Just a simple question

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/17/2013 5:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I was passing by this forum and noticed a few posts which frankly shocked me, so let me get this straight:
do you people, at large, believe GERD is caused by excess acid or a mysterious "relaxation" of the esophageal sphincter?
I'm a practitioner of natural medicine and even i am aware of the literature (old and new) showing how in the vast majority of cases GERD is caused by a lack of stomach acid, not an excess. Also, the esophageal sphincter does not "malfunction" without prior structural damage! Finally, GERD is unknown in all hunter-gatherer populations still present in the world.

To make it clear:
In over 90% of cases:

1) Bacterial overgrowth in the gut (due to difficult digestion from poor modern eating habits.)
2) Bacterial overgrowth spreads to the stomach (not only H.Pilori, which is a natural resident there!)
3) Lowered stomach acid as stomach bacteria neutralize acid around them to survive.
4) Low stomach acidity means digestive enzymes aren't activated, thus food arrives partly undigested in the gut.
5) Gas production goes off the chart, as 30 grams of undigested matter in the gut can ferment up to 10 liters of gases between hydrogen and methane.
6) Pressure on the esophageal sphincter, excess belching.
7) Stomach acid is therefore often pushed in the esophagus, causing heartburn, GERD

Do yourself a favor and take a stomach acid level test. I won't be posting the relevant research because the information is out there in heaps, recycled through countless websites and blogs. You can even find betaine HCl supplements from various makers online nowadays. Antacids only worsen the condition in those 90%+ cases. Meanwhile, my clients manage GERD without symptoms or actual medications and are only necessary in long standing cases to attempt healing damage to the esophagus or ulcers, which are now vulnerable to acid. And personally, I have yet to find someone suffering from an actual acid excess or sphincter malfunction.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/17/2013 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Overt,
You obviously feel very strongly about this, and are confident that your information is the only correct way to look at GERD. I have no doubt that there is a great deal of information that supports your statements online.

Yet to say that the relaxation of the LES is "mysterious", is extreme to say the least, as there is empirical evidence in actual testing via manometry as well asvisual confirmation with endoscopy, that clearly refutes that statement. I am certain that there is as much or more medical research and evidence online that supports the more mainstream GERD treatment model, that you are so quick to dismiss as nonsense.

I'm not a practitioner of natural medicine, and I'm not about to get in an argument over any of this, but I would caution anyone reading this thread to look at these statistics with eyes wide open.

Of course, this is something to consider and something to research if you find it compelling. Certainly take the information to your GI doc and ask further questions. Even see a natural medicine practitioner if that seems like something you'd like to pursue. Just do it with the knowledge that there's no "magic bullet" out there. Oh, but I wish there were.

Best wishes to one and all,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 2/18/2013 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Overt, there are numerous people here who have read the Wright/Lenard book you are primarily quoting, published in 2001. People who post here are repeated encouraged to work with an MD. Your implied recommendation that many people should take hcl on stomachs that are are often fragile is frightening to me. I'm off meds now thanks to the Fast Tract Diet for Heartburn, and consultation with the Digestive Health Institite.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 2/18/2013 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Overt,

Can you explain how your clients manage their GERD? Other than betaine HCL, is it changes in diet or addition of supplements that has improved their condition? At this point, I'm more concerned about curing my GERD than I am debating the actual cause.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 2/18/2013 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
The apple cider vinegar only works in SOME cases, not all. And I can't take PPI's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 2/19/2013 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I am with Denise on this one. My LES falls into the 10%, as it was open approximately 1/2 inch.

I also want to caution members as per Rule 8. If you are a medical professional, do not use the forums to distribute professional medical advice and/or promote your services.
Please always consult with your doctor about any treatments or remedies.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11
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