Play the Trigger Foods Game

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Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
 Good Morning Everyone,
I have been thinking about trigger foods recently. Initially, I could not figure out a common thread. Why would so many different foods trigger reflux in some people but not in others. After developing my theory that the consumption of excess carbohydrates was the root cause of GERD in susceptible individuals, my initial thinking on trigger foods was that they represented foods that were either carbohydrate containing or were consumed along with carbs and thus (and perhaps wrongly) accociated with reflux. Like coffee, for instance might be consumed with toast or a donught and hence become associated with reflux that was actually caused by the bread or doughnut.
 
As I contiued thinking about this I noticed that the carbohydrate connection is very strong here. Lets play a little game. You give me a trigger food and I will try to find the connection to carbohydrates.
 
OK, I am waiting.
 
Dr. Norm

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1524
   Posted 8/21/2005 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
This is going to be a hard one for you Dr. Norm, but some of my worst reflux comes from water, when I drink it by itself.

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy,
It's still early morning in California. I am only on my second cup of coffee. Did you have to start with a hard one! You really crack me up.

Let me ask you, on those water binging occasions, what did you eat in the 12 hours previous to consuming the water. More concisely, how many carbs did you consume?

Dr. Norm

VV
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 8/21/2005 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dr Norm,
This is a good idea! Here are a couple of mine. Coffee, tea, brocoli, tomatoes, grapes, most natural juices, collards, beans(all types) and yams if I eat to much. my list is actually larger than this, i'm still thinking. LOL Oh, sometimes oatmeal.

Vanessa

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Vanessa,
OK, let's see....

Coffee (very common one). Do you add sugar and or milk? I can see as trigger with sugar or a lot of milk. I use half and half or creamer with no sugar. If you need to sweeten, use splenda or other non sugar sweetner. Don't add too much milk (lactose).
Tea - As above
Broccoli: hmm, this is a tough one. Broccoli is considered a very significant vegetable in a low carb diet. I eat broccoli with many of my meals (remember, I have no heartburn on my low carb diet). Broccoli has only about 3 grams per 1/2 cup. I have heard of this being listed as a vegetable that could cause gas but this has not been my experience and technically with it's carb count should not be a problem.
Tomatoes: They are moderate in carbs (about 4 grams per small tomato). They definately have a role in a healthy low carb diet. You just need to stick to your overall target carb levels. I know tomatoes have bad rap as "acidic foods" and considered GERD triggers. I do wonder if tomatoes are one of those foods that are consumed with carbs (like on a pizza) and take the rap for the heartburn. I eat tomatoes, but I do limit the amount. One slice in a salad.
Grapes: Loaded with sugar (7-8 grams per 1/2 cup). Stay away from grapes.
Juices: Natural or not, loaded with sugar (15-20 grams per 1/2 cup). Evil for GERD. Tomato juice at 5 grams per 1/2 cup is the least of the offenders.
Collards: 7 grams per 4 OZ. relatively high in carbs. Compare this to spinach or mixed greens at 1 to 1.5 grams per cup. I have to admit, I never heard of collards as a GERD trigger, but I can see it if consumed in significant amounts or with other carbs.
beans: Green beans about 5 grams per 1/2 cup. OK in small amounts. Black beans are 19 grams per 1/2 cup and baked beans are 28 grams per 1/2 cup. You can see these get pretty high in carbs. Very bad for GERD.
Yams: 22 grams each. Limit these. If you need to have it, have 1/3 and watch your overall carb level.
Oatmeal: 33 grams per cup. Evil for reflux. Go with low carb special K and soy milk.

Well, that was an interesting exercise. I didn't realize I was setting myself up for a little work. Thanks for these suggestions. It's good food for thought, and that kind of food will not give you reflux.

Dr. Norm

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 8/21/2005 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Dr Norm,
Thank you for your reply! I don't consume coffee or tea anymore, but would use sweet & low & cream. I still crave coffee, but a trigger drink for me.

