What Everybody Ought to Know (But Doesn't) about Heartburn & Gerd | Chris Kresser

What Everybody Ought to Know (But Doesn’t) about Heartburn & Gerd

by Chris Kresser

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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.

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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.

544 Comments

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  1. I also suggest you do the following protocol:

    Soon as you wake have a good quality Mastic Gum Capsule – known to kill H.Pylori and also helps with other intestinal issues. It also helps remove and heal ulcers.

    Morning – Have Kefir on an empty stomach for around 3 weeks then have a break, then use Apple Cider Vinegar for 3 weeks and back to Kefir. Keep Cycling so your body doesnt get used to one or the other. Kefir coats the stomach and calms down a lot of symptoms – try and make ORGANIC kefir with ORGANIC milk or FARM milk – supermarket milk is generally poor quality.

    Breakfast – Oats with Semi Skimmed good quality milk or lactose free if you can’t afford, or better yet with the Kefir if you are still hungry after Kefir.

    Lunch – LIGHT. Soup, make it tasty. Theres a load of recipes online for that. Cut the fat out of the soup.

    LOADS of veggies. Almonds, Cashews, and Walnut mixed handful. Eat it!

    Fruit – have an apple or an orange (if you can handle it), if not have a banana or handful of grapes.

    Remember this is going to need effort on your part to reverse the decades of abuse to your body.

    Dinner – Go for BROWN rice, not WHITE and go for fresh meat or vegetables again. CUT OUT CARBS – or very little. Potatoes, and so on should be bare minimum.

    COMPLETELY cut out ALL OILY Foods!

    Easier said than done.
    Your meal should consist of around 3/4 Fresh Vegetables or Lightly Grilled, with a piece of grilled chicken or fish. The name of the game is staying SIMPLE with your food till you begin to heal.

    COMPLETELY cut out ALL sugary foods – even breads and carbs (these are simple carbs not complex carbs…. know the difference between the two)

    You MUST do light exercise after EVERY single evening meal, even if its for 10 minutes – A walk outside your house or something else to stop blood sugar spikes.

    Stick to light meals even if you eat 3 times a day. Do not use any oil in your cooking PERIOD. As long as 50% of your diet is fresh raw vegetables you will be absolutely fine.

    The problem is this…you have abused your body FAR too long and it could be over a period of YEARS. You need to completely reverse everything and build your body’s defences back up. So the idea is to give our amazing bodies a fighting chance and that means cutting out the “desired” foods. This is simple an issue with the brain and you hypnotising yourself to NOT need sugary, fatty food. This is a giant con – PROCESSED food is generally 99.9% BAD. Any processed food.

    Your body needs NUTRIENTS from fresh food. The only way to describe is this – when we were cavemen, we would be outside hunting for food. We would be looking for FRESH food with no additives, chemicals or processing because our bodies have been designed to absorb natural food from the earth – NOT from a factory.

  2. I am not an acid reflux sufferer, but my husband was, and subsequently died of esophageal cancer. i am now dedicating my life to ridding this disease. I became certified as a health coach and I currently run a coaching tele-class webinar. This is a disease that is difficult to end on your own. I offer the knowledge, the support system and the accountability to get you to figure out YOUR OWN triggers, not what your neighbor has down the street. Everyone in my program learns life long tools to use. Clients have eliminated medications and or drastically reduced. So can you. I am in the final stages of putting my website together, but i will provide you with my business email. I would be more than happy to do a free consult to see if the program is right for you. Classes are continually enrolling. Please reach out, no one should suffer with a disease that is in your control. My website to come will be under HealingAcidReflux.com

    • I am suffering form mild-moderate GERD , I need Your Support to eradicate this . Also I will make awarness among the people about the cure procedure you will be suggesting.

      Good luck for this Campaign.

    • Im 32 im suffering pretty bad. My esophagus closed up on me twice. Im eating only apple sauce and jello im starving but everything gets stuck in my esophagus. They have me on 40mg omeperazole and fluticasone powder 50mg. I dont know what to do. Im a bit scared and really dont want to die. I want to live.

      • Joseph, you need to get some tests done. You may have Achalasia, a rare disease in which your lower esophageal sphincter closes up, preventing food from entering the stomach. Of course it could be many things which is why you need the tests. Go to an gastroenterologist. I have Achalasia. The tests I had were an endoscopy, barium swallow, and manometry. If it’s Achalasia, there are treatments to, not sure, but alleviate the symptoms! Good luck to you!

      • There is a procedure you can have done to stretch your esophagus. My friend has had it done after a two year stent of drinking only liquids. He may have to have it done again at some point, but for now he’s eating normal food. It’s a 15 minute procedure.

  3. I take Ranitidine and Pantoprazole. Just recently Gaviscon liquid has been added. How do I proceed if I am going to take DGL and papaya enzymes to alleviate my symptoms and help my stomach pH? I am confused after reading all the comments and do not know how to proceed without going to a naturopath for which I do not have the money. Thank you.

  4. Just wanted to mention something to those of you that are in pain from gastritis or similar issues. I was in a terrible shape years ago and couldn’t even eat anymore, ended up in the er. All the meds make it worse so I read about fresh raw cabbage juice and I think it pretty much saved my life. I was able to start eating soft foods again after drinking cabbage juice every day for a little while and then I stopped since I was no longer in pain. Hope this helps someone. All the best.

    • Thank you! I have mild chemical/reactive gastropathy. Not entire sure what caused this. My doctor hasn’t been able to figure it out. He has me on Omeprazole and had to increase the dosage to 40 mg a day because the 20 mg weren’t doing anything to me. I’ve always been weary of western medicine, so out of my own initiative, I decided to change my diet, stop drinking alcohol, give up caffeine, give up fats, dairy, and stay away from citrus. Not eating those foods really makes a HUGE difference in how I feel. However, whenever I eat them again, all the symptoms come back. It’s very annoying. I have stopped taking the Omeprazole because I started having other side effects. I will take the cabbage juice now as . you suggest!! I hope it helps with this as well!

    • I can second that this works! I had severe acid reflux and cured it by juicing a quarter of a head of cabbage with an apple (for flavor) every day for 2 weeks. No more acid reflux!!

  5. I’ve had this feeling of having lump in my throat and chest as if food won’t go down. I was giving a prescription for Prilosec and I use it sparingly. but the symptoms have worsened. ACV seems to make it worse! Weird as so many say it works for them. I have to sleep almost sitting up. My stomach gurgles in the morning along with bubbling in my throat. Bowels are off. I am wondering is it ok to take digestive enzymes along with the Prilosec?

    • I went to er when i had the lump feeling that was the start of my bad heart burn.. they gave me a drink that took it away nothing else worked for me. But now I take prolicsac 2 after dinner evey night.

    • I’d suggest you really need to get that checked out by a doctor again Henry, just to make sure it’s not something more serious.

      • I highly recommend that you do not use reglan………..they put me on it several years ago and had terrible side effects……….google it…………..some people said the tremors never went away………..fortunately mine did

    • Henry I have the same issue,my food just won’t go down sometimes but after roughly a minute or so & it does but can be so painful! I’ve had a series of Tests done & I know my muscle doesn’t work properly but have to wait till September for results of my recent Menometry,I have very little acid also! 12 weeks is too long to wait it’s terrible!!🙁

  6. So glad that I looked at this sight. I’ve decided my doctor of 15 years isn’t interested in digging into my problem’ it’s all about this test that test and more prescriptions. I have taken Nexium foe 3 years now I am on omerprazole(insurance will pay for). I went to the emergency room a couple weeks ago because felt like a campfire was it my stomach, it burned for 5 hours finally gave in and went. The only thing I could do was have morphine shots ended up with 3 of those. I have the gas attacks which feels like heart attack but this was the first time foe burning. Today had upper G I, he said everything was great all things were running smooth and no problems. I just came off a 7 day cleanse from reading Medical Medium by Anthony William. I am going to become more proactive in my own health, like for a functional Doctor and I am going to go with the honey and cold water and the apple after I eat. I’m going to watch the gluten and dairy also. This was a great site thanks to all. Oh yes and had the C T scan, found nothing.

    • Just keep in mind what works for some, don’t work for others. So if this does not help, keep on changing until it does. This is a trial and error period. 😉

    • Jody…………my acid reflux is finally under control somewhat………..take DGL from Amazon or health food store……………probiotics from Standard Process that i get from Chiropractor…………..and Gaviscon that is ordered from England via amazon……/”Gaviscon Advance Chewable……different ingredients……. try to stay away from mint. although the gaviscon does have it…………still works well…….. I stay away from chocolate………….just one cup coffee a day……….life is better. Best of luck.

  7. I cannot understand this completely… if the cause of GERD is low acid secretion in the stomach why is my esophagus and stomach constantly burning? Where is all of this acid coming from if according to this theory, I don’t produce enough stomach acid? I want to learn the reasoning behind this so I can get off of these terrible meds but when I even just decrease my PPI medication I get severe inflammation and pain that leads to infection I already eat a very basic and simple diet of rice porridge and veggies so I can’t be my diet. The thought of eating anything acidic like a raspberry or even a few drops of lemon on salad makes my cringe because I know it will start the burning. Any advice? How does this make sense?

    • GERD is caused by the LES not fully closing.
      The mechanics of the LES is that it requires a low ph to fully close and prevent reflux.
      PPI s treat a symptom.
      Your esophagus has virtually no protection from stomach acid that can dissolve meat. Even a little bit of acid causes damage and pain.
      Without acid-from ppi or h2 use- you will not absorb critical nutrients…b12,magnesium etc.

      A physical block to reflux is sodium alginate….plus potassium bicarbonate.

      Two capsules of sa plus one of pb after meals has helped me greatly.

    • Im still waiting for the explanation of the cause of low stomach acid as promised for part 2. Part to just continues to explain how low acid effects health not its root cause. This has been informative but somewhat misleading

      • As we get older, we produce less acid. If you are taking antacids or proton pump inhibitors you have even less. The LES valve (lower esophagial valve) needs enough acid for a signal that tells it to close and not let the acid up into your throat. Not enough acid and you get reflux. Very few people have too much acid.

    • There are so many possible causes and theories. I think the trick is to tune in to your body and to learn how to listen to it. When I was pregnant and dealing with nausea, I would choose food with the thought “Feel good and reduce nausea” in the back of my mind. I would look at foods and pay attention to what called out to me. That’s what I would eat. I found myself craving acidic foods like berries, and drinking lemon juice or apple cider vinegar offered me almost-instant relief. Meanwhile, when I would eat the fish, rice, and oily dishes my MIL cooked for me, I would feel awful. The sight made my stomach jump, and I knew I didn’t want it, but I would eat it because of cultural norms. And it always felt awful. Unless I had ACV or lemon juice to help me. Then it was okay!

