be a possible side effect. It causes weakening of the LES. It is also thought to affect the Lower Urinary track – relaxing some valve and causing leaking. Any questions I will try to answer. I have no stock or involvement with any of the products I have mentioned.Best to all. Edward

  80. Daniela says

    The put my 16 year old kid on 80mg Omeprazole now. 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night. Reluctantly, I agreed to a 4 week trial. In addition, she’s been given a steroid inhaler to take twice a day and another steroid to add to warm water for a saline nose rinse twice a day. My daughter has a dry cough all the time for the past 3 months at least and constant throat clearing for the past year!
    They had tried her on 40mg Omeprazole for 3 months and it did nothing! No relief. We have already changed her diet, no more dairy, now doctor wants grains out too. Its so hard for a teen to live this way. I hardly know what to cook anymore. We have not notices any change of symptoms with diet whatsoever. Ice cream or bowl of salad, she feel the same!
    its so frustrating, doctors don’t know.. we’ve seen about 5 different ENTs in New York City including Laryngologists, vocal cord specialists, sinus specialist, we’ve had her tested for allergies, all did nothing. I hate the meds and I do NOT want her on it for more than 4 weeks!

    Why does not one doctor know how to tell me what causes this??

    Daniela

    • Marina says

      Unfortunately, from what i know there is very little help out there for LPR and there is no understanding in medical community why PPIs of no help. Perhaps, some doctors know something that other do not, they do not always agree with each other and often sceptical of one over another treatment. It is very frustrating!
      I know people who work and live happily on PPIs for 20 years…Does it mean it is good? No one knows. But I am all into medical treatment now as there is no black and white thing. If all would be that easy then pharma already would have come up with the drug that promotes production of the stomach acid…So, it might be a combination of two worlds – diet/stress management and medical treatment. Once you know your diet 9only you could figure this out), treatment may gradually be taken down to a minimum or none.
      HCI did not help me at all…neither enzymes, nor the diet alone with pribiotics.

      Please, send me an email if you like to chat about this more: volchegm@gmail.com

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi Daniela, Why not try something natural as well as change of diet.. How about looking at your daughter’s digestion.. make sure it is working well.. I would guess it is suffering with such a large dose of PPI.. It may help to take Digestive Enzymes with each meal.. Also try Slippery Elm which can be put into a drink if preferred.. You could also try DGL chewable tablets.. all these things are available at the health store.. Hopefully you can work hard on these alternative therapies as you gradually pull away from the PPI’s.. Be very careful not to just stop the PPI’s, just lower the dose gradually. or you may get rebound..

  81. sujey says

    My son was born 7 weeks premature and is now almost 2months 8days adjusted and was diagnosed with acid reflux/gerd by pediatrician over the phone with no exams performed. He was put on Zantac twice a day .. I was extremely hesitant to give him medicine so young since I don’t even take medication for anything. I told ped that I didn’t want to give it to him and dr got mad at me. I cave and I have been giving for 2weeks now but I’m not sure that’s the problem . I cut all dairy , wheat, nuts soy and eggs out of my dietcause I think that’s what’s bothering him sincehe drinks formula 30% of thw time and breast milk 70% I noticed he gets a rash around his neck and on his eyelids. His ped GI also saw him and said that dairy cannot be problem since it’s rare to pass it down via breastmilk. I want to stop giving him medicine but don’t know what to do. He is so little and I don’t want him to suffer.

    • Alanna says

      Hi Sujey,

      Were you able to get a 2nd opinion from a specialist/ENT or GI doc? Another possibility is to see a D.O., instead of an M.D. b/c they often balance treatment, and don’t rush to taking the drugs. I don’t know your situation, but I would suggest seeking out a few specialists, and maybe an allergist as well.

      Best wishes for your son,
      alanna

      • sujey says

        Hi Alanna,
        I did see a pediatric GI for another opinion, he is the one who told me about dairy not being a problem bit he also didn’t performed any test on him just prescribed a stool softener . I’m feeding him Alimentum formula he seems to be doing a little better but he is soo gassy still and it bothers him.

        • alanna says

          Sujey,

          It’s heartbreaking when this is happening with your baby. I feel for you. I do not know what to recommend, other than what I would do. That is, maybe seek out D.O., naturopath – as they will look at less invasive remedies/root cause. Allergist., and perhaps further pediatric specialist (GI, or ENT). I hope you get answers and relief for baby.

