Thursday, February 25, 2010

Do Carbs Cause Reflux?

Biologist Norm Robillard, Ph.D. blames acid reflux on carbohydrates: eating carbs causes microorganisms in the gut to produce gas, which causes reflux. Before you laugh, consider a few facts:

  • Reflux, or GERD, has been on the rise right along with high-carb diets eaten by many Americans.
  • I started getting bad reflux--enough to put an ulcer in my esophagus--a few years after I started Body for Life, which involves eating a lot of carbohydrates.
  • I was able to stop taking acid blockers only after I cut out wheat and cut down on sugars in all forms--both of these are carbohydrates.
  • Protein has been shown to help close the lower esophageal muscle, which helps prevent acid reflux. (Protein, carbs and fat are the three basic food groups.)
  • Some people report that Manuka Honey helps their acid reflux. Manuka Honey is strong enough to kill MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Helicobacter pylori, a couple of die-hard infections. Maybe it kills gas-causing microorganisms, too.

In the past few weeks, I've cut back on carbs simply because, since I stopped eating wheat and cut back on sugars, I wasn't as hungry. When I stopped taking acid blockers, I got full even faster. Starting tomorrow, the only carbs I'll eat will be with my protein and berry drink (it doesn't seem to give my any reflux). I'll still avoid triggers like onions, chocolate and big meals and throat irritants like peaches and granola (the only things that spoiled my day today--I was reflux-free, but my throat is tender from reflux earlier this week). I'll report on my progress.


Anonymous said...

I have suffered from Acid Reflux for many years as well. I only realized it was caused by my carb intake by accident. Several years ago when the Atkins diet was the fad I decided to try it. After just a couple of days on this no/low carb diet my reflux vanished. Even though I realize this, I continue to fall back into my old carb eating habits and pop Pepcids like candy to control my reflux. Starting tomorrow I am DEFINATELY going to try my best to maintain my low carb lifestyle.

Lori Miller said...

Good for you! Carb creep is insidious, isn't it?

For a few months after I stopped taking Aciphex, I had to be extremely careful because I had acid rebound. Even anything fruit-flavored gave me acid reflux.