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Diet for acid reflux (GERD)

In many cases, in addition to the usual reflux symptoms, there are other accompanying symptoms such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, skin problems and even psychological disorders. These accompanying symptoms are usually due to the effects of biogenic amines. Digestion is not optimal due to the inhibition of acid production.

Table of Contents

What is GERD?

Acid reflux (also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GERD) is the most common digestive problem in which acidic stomach contents flow back into the oesophagus. This also irritates the patient’s throat and larynx. The acidic stomach contents that enter the oesophagus can attack the lining of the oesophagus, causing inflammation and, in more severe cases, ulcers.

What causes GERD?

There are three possible causes of GERD.

The first is that the valve that separates the small intestine from the large intestine, called the ileocecal valve, or abdominal ileocecal valve, fails to close properly. This is caused by a lack of nitric oxide production (arginine deficiency), which is necessary for the smooth muscles of the colon to function.

The second cause is that fermenting bacteria can migrate from the colon to the small intestine, leading to SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) syndrome in the small intestine. There is increased gas formation in the bowel. The sphincter of the stomach wall at the border between the stomach and the duodenum does not close properly, similar to the oesophageal sphincter.

The third cause is an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut. There is a decrease in SCFA (short chain fatty acid) producing bacteria, especially butyrate-producing Firmicutes (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bacteroidetes, Lactobacillus and Eubacterium and Roseburia, bacterial species of the Lachnospiraceae family). Bifidobacterium species produce other SCFA besides butyrate, acetate, propionate and lactate. The proportion of these valuable bacteria has declined because we do not feed them properly. There is little water-soluble fermentable fibre in the diet. Gram-negative bacteria, known as LPS, overgrow and produce neurotoxins and large amounts of biogenic amines (e.g. histamine). All this inhibits processes controlled by the autonomic nervous system (processes that occur independently of our will, e.g. digestion, absorption, circulation, respiration, kidney function, etc.).

Symptoms of GERD

Symptoms are varied: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, heartburn, burning in the mouth, acidity, bad taste in the mouth, and cough. The most common symptoms are frequent heartburn and pain in the chest and oesophagus.

In many cases, in addition to the usual reflux symptoms, there are other accompanying symptoms such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, skin problems and even psychological disorders. These accompanying symptoms are usually due to the effects of biogenic amines. Digestion is not optimal due to the inhibition of acid production.

SIBO and GERD

SIBO is always associated with GERD, which leads to the proliferation of harmful gut bacteria. These so-called decarboxylase bacteria produce biogenic amines. The basis for the production of biogenic amines is the non-absorbed amino acids and the content of free amino acids in processed foods (histamine is also a biogenic amine). So-called processed ready-to-eat foods, and snack products, contain high levels of flavour enhancers (free amino acids). They are easily addictive. One free amino acid commonly used in processed foods is lysine. It is not 100% absorbed and unabsorbed lysine is the basis for the formation of biogenic amines such as cadaverine.

The effects of GERD

Mucin protects the stomach lining from gastric acid. Increased stomach acid leads to the transfer of stomach acid into the oesophagus. As the oesophageal lining does not have a protective acid mantle, it cannot withstand the corrosive effects of stomach acid. The stomach acid dissolves the oesophageal lining without mucin protection. This leads to Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition characterised by abnormal (metaplastic) changes in the cells that line the lower part of the oesophagus. The degree of developmental abnormality of the mucosal cells varies and can range from dysplasia to oesophageal cancer.

GERD and histamine sensitivity

In all cases where stool production in the gut is incomplete (malsecretio), enzyme production is inadequate (maldigestion), and absorption may be inadequate (malabsorption). Unabsorbed simple sugars, especially mono- and disaccharides, provide food for gram-negative, neurotoxin-producing bacteria (LPS bacteria), resulting in the production of large amounts of biogenic amines such as cadaverine and histamine. The exotoxins, endotoxins and biogenic amines produced by the bacteria are cytotoxins and neurotoxins. They paralyse the innervation of the vascular network and inhibit smooth muscle function.

GERD, stomach and herbicide association

Many GERD conditions involve damage to the stomach lining as well as the acid reflux itself. Not enough protective substance (mucin) is produced to protect the stomach lining from the effects of stomach acid.

From Judy Carman’s research, we know that the so-called Roundup-resistant GM crops (soy, maize) contain high levels of the herbicide glyphosate (these GM crops are grown in vast areas of the world). Glyphosate or aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), one of the main breakdown products of the herbicide glyphosate, is found not only in GM soy but also in the meat of animals fed on GM soy. Glyphosate is harmful to the stomach lining when it comes into contact with it.

Bacillus thuringiensis is a soil-dwelling gram-positive bacterium commonly used as a biological insecticide. Its toxin is produced by genetically modified maize, so plants contain large amounts of it. It kills insects that feed on the maize. Judy Carman describes what she has observed in animals fed on such maize. In the stomach lining of the experimental rats, the maize-derived toxin (Bt toxin) caused essentially the same symptoms as NSAIDs.

Natural remedies and fulvic acid for GERD

As mentioned above, GERD is often associated with damage to the stomach lining. Therefore, the lactic acid used in Fulvicherb – Synergy to adjust the pH may cause a caustic sensation. The fulvic acid-arginine complex can be used to prevent damage to the mucous membranes, including the stomach lining.

The lack of nitric oxide formation affects the normal development of mucosal epithelial cells. The fulvic acid-arginine complex supports the formation of nitric oxide so that the mucous membranes can regenerate.

In the case of GERD, the daily amount should be added to the daily drinking water and drunk continuously throughout the day. In this way, the preparation is gradually absorbed in several doses to avoid irritation of the damaged mucous membranes. Alternatively, the daily dose can be mixed into a honey tea.

What not to eat if you have GERD

To prevent GERD, avoid the two main substances that damage the stomach lining: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and industrially produced animal products. Avoid foods high in maize and soya (and their derivatives).

Avoid processed foods that feed fermentation bacteria in the gut, especially those containing simple sugars (monosaccharides: fructose, glucose). Do not eat bread or pastries made with modern additives.

It is important to avoid damaging the stomach lining. Damaged mucous membranes lead to insufficient production of gastric acid, so the body’s pH balance in the various digestive sections is not perfect. Various enzymes are only effective at a certain pH, so digestion and absorption can be impaired. The lack of absorption favours the growth and multiplication of bacteria which are important in the development of reflux (SIBO). A high stomach pH (the optimal stomach pH is around 3.0) allows the Helicobacter pylori bacteria to multiply in the stomach, which is harmful for several reasons.

The natural ingredients in Fulvic Acid and Fulvicherb can support the regeneration of the stomach lining by helping the body to rid itself of foods that contribute to reflux. Nitric oxide can also support smooth muscle function. When the gates of the digestive tract, the ileocecal valve, the gastric valve and the oesophageal sphincter are properly closed, the reflux problem will improve.

Read the article in German: Ernährung bei Reflux (GERD)

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