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


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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Comments Join the Conversation

  1. bernard says

    I was too pleased to read that gastric acidity was decreasing with age and took it for granted up to now
    a quick google search showed that age has no influence on gastric acidity

    “influence of age and gender on gastric acid secretion as estimated by integrated acidity in patients referred for 24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring.
    Shih GL1, Brensinger C, Katzka DA, Metz DC.”

  2. bernard says

    my stomachal/intestinal problems create extrasystole tachycardia and worse fibrillation
    this is mainly due, I guess, to compression on cardia/ oesophagal sphyncter which is agressed by gerd
    this pressure comes from gas produced by stomach or bowels ?

    cardia is then irritated and its close to heart may disturb rythm
    anybody had such heart rthm anomalies link with too much gas ?

    • Jasmine says

      Hi There, Last year I suffered very similar problems which also included chest pain and difficulty breathing.. Doctors were baffled as I am healthy weight, exercise regularly and eat well.. They checked out my lung capacity etc which as the time my peak flow was half of what it should have been, They also tested my heart which seemed to be irregular at times and pounding out of my chest.. They gave me the dreaded Omeprazole tablets and that’s when I felt so very ill I thought I would never be able to eat again.. I lost 2.5 stone and was almost giving up on ever eating normally again.. I then discovered digestive enzymes chewable kind, Acidophilus and stopped eating anything out of a packet or can… Drank water, water and more water… It is one year on now since that terrible time with endless tests and a ruined digestive system… I have a good healthy diet and do not avoid acid.. I use good quality vinegars and oils on my salads and lemon juice on fish and meat.. I believe that having problems with gerd and digestion is more about eating rubbish and also stress etc.. keep calm don’t eat on the go and if you have a really stressful life I believe anti-depressants can help in a very tiny dose.. Yoga and light exercise.. don’t hunch up on the sofa when you eat, sit properly at the Table and allow your food to digest properly.. There is light at the end of the tunnel although it is a very long road and can takes many months to get your digestion back on track.. PPI’s in my opinion are not the answer..

      • Sid Sharma says

        Suffering from the exact same problem. I exercise everyday, 38 years, generally good eatings habits and suddenly out of the blue I’ve been having severe heartburn and reflux. Doc put me on PPI for 28 days which is now completed and within 2 days the symptoms are back. Going for a H Pylori test tomorrow. Dont know what to do!

    • Jennie says

      Malabsorption of choline due to genetics, decreased enzymes, or use of gerd medications can cause serious arrhythmias. I went thru this myself and the doctors were stumped. I had my genes done and discovered that i have a decreased ability to absorb choline (usually discussed because it causes non alcoholic fatty liver ). When i started supplimenting with choline, the arrhythmias,which were debilitating, vanished and havent returned. It also stopped the POTS that i experienced every time i bent forward.

    • Jill says

      I have been taking 40 MG of Nexium for 10 years now, finally last year if assistance assistant suggested I get tested for H. pylori which I had so then I took her medication that they usually give to people with Crohn’s… I can’t remember what it was called but it started with an X? My insurance wouldn’t even cover it so the doctor gave me samples, it helped me for two months and now the diarrhea is back again in my stomach feels like it’s been wrapped with a wire brush inside. I was tested for celiac several years back and they said I didn’t have it in my doctor said there’s nothing I can eat or not eat that will help prevent bacteria in my stomach. I am willing to try gluten-free, lactose-free… Whatever. I feel like nobody’s helping me find an answer. When I eat lots of vegetables the diarrhea is worse. So I tend to eat carbs and toasted bread and chips to settle my stomach which cause me to be fat

      • Brandi says

        i have the same issue as you, been battling stomach issues for years, missing work, missing parties, it’s hard to travel anyplace…. Every doctors I see tells me nothing is wrong. I’ll be 36 this year and I feel like it’s taken over my life at times.
        I tried cutting out things that come in a box or can, no milk, dairy, caffeine…it doesn’t help.
        Now, I experience the “wire brush” stomach for days at a time and the diarrhea after meals also for days at a time.
        I’m lost and looking for relief. My family tells me to go to the doctor again, but I feel like it’s a dead end road and they will just shove me out of the office with a sample of drugs to cover it up.

        • Jill says

          I am so sorry Brandi😔I am 62 and has been my whole life pretty much but worse since last September when I had my appendix removed. I did take a medication for 10 days and antibiotic that helped me for two months is the most relief I’ve ever had in my life I wish I could remember the name of it started with an X is usually for people with Crohn’s. I go to my doctor next week and I’m going to ask if I can take it again. Will post the name of it. He had told me I can only take it once every six months, and my insurance wouldn’t cover it because I’ve not been diagnosed with Crohn’s although I feel like I have it most of the time! I have been cutting out gluten with some positive results . I hope we all can find what will work for us.

        • Jasmine says

          Hi Brandi,

          Please look at my previous posts regarding diet etc.. Are you suffering from nerves, are you stressed… Try asking your GP about anti-depressants.. There is one called Nortryptiline (not sure if that is spelt correctly) these can actually relax the stomach and nervous system, and can be a good stat to getting yourself feeling more relaxed and helping your stomach to calm down.. I have known many people to take these for various stomach disorders/reflux etc you only need a really tiny dose, I only took 5mg, when I used them.. and there were no additive or after effects.. Try asking your doctor

          • Brandi says

            Yes, I do suffer from nerves and stress as well. I own my own business and it can be demanding and long hours at times. This week and last were both bad as far as stomach rumblings, frequent bathroom trips. Twice I locked up and came home. I’m not sure what to tell the doctor at this point. They are quick to say IBS and move on to the next person. Thanks for the suggestion of low dose anti depressants. I can certainly ask and see if that’s something to try.

  3. M says

    I read on the web to eat something with ginger every day for a month. I gave trader joes ginger snaps to my husband and it didn’t take a month before his newly arrived heartburn said goodbye. It has been years and it hasn’t reoccurred. I now have gerd (no heartburn) and perhaps I will try this on myself to see if it works for my problem.

  4. Steve T says

    Hi, I’ve never had acid reflux before but have had bad heartburn at times. About Xmas, started getting really sick and stomach was growling; couldn’t digest my food and would wake me up in the middle of the night with growling pain. Doc put me on prolisec; worked for a short bit and seemed not to work. Went on again for month course, week 1 was good. went back to eating, and then had reflux for the first time ever. Seemed like I was choking trying to digest my food; which makes sense if there’s no acid there. Took antacids and made things worse. Doc put me on 40 mg of Nexium. Then had reflux every day sometimes two/three times a day past week. Finally, after reading Chris’s website, went off yesterday, and had heartburn but drank some lemon juice in water, and took a teaspoon/tablespoon of ACV and heartburn went away. Took awhile but stomach felt better for the first time in a month. I’m going to continue with the ACV/lemon juice and hopefully slowly start to add HCL in low doses. I think I def. have some bacterial overgrowth. Good luck everyone. I hope you can find relief, me too.

    • says

      Similarity of symptoms does not imply a common cause. If the body is lacking the proper digestive enzymes one may experience (1 gerds 2) heartburn 3) palpitations or 4) irregular heartbeats. on rare occasions even pain.

      Homeostasis, the ability of the body to balance its chemistry begins with the proper balance of electrolytes. As unusual as it seems electrolytes (base or alkaline elements) are responsible for our acids–that is the acids are derived from base or alkaline material.

