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Old 11-04-2011, 11:51 PM   #1
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Low Carb and GERD ...does it help?

I am writing this at 3am my time, due to another reflux attack. I can generally control these based on when I eat at night. I take prilosec during the day, but sometimes it really does not seem to help. I have read that LC can actually help GERD. I am currently reading the book A New Atkins for a New You, and also just read Taube's latest book. I am gearing up to start this real soon. Any suggestions for the GERD?

Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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I don't know personally (because I do not suffer from GERD or anything similar), but I have heard time and time again that limiting carbs (grains specifically) and sugars helps with all kinds of digestive issues. All you can do is try and see if it works for you!
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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For me, eliminating grains was the key. I was low carbing for a while, but still eating just a couple of bran crackers a day, and had some reflux problems.

But when I eliminated all grains, I haven't had any problems at all.

You can try to see if it helps. I also eliminated dairy, but I think it was the grains that did it.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:50 AM   #4
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Eliminating all grains and starches has helped me.

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Old 11-05-2011, 03:40 AM   #5
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I was taking prilosec every 12 hours (twice a day). I am down to one or none. I find I can wait for reflux to begin, and some days it does not even show up. Grains gone - yes. Sugary carbs gone - yes. I experimented and, these days, four small meals seems to keep my energy and my tummy very happy.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:57 AM   #6
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Before low carb, I was taking Prilosec daily and would still have to take Tums after meals. I would also wake up with reflux symptoms about once a week.

After a few weeks on low carb, I realized I hadn't needed the extra Tums since my first few days of low carb and was no longer waking up with reflux ever. So the prilosec was working the way it is supposed to work.

I've now been low carb for almost 3 months. I plan to try to wean myself off of the prilosec in December when my work schedule is a lot less busy. I would try now, but do not want to risk night-time symptoms when I am really needing good sleep for my super busy work days.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:40 AM   #7
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Yes- it really helped me but remember YMMV. But I went from taking pantaloc everyday to having no symptoms when I eliminated all grains. My sister was on 2 pantalocs / day and was looking at surgery to reline her oesophagus went she started lo carbing the majority of her symptoms went away as well.- I wish she would stick with it though.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:15 AM   #8
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LC has helped me reduce reflux. Although, eating too much fat will cause a return of the symptoms for me.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:34 AM   #9
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All you can do is try and see what your result is. Eliminate all grain products from your diet, even the *substitute* flours and baking mixes, and see if you can get relief from the GERD.

It may be being caused because of your diet. Some folks are allergic to shellfish, some get a real bad reaction to peanuts, and some can't process grains, especially wheat, very well.

Then reintroduce one at a time, with some spacing between each food choice before reintroducing the next choice, leaving wheat for last.

This may or may not be your problem at all. As Jeanie pointed out, while some may be sensitive to grains, some suffer some real bad reflux from fat. So doing a good low carb may not help this.

And if it doesn't, I hope you will get to the doctor for a prescription med (generic will be cheaper than PrilosecOTC) because reflux can most certainly lead to erosion in the esophagus, and.. cancer of the esophagus. DH's acquaintance died from this.

You may find that this isn't caused by wheat or other grains at all. Some of us handle grains and wheat just fine. And it may not be from high fat either. Being overweight often makes this problem much, much worse, so as you lose some weight, that may help.

But if you can't get this under control on your own, please seek medical help to do so.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:36 AM   #10
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It has definitely helped me! I went from taking prilosec daily, waking up in the middle of the night...
to only having an occasional (like less than once a year) problem with no meds. When I have a problem now, its been because I ate something I shouldn't have.
I had a wonderful dr that suggested an elimination diet to figure out the causes. For me, lc is the biggest help, but wasn't the only trigger food. (some supplements I was taking were part of the problem too, along with diet sodas w/ caffeine)
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:37 AM   #11
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I used to take Nexium and had pretty bad GERD, and low carb helped it a lot, especially cutting out grains and refined carbs (mainly sugar), but it would come back from time to time if I had grain or too much refined carbs.

I was able to go off of Nexium completely a couple months ago by just taking digestive enzymes. I realized the only time I ever got reflux while low carbing was really if my digestive system got disturbed or irritated, or occasionally if I ate way too much, which then triggers the reflux. For me it's grains and refined carbs, but I know everyone has different foods that irritate their digestion.

I highly recommend digestive enzymes though, because reflux basically comes from digestive problems.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #12
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My acid reflux is pretty much gone from eating low carb.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:36 AM   #13
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It helPs a lot, but . . .

May I also propose if you are having night time GERD in particular that you ask to be tested for sleep apnea. Your nighttime reflux can also be caused by apnea--when the airway is closed and you are struggling to pull in air the resulting pressure gradients in your airway create a suction that pulls stomach contents up into the airway and esophagus.

