weightlifting and GERD

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 10/17/2011 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I had taken a week off of weightlifting (getting reflux almost exclusively at night, and every night). I went back to the gym this morning and got reflux through the day (its now 1pm). Is weightlifting enough to worsen reflux ALL DAY? I was under the impression that even if it was bad, it was only during the time you are lifting. Once you stop the reflux should subside, right?

Really really REALLY don't want to give up lifting...

Post Edited (theacidrefluxman) : 10/17/2011 12:00:29 PM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/17/2011 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
GERD occurs more frequently during exercise than at rest, and can be a cause of chest pain or abdominal pain during exertion. One study found that increased intensity of exercise resulted in increased reflux in both trained athletes and untrained people. In another study, running produced more reflux than less jarring activities, such as bicycling, while weight training produced few reflux symptoms.  Eating just before exercise has been found to further aggravate GERD. On the other hand, a recent survey found that people who participate in little recreational activity were more likely than active people to be hospitalized for GERD. It makes sense for people with GERD to use exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, perhaps choosing activities that are less likely to cause reflux symptoms.
Now there is food for thought :)

Moderator: GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 10/18/2011 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt :)

Today I also lifted weights, a much more intense, strenuous routine with a lot more horizontal positions (i.e. bench press). I didn't get reflux at all. I guess that is good news...but as always, my reflux makes no sense to me...

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 10/18/2011 3:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Very depressing this is.. i find that weight lifting, even stomach crunches/leg lifts bother my GERD big time. I never realized it before but now I have to be more careful about the workouts I do or I know I will pay later for it if i don't. I think it has something to do with the LES muscle sliding up with movement and strain.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 10/20/2011 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm glad you are back in the gym. I am a total crab when I miss my workouts. Like yours, my reflux makes no sense at all either. The typical triggers don't affect me aside from tomatoes, which are horribly bad. Onions, garlic, chocolate, salad dressings don't bother me. I've even eaten cayenne pepper on some baked fish without effect. Haven't tried alcohol, have you? I would love to have a couple glasses of wine on occasion but I'm too much of a chicken. This disease sucks. Oddly enough, kickboxing, weightlifting, and spinning class do NOT increase my symptoms or cause them. I can even do bench press and other lying down exercises. What patterns if any have you noticed about yours?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 10/20/2011 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Liz,

Cool to see we have so much in common. I've been getting GERD the past two weeks almost only at night (every night though). In general it is day and night though, with 2-3 weeks of remission (who knows why), at unexplainable points (my summer was mostly these remission periods, but usually they are few and far between).

I have noticed NO patterns with food either. I even ate spicy at a restaurant once (by mistake), chocolate cake (office bought it for me @ summer job), and other sins with no reflux at all. Then I get reflux when eating essentially the GERD induction diet. Makes no sense.

As for exercise, I will keep my eyes open. I return tomorrow to do back/bi's, which is what hurt me that day. I'll see what happens. I am a student and next semester will take a mixed martial arts course (not for credit, just for fun). I am willing to bet that won't help my GERD but we will see.

I am going to try a few more things soon (SSRI's b/c mine is potentially NERD, and HCL). I enjoy having those options still up my sleeve.

Please let me know if you notice certain exercises hurt you. I have no correlations with anything EXCEPT getting more reflux at nightime. That is it...

Haven't tried any of the standard sin ones (chocolate, coffee, alcohol) for 4 years (since this started). I am also a chicken...but don't miss any of them much. I also would not mind a glass of wine now and then either ;(

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/20/2011 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I also workout and had to stop due to GERD. As I mention in the thread titled "anyone tried betaine HCl?" I have fixed my GERD problems completely and now workout regularly again. The one thing I wanted to add to that discussion is that the extra HCl really helps with protein and mineral digestion, this has really helped with my workout recovery and in building muscle. I normally take an HCl with my protein drink and hamburger (my after workout routine).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 10/21/2011 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
@ efit.

Guess what. Last night, since I already know my GERD is not food related at all, I stuffed myself with mediterranean food. I ate lamb, chicken, beef, bhabaghanouj, the white creamy sauce, rice, the grape leaf things, little fried things, etc.

I went to do the same workout today that I did the day I got reflux, and got no reflux. As a matter of fact, after that dinner I got no heartburn that evening or last night...the FIRST night I don't have reflux in 2+ weeks, and its the night I eat all that crap. THIS is why I absolutely hate my GERD and the doctors just don't get it...
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