8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
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Stopping Acid Reflux

by (602)
Updated about 21 hours ago
Created December 29, 2010 at 4:35 PM

A fellow paleo crossfitter at my box has been suffering from acid reflux. She has been strict paleo for 2 months. She is in excellent shape ( often competing in competitions). When discussing her diet, she takes in much less fat that most paleo people that I know. She only used coconut oil and takes in fat only in the am. Could it be that she is not taking in enough fat to coat her stomach? Could it be a vitamin deficiency? Nightshades? She's thinking about going to a doctor who will surely take her off of paleo and put her on some medicine. I hate to see that. Help anyone?

Ffd5a4e7282c73f035ed416d154dd313
70 · February 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Thanks for the input. I ended up getting sick over the weekend and couldn't eat anything except bananas and tea. My heartburn went away but since I started eating real food again, it's back. I'm going to try some probiotics to see if that helps. Im hoping that I don't have to see a doctor, but if it doesn't go away soon, that may be my only option. Thanks for your help. Lauren

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9
2504 · February 11, 2012 at 5:05 AM

I have GERD, and it went away, and then when I did the whole 30, it came back with a vengeance. I know many people talk about how paleo solves all problems, but I've found the opposite with paleo (and yes, I eat more fat than I ever did before). I think it might be related to carbonated water, tomatoes, and/or red meat for me. Still working on figuring it out. Good luck to you, Lauren.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 11, 2012 at 3:12 AM

It's everywhere, the lowest rate in the world right now is Australia at 40%. North America, we sit around 50-60%. Africa is the highest rate, along with the middle east, around 80-90%. A huge portion of every society have it, but it does not effect all people. Most people have no idea they have it their whole life- the occasional unlucky soul will have a hell of a time with it (first hand experience, yay).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 11, 2012 at 3:09 AM

Did she get checked for H. Pylori? It's really common, but it can wreck havoc for the occasional unlucky person. I had it, and it gave me mad acid reflux and 4 ulcers. A short, effective course of antibiotics was all it took to stop the ulcers entirely and significantly decrease the acid reflux (acid reflux + indigestion cleared up with paleo later). Might be worth it, simple test you can request from your GP!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · February 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM

I had long-standing GERD that went symptom-free when I switched to ancestral eating. If I too many carbs or eat too late in the day I can still get flare-ups. I have a hiatal hernia so being vertical until my stomach empties is important. Things to consider include: low stomach acid, h.pylori or food intolerance. When I have flare-ups I eat lots of fatty beef (early) and cut way back on carbs for a few days.

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7
2269 · January 02, 2011 at 1:22 AM

I have a hiatal hernia. It causes intense spasming pain on occasion right at the breastbone but does not give me the burn of reflux, which I had for years til I went primal. Maybe it does for some people but my reflux issues are gone. I still get a twinge from the hernia sometimes. The only real cure for it is reducing intra-abdominal pressure e.g. fat loss. Working on it...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1
18671 · December 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Yes,thehealthyskeptic.org has a whole series of articles on acid reflux that have been very helpful to people I know.

21084e275703e9a3909dafa28e5d29b5
1103 · December 29, 2010 at 11:40 PM

I agree. I was wondering how many/much apples and tomatoes she might be eating? Likewise how spicy does she make her meals? Any of that might be what could be causing the acid reflux.

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 10:31 PM

I don't think she completely understands the paleo diet. I explained ot her that she was now running off of fat and needs to eat it.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

@Jay this site talks about lack of acid in the stomach and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallbladder when there is not enough acid present. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090120102335AAEP73P And this site http://www.drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid http://drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. This site does talk about ACV and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallblader when not enough acid is in the stomach. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/…

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:53 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. This site does talk about ACV and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallblader when not enough acid is in the stomach. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090120102335AAEP73P

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:46 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid http://www.drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. I have specifically seen ACV as a fix

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM

@Flavio M Whenever the discomfort occurs. Usually for me, my discomfort appeared a couple of hours after eating. I would take the ACV immediately, and within 15 min the symptoms would disappear. Since starting paleo, no heartburn, no acid reflux, no need for ACV. I do recall one particularly bad ongoing acid reflux and gut upset and I kept at the ACV for 3 days. Each day it got better til gone.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:37 PM

@Flavio M Whenever the discomfort occurs. Usually for me, my discomfort appeared a couple of hours after eating. I would take the ACV immediately, and within 15 min the symptoms would disappear. Since starting paleo, no heartburn, no acid reflux, no need for ACV.