      Possible scenario: Extreme heartburn. Possible remedy. Vinegar.
      Possible scenario: Extreme heartburn. Possible remedy.
      Baking Soda

      The first scenario may represent a person who has heartburn not because of too much acid (but because of the wrong kind of acid). Why do I say this? Because when one has the wrong balance of acids for digestion the body may borrow acids to complete digestion. These borrowed acids by . means of homeostasis may result in super acidity because the acids borrowed are what the body uses when it does not have what it needs. It may borrow lactic acid_> this could cause super acidity as well as cramps and unexplained pain. The body may also borrow carbonic acid–>This may result in super acidity and coma or seizure. Vinegar is Acetic acid. People often talk about alkalizing their body by taking apple cider vinegar. Vinegar does not alkalize, it acidifies–but often it relieves heartburn by giving the body the extra acid needed for proper digestion and it aids HCL which also may be lacking. If vinegar works it is likely that you are not having heartburn because of over acidity; but because of unbalanced acidity.
      If on the other hand baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) relieves the symptoms it may be that you really were fighting an over acid condition. Baking soda works by alkalizing.

      So here we have same or similar symptoms, but not the same cause. We also have one remedy that alkalizes and another that adds acid. But precaution needs to be observed when it comes to sodium bicarbonate–though it may help if one is truly experiencing an over acid condition–it may also seem to help when one’s body is needing extra acid. If one’s body is merely needing extra acid for digestion or if one is lacking the proper enzyme for either protein, carbohydrate or fat digestion–the SB may work on the short term–but if continued long term use is required then it is not the solution–rather a quick fix.

      The proper way to alkalize involves keeping sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium plentiful in the body. These are all the proper electrolytes that need to be balanced in order for the body to call on them as reserves to neutralize too much acid. Often, what sodium does is replace one of the other major electrolytes that are deficient.

      Are you having heartburn or Gerds with your arrhythmias. It is likely that the balance you need is found in magnesium. A high percentage of magnesium resides in the left ventricle of the heart. It is essential for the heart inasmuch as it is the element that allows the heart to relax after every single contraction. Best natural sources include greens such as spinach or turnips. Also as a supplement you can get calcium magnesium chelate.

  5. Seth says

    I was wondering about taking HCL supplementation for GERD, is that a short treatment or is it an ongoing treatment strategy? I would also like to know is there any dietary recommendations that could help nurture the innate production of HCL.

  6. Audrey VanWyk says

    I too have had almost all of the issues described to a point that I have had an RNY with my stomach being removed. Years of many doctors under my belt with not one suggesting I had gluten sensativity . Food was fermenting in my gut and causing burping you could hear in another room and discomfort in my esophagus. I was tested for celiac and did not have that but found out 85% of people with celiac are undiagnosed. If you take PPI, you must augment your diet with magnesium because PPI’s leach the magnesium from your body. Also take probiotics daily…2X is best. If still no improvement, see a rhumatoligist and ask for tests for Scleraderma or CREST and while there see if you have celiac. Go gluten free or Paleo after being tested. No accurate test for sensativity but going 100% gluten free and seeing improvement. Hang in there for a month. I saw improvement in 10 days.

  7. Carol says

    I am 59 years old and have been experiencing acid reflux for the past 4 months. I don’t remember having it much before this so I guess it’s age related. What I have found that takes it away quite quickly is to eat stir-fry with lots of fresh lightly cooked vegies, or salads. I guess I would conclude, raw, green vegetables helps a lot to get rid of acid reflux.

    • lewis says

      I can agree with this. I cut out grains and have much less heartburn. I think it may have something to do with the addition of green/ fresh vegetables. I make it a point to eat green veggies with every meal. Spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale etc. I eat raw when I can but I fry in evoo very often and steam a lot too. I think maybe they are alkalizing my body/blood but that is a topic I can only speculate about as i haven’t researched it much. What can extra veggies hurt anyway.

    • dee says

      I am 62. Severe acid reflux began about 6 months ago. My doctor chanel my meds from Zantac to omneprozol. The other day I left home without talking it. Got . back later after eating wonderful Italian food and began to feel reflux. I took my omneprozol but also a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. No problems what so ever. …

      • Kitty says

        After about 4 years on Omeprazol, I am trying to quit after reading about all of the side-effects. I am also trying apple cider vinegar, 4 times a day. Breads and pastries seem to aggravate the problem. If I feel heartburn coming on, I take Tums and it usually goes away. Would like to avoid those also, but it is better than Omeprazol.

  8. Sam says

    This is a reply to many here who have posted a message in Nov. 2014 or Oct. 2014 (I read only the top few messages and wanted to help). If you have not done so, read the entire series of articles that Chris has put together on “Heartburn & GERD”. He has an ebook on this topic, that covers the entire series, which helped me.

    Next, my philosophy is the same as what Lloyd Morgan has said below. I had lot of time and was able to research into many of the conditions i have (being 50, this is the time when you feel inside the body, all the self-injuries you inflicted in youth – bad morals/habits/food…..). What i find is that time-proven herbal medicines around the world are better at healing conditions, and modern medicine is only few hundred years old and is useful only in surgery/MRI scans and such. When it comes to prescription medications, i give a resounding thumbs up to herbal medicines (because i am yet another proof that they work better than modern medicines).

    Not only GERD/reflux, but i am also in the process of dealing with gallstones, fatty liver, and sciatica through the use of proper diet + yoga + cardio. We are living in the age of a miracle called internet…….. If you have time + perseverance + basic education, you can do better than your doctor in many respects.

  9. Leslie says

    Hi, let me start by saying that I just got out hospital and feel worse than when I got in. I have had a problem for a long time now with my stomach and it started regular. I was prescribed Nexium and it helped. When that was finished I moved over to Omez. I found eventuall that this was not helping and wanted to get my self checked out before I did some traveling in August. I had a scope done, and an ultrasound and both were clear. The doctor prescribed some Pariet for my trip with some urbonal, suspecting ‘anxiety’. This kept me pain-free until the course finished. I purchased an over the tablet from Munich that helped me. Whenever, I had a problem, it sorted me out.(when I returned home I interpretited the composition to be just “bicarbonate soda). My problem started when this tablet finished and did not have access to it in my country South Africa. I tried pure bicarbonate soda – it did not help. I then had a enormous attack in my tummy, perspiring at the same time. I visited my Physician who suspected a heart attack. After doing an ECG, he said that something is irregular – he had to admit me in hospital. The blood test showed no heart attack. The next day I was at the cardiologist. With his effort ECG and Echo test, he found everything to be fine. My physician insisted for him to probe further. After doing the CT Angio, he found a 50% narrowing on one of my main arteries. He then suggested that we do the normal Angio to put in a stent. My body was in shock, because being 50, I am in top condition with my health, gyming 5 times a week and eating properly. I then got a pain in my stomach that refused to go away. When doing the normal Angio, the cardiologist did not find a problem and I was relieved that it was not heart related. I was handed back to the Physician who did another ultra sound and endoscopy. Yet again these were clear. He now thinks it is stress related and had sent me home today. I have however been asked to take one 40mg Nexium twice a day. This is not taking my consistent burning pain on my upper abdomen away.I Know that this a long story, but some advice would help! Should I try HCL.

