So I don't have acid reflux, but I hear about it all the time (as we all do) and know a few people who complain of it so I want to understand it and make sure I don't get it!
Ive read chocolate and alcohol can cause it, but then read that those don't cause it.. read that cigarettes can cause it etc..
What causes the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) to relax?
Ive also read that lying down with a full stomach can cause acid reflux.. because the stomach contents press into the sphincter and acid escapes.. but does that mean it would be a one off thing? Like if you don't have GERD and you over eat one night and go to bed and get some heart burn, that should just be a one time occurrence right? OR does the habit of eating before bed eventually lead to chronic GERD?
Because for a long time I didn't eat before bed, cuz I know its good to give your digestive system a rest over night.. but lately ive been eating a bunch of yogurt and milk before.. because im trying to gain weight. IS this bad?
Moxsum even some medication's can cause reflux, and also too much alchohol and rich foods, and its best not to go to bed on a full stomach.
Try eating a red apple a bit before and after meals, with skin on, that helps some people.
Occassional acid reflux is nothing to worry about. It happens to the best of us once in a while
If it is chronic there are two main causes. The first and most common is caused by poor digestion because there is not enough stomach and or digestive enzymes to digest properly. Sometimes this condition is caused by an excess of the wrong kinds of microbes in the stomach. Bloating in the stomach forces the sphincter open for acids to rise.
The other cause is a lower esophegeal stomach sphincter that is not tight. It has been damaged somehow over the course of living. This also could be related to a microbial invasion like fungus or other microbes. If you healed the microbe issue the sphincter might return to normal. About 15 percent of all reflux cases are due to a lax sphincter. Often this developes at a very young age but does not become a problem until older. In Europe some surgeons will tighten this sphincter which cures the problem. The downside to the surgery is that you can no longer vomit if you should need to. This is called a nissen procedure. Few doctors do this on adults in the US, but it is frequently done on small children who have reflux issues as they are at high risk for aspiration pneumonia. Over time the procedure can wear off as the purse string closure they do breaks.
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." Marcus Aurelius
When I was heavier things such as alcohol and certain food would cause it, but being thin I never get hearburn. But I can remember being really thin as a child and if I ate dinner and laid down right away that I would get heartburn. I didn't know what it was, but I asked my mother.
If I get hearburn once a year now it's rare, but when I had some excess weight I would get it from having too many beers, pants that I probably didn't fit into and things like apple juice. I had it often when I didn't take as good of care of myself as I do now.
Just curious, why don't you take weight gainer if your trying to gain weight? Be careful what you ask for though as when I was younger I hated being too skinny and would do anything to gain weight, now I watch everything I eat, exercise 5 or more days a week to stay in shape. I think it's mostly a life style of when I was younger always being active and now having a job that I'm in front of a computer and the only daily activity in modern life for me was walking to the car. So I feel without going to the gym or actually exercising I'm not doing anything healthy. I don't live in Europe or a city that I know people who walk about 5 miles a day just to get around. I'm lucky if I walk .005 miles, because of the city I live in, so for me I feel I have to make time to exercise and put time into the gym.
There is no one single cause, it is a combination of long term poor diet, prescription drugs including antibiotics, coffee, alcohol,simple carbs, soda or any product containing high fructose corn syrup, stress, lack of sleep, or being vitamin deficient.
I am in exemplary health and eat very smart (or so I thought), exercise regularly, and my chronic acid indigestion is turning into reflux disease. My mother was also thin and healthy and ate right and exercised and she developed reflux. Baffled as to the cause. I don't have the loose sphincter, and I don't eat any at-risk foods -- I thought. The culprit turned out to be ... bread.
Wheat products need to be completely eliminated as the grain contains toxins that can trigger excess acid production, so my daily lunch of baked turkey slices with boston lettuce and organic tomatoe slices on flaxseed bread turns out to be too hard on my stomach because of the wheat-based bread. (And almost all breads including oat bread, potato bread, etc, are wheat-based). So now I am eliminating all wheat products from my diet.
Here's one of many websites that explain how bread can be as bad as 5-alarm hot peppers for indigestion:
It is important to be aware of your body and its needs. Elimination diet is a good tool to discover what may be causing such problems. But what is the cause? I say it is that your body is not producing enzymes very well. Find the cause.