          Best to you,
          alanna

        • roy says

          Milk products alway gave me gas and in some cases diarrhea. My Naturopathic Dr ran some tests and determined I had two issues. The first was with lactose (which I was aware of) and the second was the inability to digest the protein. My GI Dr (gastroenterologist) confirmed this. Said I’d have issues w/ goats milk also and soy. Below is a good article on this and tests to run.
          http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/milk_allergy.html#

          Hope that helps.

  82. Mary says

    Hi Chris: I have been getting heartburn for a couple of months survere. I have been take 650mg of HCI with pepsin. I am taking 3 at the begining of each meal also take a digestive enzyme half way thur my meal. This does seem to help for a little bit but about 2 or 3 hours later I start getting heartburn. Then I take 1/2 tsp of baking soda in water & this helps out quite a bit. I doesn’t seem to mater what I eat I still get heartburn a few hours after I have eaten. I do not eat a huge amount of food. I am trying to find out what else I can do to get rid of this problem. I did break my ankle 4 months ago and had surgery & they put me on antibiotics during surgey & some pain pills to take at home. I did not notice heartburn until about 2 months after the surgery. Do you think this has somthing to do with me taking the antibiotics & pain pills. Also have you heard about taking matula tea for h-plyori & if it works. I am thinking that is what I may have. Any advice or help is very much appriciated. Thank you

  83. john says

    I recently had an esophagectomy due to cancer. About 1/4 of my stomach was removed also, and the remaining stomach was used to reform an esophagus. If i lay flat in bed i get acid reflux symptoms. I sleep on a wedge but i find that i scoot down in my sleep. This causes me to wake up from the acid reflux. I have been taking Prilosec to prevent the symptoms. Since I can no longer develop Barretts Syndrome, is there another malady that I should be concerned about that taking acid suppressants can cause me specifically?

  84. Nichelle says

    I cannot thank you enough for all this information. I recently had a virus where I was vomiting anytime I tried to swallow food or water regularly for 2 months. Of course my esophageal endoscopy came up normal but based on my symptoms I was diagnosed with GERD. Just diagnosed, but no treatment. Thankfully I was already seeing a homeopath and he was able to treat it enough so I was able to eat and drink again within 3 weeks, fairly certain it was H. Pylori. However now I get this incredible heartburn, it feels like a heart attack, regularly, so I’m so thankful I stumbled upon this website. I have something I can start to work with: taking HCL, low-carb diet, herbs, and even not drinking water with meals. Thank you!!

  85. Greg Evans says

    HI there
    I have had reflux symptons for just over a year now. Its mainly been a sore throat but the other day after a stupid tomatoe pasta which i should have known not to have i started getting pain in my stomach.
    I am going crazy. I have just started taking some ppis which i really dont want too but nothing else has helped. I dont know where to turn. The only thing that helped was a low carb diet but then i messed up a few days and it seems to have really hurt me. I have had scans on my thyroid my kidneys my upper throat was slightly enflamed by caid reflux but she didnt look down my eosophagus.
    Im really nervous about cancer. Everyone tells me not too. I could live with the pain if i didnt think it would lead to cancer. Can anyone please tell me if they have cursed their reflux (esecially if they have had it everyday) Or how lon g it také sbefore the freaded c sets in. I am only 35 and really cant put up with this forever. Also i hear conflicting stories about alkaline and acid. All answers would be gratfully recieved :)

  86. Edward Powell says

    Greg,
    Don’t panic. Find an ENT that has some experience with GERD and do what they suggest. They can easily look into your upper air way in the office with a nasal scope which is very simple and easily tolerated.( Nexium 40 mg timed release before your biggest meal of the day. What I was prescribed and seems to be working well.)
    Also one never knows if there is esophagus damage without a scope of the esophagus/stomach/lower intestine. Also easy to tolerate but without insurance. . . probably not possible as it is expensive. I had one and a small Barrett’s esophagus was indicated – so I will have another scope in a year to see if there is change. Watch the diet as instructed but again don’t go overboard as there are lots of opinions tossed around as to what to eat and what not to eat. It does seem we are all different as to what works and what doesn’t. I know one person who was on Nexium for 4 months and no longer has reflux. I have a friend who was on Prilosec for 8 years who is now weening off as his reflux seems to be gone. Just met someone who has had reflux for 10 years and takes over the counter Prilosec – twice as much as recommended – still eats what he wants without care, drinks whiskey heavily, eats late dinner and then goes to sleep sitting up in a chair and is very overweight. He commented that “you have to live your life” I see him as having a horrible life and is well on his way to early exit.