    • dee says

      I an on a pump inhibitor that has completely cleared up my Gerd problem. This is going hurt me in the long run because it’s a horrible pharmaceutical?

    • Connie Mithelavage says

      It is my understanding (and what I take) that you should only take HCL with Pepsin. I am starting on a low dose of 250 MG with a meal. Instructions state that the capsules can be taken up to 6 with each meal. I always err on the side of caution, so I have started with 1 at each meal. If you read the entire series of articles from this doctor, you will also see foods that might trigger the symptoms. You can eliminate foods one by one that might be causing the reaction. Much like finding the foods that you are allergic to. Good luck.

    • Chris says

      Hi Leslie, I just wanted to tell you about a brilliant cure for me . I have had gerd or is it gord ? for 20 years and been on omeprazole in varying doses. After Christmas I had a huge flair up that lasted 3 months, I was so miserable. After searching online I read about cutting out carbs . I was sceptical but desperate. It took about a week and I was thinking of giving up but I suddenly realised it was improving , I carried on and now I am down to 10 mg of omeprazole and feel better than I have for years. I had to share this as I have also read posts from many, many people who are now off medication completely on this diet. Hope it helps someone else.

    • bernard ross says

      I did not understand this: did you do an angioplasty and have a stent put in? You referred to a CT angio and a normal angio but is one an angiograph and the other an angioplassty?

  10. Anna Pineda says

    I have been burping continuously for almost 2 years now. When i’m not burping which is only while i’m sleeping, gas accumulates in different parts of my body causing air-filled bumps to form on my face, arms, forehead, scalp, etc. It does work when I massage the ‘bumps’ in an attempt to flatten them. But it inevitably makes me start a whole new cycle of releasing air through burping. I have taken Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Dexlansoprazole, Rabeprazole, and other PPIs. All were prescribed starting at their lowest dose for a couple of weeks, all ending at their highest possible dose after a couple of months, none of which worked. During really bad ‘burping spells’, I chew on TUMS, and other local antacids available here in the Philippines. Lately, i’ve grown dependent on sipping Gaviscon (Na Alginate, Na Bicarbonate w/ Ca Carbonate) from a sachet to help relieve the ‘burping spells’ that have recently developed into drying my throat badly whenever they occur. Short of a Pediatrician, I have gone to see all kinds of doctors including an accupuncturist (BTW, accupuncture was the only effective treatment I went through. However, the relief it gave me only lasted about 3-4 hours after my session. I still believe that being poked by needles couldn’t possibly be the only solution for whatever this is that i’m going through). All of those physicians I saw could not explain exactly what’s causing the constant burping much less prescribe an effective medicine for it. This article renewed my hope for a normal amount of burping in my future.

    • Jessica says

      It sounds like you have subcutaneous emphysema. I had surgical emphysema, it feeling like popping rice cakes when you push your skin. You might want to see if you have a perforation in you digestive tract or maybe even your lungs, I’m sure the doctors would have checked you for pneumothorax? Might want to get doctors to check the pressure in your alveoli. Do you have shoulder pains when you lay down, I found I got that when I took too many medications?

    • Sandy Niesen says


      I have had issues with burping over the last few months and had an endoscopy which identified an esophageal stricture, which was stretched during the procedure.

      I’ve wondered if the burping could be related to candidiasis (haven’t been diagnosed with this). Just did a quick search and found this info regarding effects of candidiasis: Stomach – h. pylori bacteria (causes ulcers), heartburn, indigestion, hiatal hernia, acid reflux, belching, vomiting, burning, stomach pains, needle-like pains, food that seems to sit in the stomach like a lump, etc.

      from this site: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-overcome-candida-naturally

      Food for thought. I hope you feel better.


    • Kim S says

      Was on Omeoprazole for 1 year. Started taking 350 matnesium oxide OTC (the cheap one with little sticking power) to resolve foot and leg cramps. It helped with that and also my acid reflux. I have taken only 2 omeoprazole since Sept 2014. It also helped with hot flashes. I only started thise last summer, but they went away with the magnesium. I do see the need to increase my dose of 1 per day to 2 per day on occasion, but I still have no more symptoms. Hope this helps someone here.

    • Angela says

      I have the same exact symptoms as yours, I am also from the Philippines. I am now taking Esomeprazole from 20mg to 40mg but its not working. Can you give me an advice how to overcome this burping symptoms?

      • Jasmine286 says

        PPI’s cause Burping as they eliminate so much acid that the food cannot be digested.. This causes a burping reaction when the food ferments in the stomach and turns to Gas… Taking these tablets in my opinion will just cause a reaction that will be very hard to reverse.. it can take months to get your body back to normal… Just think fresh clean organic food, do exercise and try to keep calm
        and as stress free as possible. Our bodies need care and respect to function well, just like a machine..

    • Jasmine says

      The burping from my experience is usually indigestion and needs to be addressed as such.. If you are not digesting your food it will ferment and cause chaos.. also going onto the bowel undigested.. Have you tried digestive enzymes before.. try the chewable form such as Papaya.. Drink lots of water to help food through and have good quality vinegar and oil of salads, lemon on fish and meat and do not eat anything which is packaged or canned… also keep calm and allow your food to go down properly sittig up straight and then maybe take a light walk to help it through… In the morning exercise before you eat and pelvic tilts can help to move air through and keep bowels regular.. Acidpophilus capsules are also great… Try also eliminating dairy which can cause gas.

  11. Kaitlyn says

    I am 17, and have really bad heartburn and acid reflux .. I’ve recently just quit smoking because my mom says that’s a big factor to it, my episodes usually last an hour to 3 hours and the pain is so unbearable I take Pepto bismol and tums whenever I get it .. I am just way too busy to make a doctors appointment and I know all they’ll doniy prescribe me medicine .. I heard there was some kin of surgery you can get that helps it ? I’m not sure though ! Just thought I’d share my story (:

    • Jessica says

      Porridge and a pain killer…For now that will work until you sort your diet out. Don’t rely on the painkillers because they just stop the pain not the problem. It doesn’t get rid of the acid but you can get on with your day. I had the surgery to fix it but it didn’t work and now it is worse, I can’t have it corrected either otherwise I might not be able to eat again. Just need to get strict on a stomach friendly diet. Porridge is my best friend!

  12. David Propst says

    I was on PPIs off and on for about 16 years. I read a similar article by Charles Poliquin about low acid being the issue. I bought some HCl supplement for about $10 and took one three times a day for a few days then less and now have about half of the bottle left and no heartburn symptoms at all. Hard to believe since I prescribe PPIs on a daily basis. Most of my patients just won’t go along with trying the HCl supplement.

      • David propst says

        Sorry for the delinquent response. I stopped the PPI one day and started the HCL the next. Started tid for a few weeks then cut back. None after about 2 months.

        • says

          David’s technique did not work for me but I was able to get off PPIs. I was on 60mg Dexilant 2X day. Cut back to one and weaned from there. I took Pepcid while I did this and then got down to just Pepcid. I tried the HCl while on PPis and made me quite sick.

          But a year later and I still take Pepcid occasionally and STILL can’t take HCl – I’m just posting in case you have troubles – you are not alone!