      Long story short, my suggestion is to choose food with the idea of feeling good. Every body is different, so there’s no way to prescribe a single magical cure. Focus on feeling good, and see what comes across your way. There are herbs, teas, foods, and supplements out there that can help. If you focus on feeling good, you’ll surely “happen across” the ones that can help you. Also, check out Dr. Bruce Lipton’s talk The Biology Of Belief. There’s some powerful stuff in there that may really help you.

      Best wishes!

    • Because you have low acid due to tablets the mussel that is ment to close to stop the acid coming up stays open. I was on them for over 10 years. Over the last 4 years my asthma has been uncontrollable I’ve not been up to breath. I am in stage 3 kidney disease inflammation markers are through the roof. Gp said it was PM so put me on large amounts of steroids. Which only aggravated by breathing the pain I don’t know if my throat murph have you so badly damaged by the acid if it be corrected. all of my bloods or abnormal. Could not absorb any vitamins minerals my whole body was shutting down my red blood cells are very large and all abnormal. When I was put on the steroids the acid reflux’s was a lot worse so I was up to 60 mg of Lansoprazole and on top of that another two sets of tablets so I was doing seven tablets a day. Nearly killed me I praise him was so out of control my heart rate has been going so fast and irregular. I nearly ended up in ICU as I was so ill and the doctors could not control anything. I then started reading I’ve stopped taking the seven tablets a day from four days ago. I can’t stop the steroids straight away so i’m doing bitters. I also had a Coloscopy with the last two weeks to take biopsies from bowel. Which showed when they got to the TI I had to stop as it was so unstable they could not go any further. The damage these anti-acid tablets do is beyond belief it nearly killed me. I’m so glad to be off of them and have a much better understanding of why my body was feeding the way it was. Don’t know if the damage has been done to my body can be corrected I’ve prayed he can.

  8. This article is half true, half junk.
    Often the problem is that through acid or bacteria in the stomach that raises the acidity in the stomach can eat away at the sphinctermuscles that seperates the stomach from the Esophagus.

    Tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes contain a lot of acid, I know as I have these problems & get too much acid eating such foods. Too much acid goes into the Esophagus & can be cancerous, I need to be careful about what foods I take into me & their acidity.
    This article can be dangerous if people believe they need more acid in their stomachs. But I do agree people need to regulate the medicine they recieve as this can be dangerous too.

    • I agree. I know from my own experience that eating fatty foods gives me serious reflux. My Dr has told me to give us all fats and put me on Omeprazole , twice a day for 4 weeks and Gaviscon at night. Then stopping medication and doing hpylori test. This has only just happened to me and I’m really scared. I must have a lot of gas because I’m actually burned from going to the toilet.

    • I had surger for G.E.R.D at 16yrs old. Im now 33yrs old. They said my esophagus was as bad as a 70yrs olds.. Everything has been wonderful intil this yr when my stress when up. Only had heartburn 2xs for a small amount of time. Til i got a serious dry cough n couldnt stop coughing for wks now.. Then i got heartburn severly like when i was 16yrs old when it hospitalized me.i have a huge pain tolerance. Now i had heart burn for a full 72hrs. It went away almost all the way but i got left w a huge pain in between the bottom of my ribs. Not my ribs.. And its been there for 3days n not getting any better and today i woke up with a perfect straight line of pain in my back so i have it stressed out bad. Im starting to think my surgery came undone. Cause my stomach stayed open at 16. It did not close at all so they cut a pc of my stomach lining all around my stomach n tied it around the bottom of my esophagus so it would open n close again. It was perfect. But i dont kno what happened. I dont know if the surgery was meant for someone so young cause its almost been 20yrs. I need some advice. Or anyone that has this hapoen to them. I am the youngest person to have the surgeryin history when i had it done cause it is when they came out with lazor surgery. At least thats what my doctor told me at the time. Thanks.

      Melanie Badaracco

      • Melanie.. I understand your situation is much more different then mine, because I only had reflux esophagit – with heartburn, gases and pain in my stomach! but I am not agree that reflux happens because of the acidity. Acid causing the heartburn is because of the misfunction of stomach, which lacks it’s acid because of that the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus opens and the food and the little acid with it gets back to esophagus – so that the heartburn occurs. So from my experience of continuing reflux, I advise to try some sweet apple after the meal. It helps greatly for reducing heartburn, try it.
        I am extremely refuse the medication, which for me became a threat, as they only increased my heartburn.
        Good luck!

      • Hello Melanie, this happened to me a few months ago… This pain under my ribs on the right side so tender I could hardly breathe… after many tests an endoscopy finally revealed that I had severe gastritis due to the HP bacteria. I’m still healing and on a lot of medication, the bacteria is now gone but every time I try to stop my medication (pantoprazole 40 mgs twice a day) all of the acid comes back and eats my stomach and esophagus … the latest development was reflux laryngitis from the acid coming up my throat… I am trying to find alternatives to the medicines because now my hair is falling out in clumps (side affect of the PPI). I am only eating rice congee and steamed veggies everyday and that helps too with the PPI meds. Hopefully some information on this site may help… good luck with your acid.. I would suggest an endoscopy. (Also Georges distilled aloe water if you can find it helps so so much too).

      • Maybe you were not the youngest to have that surgery, as I have a sister who had the same surgery when she was 15 aprox in 1979 long before laser.

      • I have had this surgery 2x with in 6 years. I really watch what I eat and most of all how much I eat. It took me 3 Dr. Until I found one one that could help me. I take med’s twice a day ,they help but sometimes I just do not want to eat , because I know what is going to happen.

  9. Not sure why they are even recommending PPI’s any more. After my endoscopy, my gastro doctor informed me that they now think they are linked to alzheimers and not take any of them…..Zantac if I feel the need.

  10. If I am out and find I am getting reflux I start to chew gum. I don’t know if it is the increased saliva that it produces or what but it seems to calm the reflux right down. Just don’t buy sugared gum

      • Gum should not really help reflux as when you chew the body creates digestive juices which creates acid to break down the food which the the stomach expects to receive. The very action of chewing makes the stomach and whole system believe that food is on its way.

          • Gum helps me as well, in fact, it clears it up for a while. Lusina said that come should not help as it tricks the stomach into thinking that food is on the way. That is, the think, the very reason it does. If food is one the way then the stomach will release more acid to deal with it.

        • Surely if what has been said by “low acid” then the curd would be to make more = chewing gum tricking and making more acid lol

          • I think it’s the chicken and the egg situation. If you cannot digest your food because your digestive system is not working possibly due to low acid and mal function. This can brew up inside your stomach and create a lot of acid as the i digested food forces it way back up instead of settling down where it belongs. I. My opinion if you chew gum you are trying to digest food that is not there thus swallowing lots of air and creating more acid on the process.

          • It has certainly helped me. I think it affects individuals differently.

            Chewing gum after meals may not only freshen your breath, but it could help fight acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. A new study shows chewing gum after a big meal can reduce acid levels in the esophagus and may aid in preventing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

        • Exactly. It creates more stomach acid, which, if chewing gum works for you, is exactly what is required. GERD can definitely be a low acid problem. When I was diagnosed with GERD after an upper endoscopy/colonoscopy the doctor told me I would have to be on proton pump inhibitors for the rest of my life. I ignored his advice and instead went to a licensed dietitian. I began to take DGL (deglycerized licorace) 20 minutes before each meal and Quick Digest (papain, a natural fruit enzyme) after meals.

          I worked with the dietitian for a year and changed my diet completely, but still experienced frequent discomfort and reflux. She referred me to a gastroenterologist who sent me for a gastric ultrasound and SIBO test. The SIBO test was positive. One of the problems I had was h pylori, which causes low stomach acid. This doctor prescribed a course of Rifaxamin (an alternate treatment is peppermint oil, though it takes much longer and I was eager for the pain to stop). My dietitian put me on the low FODMAP diet for 8 weeks and then slowly added foods back into my diet. This worked wonders. I realized that I have to avoid wheat and high sugar foods like the plague. My recent upper endoscopy showed no more evidence of GERD.

          I would highly encourage anyone experiencing GERD to try DGL and papaya enzyme (available at any Whole Foods or health food store) and the FODMAPS diet with the help of a dietitian. If you can’t adequately identify foods contributing to your digestive issues, ask for a SIBO test. It’s very simple and painless to do – you just blow up a balloon every 15 minutes for two hours after fasting. I was highly motivated to take one after meeting a man who was dying from esophageal cancer after a lifetime of GERD and Prilosec.

        • I have been on Omeprazole 20 mg/day for 4 months. Since then I have developed dry mouth and hoarseness which I briefly loose my voice. My body was not producing saliva so I had to get Biotene to sooth my throat ‘some’. I quit taking the medication when I lost my voice for several hours. After a couple days the soreness in my throat felt better. I called the doctor to change my prescription. He didn’t believe it was the medication but that my medication wasn’t strong enough so he changed it to 40 mg. So I took it next day and that night I was back with the sore throat again. So I stopped it immediately. Looking for natural after reading all risk and learned the meds was a mask and doesn’t cure I head to the health store. I got the HCL 250 MG with Pepsin to increase my acid intake and Manuka Honey to heal my agitated throat. I just read about the home test for acid level as to how many MG I require. Today was the 1st day and no heartburn knock on wood. I occasionally notice when I have GERD so it may take a few days to see if this works and figure out what dosage I need.

          • Hi Joan, I read your post and it was so similar to me. I am on prilosec and it’s drying me out and that’s all they keep giving me. And my voice is hoarse too. I will try the products you mentioned and started them – I just wondered how you are feeling. I am thankful for these forums because doctors here are clueless and could care less about helping someone figure out cause and remedy – just take these pills.Thank you for posting.

  11. I have discovered that the best thing for my GERD is a substance called sodium alginate.
    In Europe it is included in Gaviscon Advanced but is in minute quantities in the US version.
    Sodium alginate somehow turns into a froth that acts as a mechanical barrier keeping acid from relfluxing into the esophagus. It is that acid into the esophagus that causes pain.
    I got the sodium alginate powder via Amazon. I put that into empty gelatin capsules. I pop two after every meal. No pain,no reflux,no palpatations no problems.
    The SA I bought is food grade,used in cooking. Sodium alginate is safe,with no side effects accept possibly weight loss since it expands and makes you feel fuller.
    It is not an antacid. But for some cases (severe reflux,which may have cause structural damage to the LES) taking it with an antacid for a while may be helpful.
    I use betaine HCL, a Beeno generic while eating followed by two of my homemade alginate pills. No antacid or H2 blocker or PPI is needed for me.

    • Yes gaviscon is really good and does not interfere with the acid flow down in the stomach so does not ruin your digestive system like PPI’s

      • I agree, it has helped me. Wish it did not have mint. Mint can aggravate acid reflux.

        Also
        Who shouldn’t take Gaviscon advance?