I'm half way afraid of more than one or two broccoli florets, usually completely avoid it because it definately causes reflux.

Tomatoes are def a trigger for me, I don't consume anything w/tomatoes, and never liked pizza.

Most fruits causes reflux for me,usually only eat apples(granny smith) Ironic, because as I child I recall fruit being just too sweet, more than sugar, and same w/natural fruit juice. I would always dilute juice w/water. Usually only drink water. I absolutely love watermelon, but stay away from it now. Won't eat strawberries, cantaloupe, or melon, only apples.

Collards causes problems if consumed for several days in a row(average fist size portions). Green beans are usally consumed and well tolerated out of all veggies. Cabbage bothers me, and I believe cauliflower, eggplant, Okra & others will too. So, I just won't eat them. I think carrots bother me if too many are consumed.

Well, now I know why beans & yams cause a problem, but I am surprised about Oatmeal. I thought this was one of the few natural healthy foods left on earth. Peanuts also cause problems if too much is consumed.

Dr. Norm, my list should probably give you an idea of why I have a problem w/weight gain. Many food items just bother me. Does your book recommend healthy non trigger foods for weight gain?? I need more calories!

Vanessa

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Vanessa,
From what you are telling me, you consume a significant amount of carbohydrates. Once you do this, all bets are off and it could be impossible to tell what is the trigger food because you are eating what my book calls the ultimate trigger food - carbohydrates in general. When you consume excess carbs, the reflux will occur over a period of hours and even days. So no matter what you eat, it could be followed by reflux due to meals and snacks containing carbohydrates that you consumed many hours ago. Thats why many people have night time GERD even though they have not eating anything for hours, the microbes are having a night time shack and making gas from the carbs thus causing reflux. If you are really serious about exploring the connection between diet and GERD, I would recommend you try significantly lowering your carbs for a couple of days. For instance, peanuts should be fine as long as your not eating huge amounts of them, but there is no way for you to know this since you may have had a big bowl of oatmeal three hours before.

As far as the weight gain, even on low carb I need to watch what I eat and how much because you can gain weight on a low carb diet as well as any diet. Low carb foods are nutrient / calorie rich and you should find it easy to maintain weight on this diet. Once you manage your GERD, you may also feel like eating more, just be sure it is a low carb diet food for the most part. Of course you can cheat, I do it all the time. But now, I truly understand what was causing my reflux all these years and can manage the disease by returning to low carb after I cheat.

I hope this helps,
Dr. Norm

Kelleigh
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/21/2005 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a note on sweeteners.  Rather than buying Splenda (there's lots to be said against it) or any other "fake" sweetener, please try all natural Kal brand Stevia.  Stevia has no calories, sweetens and tastes like sugar, is made from a plant and contains no chemicals.  I buy the 3.5 oz. jar for $20.  It lasts several months and I use it in my low acid coffee in the morning and in my decaf iced green tea in the afternoons.  Much better for your health than the artificial sweeteners or real sugar. 
 
Dr. Norm, how can I get your diet for GERD?  I have the report from Duke University on the study they did with 5 GERD patients and a 20 mg. a day low carb diet.  All of them were well within a week and the LES started working again.  They surmise some hormone was released with eliminating carbs and caused the LES to function properly, thus eliminating GERD.  This happened to each of them in one week.  They slowly raised the carb rate to 70 mg. a day and all remained well. 
 
I was diagnosed with GERD/ulcers in esophagus/and gastritis 7 months ago.  I was put on two Nexium a day and Sucralfate for a month.  I'm still on two Nexium a day and still have pain right below the sternum and sometimes in the upper intestinal area.  I never have had problems with chest pain from reflux, it's always felt like I had a duodenal ulcer...  The side effects of the Nexium are problematic as well.  Besides not being able to eat anything I love, I am fearful of traveling and fearful of being with people because of the side effects of the Nexium.  Not to mention that after eating clothing is uncomfortable.  I've added DGL Licorice before every meal, which helps somewhat. 
 