          • Susan says

            Thank you, Alexandra. I am on Nexium alternating with Prilosec OTC, weaning myself down. One day of Nexium, then 3 days of Prilosec. Eventually working towards stopping the Nexium altogether and gradually stopping the Prilosec. I will add the pepsid. What symptoms did the HCI give you? I tried it once and felt very strange.

            • says

              No mystery symptoms with the HCl – I got nausea and wicked heartburn and stomach pains/burning that took a day to clear. It was BAD. And the next few days I had much more acid than I’d had in weeks. I tried it again 1.5 months later with an even lower amount of HCl and felt equally bad.

              This is just a theory but my observation is that people for whom these cures work are having acid reflux and that alone. I had that and IBS and horrible stomach pain. I had a bunch of tests – it turns out that my stomach and duodenum are highly inflamed and that something was up with the bacteria in my whole GI system. 2 course of Xifaxan and my lower GI is fantastic (that said, I take Mag Citrate and high does probiotics now which keep me going well). Through diet I reduced my acid feelings greatly but after 2 months off of anything, my stomach itself is getting worse and I’m getting acid reflux again. So I’m taking Pepcid off and on now. I tried Acid Soothe which makes me FEEL less acidic but gives me – out of nowhere – overnight reflux in my throat. This was never an issue before I took Acid Soothe.

              I also get rashes (although the Antibiotics helped that greatly) so I think there is more going on with me which is why a lot of the ‘cures’ make me feel terrible. Ultimately though, since everyone out there on the internet is so yay, HCl (and Paleo for that matter) it’s important to keep in mind that each body is different and there really is no one diet or supplement package that fits all. AIP Paleo helped me but the high fat made me oh, so sick. I basically eat Fail-eo now (low fat protein, sweet potatoes and low fiber rice) which is the best diet I’ve come up with that keeps me from starving and yet I can digest it and doesn’t set my stomach off TOO badly.

              If all this is for naught and it works for you, though, great! I wish I’d been so lucky. Alas, not.

    • Sandy says

      What about ulcer risk? I have silent GERD evidently since I had an esophageal stricture and few symptoms of GERD. I’m concerned I could overdo it with HCL and create more problems. Any thoughts on that?

  13. kenneth ng says

    doctors nowadays are rarely healers and more of sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies

    the only health provider you can trust is yourself, eat healthy, fruits and vegetables (NO GMO), drink H2O and ony H2O or freshly squeezed fruits/vegetables and exercise!!! incorporate exercise in your daily routine like walking/riding a bike as your means of transportation, no need to pay for a gym sub, waste of money

  14. says

    Lot of information to digest here. (No pun intended). I strongly believe the best way to treat GERD is through restoring balance and that’s best done through natural means. However, in some cases, more radical therapies are needed. In the long run, though, natural is best.

  15. Michelle Shiflet says

    I should have included in my last post; Wouldn’t my ph study have showm low acid?

    Thank you for your time.

  16. Michelle Shiflet says

    I’ve been pretty ill for the past four months with heartburn,reflux, and stomic spasms. I’ve tried all the over the counter and a couple prescription acid reducer’s. None, have helped. All have made my issue worse while trying to take them. I’ve lost a lot of weight due to my issues. I just had a ph study done. My GI doctor said I have acid reflux and irratable bowel. My problem with this is, why are all the meds not working? I’ve just gotten sicker and I cant seem to tolorate much of any meds.

    In your opinion, could this be low acid? Could I be this ill from low acid?

    • Randi says

      I have been sick for 13 months.i have been to several doctors and have treated for acid reflux with Prilosec then nexium. Neither worked for me. I have been doing my own research and just started taking 1 tablespoon 2 times a day of Apple cider vinegar. I literally am getting cured!. I had the worst taste in my mouth for 13 months and that has gone away. I felt sick for 13 months and I am getting my life back. I also tried the Betaine HCL and that is a good option as well.i am convinced I had low stomac acid and was being grated for high stomach acid. Big mistake. Kombuca is also very good.

    • lauren says

      OMG! this is me to a T! it all just makes everything worse…. i was told the same thing. I dont know what to do anymore or who to listen to anymore. Or i know is my heartburn is shocking and im 26 and have IBS. NO antic acids help at all…. really sucks if you ask me

  17. Rita Sargent says

    someone just told me their Dr. told them to take a half shot of 100% agave Tequila in the morning and again at night…his reflux was gone the next time he had an endoscopy.

    Any thoughts on this?

  18. D says

    So according to this I should drink more. If the goal is to produce more stomach acid…what better way than to drink alcohol regularly?

  19. Jody says

    Great info here however, I’m interested in determining how to get off the meds to try things like HCL. I’ve been on them for several years. I’ve tried to ‘wean’ off but always have rebound even after trying to wean down for months. Any suggestions?

    • lewis says

      I am 30 and have had heartburn since 15. I used to eat a pack of Tums a day until about 24 then I started taking prilosec. I finally went to the doctor last year. Tested positive for H-pylori(spelling?) And went on antibiotics. Started doing research around this time and found enough info to convince me to kick PPI’s. I had my gallbladder removed in February this year too. I have found that if I skip grains I have almost no heartburn. I eat 1/2 a cup of oatmeal in a am smoothie, that’s about it. If I do have heartburn I can usually mitigate it with some apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”…I don’t now why) and water. About 1 TBSP vinegar to 8 oz or so water. Kill the grains, breads and pastas for a while and see how you feel. We can’t digest them, especially with low stomach acid and honestly most grains have almost no positive health effects, research photo test and anti-nutrients. Also I weened myself with tums. Just my thoughts. Email me if you want more info but I am thinking most of what you need is in this article.

      • Rosemary H says

        I’ve been on PPIs for over 10 years also. I truly believe it is the reason I’ve got Leaky Gut Syndrome now. When there is no longer any stomach acid, the food you eat is not digested properly, and your body becomes more and more inflamed, now allergies and autoimmune issues. I’ve not found a Dr. who will work with me on getting OFF the GERD medication, so I’m very interested in hearing what others have done, whether HCl or ACV.

      • Sue says

        I would be interested in more info about how to alleviate heartburn through diet please. I also had my gallbladder removed recently.

  20. says

    Great post. It’s about time more people realized that reflux and GERD are often due to too little stomach acid. Once they make that mind shift, the path to wellness is clear.

  21. heartburnhell says

    im 31 year old male and have had heartburn every day since i was 14. Never had much luck just ate tums until zantac came on the market then ate one of those everyday but still would have heartburn at night. You know that feeling after you eat or just before when you get that rumbling belch that triggers the burn. I just started taking a product called Paragone because I have been feeling very fatigued lately. I thought it might be my vitamin D so I started to take supplements and that didn’t do much. So I looked online of course and something about parasites popped up. Well although it has seemed to work a tiny bit for my energy I could not believe it made my refulx go away. I have been taking for the past three days and for the past two I have not taken any antacids or zantac. I have had the belch and then nothing happened. I had eaten pasta then a giant steak dinner and still nothing for two days.I know the energy thing could be a placebo effect but believe me when I tell you if you are reading this refulx can not get a placebo effect. I don’t know if this is a cure or if the reflux may be caused by a parasite of some kind. I just know it happened and hope that it keeps up after I am finished taking this product. It would be a miracle to no longer have reflux as that I can tell you from experience is an awful way to have to go through life. My suggestion is to try some type of parasite cleanse and see if it works. It can’t hurt and I feel all of your pain. Oh also I have been taking fiber supplement as these herbs in these cleanses can back you up if you know what i mean.