My diet is predominantly grain. I don't have reflux or bloating. I do have to be sure to get enough fiber to keep constipation at bay. But I have eliminated all grain in a past diet with no change at all. Or worse, because it eliminates a lot of fiber.
To help you with such digestive problems, it would be wise for your to read about digestive bitters. They are marvelous for assisting the body to produce more enzymes, balance hormones, and a host of other body assists. Bitters activate the vagus nerve, which in turn is an immediate boost to the immune system. Only a small taste of bitter via the bitter receptors at the back of the tongue. Try it.
‘Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.’ Sir Winston Churchill
It's definitely the bread. I never had any problems with digestion until a few years ago which is about the same time I started eating sandwiches a lot. Previously, I used to have baked chicken with baked vegetables for lunch but I don't have the time to prepare that the night before for a brown bag lunch. Here's another link:
I want to blame the loss of my gallbladder and not being informed of what I could do to help with digestion.
I was given the purple pill - nexim? Zantac, axid, etc. Drank antacids like water. Never once felt I was doing anything harmful. Just didn't know. Was even given belladonna to help with the attacks until surgery was scheduled.
I had issues YEARS after that gallbladder theft. Surgery was in 1988, relief came when I changed my diet in 2005.
I'm not sure where that Dr Heise gets his info. Wheat does indeed have a specific enzyme inhibitor which it uses to defend itself from certain pests, but this is not a digestive enzyme required for human digestion. Wheat is rich in vitamins and enzymes. All of the plants we eat bring in enzymes to help us digest them. The bran is especially helpful in that. White bread is deficient in this benefit. And bran is rich in protein which is important in the formation of enzymes and other chemical processes. And vitamin B is one of the necessary substances for helping to form stomach acid.
Wheat has been consumed as a staple for several millennium. Modern wheat may certainly be causing health problems due to hybridization and now genetic engineering. Billions are still eating it and still producing massive population.
It may be that wheat is good for you but bad for me. I did a workout program that required a wheat-free diet for years (I won't explain why) but eventually had to give that up for a modest exercise program because of time constraints. It was around that time I started eating bread again and my digestive problems began. I found this on the web which may explain why wheat does good for you but not for me:
If you’re white, there’s a good chance that you’re gluten-intolerant to some degree. Current research estimates that about 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, an auto-immune condition related to the ingestion of gluten-containing grains like wheat and barley; however, some researchers on celiac disease and gluten intolerance estimate that 30% to 40% of people of European descent are gluten-intolerant to some degree. That’s a lot of people who are regularly consuming a food that makes them sick. (And, yes, I’m one of them.)
I understand that many people are gluten intolerant. More than they expect. They have to be more diligent in avoiding it than just bread. I was told to follow a gluten free diet too. I did this to no avail. Made me mad. The same naturopathic doctor told me to follow an anticandida diet too. I won't follow any diet anymore unless I have been fully tested for a specific problem. I've been tested recently only to discover that I have absolutely no problem with gliadins in my system. Diets are just punishments for me. And these doctors who claim that everyone would benefit by these avoidance diets should be run out of the business.
Sometimes celiac is hereditary. Sometimes gluten or wheat problems are just intolerance or sensitivity, which is certainly bad enough. Sometimes protease enzymes can really help to break down the gluten peptide.
Nearly all of the wheat in products containing wheat uses GMO wheat. Humans evolved for millions of years to digest the food and plant life of our earth, so when you suddenly change the food, it is reasonable that chronic indigestion can occur. It's not only wheat but corn and soy beans and more. It may not be the gluten factor but the GMO factor that causes the health problems, making it an even more complicated situation. We need better labeling and we need all products containing GMO ingredients to clearly spell that out. Chronic ingestion is not just a little problem, it can lead to GERD which can lead to cancer. It has to be taken very seriously.
Mine appears to be diet-related. Soft drinks are a killer for me, bringing on nighttime misery. Ditto for any high-acid food. I've been on a healthy liquid only diet for two weeks now, and I've been taking half a cup of raw Aloe gel daily for a week. So far, no problems with GERD ... though I do find myself wanting to grab any food I see lying around