After years of working with clients, I’ve noted a connection between leaky gut and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
I’ve had many clients who had GERD and were taking prescription medications and struggling with the symptoms.
Firstly, let’s review the importance of the small muscular sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. This sphincter is referred to as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES stops food from coming back out of the stomach.
The vast majority of patients I’ve seen get reflux disease for specific reasons.
The stomach is similar to a cement mixer. You’re putting carbs, proteins, fat, and water into your stomach. The stomach has to churn up this food, break it down, and produce sufficient digestive enzymes.
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Many people eat too quickly and don’t chew their food sufficiently. That’s not good for the stomach.
Your stomach produces a fluid called chyme. Chyme results from the chemical breakdown of food and consists of partially digested foods, water, hydrochloric acid, and several enzymes.
If you eat small meals and take the time eating and chew properly, your digestion will be much more efficient because you break down the food into very small particles. You’ll get fuller quicker.
I believe major triggers for GERD are eating too much food, the wrong kind of food, and eating too quickly.
Other triggers for GERD are lying down after a meal and being significantly overweight. Eating too much dietary fat and eating acidic foods can also contribute to GERD. Snacking close to bedtime can result in gastric reflux as you are trying to fall asleep.
GERD is annoying, and if it goes on for years, it can increase the risk of esophageal and stomach cancers. I had GERD when I was in my mid-twenties. Once I improved my lifestyle and eating habits, the GERD went 100% away.
Some of the foods that can be a particular trigger for GERD include garlic, onions, tomatoes, spicy foods, fatty foods, and alcohol. Smoking also increases the rate of GERD.
Pregnant women can get HERD as the fetus puts pressure on the stomach.
Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can contribute to GERD. In my opinion, most cases of GERD can be cured by changing the habits that underpin the problem.
If you have GERD, ask yourself if you are eating the wrong foods at the wrong time. Are you eating in bed? Are you eating overly large portions? If you have GERD for a long time, it will start to impact your small and large bowel as well. You’ll notice that you’ll get more tired, more grumpy. You won’t sleep properly, and your appetite will act up.
Whatever you do, don’t jump onto using reflux medications for the rest of your life. These types of drugs can make things worse in the end. Instead, go the route of eating smaller portions of healthy foods. Work more on exercise and walking, eating correctly, and chewing properly.
Stop drinking alcohol and minimize the number of pharmaceutical medications you take. If you start making healthy changes, you’ll almost certainly notice an improvement in your GERD.