        People who are allergic or intolerant to any ingredient of the medicine. Check the leaflet provided with the medicine if you know you have specific allergies or intolerances.
        Gaviscon advance is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
        Gaviscon advance contains sodium and potassium and may not be suitable for people who are on a strict salt, sodium or potassium restricted diet, for example those with heart or kidney disease. Ask your pharmacist for advice.
        Gaviscon advance also contains calcium so may not be suitable for people with high levels of calcium in their blood, or with a history of kidney stones that contain calcium. Again, check with your doctor or pharmacist if this applies to you.

  12. My stomach come back up, even water at times. I need something to take, a special diet has not fixed my issues, nor any of the other tricks, loose clothes no leiing down etc.

    • I’ve just started trying raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1 TBS in 4 oz water, and it has helped me from the first dose. I stopped taking my Protonix about 5 weeks ago because of the dangerous side effects. It would be worth a try for you

      • Yes, right! I also take raw apple, I eat them after every meal! It helps greatly! Also in my country there is domestic honey, which we use in regular life, and I started to take 200ml water+1t.sp. honey, in the morning and then after 40 min. I eat my breakfast. That kind of COLD “honey water” prepares stomach for the meal to be normally digested, so that heartburn and reflux will not occur. I can say after 2 years of PPI’s and other medication such as Gaviscon, Nexium, etc, I cured myself with a normal balanced food, natural herbs such as fennel, and fruits such as apple… Be very careful while drinking water, it has to be drunk after 1.5 hour of having a meal, or before 40 min. I also noticed that granular food harms me, so I eat them not much and only with lots of fennel…
        Good luck!

  13. I been having after I eat my meals that it feels like I swolled a whole meat ball then I have heartburn, indigestion, so much pain! What would you suggest to do? I have tried all medicines it relieves it for couple hours and that’s it so tired of the pain. Please any suggestions I would appreciate it!

    • I know that feeling. Mostly your 1st swallow throbs with pain as it goes down your throat. I had an endoscopy done a few months back and they had to stretch my throat. The pain when eating went away but not the GERD. My Mother-n-Law had the same problem. The doctor told me to have it done again in 6 months but I will just wait to see if the pain comes back. I woke up from the anesthesia and was choking on mucus from it. They had to give me some gel to drink to calm the mucus but it didn’t help much. I had coughing spells for 2 months after.

    • It may be that you are having a hiatal hernia which is undiagnosed, where the stomach is pushed up and pushes your esophagus up, making a kid of bump. That may be the reason for your feeling of a ball in the throat. If so, I would try to find a chiropractor that can pull the stomach back to its place.
      It happened to me and it seems I succeeded to fix it by myself.
      Wish you well,
      Aviva

  14. I have been on omneprazole for over 10 years for gerd. Weaned myself off in the past year. for the most part have been doing quite well. Recently have been drinking lemon water in morning for sluggish liver. Have noticed gerd symptoms returning. Also drink apple cider vinegar(2tbls) twice a day. Am I doing too much?

    • No, Joan you are not taking too much ACV. I took it before every meal and sometimes if I felt heartburn coming on. It took me about 3 weeks to wean off PPI’s

  15. Hi Im 58 yrs old and I have acid reflux . I taking omeprazole have been for 4-yrs. I have tried almost everything . I still get bad heartburn even vomit. It seems like my Doctor doesn`t listen.

    • Don’t take it anymore!!! I’ll try to explain why, according to my own experience, though I am not an English speaker 🙂 Well those medication, PPI’s and others will only make your heartburn worse, because the more you take omeprazole or other PPI drugs, the more you decrease your stomach acid juices, and as we know the heartburn is because of the low acidity, not high! The higher the acidity the better is the digestion of the food in stomach. When the acid is low, the food can’t be properly digestion and therefore the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus opens and throws some food and acid= heartburn occurs. It’s the most simple way I tried to explain, that PPI’s are our enemies! I cured my heartburn myself, after some years of having it and of taking tons of medication. And am thankful for this site, Dr. Kresser and the comments I have read here. I am sure, it’s possible to give up with medication and just organize your daily menu. Try to start your day with 1 tea spoon honey+glass of COLD water (you can add some warm water and then freeze it a little). In my country it’s a common thing to drink this in the morning, cold is necessary for activating your stomach proton pomp and little glands, for producing acid (as we supress our proton pomp and so acid). And after 40-60 minutes you can eat a balanced food. Eat 5 times a day, low portions and remember to eat an apple after every meal. It may sound weird, but it can really help with heartburn, as apple contains acids which necessary for digestion, so you will decrease your heartburn by adding some acid to your stomach juice. Sleep on the LEFT side, it also helped me a lot. Eat fennel/dill with every meal. Drink 2 liter of water, but do it by small portions, for not making reflux, do it every 1 hour and 1,5 hour after meal. Yes, and never eat in 3 hours before sleep. Don’t do it 🙂 These are the basic advises I can give from my own experience. I was so much frustrated and sick of this disease, I was out of vitamins and minerals, so I was also taking vitamins during my recovering process. Hope it will help you. Good luck.

      • Thank you, Lusina! I’m going to try your suggestions. I was on Prilosec (or equivalent) for over 30 years. Decided enough was enough and stopped. It’s been eight days and while I’m doing better than I thought, it’s still been a struggle. Simply cannot go back to the way things were.

        • I stopped taking PPIs one month back after being on them for 10 years. I am doing quite well considering that first few days were very tough. Raw Apple cedar vinegar and one apple after lunch and dinner are helping me. If you can manage a few days without getting back to PPIs you are through. All the best.

        • I was on omeprazole for several years. I recently cut my dose in half, on my own. For the past two days ( it’s been about three weeks since I changed my own intake) I have experienced the lump in my chest feeling. If I were to try the natural route of cider vinegar, how long will my pain persist?
          Sue

          • Get Manuka honey (must be manuka). Take 1 TB a day or 2 TB if necessary. Do not skimp. It’s expensive but well worth it. I’d put it into the miracle category.

            • Hi Cindy, can you say a little more about this kind of honey? Why this kind? and where does one find it? I am interested in pursuing this if I know more. Thank you!

          • Hello, I have had GERD for 7 months now. I am a pharmacy student and I have been on Nexium for 3 months and things aren’t getting better. Sue Campbell what you did could be a mistake. Most PPI medications are gastro-resistant which means they degrade only in your intestines and not your stomach. So by cutting them , chewing them or damaging the tablet in any way makes them totally inefficient. If you want to reduce the intake of PPIs the better way by my opinion would be to just buy a lower dosed omeprazole.

            • I have just recently started treating my gerds with the advice of an emergency doctor to start omeprizole i am confused just recently started the gerds diet i am confused about what to eat and not eat i need a dietician i am wondering why chocolate has to be omitted i am also wondering why certain fruits are omitted? I have never had a problem with chocolate . As far as my gerds was concerned.

          • Cut down your carb intake and drink a shot of white vinegar or a shot of apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water before bed. Also, anytime you have an episode, take the vinegar.This country is brainwashed by drug companies. It should get better immediately and it should end up as a non issue within a few weeks. After a couple of months, try taking a half a shot before bed every night.

        • Hi Velina
          Hope you are doing ok. I took myself off PPI’s cold turkey after 8 years of use. The first 2 weeks were difficult, but not as bad as it has been, even on PPIs. If you stop PPI’s cold turkey, you can get rebound reflux. This lasted 2 weeks and then slowly started to abate. I got through this period by using Zantac instead (which is only slightly better than PPI’s, but I needed to help myself through, and Zantac doesn’t stay in your system). So I took Zantac, Gaviscon when needed, ACV, DGL, HCI, Glucosamine, Slippery Elm powder and Aloe Juice. I also took B12 and Magnesium because PPIs can stop the absorption of these, and I had been on Nexium and Pariet and Somac for 8 years. By then end of the 3rd week I noticed myself needing the Zantac only once a day, and not needing the Gaviscon as much. Into the 4th week, no Zantac, and only ocassional Gaviscon. I also found chewing gum after a meal helped but I got gum from the Health Food Store, not regular gum, to make sure it didn’t have any mint (mint can really upset GERD). I got a cinnamon flavour that has no sugar, it’s sweetened with Xylitol and does not appear to have any other nasties like food acid, which is often an issue. I intend to also go off the gum as symptoms improve. So initially it can be tough but just tough it out.
          I had been off the Nexium for 3 weeks and I had a gastroscopy. I have yet to go back for the results but there was an erosion found , and possibly polyps. I need to find out the results of the histology. PPI’s can cause stomach polyps, which can sometimes, sometimes lead to cancer.
          I also noticed after 10 days an improved mood, even though the PPIs was not out of my system yet and I was feeling the reflux. I think PPIs can cause a mild lowering of mood, only you don’t notice it until you go off them.
          The other responder has explained why I keep craving apples!
          I think it is worth going off the PPIs, especially if they are not working any more. Better to wean yourself off than go cold turkey like I did, but I was so fed up and they were not working anymore that it just seemed the way to go. It does improve. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the cause of my GERD and LPR, but I feel better off the PPIs. Good luck.

          • I have been off Nexium for 1 year now, after taking it for 14 years. But unfortunately my symptoms have been gradually coming back. Occasional urping and every day now that horrid tightness in my chest. I also suffered Magnesium and Vitamin D deficiency and daily heart palpitations. I was wondering if any one is experiencing what I am after being off Nexium.

      • I have been taking prilosec for 12 years, i am now 46 and suffering with vitamin deficiencies, i now have crohns disease, i am sick of being sick. I only wish i would have known these things 12 years ago. Now i have to watch what i eat and im always sick! Now i just have to live with it because is no fix.

        • You are welcome D!
          An apple, 1 tea spoon domestic honey + 1 cup of cold water (no difference if it is honuka or some other honey, it just has to be real domestic honey with normal sweet flavour), raw apple vinegar, fennel are the best natural remedies for getting off the PPIs. I still can’t believe I also got through that horror of GERD and following diseases, and am just so happy for quiting those meds, living a normal life without any kind of meds. Believe me, while following sime simple steps, every one can do it. Thanks yo the articles of Chris kresser and the comments of people…
          Just don’t let doctors to put you on meds forever, human organism has an ability yo recover itself. We just need to help it with natural things and not of 10 years of medication….
          Good luck everybody

            • Uma now I can eat everything. I mean a normal balanced food. No much fried food, more vegetables and herbs, especially fennel which I eat with almost every meal. I also eat much apple, after eating my meal. Try to eat 5 times, every 3 hours with little portion. Drink water- 2 liters, but with small portion. Not luch spices, onion and garlic, only some.
              Good luck

        • I absolutely agree. They will just make you feel so ill. I could not digest my food when I took Omeprozole. It ruined my digestive system and it took months to restore the balance. It is very scary!

