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!
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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
You may have all of these symptoms or only a few.
Causes of Acid Reflux
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)
Diet and Acid Reflux
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:
- Root Cause: Stomach autoimmunity
- Dietary options: gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, specific allergen avoidance, paleo, keto, or AIP
- Root Cause: H pylori and candida overgrowth
- Dietary options: Anti-inflammatory foods, avoidance of dietary sugar, restriction of foods that may contain mold
Curing and Helping Acid Reflux
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.
“She takes the time to understand your health on a holistic level and will explain as much or as little of the science as you need. Highly recommend.”