    Do what a GOOD doctor recommends and then live your life well and see what you can do to get control of that awful feeling. My doctor told me to close my computer and stop reading everything and let him be the doctor. That I was not educated enough to really understand all the information out there! So I’m giving it a try! Good luck.
    PS. The different diets that you read about can be effective as well as the supplementation with HCL. I am a little confused about the pepsin need as Dr. Jamie Kaufmann says that it is Pepsin that causes the actual damage to the esophagus and not the acid – and that even with acid reducers the pepsin is not much suppressed but stays around in the gut and migrates to the esophagus.

  87. says

    I been treated for acid but belive I low acid can you get excess nose mucus through this I had it for more than 2yrs ended up on life support an have discoverd I have mysenius gravis its driveing me mad gp keep passing the book dont no what causeing the .mucus its like haveing flu all the timevx

    • Sharon Lucas says

      After reading ur web pg I’m sure my heart burn is because I’ve been taking tums almost every night for years :( Going to stop as of now and reading your articles on Gurd and acid reflux IBS, so but I’m still wanting to know what does HCL mean? Thanks Sharon

  88. Ruzaik says

    I’ve been diagnosed with the earliest stage of GERD but I suffer everyday with symptoms such as discomfort after eating even half a slice of bread. My weight dropped by 10kg. I can’t eat anything!

    I’ve been taking PPIs and antacids but they don’t help much. The weird thing is that after taking my first set of PPIs my heartburn went down to zero. I have no pain. I only have this weird tightness feeling in my chest and throat and feel that food is stuck in my oesophagus.

    Is my problem an acid reflux problem? Will taking HCL supplements help?

  89. Vincent says

    I’m confused. You say,
    “heartburn and GERD are caused by too little – and not too much – stomach acid. ”

    If there is too little acid, how can acid reflux exist then?

  90. Charlotte Quevedo says

    Hi Chris! I need your help! I have heartburn daily and also an impaired ability to burp particularly after eating. All I eat right now is boiled chicken soup with carrots and squash. I just started hcl betaine but have to go slowly because the first time I took it I got a thunderclap headache and yet normal brain scan. I also started a probiotic and milk thistle. I still cannot burp well. It feels like my esophagus is pushing the soup up into my throat. When I used to take prilosec, it masked the heartburn pain but did nothing for the dysfunction of the belch reflex…if that is a correct diagnosis. I do need to see a dr this week to rule out some things before assuming I simply cannot burp efficiently. Do you have any thoughts for me? Anyone? charlotte.quevedo@gmail.com

  91. says

    I’m a 55 year old male, suffering from acid reflux disease/gerd. I started taking Nexium until my insurance stopped covering it, so my dr. prescribes me omeprazole, think its 20mg, 2 X a day. He told me that I’d be a life long taker of this med. I’ve had a few scopes and the only thing I’ve been told that I may be a candidate for Barrett’s Esophagus. I’ve been getting scoped about once every 5 years to check on it. Anyway, lately I’ve been experiencing other abdominal problems. My Dr. was concerned with possible other issues, so he ordered me a stress test and a breathing test, which both came back okay. I suggested Candida bacteria, but he just shunned it off. I had what I thought were a few of or similar symptoms of it, but still not sure. What I have going on is occasional bloating, almost constant belching, and more than normal flatulence. Along with that, I get short of breath, and it is difficult to catch my breath. That is the part that made my dr. have the stress test. These symptoms have been bothering me for about four months now, and just I’m just getting tired of it. It makes me not want to do stuff I normally want to do, sometimes I will nap when I get home from work, something I never did before. Here’s something else, I have constant throat clearing, which drives me crazy…but when I get sick, ie, cold, bronchitis, flu, the throat clearing goes away, and since I started with the breathing thing, that goes away for the most part when I get sick. I’m sick of being sick, and started to think, maybe the medicine I’m taking is what is causing it.

    • Jasmine says

      Hi Dano, A lot of what you are going through sounds similar to me.. Since I took the PPI’s my stomach has been completely messed up.. I am too scared to go anywhere as I cannot eat properly.. I have been having Scans and Tests for a stomach problem which appears I only have due to the PPI’s.. It all seems crazy! My Doc refuses to acknowledge that these problems actually started when I took the tablets.. every few weeks he thinks I may have a different decease.They have scanned my Pancreas, Liver Tests, MRI’s Ultrsound Scans of Abdomen.. etc etc etc all normal! but I am in pain and cannot digest food anymore.. now I am due for a Colonoscopy! I have never had any issues with my stomach ever.. now it is a disaster!

