I developed GERD at the ripe old age of 18. I began experiencing chronic sore throats, which my MD at the time suggested was acid reflux, because I was in continual pain and had no signs of respiratory infection. I thought she was wrong, simply because I didn't have any symptoms of heartburn, although I later learned that I most likely had "silent reflux" or LPR. She put me on Nexium, which did nothing. I was switched to Zegerid, which worked for a while, but shortly thereafter my symptoms were worse. I had developed a cough at night that would occasionally wake me up, hoarseness, difficulty and pain swallowing, and the burning in my throat would last throughout the entire day. I was unable to consume anything but water at one point, because absolutely everything I ate worsened the burning in my throat. I was referred to a gastroenterologist who performed an upper endoscopy and diagnosed me with a hiatal hernia. Fortunately, I was ulcer-free and H. Pylori negative. Because my symptoms didn't improve on a PPI, however, I was told that I had "bile reflux" because it was "impossible" that I could still be in such pain with literally no stomach acid. I was given cholestyramine, which I took a few times, but stopped because I thought the "bile reflux" diagnosis was bogus, and a product of not having an answer as to why I was still suffering. I'm now 24, and though stress management has definitely abated the intensity of my symptoms, it hasn't helped with the frequency. Switching to Paleo (after 15 years as a pescetarian who rarely ate fish) has helped me already with satiety and significantly reduced bloating and other digestive issues for me, but my heartburn is still an issue. As I'm still on the high-carb end of Paleo, I'm wondering if anyone has experienced relief from going low-carb --- the logic being that carbohydrate consumption increase intra-abdominal pressure, thereby leading to reflux.
I found that my GERD got worse on a VLC diet of under 50g a day. Now I've upped them to to the 75-125g daily range, and my GERD has disappeared. I think it had to do with digestion, as I'm now eating more tubers and squashes which are easier on my digestion than tons of greens and fatty steaks were. However, if you drink coffee at all, don't. Any coffee and my GERD symptoms come right back.