Here is what I know about reflux, it may be different for others but I from what I read it probably isn't. Acid reflux is just a symptom, it's not a weak valve or muscle. It is just a symptom. They call it acid reflux disease but that is misleading. You try to cure the symptom and you make the cause worse. Acid reflux is caused by pressure on your stomach, this constant pressure causes the muscle on the top of your stomach to eventually fail. Remove the pressure and your stomach will return back to normal. All of us are high stress people with bloating or pain or pressure under our ribs. After long periods of stress (any antibiotic taking only makes it worse) our body has problems digesting food. Food sits in the intestines causing gas and bloating, this puts pressure on your stomach and you then eventually develop acid reflux. You then have a ton of tests that show, what else? acid reflux. But a real cause is never found. Your body cannot digest food correctly, that is why some low carb diets seem to help. Eating easily digested foods cause less pressure, therefore your reflux improves. This is the cause of my reflux, I know it without a doubt. There is no other reason. I have proven it to myself many times over. Now comes the tricky part, fixing the problem. I have gone the past 4 weeks 98% reflux free. Yes my stomach still hurt alot (I don't care, can live with stomach pain, not with reflux). Anyway my reflux is back, since yesterday. It was my fault. Last Friday I was very stressed even with some anxiety, two days later my reflux comes back. What happened? the anxiety shut my digestive system down (which was improving). I am now trying to get back to 98%. Here's a little tip, if you know your going to be in an anxiety causing situation (mine is flying) then take a xanax. Our body has gotten so use to shutting down with anxiety and stress that even small amounts of stress can cause big problems that last for weeks. I am trying some things to fix my digestive problems, I'll report on it when I have success.
Hi- I have to respectfully disagree. i have had reflux for over 20 years (before PPI"s existed). I was on low-carb diets for a bit of the time. I really have not noticed a difference in my reflux based on any of my eating habits other than to avoid certain trigger foods such as tomatoes and onions. No matter what I ate and what diet I was on I would have good periods and then periods when my reflux would flare-up. Stress really doesn't make a difference to me. I have had periods when I have been under extreme stress and had no symptoms and other periods when I had no stress and had flare-ups. I do believe reflux is caused by a weak valve. Doctors who have studied this for years say this is so, I have had 3 endoscopies confirming this. To state otherwise is just not basing your information on medical facts that have been studied and proven. PPI's have helped me tremendously. If people are having a lot of trouble with reflux they should try diet but if that fails they should go to PPI's to avoid long-term damage. I had to try 3 different PPI's before I found one that works. I do hope your diet works for you and you are able to get relief from your symptoms from that alone - but it is not medically correct to state that reflux is not caused by a faulty stomach valve.
Until I reduce my reflux to zero (or to where it's a very minor annoyance) I won't try to argue any point. I am not on a low carb diet or have any intention of going on one. All the things I wrote apply to me, it may not apply to everybody or anybody else. I also imagine the valve would be weakened if you have reflux, thats why the acid is coming up. Arguing at this point is meaningless, it gets us nowhere, only results matter.
I do have a few questions if anybody cares to answer:
1. do you have or get anxiety from time to time.
2. do you get stomach bloating.
3. If you get nighttime reflux do you wake up with alot of gas in your stomach.
4. Do you exercise, and if you do how much and what kind.
5. did you take antibiotics before you started getting reflux symptoms.
This reflux will need to be dealt with in two different directions. When I get the right mix that works I'll post it. We're on our own on this. Don't give up the fight.
Yes I agree that the term acid reflux or GERDS for that matter is more or less a symptom or possibly a syndrom and there can be many different causes. I think most doctors quickly diagnose as GERDS prescribe PPIs and declare case closed. They may follow up with some additional testing mostly to check and monitor for tissue damage. Seldom do they continue to look for the cause once they have established reflux is occuring. It appears that in their eyes Reflux is the actual problem and the acid reducing meds are the effective remedy. Is severe cases they may use surgical procedures to tighten up the valve.
For JB75 case it sounds as if the problem may likely be the LES since he can dirrectly link his trouble to the typical trigger foods that are know to relax the LES. In this case I would think that all the symptoms would be directly related to pain from the refluxed acid: middle of chest, throat, ect... Wouldn't expect a lot of problems with bloating, gas and the like.
In my case I have found significant relief by following the SCD diet. NO grains, sugar, or dairy. At first I just cut back and I did notice an improvement but I still had noticable discomfort. I decide to go all out and totaly eliminate those foods. It's only been 1 week but so far no bloating no gas no reflux. I feel better than I have for quite awhile. But as Neddy points out that still is not the actuall problem but more or less a work around. There must be a reason the digestive system is having a problem breaking down those foods. I'm hoping that since my problem developed after changing to a diet very high in complex carbs that after a period of time the digestive system can rebound and in the future I will again be able to eat moderate amounts of those products without problems. We'll see..
SCD stand for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Take a look at october7hslkjd's post "Cured my reflux... After 12 months of trying everything". The diet was developed by Canadian biochemist Elaine Gottschall and the details and logic of the diet are in her book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle". Basicly the diet allows no starches or refined sugars. This means no grains or dairy products exept natural hard cheese and a yogart that meets the diets requirement. If you search the web you will find a number of sites with information, recipes and support forums specific to the SCD diet.