    • Natalie says

      Hi. If your parasite cleanse formula included Wormwood (as most do), then it is perhaps no surprise that your heartburn resolved, as another of wormwood’s traditional uses is as a stomachic – i.e. it helps digestion. Wormwood is from the artemesia family of plants.

  22. says

    As a dietitian I work with teens and adults with GERD. The first thing I try is getting them completely off dairy. That appears to solve a lot of issues.

    Also, as you age [I know many of you are not that old], the acid production in the stomach decreases. Then, folks start taking anti-acids, like TUMS, and further decrease their acid which leads to undigested foods.

    I also find that the fiber intake is really low. Your fiber intake should be about 30 grams a day. You can easily get that from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

    Other foods that frequently cause the problem are alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, fatty foods, citrus.

    My rule of thumb suggestion is that clients track their fat and fiber intake for 2-3 days. You can use any online food tracker you want as long as it tracks the fat and fiber. Fat should be 20% of your total intake or less and fiber should be around 30-35 grams daily. For individual food items, fat should be 3 grams or LESS per serving and fiber should be 3 grams or MORE per serving.

    FYI – no animal foods have fiber.

    • Cindy says

      LaDiva, How do I find the right kind of dietician to help me with addressing acid reflux? My vocal chords are swollen but honestly none of the doctors can confirm I have acid reflux. Some suggest the swelling is caused by post nadal drip. I would love to find a professional in Reno, NV to help me through this.

  23. Neil says

    I have been on nexium for 5 years now and my GERD is worse than ever. Eventually I’m going to stop taking it, because it is only acting as a bandaid and not curing my disease. I went to the gastroenterologist today and he told me that I will have to take nexium for the rest of my life and get quarterly esophageal dilations. I told Dr. I did not want the dilation procedure anymore, because it only helps for a couple weeks and cost thousands of dollars; furthermore I wanted to get off the nexium because they were not helping. To my surprise he reacted in an angry manor, he tossed his clipboard on the table and looked at me and said, “so what do you want me to do then?”. I knew then that he could care less about helping me find a cure.

    • heartburnhell says

      Day 5 people and still no heartburn. How has this not been discussed yet. PARASITE CLEANSE!!! It might not help everyone but, I think it will help some of you. Please try one…

        • Heartburnhell says

          I used ParaGone by RenewLife. I found it on vitamin shoppe website. I am about 12 days in and it’s been great so far. The only time I have felt a little was after a big meal right before bed and laid down, but even with that I would sit up for a few minutes then it was gone. Not even enough to take a tums. I know it sounds crazy and it might not help everyone but worth a shot. I think I may have picked up parasites as a kid, playing in ponds or eating without washing hands, maybe under cooked food or something. For me this has been a miricale and I don’t say that lightly. Everyone on this site should at least try. Just make sure to use fiber. I use metamuccil, because it did block me up. I am very afraid that reflux will come back after I am done with the cleanse but that is to be seen in a few more weeks. Will keep this site updated after finish. Two weeks reflux free though.

          • heartburnhell says

            Ok so I said I would be back to talk about the parasite cleanse and how it went and where I am today. So I finished the parasite cleanse a week before Halloween. It is now Nov. 25th and my results have been nothing short of amazing. I have gained about 8lbs from being able to eat more then once or twice a day. I have taken ppi three times since I started the cleanse in Sept. Twice because I had gotten nervous when going out for the day with my girlfriend and knowing we would be eating italian food after I had drank the night before. Both times I had a small burb and i took a precaution. The third was legit, but it was after a night of drinking heavily, then waking the next day and eating leftover meatballs in tomato sauce and buffalo wings for breakfast. Dumb I know but it happens. Besides that there where three cases where I ate tums, that was at the beginning of the program. I must say I am surprised that this has not been mentioned more often. I don’t think I am cured because I will still get the occasional burb and burn in my chest. I am though at least 99% better then I have been in a while and I must say I am not hating it!

  24. Allen says

    Hi, I have tried the low carb. diet for a week along with taking the Pervacid, Zantac, and gaviscon three time a day and symptoms still there. The pain is not severe but still there.
    My problem started when I had to take lots of Aleve for my back injury. I think I got peptic ulcer.
    I have tried some of the natural stuff like DGL tablets, Mastic gum, Aloevera juice and manuka honey but not much help. Any suggestions?

    • Jasmine286 says

      From my experience it all seems to stem from digestive problems.. if you can conquer those, it is a good way forward.. You can try taking Digestive Enzymes with every meal, drink plenty of water and avoid ready meals.. eat plenty of Salads and fresh foods and as your digestion improves, try to eat mostly raw organic produce… Hope this helps

    • Angie says

      OMG I got the same issues after taking too much ibuprofen.
      4 months later, I’m still dealing with the nausea, burning, belching/gas and occasional pains.
      How are you doing now?

  25. Matt Soucie says

    I have been on my PPI for 3 months and I’m ready to get off and try the HCL supplement to treat GERD. Do I need to wean myself off the PPI or can I quit cold turkey?

  26. anthony says

    This article is rather silly. So you start by admitting that heartburn or GERD discomfort is caused by acid splashing and touching the esophagus and then you go on stating that the cause of GERD is not enough acid.
    So not enough acid causes acid to splash and have contact with the sensitive esophageal tissue? How does this make sense explain… and how does adding more hydrochloric acid help the problem of the acid having contact with the said tissue?

    • joseph says

      I will try to reformulate what I understood
      having low acidity will not help digestion , even worse, it will favor fermentation . Hence dilatation of intestinal and gastric pressure , which phenomena will spoil closing of the cardia , supposed to avoid GERD
      if the pressure is too high it may even lead to heart disorder ( this is my case : extrasystole and worse , fibrillation )
      heart disorder can also come from oesophagia inflammation because oesophagia is very close to heart
      it is correct then that we see a first improvment by taking anti acid stuff ,reducing irritation of oesophagia but after a while when fermentation is increased due to less acidity then heart disorder due to diaphram high pressure is increased

  27. Pavla Koudelkova says

    I had a problem with digestion for a long time and because of that I ate very good diet, My only sin was coffee and white wine. One day after a great stressful time related to my mom’s death I experienced reflux; I felt the like the food is “flowing” on the top of the stomach, but no heartburn, no mucus, no cough. I went to doctor and she gave me PPI. I am 49 yrs old and haven’t have any health problems, never took any medication, I am very active, slim, energetic…. I never for the whole life experienced any heartburn ( my parents, grandparents are from organic farms). I didn’t know anything about GERD, LPR, so I took the pill and was in such pain and fire that I wasn’t able to comprehend it. I took the pill couple more times and went back to the doctor . She didn’t listen to me and gave me Ranitidine. And it was then when I started to do a research.
    Before I went to the doctor I was eating normally and have no problem, except with that feeling of stomach indigestion “moving up and down”. I don’t know if it was triggered by those pills, but I started to have LPR symptoms. Throat in fire, full nose, lots of mucus. In no time I was on complete alkaline diet, including even alkaline pH8.8 water; really almost 100% alkaline and I got even worse symptoms including pain while swallow. In that time I started to read Dr. Wright and everything became clear to me. I stopped pills, alkaline diet ( not completely, it’s great for digestion and together with it I started to dink 3 lt of water a day and my constipation is gone) and ate everything like before ( but I mentioned that my diet was very healthy anyway, but add all those acids back) and I feel as I felt before I went to the doctor. I still have a little feel of “heaviness ” in my stomach and maybe I have issues going on, H.Pylori, ulcer Idk, I will go for some test, but the LPR symptoms are gone.
    I am shocked now, that without measuring your acid levels without even listening to you you are prescribed PPI. That your symptoms are not treated in a bigger picture, especially in cases of GERD. The low stomach acid and reasons for this problem explained by Chris, Dr.Wright and other world doctors are logical and right. Everybody can try it easily, but patiently, on himself. I wanted to share this, because I was so depressed in the beginning not knowing anything and saw myself dying from esophageal cancer.