  16. I’ve been having acid reflux issues for almost 8 months now. I never had a history of reflux. 2 months ago, my doctor put me on Nexium 40mg for 4 weeks which only helped with my indigestion. I continue to have a burning sensation and tightness in my throat which makes my gag reflex very hyperactive and makes me cough! It occurs multiple times throughout the day and really bothers me. The only thing that helps is chewing gum or using mints. Has anyone ever experienced these symptoms? I really want to try the ACV remedy and not have to go on any other medication.

    • I used halls to open up my airway and keep my throat moist……I don’t use them now, but in a candy dish beside my bed they sat…it’s a wonder I didn’t choke throughout the night….now I take an allergy pill at night….1 or 2 a week…I feel like that helps…..also I do not drink or smoke…..

    • Thanks everyone! I started Now Betaine HCL w/Pepsin supplements and I’m on my 5th day. So far I’m up to 6 pills with my last meal, and I still don’t feel the burning or stomach discomfort! For anyone that has taken HCL, how many pills did you have to take in order to find your correct dosage?

      • I know it’s been a few months since you started on HCL but I was wondering how it went for you and has your stomach now trained to produce the acid needed. If so, how long did it take? I just started but just learned how to figure the dosage I require. I started today, just one pill 250 MG and surprising no heartburn. I am going against Doctor’s orders. I get better advise on this website. It’s January now so to all a healthy start of a New Year.

  17. Hay my husband have acidity problem if he eat something right way burping is started if he sit and lie down he is felling better if they can walk again right way burp is start. please give me a some advice.

    • Hi Raman. It sounds like I’m currently experiencing the same symptoms as your husband. I wake in the morning feeling better. After walking around some I have some air in my stomach and small burping. After I eat it gets worse to the point of having to force myself to burp every few minutes for 3 or 4 hour, if not i have problems breathing because of so much air in my stomach. I can drink water and have the same symptoms. Lying down seems to settle down my stomach and helps with my breathing. I think I have low stomach acid.

          • Air swollen is not the issue. The belching is continuous. Every few seconds. As soon as air is released, it’s replaced by more air.

            • I’ve been told that it’s because of the pressure in our stomach. Normally one should not have that much pressure and gas, but if there is any problem with stomach such as high or low acidity it starts. I myself had that too. As I am completely off the medicine after taking them for about 1 year, I can tell you that belching goes away if you first cure your stomach. I had low stomach acid. However, as most of the doctors who prescribe PPI medicines which make your acid even lower, my doctor did the same (I have also had heartburn and even pain from back). But then with my other doctor and with the help of the information on the internet I decided to do the opposite and it helped. In my country we have good domestic honey and it is common to drink honey added to water every day. I began doing that too. After waking up try to drink 200g water + 1 tea spoon honey, but it has to be COLD, because you need your stomach juice to be released! And right after 40-60 minutes you can start your breakfast. I was adding lots of herbs – drills and fennel. It helps to remove gas from you stomach, so you control your belching. Also apples (which my doctor said is the worst thing for my stomach, but in general I feel VERY WELL NOW) can be used after every meal. I now eat 4-5 times a day, drink 2 liters of water, less grans, more herbs, vegetable and fruits, less fat ( if fat – olive oil is the best) and of course meat (not very much). Apple and green pepper really help for heartburn too. The main thing is to understand that all of these things basically happen because of low stomach acid, and not the opposite, and you can just make your acidity higher and get ride of those symptoms forever, if I could, everybody can do it. Good luck!!!!
              Lusina

      • Hi,

        I have normal stomach acid based on a PH Bravo but I have mild have reflux on my esophagus and throat. Just recently I took the SIBO Breathe test and came out positive which I’m taking antibiotics for it. It’s to my understanding this bacteria causes gas. My systems are chest pressure all day long, lack of air and sometimes when the pressure is at the top I get muscle and rib-cage pain. And like you it starts mild and ends moderate late afternoon or early night and when I lay back it goes away again. I do not get any heartburn and can’t point out what food triggers my problems because I have it all day long. I do know when I stand, walk, talk or eat it gets worse. I can eat a cereal and a pizza and is the same to me and my symptoms. Today I’m going to see a functional medicine specialist which deals with reflux and SIBO. I highly suggest you get tested for SIBO, it took a 2nd GI to order this test after 2 years of pain. Now, I can’t say this is actually the problem. 😉 btw, I also have mild health anxiety which makes it worse. But weird, if I lay back it goes away 80-90% so I highly doubt anxiety is even 10% of the problem.

        • Thank you for your reply, it was very insightful. It restricts my breathing as well, back pain in ribs. My breathing problems began when I was directly exposed to mold. This new bloating feeling, pushes upward on my diaphragm and restricts breathing. A few years back, I was having sour stomach or indigestion. Antacids helped at the beginning, but eventually stopped working. By chance, I discovered that I was allergic to gluten. After about 7 days of not eating any gluten my burning stomach pain was gone. An interesting point to note is that other pains vanished as well. When I lied down for bed, my burning stomach pain would change from my stomach to my side, but vanished when I stopped gluten. I had recurring foot pain, but that too went away. My blood pressure was better after stopping eating gluten. I realized that my ailments were a result of inflammation from eating glutin. I’m convinced glutin is responsible for many health issues. I will ask to be tested for SIBO. Thank you for the advice. Let me know how SIBO Treatment goes. You should consider taking probiotic while taking antibiotics. Thank you

        • Your symptoms sound exactly like my 16 year old daughter’s symptoms. The doctors have been pointing to her anxiety causing the tightness in the throat and feeling of not being able to breath. She was doing relaxation techniques (meditation, cortex games) but it was not enough so she is on a small dosage of Prozac. She has been on omeprazol twice a day for 7 weeks and now her stomach hurts really bad for the past 3 days. I am suspecting small intestine bacteria. She feels bloated and can’t eat. The GI Doctor has been not helpful telling us what foods to eat. I googled and decided on: oatmeal, eggs, tea with honey, pasta with butter, roasted chicken, cooked cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and Brussels sprouts. Just started adding lactose free yogurt. She has been eating this same diet for the past 7 weeks. Many times doctors say don’t eat apples and citrus foods, but most times they say eat whatever you want. Many foods are just too hard to swallow with this irritated esophagus. She is so frustrated. GI follow up appointment this Thursday. I am asking her to test my daughter acid levels and check for small intestine bacteria

          • I have been off Nexium for 1 year now, after taking it for 14 years. But unfortunately my symptoms have been gradually coming back. Occasional urping and every day now that horrid tightness in my chest. I also suffered Magnesium and Vitamin D deficiency and daily heart palpitations. I was wondering if any one is experiencing what I am after being off Nexium.

        • Thank you for your comment. I have Sibo and have been treated several times. I have never had my acid leveled check. I feel like I have reflux. You said your PHBravo was normal yet you have reflux. What do you take for reflux and where can I have the PHBravo test? Thank you

          • Hi,

            I came out twice positive on SIBO but both of my GI’s came to the conclusion I do not have SIBO based on my symptoms. (the only stomach issue I had was bloating) I took all of the PPI’s for short period of times- 30-60 days. After 2 years telling me my chest problem was caused by my mild reflux they are now saying is not related. Yes, even took out my Gall-blatter promising me my pain will be gone after that. Nope, it’s worse. ;-( Now they think is a back problem so I’m going in for a standing spine MRI tomorrow. Why standing? because my chest problem is aggravated when I stand or even talk to much so they think is positional. For all of you out there taking PPI’s, before you go crazy taking this drug make sure you actually need it. Just because you have reflux it doesn’t mean you have high acid or need PPI’s. We all know is the other way around. Doctors will order this like candies and PPI’s will kill your defence against bad bacterias like SIBO.

          • Something that helped me tremendously in the past week was alkaline water from the health food store. I have some form of acid reflux not diagnosed by doctor so bad that I was wheezing and felt like I was suffocating. This has been going on for months. Been to six doctors and ER. In the last month my stomach started burning also along with hoarseness. The doctor wanted me to take Carafate but it was expensive, had a lot of side effects and interfered with meds I am taking. I also started taking a teaspoon of pine nut oil and flax oil twice a day. This with the alkaline water now lets me sleep at night instead of thinking I was going to have to call an ambulance. I have an appt in January to do the ph capsule test during an endoscopy.

  18. I have the same condition. Normally everything is normal in the morning. Then after breakfast still nothing for few hours. around 10 AM a little burning sensation in the throat and the chest. I take my lunch around 12.30. After lunch everything goes south and it burns burns burns everywhere, stomach, throat, chest. Nothing helps. I was on pantoprazole, domperidone for 3 months and before that omeprazol, Ranitidine and antacid. Nothing helped me. After stopping medicines all the symptoms are back. I dont have a clue what to do next. Suicide is my last choice. Does anyone know how to stop burning feeling after the meal? (drinking more water is not a cure, it makes more reflux just after a meal)

  19. I have read abut the horrors of PPI’s and am trying to wean myself off them. Is it counter productive to take acid making things like apple cider vinegar and HCL at the same time or should I wait to take them once I am off the PPI’s completely?

    • I found with PPI’s that I had HORRIBLE diarrhea! I almost went ot the doctor aobut it, but realized it was because of the ppi’ I was taking….now I dont take them…but left with the worst heartburn ever all the fricking time! I want ot just die its iso bad. and what do I eat? good meals? some alcohol, but iuts just as bed before drinking when i am doing no bread, rice helps….I am at a loss…

      • Faith i have the same problem as you do. I was on nexium for about a year due to constant nausea. After learning that it robs the body of calcium I stopped abruptly. About 5 days late ai got horrible indigestion and it has been constant for 6 weeks now. I am at wit’s end. It doesnt matter what I eat or don’t eat. Its always there along with gas and awful belching. I already couldnt eat properly due to the nausea and now I am even less able to eat. Nothing tastes good or right and I am losing more weight whn I need to gain weight. I will try to do what some are recommending.24 though about the time the nausea started I also started having super taste and smell. Sugary Things are super sweet etc so it will be hard for me to do the honey and cold water. I have always found honey to be too sweet now it will be almost unbearable. But I will try. I cannot take this much longer. I have very little enjoyment in life with all of this going on.
        I do smoke and that also doesn’t taste rght or good.
        Please let me know how to fix this. I rarely has indigestion before this, only when I ate tomato sauce or fried onions which have not agreed with me for about 15 years.

