Acid Reflux and GERD

Acid Reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a royal pain in the butt. Have you ever tried to concentrate when you have reflux? Or eat? Or sleep? All of these things become difficult and downright annoying when you're distracted by the pain and discomfort of GERD.

Thankfully, acid reflux can be managed holistically with nutrition, herbs, supplements, and probiotics! 

The following video is from Triangle Holistic Gut Health on YouTube.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

Common symptoms of acid reflux/GERD include:

  • Acid or burning feeling in your chest

  • Indigestion after eating

  • Burping/belching after eating

  • Difficulty digesting meat

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • A sensation of a lump in your throat

  • Chronic nighttime cough

  • Regurgitation of food or sour taste in your mouth

  • Chronic gingivitis and/or dental cavities

  • Esophagitis

You may have all of these symptoms or only a few.

What are the causes of acid reflux/GERD?

Contrary to popular belief, suppressing acid production is not an effective way to treat acid reflux or GERD. At best, drugs like Nexium, Omeprazole, and Zantac suppress symptoms without treating the root cause of the problem. At their worst, these drugs can cause problems like nutrient deficiencies and SIBO.

Common root causes of GERD include:

  • Stomach infection or dysbiosis (ex. H pylori)

  • Stomach autoimmunity (anti-parietal cell autoimmunity)

  • Low production of and/or poor quality of stomach mucus lining

  • Stomach lining inflammation

  • Sphincter malfunction between the esophagus and the stomach

  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

  • Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria)

  • High stomach acid (least likely on this list, but it is a possibility)

  • Stress and/or poor sleep

  • Altered signaling of the neurons in your stomach (ex. excess histamine)

Can a diet control acid reflux/GERD?

Yes, acid reflux and GERD respond very well to dietary changes. Depending on your root cause(s), there are several directions we may go to address your reflux. Below are two examples:

 

Scenario #1:

  • Root Cause: Stomach autoimmunity

  • Dietary options: gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, specific allergen avoidance, paleo, keto, or AIP

 

Scenario #2:

  • Root Cause: H pylori and candida overgrowth

  • Dietary options: Anti-inflammatory foods, avoidance of dietary sugar, restriction of foods that may contain mold

Can acid reflux or GERD be helped naturally or cured?

Absolutely. Acid reflux and GERD often responds very well to dietary changes, herbal medicine, supplements, vitamins, and life coaching. I feel very lucky to be able to help people with this condition every day at my office in Chapel Hill.

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