  28. Tina says

    This article made me lose faith in just about every doctor I have ever had.
    First of all… I was never told I have Silent GERD. Never even heard about it until now.
    I very rarely ever have the burning sensation in my chest. I feel it when it reaches the base of my throat. I had no idea I had GERD until one day (20 years ago) when I was having problems and a neighbor offered me an antacid. I protested saying that I didn’t have heartburn, but there was something wrong with my throat. He stated that if the antacid didn’t work, then no harm done, but if it did, at least I’d know for sure.
    I’ll be darned… it worked.
    So… I started taking antacids. First, one would do the trick, but then it got to the point when the taste of the first antacid hadn’t even left my mouth before I was having to chew on another. So I started chewing 2 at a time… then 3… then 4… when I got to 5 I decided to see a doctor. By that time I had become a connoisseur of the best tasting and longest lasting antacids.
    He told me that the sphincter at the base of my esophagus wasn’t closing properly and that like a percolator, the stomach acids were building up and coming up the esophagus. He prescribed Prilosec and that seemed to do the trick… for a while.
    By the time Prilosec wasn’t lasting a full 24 hours anymore, that doctor had passed away and I went to see another.
    She told me… and after reading this article I wonder about her abilities… that I was producing too much stomach acids and prescribed me Nexium.
    A few years later, I had annoying chest pains. Well… not really chest pains as the pain and ache occurred higher up towards the shoulder. About the same area where a woman would place her hand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
    It persisted for almost a week before I went to the hospital where I was told that at some point, my reflux had gotten so bad that some acids had leached out of my esophagus and damaged the muscles there. I was then prescribed a nitroglycerin like medication to soothe and relax the smooth muscles there.
    Unfortunately, I am no longer able to afford the Nexium prescription and have switched back to antacids, which I find now (in this article) isn’t doing me any good at all.

    My reflux happens all time, It doesn’t matter if I have eaten or not, nor if I am laying, standing or sitting. I wish I had just one or two bouts of this a week. As it stands, I have it every single day… almost all day. Although burping isn’t very ladylike, I find myself burping at least three to four times an hour… whether I have eaten or not.
    I have even had what I call “wet burps” during sleep and have woken up with bile in my mouth, unable to breathe because of course, I have tried to inhale that bile during sleep and that wonderful trigger that doesn’t want us to breathe liquids has kicked in and closed off my airway. That has to be the scariest times of my life. Fighting to breathe but not being able to.

    Another weird symptom that I complained for years about (that no doctor could ever explain – but online sites finally did) is that every so often I will feel sick to my stomach almost to the point of vomiting, then I’ll sneeze, and that feeling will go away entirely after the sneeze. Guess what? It’s also a symptom of GERD.

    I am beginning to think that some of these doctors need to go back to college and brush up on GERD. I am learning more about and finding more about GERD online than I ever have from a doctor.

    I’m thinking maybe I’d like to try that Hydrocloric Acid supplements might be the next thing I try. At this point, I am so tired of the pain and discomfort that I’ll try just about anything to get relief.

  29. Lee Bond says

    I have a Lapband since December 2012. Two months back I decided to have a small fill. After that fill, two days later I started experiencing sever acid reflux. I’m at the point now where it’s been recommended having the band removed. I’m wondering if it’s a lack of acid, not excess acid. I bought Apple Cider vinegar to try. Can you give me a suggested dose and your opinion.


  30. Ank says

    Great website, full of good information.

    Can someone advise if I can buy Hydrochloric Acid Supplements over the counter?
    Also, the name of the supplement.

    My body is creating acid for almost 6 months.
    Just got off Nexium after 2 months course which seems to work when I was on it, week after I stop taking them I am back where I was.

    • Jasmine286 says

      Yes you can buy them in the Health Shop.. Be careful to start slowly, especially if you have inflammation in the Esophagus.

  31. anita ingram says

    I just came off an HCG diet, no carbs, so sugar for one month. I decided to run an experiment and ate a boatload of pita chips this afternoon. Wow. Gerd. I suspected that might happen. I had noticed a couple of times having this within the last few months. I wasn’t sure it was tied to gluten. I had taken HCL and it may have helped. I took HCL this time and does not help. Gluten is my enemy at this stage of the game appartnely.

    • Jasmine286 says

      Maybe it was the Salt on the Chips, or even the way they were cooked… Crisps and Chips etc are more likely to cause Gerd.. You should try eating a piece of plain Bread maybe, that is more likely to show an accurate idea.

  32. B.T. says

    I wish I found you two months ago. I was eating very poorly and went to the doctor for indigestion issues – basically pain in my stomach and gas that would get stuck in my sternum and cause pressure in my chest. They suggested I try protonix 40 mg for acid reflux. I asked the doctor the down side of taking it and she said basically to try it and if it works great and if not, we will figure things out. Mind you, I didn’t have heart burn or other typical reflux issues. Just the painful gas rising into my chest. Well, after a week, I realized that nothing had changed after taking the protonix. so I stopped cold turkey. Didn’t realize that was an issue. Then reflux symptoms started so I assumed she was right and I started taking it again. Now 2 months later, I take 2 protonix 40 mg a day and still have the gas pain in my chest. I went to Mayo and basically said I had functional dyspepsia and acid reflux. I had a CT scan of my brain, abdomen and chest, a HIDA scan, a heart stress test, esophagus manometry, 24 hr ph test, endoscopy, colonoscopy, and barium swallow test and that is what they found. However, I believe I only have the reflux now after the drugs changed the way my stomach was producing acid. It was probably low acid to begin with but I wasn’t educated at the time. I am taking Iberogast (natural herbs that was recommended to me by Mayo and popular in Europe) for the dyspepsia- only on it a few days and it says it takes 4 weeks to work so too soon to tell. Also since I am having severe bloating and gas which I didn’t have before, next week I am going to be tested for bacterial overgrowth which could have been caused by the acid reflux drugs. I know without a doubt that my health issues went down hill as soon as I started taking those $%&#$ reflux drugs. So I so wish I saw your sight sooner!!! With that being said, can you let me know the best way to wean off of the PPI’s and how long I can expect it to take? I want to go to a purely natural way of dealing with my gastric issues.