  20. I came across this site while trying to make heads or tails of all the conflicting information out there and after seeing several GI docs. I was diagnosed with GERD about 10 years ago. I was prescribed a PPI which I’ve been on ever since. Unfortunately, the GERD has only intensified. I have a hiatal hernia, a bad gallbladder and a lower esophageal sphincter that doesn’t close all the way To add insult to injury, I have interstitial cystitis (a chronic bladder disorder that cuts most acidity out of my diet) and I just had open heart surgery (triple bypass) in January. Since that time the GERD has really intensified. I’m assuming that the heart meds I’m on are contributing to that. I can also imagine that open heart surgery might mess things up as well. My current GI doc wants to do an upper endoscopy and implant some kind of capsule that will measure acid. To me, this seems a waste of time. If I have too little acid, I certainly cannot take more because of the interstitial cystitis. My diet consists of some fruits (can’t eat much of them) veggies, chicken, low carbs. I stopped eating breads. Substituted brown rice cakes which I don’t eat frequently. I do not have celiac disease and have gone gluten free for a time but nothing changed. What I’m most upset about is that the doctors don’t seem to give a damn that this out of control GERD is ruining my esophagus. My throat is so bad that I’m hoarse from just a few minutes of talking on the phone. I’m trying to figure out why no one wants to fix my hiatal hernia at this point or fix the valve problem. Both these things are causing the reflux. I’m so tired of doctors that do nothing but treat symptoms. Whatever happened to trying to actually fix what causes the symptoms? I have the same problem with my cardiologist. He’s doubled my statins telling me the bypass surgery will be for naught if I don’t take them. Then everyone tells me not to stress. How the hell can anyone NOT stress with that medical history? Anyway, I’m just venting here. But if anyone reading this has anything beneficial to suggest, I’d love to hear from you. Cheers!

    • Check out 6 minute vid by Dr Josh Axe titled How To Naturally Heal Low Stomach Acid. Found this in article in this link: http://draxe.com/low-stomach-acid/
      I also have heard that Turmeric is helpful and naturally increases acid…
      Best wishes to a more comfortable future

      • Turmeric can be very dangerous with certain meds.Blood thinners,Prilosec and nexium, just to name a few.

      • I have found that putting ph alkaline drops in my water (or any liquid) works amazingly well. For me it is like a miracle cure. Well maybe not a cure but stop the burning in my throat and mouth almost immediately. Works for me.

    • Lisa I treat most reflux from babies to adult 1-4 treat meants.Reflux and other digestive ailments come from stress in the abdomen .First check how you breath is it shallow. Is your bra to tight ? When you hold to much tension around your solar plexus can inhibit its funtion.Reflux is the easiest of the digestive ailments to treat. colitis and C rohns taking longer.Holding tension around nerve plexus areas can inhibit thier funtion.mfit therapy

      • Wow-I’ve had this theory for years. I’m a 42H and that is exactly where my pain (whenever I have it) is! I have to wear
        an underwire due to how large they are and I always have marks there when I take
        my bra off.
        Most Drs just blow me
        off when I question them about it, in regards to my GERD. I did have pneumonia and my Dr said my bra could easily have contributed to that.

    • HI,
      I am with you! On the 1st of June 2016, I was diagnosed with Barrett’s syndrome. I was put on Lansoprazole, (Prevacid) 30mg after 2 weeks I was dizzy, disoriented, insomnia and bad dreams, no appetite. He gives me dexilant samples they worked well but caused me to feel like i needed a nebulizer treatment and I am not asthmatic. I call the doctor he prescribes me anxiety meds so I can relax to eat a meal. I was insulted. The doctor seemed excerbated because the two trick pony meds were not ok. So he talked about sucrolate but did not call it in. I thought about it is this really the best the medical professionals can offer. There are just ppi’s about 5 choices or h2 blockers about 3 choices. The root of the problem needs to be figured out. I think that there maybe an underlying cause, either bacterial, fungal or something. But for sure they should be able to sure up a hiatal hernia and tighten and les. I can’t look at bread, frui or fruit juice as they cause me severe reflux, I am living on protein,fish, turkey eggs broccoli, even potatos cause a reaction. This is a torturous way to live. Oh yes and I would be remise if I did not mention the injury to the insult. I have been taking Zanta OTC 150 because I was supposed to have a follow up to see him, after my esophageal dialation on the 1st but was told I could not because I did not have the co insurance payment of $197.. Not Copay that is $40 I needed $237. totlal for him to see me. I have Blue cross primary and Medicare secondary. BCBS paid and the Gastro billed medicare and were waiting for payment from medicare, but I should lay it out and they would reimburse me when medicare paid. Unbeliveable but true. smh

    • My heart goes out to you, Lisa.
      Are you open to other ideas?
      Look up Dr John Sarno and either Mind Body Syndrome or Tension Myositis Syndrome. Also look at The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich. Your constant symptoms sound like the sort of thing they both talk about. It does take a radical mind shift to consider what he talks about as being true. Please have an open mind and at least consider it. We have been taught to only think of the medical model, but the mind has a powerful influence on the body, and when there is a case like yours where nothing seems to work or symptoms just increase or move around the body, it’s time to look at the mind’s role in this. Also look up the TMS wiki message boards. Although he originally started out treating back pain, John Sarno he came to see that many, if not most, GI disorders were also caused by chronic inner tension and suppression of certain emotions.
      In my own case, I have found that if my husband goes away, my reflux is as awful as yours, with the throat symptoms etc. When he comes back, it settles. There is no logical reason for this, but somewhere in my mind, his leaving causes symtoms.
      I wonder whether a similiar thing is in operation with you that hasn’t been considered yet.

      I have also found that meditation focusing on the relaxing of my stomach can help settle it.

      I am not saying your symptoms are all in your head; they are real. It’s your mind’s way of trying to express and suppress feelings about your life right now.

      Do at least look it up and consider the theory. And I just put it out there in case you or someone else might find it useful.
      best,

    • Lisa…….it is frustrating. I have been to 7 doctors………..the ER doctor even told me he did not have time to listen to my history because he had 18 patients waiting on him which was a lie. I was the only one in the waiting room and parking lot had 3 cars in it. Allergy doctor said it was acid reflux which I knew and told me to go on Nexium which i had been told in April by my gastro doctor NOT TO DO. Went to gastro doctor yesterday and he now says he is not sure if it is my lung disease from Sarcoidosis or acid reflux……….the acid reflux is making it almost impossible for me to breathe at night. He also wants to put the capsule down my throat and check acid levels. After 15 minutes he literally ran out of the room….my 15 minutes was up. Almost every night I wake up wheezing and not being able to breathe. Last night I had chicken noodle soup and a gaviscon………….and the worse night ever. Took all I could not to call an ambulance. Finally took baking soda and a xanax about 2, got on my oxygen and was able to go back to sleep about 3. I am sick to death of doctors. About to leave in one month to go out of state for a month on vacation and have high anxiety about it.

  21. I was bipolar until I drank a half a gallon of apple cider vinegar and broke wind. It cleared up my mind and now I am happy to be a dill pickle. I’m so glad I never listened to anyone who studied chemistry, biology, anatomy, physics and the like, those idiots were killing me.

      • I am in Delhi, India. Which city are you in ? I am also 43 years old and have been suffering from this for 10 years. What a coincidence !
        I am taking Raciper 20 tablets twice a day. Are you taking any medicines ?

        • Well, if you need to know more about this disease you can read on this site, Chris Kresser really helps with his articles, also you can read the comments, there is so much information! I also wrote my success story. I can understand how terrible it is to have this thing, as I myself had it and am totally cured. Not by medicine, but with a proper food and drink! Good luck

  22. I have had most of the problems here. Food hated me. I would eat an get sick. Have to lay on my side till it passed. Burning in my throat all the time worst at night. Meds only helped for a little while. After so long ID throw up during hot red stuff an would lose my voice for a couple weeks. Pain in the med back an omg the bloating. Was treated by doctors but nothing stopped it. Then one test came back positive. Autoimmune disorder. But the doctors done nothing. So I looked it up. An found all my problems even kidney stones listed under Celtic. So I cut out all wheat. An I’m here to say almost no burn an I feel 15 years younger. Give it a try.

  23. This is sort of irritating. GERD itself, has nothing to do with too much or too little acid. It has to do with the esophageal sphincter weakening and thus not holding the stomach contents down in the stomach. Thus we take antacids to make sure what is coming up is not burning the esophagus If you drink too much water and have GERD..it comes up. Iv read a lot of Kressers stuff. Some makes sense, and more is worthy of quack awards. This is borderline stupid.

    • I think you are right it is about the sphincter but it is also about digestion. Indigestion causes reflux. If you do not digest your food it will brew up in your stomach and acid will come up into your throat. This can happen even if your sphincter muscle is in good shape. Getting your digestion to work properly is key to eliminating reflux.

      • You have to have some acid in your stomach to digest. If you don’t have enough acid food will ferment causes excess burning

        • HI,

          You are correct, I just had mines checked and is working properly and still mild reflux is coming up to my throat.

  24. Does all this discussion on GERD apply also to silent reflux, LPR ? I have a reoccurring granuloma/lump on my false vocal chord. I have had it removed twice with surgery. My ENT doctor claims is from reflux, put me on PPIs. I have no real symptoms however.

  25. Been reading all the comments, I’m 69, born with partial stomach, problems ever since, under control til after I had children, now allergies, reflux, acid, gas, etc. just went off nexium after 8 yrs, no permenantly cure, after reading about multitude of side effects, eating organic, gluten free, diet, no pork, chicken,fish,seafood, just minimum of beef & turkey, veggies, fruit. After reading about low acid, started 1 tbs apple cider vinegar in room temp water, 3 times a day, really seems to help. Mom use to give it to me when younger. Also no food after 6 pm. Bigger meal at lunch, light at night

    • I concur, SuzyB. I just yesterday read on Michael Greger, MD blog about vinegar lowering the blood sugar and preventing diabetes. He recommends 2 tsp. vinegar daily, which I enjoy in a glass of water.

  26. I had my pyloric sphincter removed along with the distal portion of stomach and very top portion of duodenum. So my question is can I still take betaine hcl just like a normal person? I do take 1 capsule with heavy meals and it helps so much. I fear that my stomach will release too much too fast and cause a problem. I’d like to do the test of taking more with the meal until I find the right dose. I use dr.s best brand with pepsin and gentian bitters.

  27. Hi, Great article, very informative. First I will like to ask where is the link for the 2nd and 3rd article? 2nd I will like to describe my condition and will appreciate any feedback.
    I have chest heaviness/pressure (breast-bone) with heavy breathing and irritation on my throat all day long. Is aggravated when I stand, eat, walk, or talk. When I eat I can’t breath, so eating is becoming very stressful even if I want to eat.( but not very hungry) When I lay back symptoms go away within minutes – Now it appear to be extending to my upper respiratory because I feel light headed and nasal feels congested but I’m not congested. Had 3 endoscopes and many other test but the one I will to bring here is the PH Bravo. I was just reading the results and this is what they wrote- Bravo study – Normal : EGD showed mild esophagitis/mild chronic gastritis- Now, I had a Barium Swallow which showed mild reflux on my esophagus and a Laryngoscopy which showed irritation on the back of my throat/vocal. I don’t have any of the regular symptoms on reflux or gastritis besides what I described above. I have done the Baking soda test for 2 test and both times I never burped. Been cleared by Cardio and Pulmo and PPI’s don’t help at all even at high dose for short period of time. 15-60 days. Any feedback is appreciated. 😉

    • I have the exact same symptoms, nothing is curing this constant problem which I have been suffering from for over 9 months. It’s running my career, family life and well being. I can’t excercise and play sport any more and this has led to depression and anxiety!
      I really have no idea what to do anymore hence any advice would be appreciated!