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM

She developed this after going paleo.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · December 29, 2010 at 7:57 PM

@Dexter when is one supposed to drink the ACV? Do you take it on an empty stomach, before, during or after meals?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94
4359 · December 29, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Why is this repeated so often?????? As far as I know, low acid is partly responsible for symptoms only in a small minority of heartburn sufferers, mostly those with chronic h pylori. In most people, heartburn is caused by weak lower esophageal sphincter control.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61
5232 · December 29, 2010 at 6:18 PM

This. I always had burning and pain after I ate, and so I tried squashing it down with more and more Tums. I had been taking them every day for years because CW told me I "needed" my calcium. I ditched the grains, stopped taking the antacids, and the pain has completely gone away. I still use a bit of ACV intermittently as well, but for the most part, my acid pain has vanished.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc
15976 · December 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I'll just add that while I never get anything too bad, if I eat a lot of green red or yellow pepper, like a bunch in a salad or something, I sometimes get what I suppose people call heartburn. Passes in an hour or two. I simply don't eat them.

Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a
259 · December 29, 2010 at 5:56 PM

I think normally a low-grain or no-grain diet helps alleviate acid reflux symptoms, but since this isn't the case for your friend she will have to try some other strategies. Possibly: Drinking more water Making sure she is getting enough vitamin D (sunlight or supplement) Taking probiotics or adding more fermented foods to diet to ensure healthy gut flora Adding fresh garlic to her diet for the allicin content

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM

This person said has not cheated at all. She's pretty dedicated.

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10 Answers

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
5
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Acid reflux is caused by not enough acid in the stomach to digest the food...contrary to what the over-the-counter acid soppers advertisers like Nexium, Tums, etc want you to believe. Not enough acid in the stomach causes incomplete disgestion leaving some foods to ferment and give off gas which carries undigested food up the esophagus...thus the heartburn and pain.

Dr Davis recommends total elimination of gluten products as a cure. I suspect the wheat products are basic in nature and overwhem the stomach acid. http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/search?q=acid+reflux

Another remedy that I used pre paleo for and gastrointestinal stress is a couple of tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 oz of water 3x per day. Or you can get HCL pills to restore the acid in the stomach...but try the ACV.

Acid reflux is not a disease (unless associated with a thyroid problem) and she does not need a physician to screw up her paleo road to good health....unless associated with a thyroid problem. Use the ACV and get more acid in her stomach and she will be miraculously cured by what people have been doing for years.

The HealthySkeptic has this:

Hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid, increases intestinal permeability, inflammation and infection (for more on this, see my series on acid reflux & GERD). Studies have shown a strong association between atrophic body gastritis, a condition related to hypochlorhydria, and autoimmune thyroid disease.
http://thehealthyskeptic.org/?s=acid+reflux

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1
18671 · December 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Yes,thehealthyskeptic.org has a whole series of articles on acid reflux that have been very helpful to people I know.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:58 PM

@Jay this site talks about lack of acid in the stomach and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallbladder when there is not enough acid present. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090120102335AAEP73P And this site http://www.drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid http://drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. This site does talk about ACV and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallblader when not enough acid is in the stomach. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/…

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:53 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. This site does talk about ACV and what happens to the valve that opens to dump into the gallblader when not enough acid is in the stomach. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090120102335AAEP73P

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:46 PM

@Jay This site does not mention ACV, it does mention lack of stomach acid http://www.drrossonline.com/acidreflux_a/135.htm Over the last two years I have seen numerous writings about lack of stomach acid as the perpetrator. I have specifically seen ACV as a fix

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM

@Flavio M Whenever the discomfort occurs. Usually for me, my discomfort appeared a couple of hours after eating. I would take the ACV immediately, and within 15 min the symptoms would disappear. Since starting paleo, no heartburn, no acid reflux, no need for ACV. I do recall one particularly bad ongoing acid reflux and gut upset and I kept at the ACV for 3 days. Each day it got better til gone.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · December 29, 2010 at 8:37 PM

@Flavio M Whenever the discomfort occurs. Usually for me, my discomfort appeared a couple of hours after eating. I would take the ACV immediately, and within 15 min the symptoms would disappear. Since starting paleo, no heartburn, no acid reflux, no need for ACV.