I'd sure like a copy of your diet or where I can find it.

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Kelleigh,
Thanks for your note. I understand your concern over any new sweetner that comes on the market. Splenda is slightly modified sugar. They added a chloride group that renders the sugar undigestible by us, and as far as I know by our gut microbes. I use it as it has been out for some time and so many people use it that if it was going to cause any problem, we would likely know. But I understand your reservation as a personal choice. I was like that with nutrisweet for a long time.

I have been in discussions with the Duke guys on the mechanism of low carb on GERD. I disagree about the hormone connection which comes from Michael Eade's Protein Power book. I don't see any evidence for this and recently explained my theory (on the microbe connection) to Dr. Yancy and Dr. Westman, two of the authors on the study. I think it took them by surprise. I look forward to more discussions with them on this phenomenon. Also, I assume you mean they raised their carb rate to 70- grams per day.

Concerning my book, it is not my intention to market my book on these boards, but occasionally I do refer to it in our discussions.

Thanks,
Dr. Norm

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/22/2005 9:22:14 AM (GMT-6)


Kelleigh
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/21/2005 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Dr. Norm. I'm not familiar with how to e-mail you yet, but will figure it out. Yes, I was adamantly against Nutrisweet as well. And yes, they raised the carb level to 70 mg. a day slowly and all remained well. I'm so sick of being sick I could scream. This GERD is one beast of a nasty disease.

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/21/2005 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Kelleigh,
I know, GERD significantly impacts one's quality of life. And the PPIs have so many side effects and health risks. I will be very surprised if you do not get complete releif with my diet. I e-mailed you.

Dr. Norm

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 8/22/2005 4:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Dr Norm,
Please email me w/info on book. I don't know how to get your email addy. 
 
"Teri asked if you promoted almost an "Atkins" type diet"  Guess you haven't had a chance to reply, but I would also like to know.
 
I don't know much about diets, but I believe that the Atkins represents more protein for weight reduction. Correct me if i'm wrong. 
 
 You already know that I need weight gain, not reduction.
 
 


Thanks,
Vanessa

Post Edited (VV) : 8/22/2005 6:38:08 AM (GMT-6)


Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/22/2005 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Vanessa,
Let me reiterate that I understand that promoting products and books on this site is not in keeping with the guidelines and I repect that rule. Otherwise, we would have these pages covered with adds for every half baked cure under the sun. I reference my work on occasion only for informational purposes.  Thanks for your question. My focus is squarely on acid reflux and heartburn and tailoring reduced carb dieting to the elleviating of symptoms and damage caused by reflux. Atkins focus is on weight loss and reducing insulin levels. Akins calls for severely limiting carbs for two weeks (induction). For treating GERD, my approach is significantly less stringent. Atkins focuses on having as little absorption of carbs as possible, where as my approach stresses efficient absorption of carbs consumed hence minimizing the carbs available for gut microbes to produce gas from. I also explain my theory in detail about why consuming excess carbs is the real trigger for reflux. Knowing that people (including me) will cheat from time to time (like the M&Ms I had last night), I focus on how to manage this behavior in a way to avoid the return of symptoms. Those are a few of the differences. Thanks for a great question.

Dr. Norm

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/22/2005 9:22:53 AM (GMT-6)


Admin
Forum Administrator


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 9747
   Posted 8/22/2005 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Dr Norm,
Please refrain from soliciting others to email you regarding your book, that is against the rules. I understand you are trying to be helpful and I haven't interferred thus far, this is just a reminder.

Peter
Peter Waite, Founder/Editor
HealingWell.com - Community, Information, Resources
www.healingwell.com
 
Help HealingWell help others, give today
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Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/22/2005 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Peter,
OK, sorry about that.

Dr. Norm
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