  28. Does a symptomatic h.pylori infection contribute to GERD? I was diagnosed 3 years ago and followed the typical protocol of triple therapy but it never worked so I resorted to taking manuka honey 15+ for a long time and after a while the excruciating heart burn faded and now I never suffer it. However, after a trip to Ciaro and an acute case of gastroenteritis my stomach has never been the same. Months after the sickness I experienced bloody stools and diarrhoea but all tests came back clear and I no longer suffer this. However, for the past year I have suffered with GERD. The symptoms do not include heartburn just a constant regurgitation of food after some but not all meals. I sometimes get headaches and nausea after eating and recently experienced a case of hives alongside this. I cannot seem to find a pattern in my GERD and it is very frustrating. I am 21 and otherwise healthy. I don’t smoke or drink and I exercise and eat well. It is very frustrating. My doctor has prescribed me a PPI but I am pretty skeptical and reluctant to take medication.

    Any advice from anyone?

  29. I recently made the switch from taking PPI meds for about 6 year to taking HCl with pepsin during meals. The first couple weeks were great! Most of my reflux issues were gone until mid-afternoon and evening, when I would get a slight burn feeling. I’ve noticed the burn feeling sets in a couple hours after eating, especially when I drink water (I usually don’t drink water until a couple hours after a meal). This has progressed to basically any time I drink water, I get a burning in my throat. Has any one else experienced this, and what did you do to remedy the issue?

  30. Hi, I’m fed up of looking like I’m pregnant! I came off PPI’s 6 weeks ago and just use gaviscon liquid now to relieve my symptoms. My stomach is so swollen from just under my breastbone. I can’t wear any nice clothes. My gut problem is making my life miserable. I have had a endoscopy answer 2 small polyps were removed, they , the dr said my stomach lining was inflamed. I’ve had a test for H Plyori and that was negative. So the problem in my stomach is an Acid problem……..is it too high oresolution too low? Please help, my main concern is my swollen stomach. I’ve had other tests that are connected to a swollen stomach and they are all clear.

    • I have the same problem. A distended stomach. I started getting it a while back after eating lots of fiber and resistant starch (60-80 gram each per day).
      Now I have been on a meat, fish and oil diet for 12 days, but it’s gotten only slightly better. Best in the mornings after waking up. But it distends after a meal. Also I keep burping all the time when I walk, rarely had this problem before. Have had bloodwork done and the doctor says it’s probably not cancer or ascites and I will have to wait it out for now. Any ideas?

      • Look into SIBO and see if it rings a bell with you. That’s what mine turned out to be. Main symptoms were belching all the time and pressure below my ribcage. Couldn’t stand to wear a bra because of the pressure. Lots of fiber makes it worse. That’s the favorite food for the bacteria.

    • I had the same diagnosis after a scope. I fortunately never went back to the Dr. who did the scope because I’m sure he would have prescribed heavy duty drugs. After I went gluten free the horrible bloating that you describe went away along with the burning stomach. I now also take vinegar and honey in a cup of war water for better digestion.

    • I had the same problem for the past 8 years. Had scopes etc.. Showed inflammation and acid scarring but no heliobacter virus and no Celiac disease. Gave up all grains (bread/cake/biscuits/pasta etc. etc..) and most sugar (except the fruit and vegetables allowed on the Fodmap diet) – ALL symptoms completely disappeared. It’s a limited diet and tricky at times but if I ever break it and have even the smallest amount of bread – BAM – the reflux and swelling is back.

    • Same here. Had a scope. Inflammation but nothing else. Gastroenterologist recommended the Fodmap diet. I follow it loosely but I eliminated all grains and symptoms have completely disappeared

  31. almost every medication that is prescribed for life or for a long period of time is boloney– do you think GERD medications are bad — estrogen prescriptions are even worse than… poor those TS patients who are destroyed for life– stay away from all the supplements that promise prostate health- are more dangerous than you can ever imagine– let me start — saw palmetto, nettle root, fo-ti. reishi mushroom, beta sitosterol, spironolactone … bhringaraj– minoxidil .., steroids inhalers for asthma and so many– i know them all– stay away from anything that is anti- androgenic or with estrogen property or aromatase converter– these legal criminals invade the market with false information, and they know what kind of people they want to target– dht or alpha reductase is the best thing ever happened to you and the backbone of almost every part in your body — and once you reduce the activity of your dht or deactivate your alpha reductase you become a revolving door for every disease out there– you name it and i can tell you — I’m not a doctor but i know more than most –

  32. Hi was on Nexium for almost 15 yrs. When I spoke to my Doctor telling him I wanted to get off the medication he asked me why. I explained that the meds were not fixing the issues I was having with GERD, only masking the symptoms.
    I was told that once I got off the meds, the reflux would come back really bad, and it sure did. I was taking tums all the time for about 2 to 3 weeks, then the reflux was more tolerable.
    I have changed my diet and have added fresh probiotics in homemade yogurt and also with homemade kefir. The IBS is gone, and the heartburn is at a minimum. I figure it will take a number of months for the gut flora to regulate itself and get use to the good bacteria fighting the good fight.
    Please think twice before you start taking Nexium and other drugs like it. Work on finding the solution to your Gerd and fixing it instead of masking the symptoms.

    • Hi Karen
      This sounds like me to a “T”… I have been taking PPI drugs of one kind or another for 16 years, and I still am. I want to get myself off of them as well in the worst way, as I am concerned about my health. Can you respond to me and let me know what you are doing in more detail to get past your reflux? I do not really suffer with IBS, although have had bouts with this in the past. Please, I would love to hear back from you. And thanks for your time!
      Tom

      • Yes! Right! I also got off the medications. I have written about my story on this site. Yes, medication only make GERD worse and worse. I added honey with water, some yogurt with probiotics, kefir, fruits and veggies, I drink water in a right way (1 hour before and 2 hours after the meal, in overall 2litr/in a day), as the country I live it’s a cultural thing to use honey added in water as a medicine. And of course I added APPLE in my diet! It GREATLY helps me, try it may be it helps you too. I eat a sweet green apple after every meal. In this way I eat less and feel full after eating an apple after. It’s 4th month that I quit the medication and live with this diet, and I just started to forget about GERD. If you have further questions, please ask them. Good luck

        • My gastroenterologist told me apples are one of the worst offenders for people with reflux or GERD and that seems to be commonly recognised. However I get no symptoms from eating them or juicing them. Dropping all grains and loosely following the Fodmap diet (excluding the grains it allows because it’s just easier to have a blanket ban) has completely worked for me after 8 years of GERD and intermittent use of Nexium and necking bottles of Gaviscon….

          • It’s hard to be believe but for me apple became the best cure. It’s been 8 months I am completely out of meds after taking PPI’s for 6 months! I have already posted my successful story in other comment, but it’s APPLE and HONEY which helped me the most. I start my day with honey- water(1 tea spoon honey added to 1 cup of water). In the country I live honey is used as a national medicine and I have decided to use it too. The honey-water has to be COLD because.only in that case it can increase the natural acid in your stomach, and you must eat after 40 min after drinking it. I also eat a medium or two apples after every meal, which is kind of a miracle for me! It decreases the reflux for sure!!! My doctor also told me that it’s a suicide ehat I do, but it’s 8 months I live without heartburn. My meals consist of organic food- meat vegitables and fruits. I eat very few grains, which always make some heartburn. Good luck!

    • Try giving up grains – all of them – bread, pasta, cookies etc. It has worked for me when everything else failed. Also check out Fodmap diet as recommended to me by a (good) gastroenterologist. It allows some forms of wheat starch but I find it easier just to rule out all grains completely.

  33. Thanks for the enlightening article! I have one question that has troubled me while reading your post just as much as when I read Jonathan Wright’s book: If the LES does not close properly when there is insufficient acidity in the stomach and quitting a PPi causes massive acid rebound – why would anyone explerience reflux when they stop taking their PPIs? I would assume that the high levels of gastrin in the body due to acid suppression while taking the PPIs cause production of HCl once the proton pumps are no longer inhibited. This in turn should cause the LES to close properly, thus retaining the now highly acidic contents in the stomach rather than causing reflux and the associated experience of heartburn. What am I missing?

  34. Hi, what about babies with reflux? Is this also too little stomach acid or just the immaturity of the valve? How do we give babies relief as the regurgitated acid can be quite painful and damaging. Acid suppressing drugs are also being prescribed for babies.

  35. Hi, I’m unsure if I have this but the symptoms sound similar. About a year ago I was suffering burning and acid within my stomach. This was going on and off for two weeks at a time. I have been to the doctors around half a dozen times and each time diagnosed as IBS. The symptoms are now more regular with some good days it mostly an acidy stomach day is more common. I have tried Colofac, Omeprazole, I am now on Alverin and Ranitidine. Nothing seems to work. It is affecting my whole life. I was a keen runner but don’t do much now. My home life has been affected. I am irritable and down thinking have I this for rest of my life. I also think the worse that there is something seriously wrong with me. I don’t think I’m losing weight as I eat rugularly and haven’t found foods that aggravate. There is just no ryhme or reason. I am quite anxious but no more anxious than I have ever been. I am 42 male. Should I ask doctor for endoscopy? Help please.

    • To J
      The effects of anxiety over the years adds up and takes a toll on our bodies. It is absolutely possible that your anxiety or habitual stress, has manifested in physical symptoms.
      Don’t rush into PPI’s. There are more rational ways to approach this with first. Anxiety/stress reduction, not easy but necessary and possible with effort, healthy foods and mindful eating including enzymes with every meal, probiotic, etc.

  36. What about heartburn and pregnancy? I developed celiac disease after my first pregnancy so I do have digestive issues and have since this point in time. During my first pregnancy I also had heartburn toward the end of my pregnancy. This time around I tried to sip on water and AVC-this did not help at all. I’m just trying to figure out if this is something I need to treat with hcl or if it’s just pregnancy heartburn due to hormones and my stomach being pushed upward??

    • Kefir was the ONLY thing that helped when I was pregnant, the second time. I tried organic apple cider vinegar, which did help, but not as much as kefir.

  37. Hello fellow sufferers. I can sooo relate to your problems. I have been suffering for years. Driving me crazy, sooo painful. Been on omperozle for several years. Not working like it used to so changed to another rabeprazole and ranitidine. Valium for anxiety increased by pain. Dizziness, heart racing and doing strange things. (Am on blood pressure tabs also) Right arm is sooo sore and have little energy. When I do things it is like a workout and one of the worst is bending over kills my stomach (pain) even washing up dishes at the sink just my stomach touching the sink hurts. I have had so many tests done
    With another gastroscopy in a couple of weeks ….