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe
1159 · December 29, 2010 at 7:57 PM

@Dexter when is one supposed to drink the ACV? Do you take it on an empty stomach, before, during or after meals?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94
4359 · December 29, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Why is this repeated so often?????? As far as I know, low acid is partly responsible for symptoms only in a small minority of heartburn sufferers, mostly those with chronic h pylori. In most people, heartburn is caused by weak lower esophageal sphincter control.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61
5232 · December 29, 2010 at 6:18 PM

This. I always had burning and pain after I ate, and so I tried squashing it down with more and more Tums. I had been taking them every day for years because CW told me I "needed" my calcium. I ditched the grains, stopped taking the antacids, and the pain has completely gone away. I still use a bit of ACV intermittently as well, but for the most part, my acid pain has vanished.

Ffd5a4e7282c73f035ed416d154dd313
3
70 · February 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Would you let me know if she figures out what was causing the acid reflux? I am having the exact same problem. I never had heartburn in my life until I started the paleo diet. I'm also really athletic and getting into competing in Crossfit. I'm three weeks in and for last ten days I've been having awful heartburn and nausea. I had to call in sick for work this morning because I felt so awful. One thing I noticed yesterday was that it got worse after I ate coconut oil so I'm gonna try cutting out the coconut products for a while to see if that helps. I never ate any coconut products before I started and now I've been eating quite a bit of coconut milk and cooking with coconut oil, so I'm hoping that is the culprit.

I'll let you know if it works. Let me know if she has figured something else out.

Thanks,

Lauren

I just looked at the date and realized that your post was from Dec 2010! If you happen to look at this again, let me know what she ended up doing. I can't take much more of this!

Ffd5a4e7282c73f035ed416d154dd313
70 · February 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Thanks for the input. I ended up getting sick over the weekend and couldn't eat anything except bananas and tea. My heartburn went away but since I started eating real food again, it's back. I'm going to try some probiotics to see if that helps. Im hoping that I don't have to see a doctor, but if it doesn't go away soon, that may be my only option. Thanks for your help. Lauren

0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9
2504 · February 11, 2012 at 5:05 AM

I have GERD, and it went away, and then when I did the whole 30, it came back with a vengeance. I know many people talk about how paleo solves all problems, but I've found the opposite with paleo (and yes, I eat more fat than I ever did before). I think it might be related to carbonated water, tomatoes, and/or red meat for me. Still working on figuring it out. Good luck to you, Lauren.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247
37187 · February 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM

I had long-standing GERD that went symptom-free when I switched to ancestral eating. If I too many carbs or eat too late in the day I can still get flare-ups. I have a hiatal hernia so being vertical until my stomach empties is important. Things to consider include: low stomach acid, h.pylori or food intolerance. When I have flare-ups I eat lots of fatty beef (early) and cut way back on carbs for a few days.

1b52cbf14cfae77395838138c3903e31
3
158 · December 29, 2010 at 7:17 PM

If she is following a very strict gluten free/paleo diet it can take as much as 3-6 months to heal.

She should be checked for the presence of a bacteria called H. Pylori. This is a common cause of acid reflux. It requires treatment with natural antibiotics and in some cases prescription antibiotics.

Often times, just going grain free is not enough to clear up the infection.

A number of natural agents can help speed up the healing process after years of gluten induced damage.

  1. L-Glutamine
  2. Vitamin A
  3. Digestive enzyme support
  4. Vitamin C (be careful here - many of these are derived from corn)

All the best, Dr. O

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 8:20 PM

She developed this after going paleo.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad
2
56606 · December 29, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I suspect much of it and my own is misdiagnosed eosinophilic esophagitis. I never got the biopsy for that because I'd have to try to provoke a flare, but it's so strongly associated with wheat for me that I can't imagine how it could be anything else.

I did the ACV and kombucha thing to recover, as well as probiotics and a month of VLC.

Coconut oil made me worse. Definitely eat flesh in the morning as it's known to stimulate proper acid production. Why is she only doing fat in the AM?