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi Beth, I do not think it is easy to get back to normal after taking PPI’s.. What you have described sounds like exactly what happened to me… Once I had taken them it was a whole new ball game… Burping, gas pains, stomach aches, undigested food in stools, in fact I was very very ill.. I had all sorts of scans, I thought I had all sorts of illnesses.. I cold not understand what was happening to me… I believe that they changed the whole pattern in which my stomach worked… They dish out these tablets like they are sweets! It has taken me months to get this far, and I am finally able to eat almost everything again.. I am just careful not to eat foods that are difficult to digest.. I still occasionally have episodes of Burping though, though not very often.. but before I took the PPI’s I never had those issues.. These tablets need to be used under stricter guidelines.. And more tests should be carried out to see whether a person actually needs them or not… I believe that PPI’s can cause a lot of damage if they are prescribed in-correctly.

      • Beth says

        Hi Jasmine,
        Thanks for replying. I am still having lots of troubles and I have been off PPI’s for 30 days. Curious, when you said months, how many months before you started feeling slightly better. Also, how long were you on PPI”s to begin with.
        Thanks in advance,

        • Jasmine286 says

          Hi Beth,

          It took me about 6 months to feel normal again.. The tablets made me very ill… although I was only on them for about a month, I was trying other ones such as Zantac etc on the Doc’s advice.. which of course just made things worse.. I was so ill I could not digest anything! I was able only to eat plain rice that was almost a pulp.. I could not digest anything else.. I then gradually started adding other foods but it took a long time and a lot of bad days and nausea, burping, wind etc I now eat salad almost every day with dressing.. Jacket Potatoe was very easy to eat too… I do not have Dairy any more or Tea… I tried eliminating grains but it made no difference, in fact I find Bread really good to eat… I think the main things that tend to cause a problem with digestion are usually ready meals.. anything that is not fresh… If you stick to a good fresh diet and do not over do it with spice and fatty foods, that seems to work best.. also drink plenty of water. One day you will just notice that you are not thinking about that horrible GERD anymore, and you will realise as one day turns into 2 and then into a week that things are getting much better.. It does take a long time though!

  33. Amy says


    Dr. told me I had mild gerd a year ago, and it only bothers me when I’m forced to take NSAIDs due to a migraine.

    I have had Gerd now for the last 7 days, its not in my chest very much, but my throat is burning and that taste of vomit is in my mouth. At first I used Apple cider vinegar which didn’t help, them took a few OTC drugs and eating mostly alkaline foods. Still it comes back within a few hours.

    By the way, I currently drink a lot of Kombucha and eat clean, off dairy and gluten for 4 yrs now.

    Can I start taking this HLC while I have it burning in my throat? How much? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi, I started have Gerd about 7 month ago, with a sore throat. I have tried so many things.. but overall I think that trying to improve my digestion has been the most helpful.. It must be true that the initial problem must be lower down, for it to come back up… I have been very careful with my diet avoiding very hot and spicy, I also cut out Dairy.. I started with everything very soft and bland and gradually added back in each day.. Digestive Enzymes have been an incredible help and I take some with each meal..I also try to eat Papaya and Beetroot regularly as these also seem to help digestion.. I drink Alkaline water throughout the day and never drink Tea or Coffee.. Other than those restrictions I now have a very normal diet and can once again eat Chocolate, Tomatoes etc without a problem.. I hope this information is helpful to you.. I know how awful this terrible Reflux can be!

  34. says

    Thanks for all this info. Short version of a long story follows. Diagnosed with blastocystis hominis in July 2013, first symptoms occurred 20 May 2013 and it took a while to identify. Have now had 7 courses of antibiotics including flagyl finally graduating to a colonic infusion of a triple antibiotic administered directly into the colon. Whilst I was in hospital for the day I tested positive to heliobactor pylori. Last month 13 April, I had severe indigestion and was taken to hospital for a suspected heart attack. Today, thanks to your article I am thinking this may all be related and my question is— Could all of the antibiotics I have taken over the last 12 months reduced my stomach acid and indeed set me up with the H pylori?

    • pcm says

      reflux and heart problems have been associated with H. pylori [also A fib-racing heart].
      Antibiotics deplete the B vitamins and iron.
      They take out good and bad bacteria-probiotics are taken to replace good bacteria.
      People in this blog have spoken about heart problems and reflux.

  35. schepsil72 says

    even evening at around two after being asleep for four hours i get a burning sensation in my gut. I had a cat scan of pelvis and abdomen two weeks ago as well as a colonoscopy and endoscopy. Have been seriously constipated for two weeks for the first time in my life not getting enough sleep or relaxation hoping to get more regular so i can enjoy my work and life.. i think it may have come from a serious diagnosis two months ago that caused anxiety and the cold winter brought a bad flu.. there is a lot of information that i will follow up with my gi doctor later today.. i heard conflicting reports on fiber good and bad mostly bad for constipation.. i think i want the hydrogen breath test, as well as test for hcl , how is hcl tested ?

  36. 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.

    • Jasmine286 says

      Hi Ingrid,

      Do you find that the PPI’s always help you.. How do you get on with the stopping and starting of these tablets.. do you get rebound? Also when you take PPI’s do you experience problems with your digestion due to the in-balance of stomach acid? Thank you Jasmine

  37. 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..

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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?!!!

  41. Nicole says


    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.

  42. 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,

  43. 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!

  44. 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

    • yanexy says

      Pavla, I have had the same symptoms that you described! I’ve been on PPIs for 3 months and now I have the heartburn sensation frequently and the feeling that food sits in my stomach for hours. I have been so depressed and frustrated because symptoms have only gotten worse. And I fear that my doctor will follow conventional methods and not help me find what the actual problem is.

  45. 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.

  46. 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?

  47. 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!

  48. 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? [email protected]

  49. 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?

  50. 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?

  51. 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

  52. Edward Powell says

    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.

    • Alexandra says

      Really nice to read this comment. I’ve had GERD for years and all the suggestions I read about low stomach acid, paleo, take HcL/enzymes, etc. make it SO much worse it’s ridiculous. Perhaps a large majority of people diagnosed with heartburn have low stomach acid and this info is useful for them, but for those of us who seem to have the opposite problem, reading article after article that implies ‘if you just take this supplement, oh, that didn’t work, then you need to do this’ and ignores that some people actually are not doing well doing it ALL with these protocols, is very frustrating and a bit condescending. I challenge Chris Kresser and others to provide suggestions to people with ACTUAL high stomach acid . These guys spend their lives gathering information, they must have ideas. Since high stomach acid does exist as a problem, I’d love to hear their ideas on how to help that so the small percentage of us for whom adding acid is a nightmare can get some healthy natural relief as well (if possible) without just killing all our stomach acid entirely.

  53. 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 :)

  54. 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!!

  55. 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?

  56. 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

  57. 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,

      • 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


          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,

        • 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.

          Hope that helps.

  58. 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??


  59. 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!


    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

      • Pete says

        Your symptoms’ are so similar to mine ive had for 12 months, throat clearing , lump in throat/chest feeling and a cough and then a slight saw throat hoarsness worse in the afternoon. Im on Lanzaprozile and Gaviscon but they don’t work. LPR is usually indicated by high Pepsin levels which I have , I haven’t tried HCL with pepsin as im afraid this is adding even more pepsin so im very confused like you you is LPR (silent reflux) caused by to much acid or low acid or could be one or the other ??? and should I try HCL ???.

  60. Catherine York says


    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…

  61. 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?

  62. 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

  63. Terry says

    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


  64. 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.

    • lewis says

      Kudos to you for being a badass! I can shoot jack and bad scotch fine but not ACV lol. This stuff is pretty acidic I would dilute it in water just in case there is a risk to your esophagus. Just my thoughts… I dilute mine and drink with a straw so I don’t ruin my teeth.