  38. Hi all, glad I found this site.
    I have gerd but very little heartburn. Gerd verified via endoscopy.
    My symptoms were bloating,heavy feeling in stomach for hours after I ate.
    Also tachycardia and fatigue with left shoulder pain and left upper back pain. Ended up going to ER. Emergency angio , and during procedure the found no bloackage.
    Later went to cardiologist. Stress EKG,echo, holter monitor 24 hrs. Dr said your heart is fine. But still had tachy and pain.

    Now, what I have learned is that gerd is caused by too little stomach acid. As we get older our stomach produces less acid. Below a certain threshold the LES does not close and the little acid that exists burns the esophagus.

    Any antacid or PPI will temporarily lower stomach acid. That fixes a symptom but not the problem. To fix the problem you need to fix the LES valve.

    What I have been doing that seems to work.
    1 ppi in the am for TWO weeks only on an empty stomach.

    2 after meals I take 2 betaine HCL supplements as well as digestive enzymes that contain ox bile.

    1 d-limonene tablet (that is orange peel oil) 1000 mg. it is all-natural.

    2 ounces of aloe vera juice(find one without vitamin c in it) at night before bed.

    My tachy and pain have gotten better.

    Again low acid ,ph> 3 keeps the lower esophageal sphincter (les) open. Acid crawls up and burns the esophagus.

    The ppi lowers acid to help with the pain for two weeks.
    The hcl acts as acid when you have food in your gut. 1 pill will not cut it fyi.high protein fat diet needs at least two,maybe more.
    The d-limonene creates a barrier to acid flowing up,allowing the les and esophagus to heal. 1 after every meal.
    The aloe heals the burned esophagus.

    This is a work in progress for me. But so far it feels much better.

    Side effects.
    You may be sitting on the toilet longer than you usually do.

    Also, beano has enzymes that breakdown certain foods. Take it if you feel gassy or bloated.

    Hope that helps.

    • How are you doing now? Did you stop taking PPIs now completely or taking? Do you see any any improvement in GERD symptoms?

    • James please update us! I have SVT and GERD, and am taking 80mg of protonix ppi daily. I tried reducing it to 60mg and couldn’t deal with the burning and sore throat.

      You seem very smart, and I hope to learn more from you!

  39. I Have been suffering from SEVERE acid reflux for the last week- never had any issues with it until I was put on Zoloft and Wellbutrin… It actually wakes me from a dead sleep- I wind up being SUPER nauseated as well severe burning in my throat and stomach down almost to my navel. I constantly clear my throat and suffer from a sore throat when it starts to get too bad… I currently take 300mg of Ranitidine a day as well as pop tums and pepto bismol left and right when I have flare ups… I’ve tried propping up while sleeping (which makes me sleep worse because I am so uncomfortable), and even tried natural remedies like Mustard… nothing seems to be helping 🙁 I’m at a loss for what to do….

    • I have suffered similarly in the past. When you wake up and night with the burning pain, one thing that helps is eating a slice of untoasted bread. It absorbs the acid and soothes the pain. Or try eating a banana. I sleep in a recliner to avoid the reflux.

    • Have you tried the natural remedy of an elimination diet? Eliminate gluten. Eliminate ALL gluten from your diet for one month and you might, just kidding, YOU WILL have less or NO heartburn. Be strict. Look up what foods contain gluten and what is gluten. Big pharma doesn’t make money if you do this so be prepared for programmed resistance. You might have other food “allergies” but elimination diets will find them. YW

      • Nowadays it’s become a gluten vs zero gluten mania! I think it’s a balanced diet. Not too much of anything! I have gerd, and I guess it’s the ph balance of our systems that goes of kilter. I will try the apple cider vinager in water and also change up more veggies and old grains in diet. Kefir! Sadly I’ve been away from home 4 months, and will have to help myself till I get back to Canada.

      • I thought the same thing…so I have been juice fasting for over three weeks now but am having big issues. I tried intermittent water fasting with juice fasting ONLY, which means no gluten. Why am I still having trouble? I use a variety of fruits n veggies ( berries, melons, grapes, kale, spinach, peaches, oranges, apples, bananas, cherries, apricots, plums, etc)

        • Heather, try much apple. I eat an apple after every meal, and after every fruit or veggie. It helps so much! I got off my medication and while eating apple more, I really take my reflux under control

          • I also find that Apple is really good. Try organic galia apples. If you juice everything you will not digest as well. The very act of chewing food is a part of the digestive process. In order to get all the goodness of the enzymes you should try to eat some things in the natural form and just chew them really well. As you chew you feste digestive juices which start the whole process as it should be. If you juice everything it arrives in your stomach without the natural process of digestion working.

            • Agree with you Jasmine. Well, I also try honey water ( a cold mix of honey and water), which I take in the morning before my breakfast. And it helps greatly! The other thing helping me is a chew gum. I prefer mint gums. As to sleeping, I sleep on my left side, as I’ve read somewhere it does not allow the the sphincter to open…

        • I’ve read that it’s not ideal to blend vegetables and fruit at the same time. Ginger is a great addition to vegetable smoothies – makes them more palatable.

      • I find gluten free bread etc. still causes heartburn so have just eliminated all grain products. There are suggestions that modern fast acting yeast might be the culprit. It’s tricky to quit all grains and I’ve only been off it a month so don’t know how sustainable it is long term or how healthy it is to consume large quantities of blended vegetables for breakfast or lunch and survive mainly on salads, nuts and eggs…. But time will tell. At least I’ve dropped a few kilos!

    • I suffered with heartburn for over 10 years
      A year ago I contracted a bacteria from a restaurant .
      When I found a cure for the bacteria the heartburn went away .
      I started taking a couple tablespoons of olive oil and coconut oil . I got results within one week .
      I suggest you do your research on these two oils .
      Because I feel like I’m wasting my breath , it sounds too simple to most people .
      I distress I have a percentage of the medical society , especially pharmaceutical companies .

  40. ok here is my condition
    its been three months
    no chest pain but a bit pain sometimes and the left back side
    sour throt all the time
    but when i chew gum i feel soo normal . no even a single anything
    but when i dont even when i am hungry i feel iritated throt …
    do you think its GERD or something ? so worried

    • I’m no expert but I also found chewing gum helped. I was told it was relieving my symptoms because it was aiding digestion (by chewing) – so it sounds like you might simply have a digestive issue.

    • I have the same condition and have become addicted to gum, unfortunately I have a sore jaw and teeth to add to the problem!

  41. 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.”

  42. 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 ?

    • 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..

      • 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!

      • I am going through exactly what you have just described. I also take DGL enzyme and just started probiotics. I am still in a bad way and am tempted to try a new PPI even though the last 3 have not worked at all and had terrible side effects.
        Could you tell me roughly how long it took you to feel better when taking probiotics and enzymes and eating well? I too have lost about 1 stone. I am starting to feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks

        • I found at last that the best therapy ( for me ) is , when I have the oesophagia too irritated ( this is what generates heart problems ) I first take IPP for abou 1 week and then HCl acide ( betaine HCl with pepsine ) for 3 weeks and the gaz , pressure , go away after about 3 weeks.

          so IPP all time is really a non sense

          • For the last three weeks i have been suffering reflux, bloating and tachycardia. When the bloating gets its extremes my heart races up to 180 BPM.
            I am a 38 year old male in otherwise good health.
            My doctor refuses to accept that the tachycardia is gastric sourced. However I have been prescribed omeprazole for the heartburn. I need this to change fast. What is the most crucial first step?

            • Hi There,

              Please look at my other posts.. In brief I thinnk the best thing you can do is to think clean fresh food, no ready meals, no chemicals.. Take Acidophilus daily, try chewable digestive enzymes after evry meal, sit up straight when you eat and wait 15-20 mins before moving around, exercise regurlarly, drinks water ALL the time, and if you eat something that seems to be too acidic follow on with another food thet will buffer that acid, such as crackers or bread etc also again water.. It takes a very lng time to get back to normal, but it is very possible!

              • Hi what digestive enzyme do you use? Please I need help, ppi not working for me. I’ve been so miserable for two months now and don’t know how much longer I can last like this.

                • Hi Maria. I just used a Holland and Barrett chewable Papaya Enzyme. They worked really well. I don’t need them anymore but I took them for about six months after every meal. My digestion was zero after taking the PPI as it took away all my stomach acid. I also take Quest Acidophilus. I still take those as the keep the friendly bacteria populated in the digestive system.

              • unfortunately , xray didn’t reveal any problem ( hernia , reflux etc )
                so remains little explanation !
                stress ? colitis ( when I have colitis tachycardia comes easily )
                and forget about HCl complement , it is of no use as well as PPI ( this is conclusion for myself and not for everyone of course

            • Honestly, have a sleep test done. Sleep apnea causes both problems to be worse (heart and stomach). I only recommend it because I never ever thought I had apneas, but my Tachycardia got so much better after treating sleep apnea.

    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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

          • 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.

            • Maybe your nerves and stressful lifestyle are playing a big part in your stomach problems. IBS seems to be the docs diagnosis for everything.. I do know however that anti-depressants are described often for IBS so maybe your doc could help you with this.. I found it a massive relief when I took these as I could not believe that at last my stomach could at last feel calm and both mentally and physically the 2 things just felt so much easier.. I did keep up with my diet changes and I stick to a very healthy diet with lots of fruit and veg.. but even with those, I find that if you have IBS type symptoms if you eat too much roughage with nothing to buffer it, it is not always so easy to digest and that in itself can cause a rumble tummy. I guess it is all about getting the balance right.. I hope this information might help you in some way..

            • Brandi you and I have so much in common. I think I am just blown off by doctor and maybe I am just crazy. It’s actually a comfort to me to read complaints of similar gut issues. I hate for anyone else to deal with this.
              I want to loose weight and eat more veggies and then have had and bathroom run. Any change in diet throws me off- either no bathroom For 10-12 days or diarrhea?I am doing gluten free and no soy to see if it helps. I sure not gettin answers from gastric dr.

          • Jasmine I just want to let you know that your posts are giving me hope of actually getting my health back again. I started with acid reflux symptoms on 6/9/15 and my life hasn’t been the same since. I am trying my 3rd gastro doctor in a week. My symptoms came after a very stressful couple of weeks. I am not overweight, ate what I thought was a fairly well balanced diet, do not consume a lot of alcohol, etc. I do think the stress brought this on, so am now going to try a low dose anti-d, along with trying the paleo diet, digestive enzymes and the acidopholus. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this and the ppi’s do nothing.

