Dr. Michael Eades has a post on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and it’s treatment with carbohydrate-restricted eating versus drugs. GERD is relatively severe and/or frequent heartburn caused by stomach acid backing up in to the esophagus. The lining of your stomach is designed to be resistant to a high-acid environment; your esophagus not so much. A quote from Dr. Eades:
Most people who have GERD, have it for the long term. It’s not something that comes and goes. So these folks go on GERD therapy for the long term, and the most prescribed medications for long-term GERD treatment are PPIs [proton pump inhibitors], which, you now know, keep stomach acid neutralized for the long term, and, as you might imagine, creates a host of problems.
The scientific literature has shown long-term PPI therapy to be related to the following conditions:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Impaired calcium absorption
- Impaired magnesium absorption
- Increased rate fractures, especially hip, wrist and spine
- Osteopenia [thin brittle bones]
- Rebound effect of extra-heavy gastric acid secretion
- Heart attacks
Read the rest if you or someone you love has GERD.
Here’s a scientific report supporting Dr. Eades’ clinical experience. Carbs were reduced to 20 grams a day.
PS: Some studies find no association between PPI use and pneumonia. It makes sense that we have stomach acid for good reasons, and that suppressing it may well have adverse effects.
2 responses to “Consider Carbohydrate Restriction for Your GERD”
Anecdotally, I can testify that carbohydrate restriction has a profound effect on eliminating GERD. During the late 90’s, as a 250 pound male in my 40’s, I had a terrible bout with GERD over a period of several years, including nights spent sleeping upright, midnight visits to the drugstore for antacids, and numerous PPI prescriptions. I began eating low carb in 1998, and, along with significant weight loss, my GERD vanished, and has never returned. I’m 58 now, about 180 lbs., and those bouts of excruciating pain and nights spent sitting upright in an easy chair are distant memories.
Thanks for sharing your story, Charles.