Low carb helps, as does weightloss, but treating any sleep apnea is crucial and will help with weight loss.

Please get tested--your body may be trying to tell you something.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:02 AM   #14
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I think it helps me (as long as I don't eat too much fat), but I feel like (and this is purely my opinion) that it's because there's less bulk in what I eat, so less pressure on the sphincter (sp?). I've noticed what helps the most is eating small, frequent meals and sucking on candy (sugar free, of course!), it seems to help 'give the acid something to do'??

Good luck
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:12 PM   #15
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Eliminating grains and sugars was the end of my digestive problems - upper and lower. The only thing I still have to watch out for is alcohol - even if it's on plan, it can mean reflux (or at least bad heartburn) for me.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #16
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Removing grains from my diet helped me so much. In the beginning I had some trouble digesting fat so I took some digestive salts which was a big help too.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #17
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Can do, but it depends.

I think the importance is placed on grains, carbs etc and these may be valid, taking Prilosec or another Proton Pump Inhibitor is helpful and cures GERD or stops damage to the esophagus, the thing is to stop grains and try to come off, stop possible allergic foods likie milk, eggs, Soy etc and try coming off, lose weight to your ideal weight and try coming off, I did all these things apart from the weightloss to my ideal weight and still have problems when trying to come off the Losec and this has been going on for 15yrs, had endoscopies in the past but on my last hospital visit in Beijing, China the scope found I had a sliding Hiatus Hernia, wow I was surprised ... now I realised why I could heal or cure my GERD problem, when so many others cured their GERD by taking apple cider vinegar, HCI and many other things that I did try and ended up having the scope, oh which by the way also diagnosed grey or inflammation of the esophagus, was quickly put on Nexium for a month and Talcid to heal my esophagus, after a month went back onto Losec, after myn esophagus calmed down.

If nothing seems to work then you could have a Hiatus Hernia, many have it and don't realise they do unless they have an endoscope or Barium Test. The thing is I ended feeling like a failure cause I wasn't cured and so many had, don't let this happen to you, there is always a reason why thngs aren;t working.

One guy I read on another forum said he ate once a day, green salad-olive oil and vinegar, fatty meat and butter and stir fried veggies, and bowl of friut and this was his one meal for the day and this was how he came off his Losec and he too had a Hernia, I tried this today and boy oh boy what acid I had, I think FAT just doesn't agree with me even though I took 20mg of Losec still had burning in my throat, maybe the one meal didn't work,

Also when low carbing had bad palpitations in the evenings so had to add a potatoe to stop the heart flutter. For me nothing has worker completely, HIGH fat doesn't work for me, for me Low carb high protein and veggies work but get some indigestion - protein needs acid to digest and so this may be why I get indigestion feelings, when I eat carbs, veggies, little protein this work the best but still no cure, I mean cannot stop the Losec.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #18
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #19
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Welcome Gero67!!!

Sorry you've had so much trouble. Thanks for the info. In the beginning I has trouble digesting fats it took some time for my system to adjust. I also used digestive salts which helped me so much.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #20
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I started lc'ing strictly for losing weight. I was over 300lbs, had heart burn all the time, could never go to sleep without a handful of tums or rolaids... then there were the other issue... IBS.. I never knew when I was going to have to set new land speed record to try to make it to a bathroom on time!... speeding down the road trying to figure out what I scream to the cop that was trying to pull me over for speeding, as I ran for a bathroom. I even thought about making a sign that said IBS that I could hold up to the back window of my pick up as I continued blazing down the street to a bathroom. Ohhh.. and I had terrible hay fever starting around the first of sept., would always go get shots for that it got so bad. That was me when I started lc.
Now there's not a rolaids or tums in the house, couldn't tell you the last time I made a dash for the bathroom... it's been years... and I haven't taken more than one or two, over the counter allergy meds, for a whole allergy season, in forever. To be honest, I didn't attribute it to eating lc for the longest time. Not until I pulled out the dusty Atkins book, and was reading about doing a fat fast, did I read the chapter about all the other benifits some people experience doing lc! Big ah hah moment for me. I also suffered from a spasm thingy in my esophogus that was terribly painful. It too has gone away.
Here's something else that I found suprising. After falling off the wagon for a little over a year, and gaining back most of the weight, the heartburn, ibs or anything else didn't return like it was before. It was like my body had healed in the year and a half that I'd faithfully lc'd. I believe if I had continued to eat carbs they would've eventually returned. Thank goodness I got my act together and got back to lc before that happened.
My mom has terrible digestive problems and I will continue to encourage her to try lc. Right now she just gives me the "I don't need to lose weight" comment. I realize she doesn't, but she does need to get her gut back to a happy place. A day rarely passes that she isn't baking some new carby treat. I will keep trying to get her to see the light. Perhaps I'll show her this thread.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #21
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Thankyou Sis.