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 10:31 PM

I don't think she completely understands the paleo diet. I explained ot her that she was now running off of fat and needs to eat it.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff
1
7821 · December 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM

I had some GERD issues in April (covered in this question). The thing that seemed to help the most was to take 6mg of melatonin before bed. After a few months of that, it seemed like my digestion was a bit calmer all around (less burping basically). I also slept deeper, which was a positive but probably unrelated to the GERD.

Your friend's diet sounds a bit funky if the only fat she eats is coconut oil and only in the morning. That would probably be the first thing to look at, assuming she's willing to experiment. Eliminating dairy helps some people, for example, but you have to do it for a month or so to really know if it's going to work.

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7
0
2269 · January 02, 2011 at 1:18 AM

EAT MOAR FAT. Give it a month.

If it continues she should be checked for H. Pylori esp. if she has traveled to Asia or South America within the last year. It is epidemic in China, which is where I picked it up.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194
11557 · February 11, 2012 at 3:12 AM

It's everywhere, the lowest rate in the world right now is Australia at 40%. North America, we sit around 50-60%. Africa is the highest rate, along with the middle east, around 80-90%. A huge portion of every society have it, but it does not effect all people. Most people have no idea they have it their whole life- the occasional unlucky soul will have a hell of a time with it (first hand experience, yay).

2a6035eb0317c8a71fef4879cb54c835
0
215 · January 01, 2011 at 6:50 AM

She should also find out if she has a hiatal hernia (in which a portion of the stomach protrudes upward into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm). It's actually quite common.

Because this is a physical problem, her dietary changes would not completely cure the resultant reflux. However there are some precautions one can take (like not inverting - which tips the stomach acid into the esophagus) which can reduce flare ups.

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7
2269 · January 02, 2011 at 1:22 AM

I have a hiatal hernia. It causes intense spasming pain on occasion right at the breastbone but does not give me the burn of reflux, which I had for years til I went primal. Maybe it does for some people but my reflux issues are gone. I still get a twinge from the hernia sometimes. The only real cure for it is reducing intra-abdominal pressure e.g. fat loss. Working on it...

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be
0
8858 · December 29, 2010 at 7:59 PM

I'm curious what she eats. When someone is following a low fat "paleo" diet, it seems troublesome...

I dated a "low fat vegetarian" for awhile. She had the worst of both worlds. And crazy bad reflux. It's a weak correlation but I'll second it in my own experience--eating a high fat diet changed everything for me health-wise, including eliminating what was very bad reflux.

If she eats more of a macronutrient profile in the 70-25-5 (fat-protein-carb) range, I suspect she will improve. It goes without saying, that there can be ZERO gluten in the mix.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd
0
3509 · December 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM

I used to have acid reflux before following a paleo diet, mostly derived from wheat consumption. I never had any reflux since I am on paleo. Nevertheless there are certain paleo-friendly foods such as berries, olives or some fishes that may cause acidity,(if they are not properly balanced with alkaline-producing foods) depending on individual sensitivity. You may take a look at this site http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

21084e275703e9a3909dafa28e5d29b5
1103 · December 29, 2010 at 11:40 PM

I agree. I was wondering how many/much apples and tomatoes she might be eating? Likewise how spicy does she make her meals? Any of that might be what could be causing the acid reflux.

Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a
0
259 · December 29, 2010 at 5:32 PM

Has your friend ever been tested for celiac disease? I know you stated she has been strict paleo, but maybe 80 or 90 percent adherence to a paleo diet is not enough for her.

If she doesn't eat much fat, do you know what she is replacing those calories with?

Another thought I had was this...my wife never had acid reflux until she became pregnant. I doubt this is the case with your friend, because she would probably know if she was pregnant or not (although not everyone realizes for several months).

Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a
259 · December 29, 2010 at 5:56 PM

I think normally a low-grain or no-grain diet helps alleviate acid reflux symptoms, but since this isn't the case for your friend she will have to try some other strategies. Possibly: Drinking more water Making sure she is getting enough vitamin D (sunlight or supplement) Taking probiotics or adding more fermented foods to diet to ensure healthy gut flora Adding fresh garlic to her diet for the allicin content

8ce2e69af79dcb1488f776efc1c54052
602 · December 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM

This person said has not cheated at all. She's pretty dedicated.

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