  65. 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

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


    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



  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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?


    • 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?


      • 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.

            • 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?)


              • 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,

                • 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!!

        • Susan says

          Anna, Can you share how you came off of the PPI’s? Did you wean yourself? My entire digestive track is on fire and feels raw. I am very leary of trying HCL under these circumstances. Does anyone have suggestions. I have slowly weaned myself from 40 mg nexium to 20 mg OTC prilosec. But the burning continues.

      • 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.

          • 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,


                • 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!

        • 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!

    • Pete says

      Hi Alanna

      Your symptoms’ are so similar to mine ive had for 12 months, throat clearing , lump in throat/chest feeling and a cough and then a slight saw throat hoarsness worse in the afternoon. Im on Lanzaprozile and Gaviscon but they don’t work. LPR is usually indicated by high Pepsin levels which I have , I haven’t tried HCL with pepsin as im afraid this is adding even more pepsin so im very confused like you you is LPR (silent reflux) caused by to much acid or low acid or could be one or the other ??? and should I try HCL ???

  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.


    • 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. 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.

  71. murali says

  72. 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?

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. Karl Andersen says

  79. 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!

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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!

  83. 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.

  84. 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

      • 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…

  85. 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.

  86. 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.


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

  87. Anna says


    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.

  88. Brian says


    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!

      • Anthony says

        If you suffer from EOE, as I do, you should change your diet entirely. Keep a food journal and write down the foods that make you react. I found that by eliminating MSG from stuff like yeast extract, hydrolyzed proteins, chemicals that preserve shelf life, staying away from RBST / RBGH / growth hormones in my milk and food, and ultimately searching out NON GMO foods is the only way to rid yourself of these problems. Also, it is very very important to stay hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water.

  89. 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

    • 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

  90. 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.

  91. getmeoffthisPPI! says


    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!

  92. 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.

  93. 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?

  94. 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

  95. 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.

  96. 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!



  97. 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.!

  98. 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


      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!

    • Laura says

      Hi there, I have Dysfunction of the Belch Reflex and am interested to hear more about what your daughter and husband experience. An endoscopy showed that I have a hiatus hernia, although the doctor said it is unlikely that it is causing the DBR symptoms. They then prescribed me anti-depressants to treat my anxiety, thinking that was the cause. After 6 months and no change in symptoms I am stuck again. I induce gagging to cause me to burp more than once daily – this relieves my symptoms but is very painful in itself. I created a survey about it which 559 people have responded to; unfortunately surveymonkey.com only lets me see the first 100 responses unless I pay (I am looking into getting the money together to pay). More than half of the respondants that I can see reported anxiety/severe stress… and I still believe this may be the cause. See my survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5FG9FW5 . There is also a Facebook group about it here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dysfunction-Of-The-Belch-Reflex-We-Cant-Burp/137569112977659

  99. 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?

  100. 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?

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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?


    • 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.

  104. 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?

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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?

  108. 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.

  109. Joe says


    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,

  110. 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?

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. says


    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.

  115. 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.

  116. 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

  117. 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?

  118. 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


  119. 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.

  120. 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!

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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.

  124. 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?

  125. 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).

  126. Jae says


    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!

  127. admin says


    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.

  128. 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?

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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.

  132. 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)?

  133. 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.

      • Lora says

        Surprisingly, there are no carbs in scotch (or rum or other hard liquors) even though they are made from sugar.

  134. 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


        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

    • Chris R. says

      The gastroenterologist I was using and who did my first colonoscopy has blithely prescribed me Nexium and other PPIs, even suggesting using different ones over the course of a single day, and telling me “no problem taking them long-term.” It took me 3 months of tapering to get off the stuff, been using HCL and probiotics, sublingual B12. Vast improvement but I have noticed recently back to the constant throat clearing and swallowing after eating gluten foods. Think I am going to try the gluten-free for a week and see what happens.

      But I am never going back to that GI doctor. I think what she did borders on malpractice.

  135. 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!

  136. 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


    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

          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

        • Laurie says

          Try eliminating dairy. I got instant relief. Then I eliminated gluten, and am symptom and med free unless I cheat. You will know within a few days if this is the path for you.

      • 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!

      • AMY says

        Hi. I didn’t experience indigestion until I started losing weight. I was doing weight watchers and eating great. I started getting severe indigestion twice a week. Then it got worse. I would take tums, rolaids etc. I didn’t think it was serious. I have got off my diet and started eating back to where I used to eat. Gained my weight back but the indigestion never left. I still get it twice a week. I only eat maybe twice a day and when I do its really not fatting. I love fruit like strawberries, apples. I can wake up in the morning take my kids to school and by the time I get to work my indigestion comes. I started using Zantacs. My mother saids I need to see a doctor because it always comes back and she fears heart problems. I seen where tums is antacids and the store clerk was telling me how it could be lack of acid. Which seems to be true because I lack fatty foods on my diet and now that im off my diet and rarely eat when I can it usually isn’t greasy foods but what I can get my hands on, meat, salads, or even a steak and cheese sub from time to time. What over the counter drugs can I take to build my acid? Which I strongly believe this is the cause. It has to be. It is the only thing in which makes sense. I mean, it didn’t start until my diet. Never experience indigestion in my life. Its getting worse after three years of experiencing it. I need help and I need to know what the best meds I can take.

        Thank you,

  137. admin says


    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.

  138. 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

      • Roxanne says

        Calvin wrote:

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

        What’s UMF and “+15″? I’ve had silent acid reflux for four months. I’ve tried the hydrochloric acid, have not tried with pepsin capsules. I’m 63, very healthy, never had this before. The hydrochloric acid eventually caused GERD. I’m also using the DGL Licorice. I do apple cider vinegar and sleep on a mound of pillows. I’ve always had a very healthy diet and take vitamins. I lean towards constipation and manage with magnesium with calcium. I’m tired of being sick. Got any recommendations? Thank you, Roxanne

      • Joyce says

        I have been suffering with this GERD for so many years. Just got another endoscopy done, and in a lot of discomfort. Please help me to feel better.
        I am a elderly woman who has been suffering for a long time. Where and how can I get Hydrochloric Acid suppliments.
        My doctor never told me about it, and I don’t think he will give me a prescription for it either.

    • 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.

    • Sharron Biggi says

      My Granddaughter is 14 and has gerd very bad. She has had it for several years. Can this be caused if you are anxious and nervous? She is a special needs child.

      • Jasmine286 says

        From my experience GERD is mainly caused due to indigestion.. If your digestive system is not functioning properly then food cannot pass through properly and will cause acid reaction which will come back up.. You need to get your digestion back on track making sure that food is breaking down properly and exiting in a normal manner rather than coming back the other way..Nerves also seem to also play a part in this.. anything which causes your digestive system distress. Digestive Enzymes are a great start and they can help digestion.. Also just as Chris has said so many times, fermented foods.. good bacteria is essential… acidophilus can also help.. relaxation.. also not eating fast food, fried foods etc.. clean fresh organic food lots of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables..Herbs are good for flavouring food, Ginger and Tumeric are 2 very good spices also… Check your Vitamin levels also.. Don’t over eat or eat too late, and get some exercise every day to help food process through your system..

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