I wonder if there have been any LC guys who had hiatus hernia and where healed, I mean stopped taking Losec? Whe taking Losec/Prilosec it inhibits the stomach proton pumps that make acid, cause acid is needed to digest protein this is why I get indigestion I believe and probably others have had the same feelings?
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gero67 View Post
Thankyou Sis.

I wonder if there have been any LC guys who had hiatus hernia and where healed, I mean stopped taking Losec? Whe taking Losec/Prilosec it inhibits the stomach proton pumps that make acid, cause acid is needed to digest protein this is why I get indigestion I believe and probably others have had the same feelings?
I don't know how much weight your planning or need to lose but I was quite obese in the beginning, I improved as the pounds came off. I have hernias with minimal symptoms since discarding a chunk of my excess.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:24 PM   #23
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My acid reflux is pretty much gone from eating low carb.

Second to this!! I used to live on TONS of Zantac and Tums day and night -- now almost never.

Best of luck to you!!
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:14 PM   #24
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Overall, my GERD is greatly reduced by low-carbing, but I drink too much coffee for it to disappear completely. I just can't seem to kick it, up here in the gloomy NW.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:14 AM   #25
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LC eliminated my IBS and GERD. Particularly the elimination of wheat and grains. I can still trigger IBS if I eat a lot of raw vegetables (my body seriously isn't as thrilled with vegetables as it is with meat), and I can get heartburn if I eat a lot of fat (I'm talking all of the cracklings from a pork roast, here), but in general I don't have either symptom anymore.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:10 PM   #26
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Yes, I had heart burn and GERD and digestive issues... on low carb/no sugar they are almost non-existent which is a total blessing!
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:26 PM   #27
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Oh Yeah! I haven't had GERD since I started!!!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:27 AM   #28
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In my own experience, low carb did not cure my gerd right away. I continued to use my otc meds without realizing that was just continuing to exacerbate this symptom. When I finally got the right information and buckled down to a few weeks of 'gradually declining' discomfort, was I able to get rid of it.

Here is a great link on the subject of gerd.

http://chriskresser.com/what-everybo...heartburn-gerd
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:42 AM   #29
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I was diagnosed with GERD and a hiatal herna and duodenal ulcer in 2007. I started out taking Protonix, swtiched to Prevacid and took it for a couple of years but was never happy with some of the side effects from it. I finally tried Prilosec and it worked without the annoying side effects so I kept taking it from then on. My ulcer healed fairly quickly too.

In Jan of this year I started intermittent fasting with low-carbing and after reading read some articles that explained that the proton-pump inhibitors were never meant to be taken long term and could be causing malabsorption problems plus one of the side effects of long-term use was acid-reflux I decided to start weaning myself off the Prilosec. I would wait until I would start feeling a tiny bit of buning and then I would take a pill. Eventually I could go for a couple of days and so then when I felt the burning I started taking half a pill. I kept doing this until eventually I no longer needed the Prilosec. I was also losing weight and because I was low-carbing I was staying away from my main trigger which was sugar. Now I have no problems with GERD and haven't heard a thing from my hiatal hernia in a quite a while. If I do cheat and have some candy I will sometimes, but not always, get a bit of acid-reflux but usually a couple of Tums will take care of it but it's a good reminder for me to behave.

When I was first diagnosed I started sleeping on a wedge pillow which took forever to get used to but I finally did and that is the one thing I haven't been able to give up. I've gotten so used to sleeping on an incline that I find it hard to sleep flat anymore even though I don't get acid-reflux when lying flat.

My recommendation is to stick with low-carb and try to ditch the Prilosec.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:06 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by clackley View Post
In my own experience, low carb did not cure my gerd right away. I continued to use my otc meds without realizing that was just continuing to exacerbate this symptom. When I finally got the right information and buckled down to a few weeks of 'gradually declining' discomfort, was I able to get rid of it.

Here is a great link on the subject of gerd.

http://chriskresser.com/what-everybo...heartburn-gerd
That was a great Chris Kresser piece. Another really good one is from Eades:
The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Heartburn Cured

It's from 2005, but I think it's still relevant.

Quote:
Those of us in the business of treating patients with low-carbohydrate diets have known for years that these diets successfully treat GERD virtually 100 percent of the time. Until now, we haven’t known why. Thanks to Norm Robillard, Ph.D. we now have a mechanism for how GERD happens and why the low-carb diet works so successfully to treat it. Before we get to Dr. Robillard, however, let’s take a look at what heartburn really is.
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