I'm compelled to write on this forum as an ex-acid reflux sufferer after stumbling across an online video ad for Bob Barton's cure for acid reflux and listening through to most of it until he got to the hard sell bit.
I think there's a lot of truth in there about the pharmaceutical companies etc and I'm sure the drugs on offer are terrible for us. I'm not sure about the whole simple apple idea but I think Bob's definitely on the right track, acid reflux is all about what you eat, if you think logically, it just has to be. These days we are so removed from the natural way of living and especially in the way we eat, it's no wonder we have problems with digestion. Anyway, here's my acid reflux story. It's going to sound like an infomercial but this is all true.
In my mid forties, I was getting terrible acid reflux and I was also feeling out of breathe sometimes and seriously worried that I was in for a heart attack or something bad. I went to a doctor but of course all she did was offer me pills for the reflux and tell me I was a borderline asthmatic and prescribed pills for that too. I came home and within minutes discovered online that reflux can cause asthmatic-like symptoms which really pissed me off, shouldn't my doctor know that?! If I'd believed my doctor, I'd probably be hooked on asthma medication for the rest of my life
Anyway, I decided not to take any pills for reflux or asthma and instead started doing Bikram yoga (the hot one) because I read that yoga helped with digestion and breathing/lung capacity. It did help a lot but I a;ways felt that the reflux was still there bubbling below the surface. Then someone told me about a book called 'The pH Miracle' by Dr Robert Young. The premise of the book is that most people's bodies are too acidic these days and that the pH balance of the body is crucial to good health. Basically if we are too acidic, our blood carries less oxygen and our bodies are just not functioning properly. We need to adjust our diets to eat more alkaline foods to offset the acidic stuff - sugar being one of the most acidic things we can eat.
As soon as I started reading the book it all made perfect sense to me and I went straight into a fast on green vegetable juice and water with powdered wheat grass in it (all totally alkaline) for five days. First couple of days were rough - I'd never gone cold turkey from drugs but I imagined that what I went through was a milder version of that - it wasn't painful though. The first day I would break into incredible sweats and soak through my clothes, i would be all foggy, shaky one minute and weak and then have moments of feeling quite energetic and clear but nothing that the book hadn't warned me about. Then, after a bad headache on day three, I started to feel completely different - totally energized. I did a bikram session each day of the fast, the first couple of days it was pitiful, my balance was all over the place but on the last day of the fast I had a totally brilliant session, the best I'd ever had and I could do things I'd never managed before - it was an amazing difference. It really felt to me that in five days I'd flushed out so much garbage from my body that it felt way more supple - like the toxins had been making my body stiffer. I'd only lost about 5lbs during the fast.
I stuck with the dietary recommendations of the book strictly for over a year and it was the most amazing that I've ever felt in my life. I went from feeling like crap, being out of breath and worried about my heart to running a half marathon in the July heat in the Bronx - three months later! I'd hardly run at all for probably at least a year before starting the yoga and the book but I ended up running faster than when I was in my twenties. I also lost 28lbs too.
I think the combination of Bikram yoga which, because of the heat, is incredibly detoxing and the alkaline diet was the amazing. It's not an easy life though - it's hard to eat out and not eat acidic stuff and it's a lot more expensive to buy good healthy food unfortunately. And the Bikram was probably the toughest thing I've ever done in my life and still is after 5 years - but I still love it. I couldn't maintain the really pure alkaline lifestyle but once you've experienced the incredible energy of running on mostly alkaline food, you'll never forget it and even if you can't keep it up and you slip back into acid reflux symptoms, you will know exactly what's causing it and know how to fix it. I think I've had one or two isolated incidences of acid reflux in the last couple of years, purely because I went too far off the alkaline path.
We are what we eat - I honestly believe it really is that simple.
I hope this helps someone.