  92. Lisa says

    Is pepcin over the counter or prescription? I was told to take Pepcid daily and it ended up causing a B12 deficiency, so an alternative would be great!

    Also, what tests should one ask for at the doctor to make sure there isn’t too much esophogeal damage?

  93. Aliza Kessler says

    I was diagnosed about a month ago with mild asthma. I was put on advair 1 puff, twice a day. I was also given albuterol for rescue inhaler. Last week I was eating any food from cereal to yogurt to bananas, and every time I put food into my mouth, I would have an asthma attack and need to use my inhaler. I went to the doctor and he told me I have GERD and prescribed omeprazole 40 mg once a day. Ever since then, I have not had an attack after eating. I feel fine, except I do have stomach aches occasionally. Does this mean I am going to be stuck forever on this drug? When I was having those episodes, I never experienced heart burn. I don’t want to be on this drug forever but like people were saying before, if I come off, then the symptoms might come back.

  94. Jasmine says

    Hi There, Four months ago out of the blue I developed chest pains and a very strange sensation when I tried to eat anything.. I could not understand what it was, but I would start to eat and suddenly my heart was beating really fast and I thought I would pass out.. After many tests I had a diagnosis of Esophogitus Grade B shown by an Endoscopy.. I was amazed.. I have never had heartburn in my life and my diet is organic and not junk food.. The Doc gave me PPI’s Omeparazole.. As soon as I took them I was very il.. Burping at least 300 time probably in one day.. having never been a person who burps a lot.. Nausea, headaches and undigested food in pale stools, severe stomach aches all over.. Also had never experienced any stomach issues before.. The day before all this started I was out on my Mountain Bile for hours and thought I was in the peak of fitness.. When I stopped the PPI’s then I found out what Acid was like.. and it took 2 months to settle down.. but my stomach issues have not! My digestion is impossible and also my abdomen aches after each B/M.. The Doc keeps telling me to take Antacids but I cannot digest any food when I do.. As I have inflammation in my Esophogus I worry about trying HCL tablets as I fear they may make the inflammation worse..The other evening I read an article which said try drinking Sprite after you eat if you are too scared to try other options.. I found this helped a lot almost immediately.. This makes me think that maybe stomach acid is low.. but then I think how did I get inflammation in the Esophogus.. Could it be that due to such a lot of strenuous exercise my Esophogus has become loose? I am at my end with all of this.. it has been four months of hell!! Any advice would really be appreciated.. anyone else had anything like this? Thank you

  95. Lynda says

    I have a small hiatel hernia, I have been overweight since having my twins 8 years ago even though I do not eat big meals. I have been taking Omeprazol usually only when I felt ill with the acid and the hunger pang type feeling. For the past 4 months I have felt awful. Severe hunger pang feeling, wake up in the night with acid in my throat, I snore terribly apparently, I felt like I had lumps through my digestive system, excessive swallowing and thick saliva. I get a crackling sound like the space dust sweet that we ate in the 70s that popped in your throat whenever I swallow. When it was really bad my neck and throat felt sore and chest bones hurt. im very worried that I will get throat cancer and cant understand why the symptoms are carrying on the Omeprazole doesnt seem to make a difference,

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi Lynda,
      I too worry about throat cancer.. though the docs keep telling me that my throat can be sore for ages before it could get to that stage.. My throat has been sore non stop for four months.. and when I tried Omeprezole it got even worse.. I had never really burped hardly ever until I took those horrific tablets! My digestion has been completely ruined and it is taking a long time to re-build.. I now eat a very simple basic diet, with small frequent meals.. I am taking pro-biotics with digestive enzymes, L-Glutamine and slippery elm.. Things have improved a lot using these natural things.. I do wonder if I knew about these things to start with rather than trying the PPI’s whether I may have got better sooner.. It is a tough call when there is the scary prospect of cancer.. and I do not blame so many people continually trying to resolve things with PPI’s.. it takes a lot of courage to try and work it out and go against what you have been told to do.. and I guess everyone is different.. I wish there was a magic pill, but I now do not believe there is.. I am convinced it is about getting the digestive system working properly so the rest can function.. This site is very helpful and it is great that there are some people who have the courage to say what they believe!