            • Hi Brandi, So glad that my posts may have helped in some way.. It is amazing how things can change, but personally I do not think that the PPI’s can do any good at all. I found tht after taking them all I could do was burp and not digest any food what so ever.. I constantly felt sick and it was like hell.. I hated even getting up each day… Convinced that I could only eat very bland foods etc my digestion was not improving.. I had to turn things back around and get myself back onto a well-balanced diet which included acids.. I found that the real problem foods come in packaged ready meals.. I also used to drink strong Tea which did not help the situation.. The Tannin in tea is very bitter and can cause burning.. I started by taking the anti-depressants as they helped to calm my stomach down as I could no longer deal with the awful situation and like you I was giving up hope.. I then started digestive enzymes after every meal in order to aid my digestion… both of these things helped a great deal…It is nearly 2 years now since this all began and it took about 9 months for me to get back to a normal diet feeling fit again.. My weight had plummeted so much thet the doctors were convinced I had all types of illnesses.. consequently I had all sorts of scans and tests.. they were baffled.. It was not until I read about how digestion can cause such terrible symptoms if it is not working properly.. Also if food is not digested properly it can cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract and stomach etc which leads to pain and malnourishment.. A vicious circle… I now eat a very fresh diet I have not eliminated wheat, even though the docs did try all those things to test me.. I do not eat very harsh wheat products though, as I now believe that these can irritate the intestinal tract.. I only eat refined wheat products, so white only.. I try to avoid drinking milk and eating dairy.. It does take a long time to get back to normal but do not give up hope as things can change.. I think it is about getting the right balance and tranquility is a great help.

        • Make milk kefir with kefir grains. It has multiple times probiotics of commercially made kefir. It will restore the beneficial bacteria mucous lining of the stomach and gradually reset your body. Actually will repopulate the mucous membranes throughout the body which is the key to every autoimmune issue and many others. That barrier fights off everything including invaders causing allergies. ( read about microbione study by National institute of Health). Two years ago I was on a daily Claritin. Decreased down to every other day and used lavender essential oil on forehead and top of head, now kefir is my remedy. No Clairitin. I also make Kombucha (full of benefical bacteria as well) and eat fermented veggies. Check out fermenters kitchen (a Facebook group that is FREE!!) it will change your life -got to learn about your med conditions yourself or go to a naturopath or integrative doc. I’ve also got my mom off her diabetic meds and sis drinks raw cows milk with beneficial bacteria entact instead of pasteurized which kills it off) for her acid reflux. Nurse looked at me surprised when she was hospitalized with a snake bite recently and I explained why no acid reflux meds that were in her records. ( they gave them to her anyway and she was gagging next day). They will manage your symptoms all day long but get to the source…..nope.

        • re: diarrhoea

          Use a good quality probiotic BUT at night just before sleep, this way it will stay in your system & not go flying straight down the toilet, cleared my long term problem in less than 2 weeks.

      • Try 1 tablespoon off BRAGG ORGANIC Apple cider vinegar and a good probiotics.I use hyperbolic pro 15 advance d strength. It works for me

      • I have had GERD for years. And a haitle hernia as well. And I now have non-hodgkins lymphoma on my small intestine. I have been on PPI’s for years with minimal results. Then…I went gluten free. I was tested for celiac and it came back negative. Apparently I’m just sensitive to gluten. Now I don’t take ANY PPI’s at all! An occasional Tums (just one) if I eat too much spicy foods does the trick; unlike the days when I would have to eat Tums all night long and sleep sitting straight up.

    • Yes. They didn’t tell me what was going on but I’ve noticed over and over and over that there’s a connection between upper GI gas and heart attack symptoms. I take gas x daily to prevent it but no one is trying to help me get off all these gut meds so I’m interested in this idea

    • I have gone to the hospital four times with palpitations. Had deep brain stimulation on the left side of my head and yesterday had it on my right side. I feel very nauseous I have been given several drugs to keep me from throwing up. I’m not supposed to throw up having DBS nothing tastes good even water tastes horrible. I really help this will help me. I’m 17 years old

    • Yes I experience the same problems every time I have a candida overgrowth outbrake. It keeps coming back, so I treat it with Nystatin and Formula SF722. I think Betaine HCL also helps. And a glutenfree diet.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

    • 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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. …

      • 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.

  48. 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.

    • Interesting- I’m going to see my acupuncturist this weekend, He gave me my first cupping and acupuncture last weekend and this weekend he is going to introduce herbal medicines. Do you have any herbal recommendation when it comes to reflux and gastritis? No heartburn. 😉

  49. 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.

    • 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?

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

  50. 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.

    • 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?

    • Anna,

      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.

      Sandy

    • 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.

    • 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?

      • 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..

    • 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.

  51. 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 (:

    • 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!

  52. 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.

      • 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.

        • 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!

          • 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.

            • 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.

              • You are absolutely right. Anyone who has inflamed intestinal tissue, diagnosed gastritis should NOT take acid inducers like HCL, Betaine, Papaya, Kefir, Kombucha, Fermented Foods, etc. This will cause hours and hours of sheer agony. Clearing gastritis, especially a severe case, is not easy. I don’t have the answer to that but I do know from miserably painful experience not to take the acid inducers when there is inflamed intestinal tissue.

    • 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?

  53. 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

  54. 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.

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

    Thank you for your time.

  56. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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

  57. 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?

  58. 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?

  59. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

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

  60. 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.

    • 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.

  61. 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.

    • 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.

  62. 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.

    • 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…

        • 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.

          • 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!

  63. 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?

    • 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

    • 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?

  64. 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?

  65. 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?

    • 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

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

    Sincerely,
    Lee

  69. 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.
    Thanks.

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

  70. 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.

    • 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.

  71. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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,
        Beth

        • 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!

  72. PLEASE HELP!

    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!!!!

    • 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!

  73. 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?

    • 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.

  74. 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 ?
    Thanks

  75. 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.

    • 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

  76. 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.

    • 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..

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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?!!!

  80. Hello,

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

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

  82. 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,

    • 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!

  83. 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

    • 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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?

  86. 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.

    • 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!

  87. 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]

  88. 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?

  89. 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?

  90. 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

    • 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

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

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

    • 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.

  92. 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 🙂

  93. 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!!

  94. 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?

  95. 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

  96. 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.

    • Hi Sujey,

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

      Best wishes for your son,
      alanna

      • 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.

        • Sujey,

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

          Best to you,
          alanna

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

          Hope that helps.

    • I would guess it being the soy in the formula. I’m horrified by the ingredients in all the store bought baby formula, filled with frankenfood & gmo soy etc.

      Reading a lot of the comments here if it were me, in my opinion I would try probiotics & cut the junk formula.

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

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

    Daniela

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

      Please, send me an email if you like to chat about this more: [email protected]

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

    • try a gluten free diet- some people I know who are gluten intolerant have the same symptoms. Since dairy free didn’t change the symptoms, add dairy back in.

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

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

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

    HELP!

    Mark H.

    • 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

      • 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 ???.

  99. Chris,

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

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

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

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

    Cheers again, Catherine

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

  100. 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?

  101. 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

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

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

    Terry

  103. 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • This stuff burned my throat even diluting it in water. I would never drink that again…let alone without diluting it. Thats an ER visit for some people with reflux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ~~~~~~~~

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

    ~~

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

  105. 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.

  106. 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….

    • 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.

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

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

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

    Thanks

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

      Did you find out anything else?

      Daniela

      • 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!!

        • 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.

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

            • 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.

              • Hi Anna,

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

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

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

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

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

                Thanks,
                alanna

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

                • 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!!

        • 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.

      • 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 🙂

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

          thanks a lot and blessings to you.
          Daniela

          • 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!

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

                Tom

                • 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

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

          • Hi Daniela,

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

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

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

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

            If you would like to stay in touch for moral support etc., email me at [email protected].
            I believe we all need support in this.

            Blessings,
            Alanna

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

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

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

        • 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!

          • 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!

    • 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 ???

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    John

    • 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.

  109. 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.

  110. 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?

  111. 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.

    • I have been told for vertigo, etc, to try using an electric toothbrush with the brush replaced by an eraser you can buy for a pencil, running it around the ear (shell) and just barely inside the ear. The vibration on the pressure points will alleviate the problem in due time. I have not needed this,so cannot testify to it working, buy it just might work. It is simple to try.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

    • 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

      • 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

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

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

  117. 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!

  118. 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.

  119. 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.

  120. 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!

  121. 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?

    • 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.

  122. 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

      • 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…

  123. 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.

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

    Regards,
    Kevin

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

  125. Chris,

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

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

  126. Chris,

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

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

      • 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.

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

    • 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

  128. 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.

  129. Chris,

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

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

  130. 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.

  131. 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?

    • 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!

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

  132. 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

  133. 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.

  134. Hi Chris,

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

    Thanks

    Ben

  135. 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.!

  136. 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.

    • Hi

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

      Thank you!

    • 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

  137. 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?

  138. 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?

  139. 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.

  140. 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.

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    • 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.

  142. 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?

  143. 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.

    • 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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?

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

  147. Chris,

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

    Thank you for any suggestions,
    Joe

  148. 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?

  149. 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.

    • Dan,

      Do you get hoarse if you sleep in a recliner? Can you breath out of your nose? After being told I have LPR and suffering from “croak voice” for several years, I found out I have a deviated septum and could not breath out of my nose and was breathing out of my mouth. This was drying out my throat and causing me to lose my voice.

  150. 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.

  151. 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.

  152. Tori,

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

  153. 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?

    • 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.

  154. 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

  155. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?

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

    MK

  157. 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.

  158. 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!

  159. 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.

    • 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.

  160. 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

    • 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?

    • 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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?

  163. 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).

  164. Chris,

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

    • 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!

  165. Jae,

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

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

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

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

  166. 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.

    • 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?

  167. 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.

    • 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.

  168. 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.

    • 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.

  169. 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.

    • 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.

  170. 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.

    • 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.

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

  171. 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! 🙂

    • 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.

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

  172. 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. 

    • 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).

      • 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.

      • Help!

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

    • 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.

      • 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

    • 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.

  173. 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!

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

    )

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

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

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

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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?

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

        • 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.

      • 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!

      • 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,

  175. Tracee,

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

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

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

  176. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

    • 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?

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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..

        • Hi, I can really relate to your desperation as I had a similar experience. I saw a few different gastro doctors and they all just offered PPI

          • GERD can come from low or high acid, stress, nonfunctional valve and symptoms like chest pressure and lack of air can be the nerves contracting and not allowing food to go down into the stomach.

            • Hi,

              I had a Barium Swallow and Eso Manomotry which shows is all in working order. Yes, I believe is from low acid. Actually, just saw a Functional Medicine specialist today and started a new diet- She ran some test plus blood work so hopefully in 2 weeks I will have some answers. These test and blood work are not available at a regular GI office. She did put me on a diet which include Bone Broth until the results come in. Told me not to touch grains so no bread or rice for me the next 2 weeks. Uffff… 😉 She also told me the antibiotic I’m taking for SIBO is not going to help me at all or the PPI’s.

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