  96. Rhonda says

    Dear Chris Kessler,
    Do you know of a doctor in the South Orange County, Calif. area that treats Acid Reflux the same way that you recommend?
    I have a hiatal hernia which probably aggravates my acid reflux. Right now the medical doctor I go to prescribed pantoprazole, 40 mg, which I take every day. If I miss taking it even one day I get intensely painful heartburn and have to chew on tums several times throughout the day.
    I’ve been on this medication for about six months. I’m worried about the long term effects of staying on this medication such as not being able to absorb calcium or Vit B12, not to mention not being able to absorb other nutritients. I’d like a doctor’s help getting off of the pantoprazole if you know a doctor in my area or anyplace in Orange County, preferably one that will take Medicare.
    Thank you,
    Rhonda

  97. Nicole says

    Hello,

    Hoping someone here can help me. I am 19 years old and have had acid reflux everyday for over 6 months now. I feel nauseous all the time and like there’s a lump in my throat. I try to clear my throat, but there is no relief. It takes hours for me to fall asleep because I have to sit up all night. My doctor prescribed me Zantac 2 months ago, but no relief came from it. I got Omeprazole and after 3 days taking it, symptoms are finally starting to fade. My doctors says I might have H. Pylori, is this bad? How does one my age get this bacteria? Having acid reflux problems for 6 months straight, is it likely that I have damage or ulcers or stomach cancer? Please answer with any feedback or help. I have an appointment in a week for blood test results and hopefully will be going to a specialist. Thanks.

  98. Aiden says

    You say: Recent studies also show that the damage from poor stomach function and GERD not only extends upward to the sensitive esophageal lining, but also downward through the digestive tract, contributing to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal problems.
    Aren’t stomach contents supposed to go downward through the digestive tract?!!!

  99. Jay says

    Thank goodness someone has the thought process to realize that our digestive system needs proper acid balance for GI health and that acid reducers and inhibitors can do harm.
    This is the first professional to offer this knowledge.
    Do not laugh, but I have a four year old dog that has been very ill for a year now with terrible reflux – especially at night. The vet bills have been astronomical with many invasive tests and drug trials. IBD and pancreatitis are involved. I knew by his terrible response to Omeprazole that part of the the problem lay with too little acid. I mentioned this to the internist vet but the response was to try the Omeprazole again. Prednisone initially helped – certainly with the pancreatitis – but the night time reflux continues and is worsening and I do not know where to turn. It is severe, where vomitting into the mouth occurs around 4 or 5 every morning. So sad for a little dog that cannot lie down.
    I like our local vet and will certainly mention this to him as it gives me some credence.

  100. says

    I’d like to congratulate on the highly informative articles you have written on GERD etc., – thank you. Primarily I’d be grateful for any comment on Elastase and anti-trypsin deficiency which my wife has just been diagnosed with, causing constant coughing. Also, you refer to bacterial growth resulting from low stomach acid but not to imbalances in the acid/alkaline state of the body which I would assume is also influenced by the under-functioning stomach process, apart from the diet itself. An email response would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you, Michael Brookman.

  101. Cindy says

    I am looking for practical help on how to get off PPIs and start the hydrochloric supplements. Should I wean off the PPIs gradually or immediately and/or start the hydrochloric supplements at the same time that I am weaning off the PPIs? Also, will the hydrochloric capsules be harmful to an irrirated stomach lining due to gastritis? I am very interested in how to make this transition safely. Thank you – from a long time GERD sufferer.

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi Cindy, In my opinion you should be careful using these supplements if your stomach lining is inflamed.. I too am about to try these supplements.. but I have inflammation in the Oesophogus.. I am very wary and have waited until I have zero chest pain and have been on a very controlled diet for some months, which seems to have calmed a lot of the symptoms down.. I bought the supplements with Pepsin and I will now open the Capsule and try for one capsule with a tiny amount of HCL and see what happens.. I plan to augment the dose little by little just in case it causes burning and is not suitable for me.. I hope to build-up the dose and see how it goes.. I am fearful of causing more inflammation..

  102. Ingrid says

    I thought I’d join the conversation. I have “GERD” from time to time. Although diagnosed with GERD I find that it tends to disappear. It re-appears after long term emotional upset/stress and it stays for a few months. I’m on PPIs again and plan to stay on it only for a short time until my esophagus heals (again). I tried HCL once and it did take the symptoms away (and that’s when I caught it before it got too bad). The second time I tried taking HCL I had really bad refux that ended up burning my throat quite badly so I never took it again. It potentially can be dangerous to take HCL for people suffering with GERD so beware. Even a naturalpathic doctor had cautioned against HCL for my case when GERD is very active. In general, if HCL increases the burn you should stop it immediately. Get a test for stomach acid to be sure.

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