The Missing Link… And How To Fix Gerd

I recently attended the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in Toronto, Canada. It was a two-day event where 11 different health professionals ranging from a Neurologist, General Practitioners, Researchers and Naturopathic Doctors presented their findings and experiences with healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person (mind, body and spirit). The audience was primarily medical doctors, some naturopaths and a few nutritionists and the primary topics were related to more ‘natural’ healing modalities such as meditation, yoga, nutrition and supplementation.


I spoke with some of the doctors and found that they shared one frustration:

How do they educate and guide their patients to make the changes necessary in a limited amount of time – usually about 15 minutes? These forward thinking doctors were fascinated by the information and the studies that support this information, but were unsure as to how they could effectively share it…


What is the MISSING LINK?         Nutritionists!      😉 


Nutritionists can help doctors who do not have the time (during their allotted 15 minute appointments) to educate and guide their patients on why and how to make healthy lifestyle shifts.


Not all Nutritionists are Created Equal

Like with anything, shop around before making a commitment to purchase the services of a Holistic Nutritionist.  Most, if not all, will offer a FREE introductory program or consultation so that you can be sure that he/she is a good fit and can provide the expertise and support to help you reach your health goals.


An example of the kind of practical tips a nutritionist may have for someone is how to naturally deal with the pain and discomfort of GERD.   The dangers of antacid and proton pump inhibitor use was mentioned several times at the conference, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to review…


Do You Have GERD?   And, How To Fix It…pexels-photo-128597


What is GERD?


GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) often manifests as  the burning sensation one feels in the chest area, typically occurring after eating a large meal. For some, it just seems to happen any ol’time.

GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid to wash up to the esophagus.  It is often thought of as too much HCl (hydrochloric acid), but in the majority of cases it’s actually caused by too little.

It is also possible that there is a hiatal herniaa weakened valve between the duodenum (small intestine) and stomach.


What to do:

  • For starters try eating more slowly, eat less and CHEW.
  • Avoid lying down right after a meal – going for a walk can also aid in digestion
  • Purchase some good quality Apple Cider Vinegar, make sure it’s raw and unpasteurized. (Add 1 tablespoon to 2 – 4 ounces of filtered water, consume this 20 minutes before the largest meal of the day.) This can be done before every meal if you like.  It’s amazing how many of my clients have resolved their GERD just with this strategy.
  • For immediate relief, try DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). This can be a very effective way of managing the physical feeling of heartburn while soothing the mucosal lining of the digestive tract.   Plus, DGL helps support adrenal function and actually help to calm a ‘nervous stomach’.  Try not to exceed 4 daily.  If you do have high blood sugar – the deglycyrrhizinated licorice should be okay, but you might want to check your blood pressure regularly to make sure.  As always check with your doctor too:)
  • You can also try sipping on some peppermint, fennel, or ginger tea.


If that doesn’t work:

  • See your Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor or your Functional Medicine General Practitioner and ask about taking HCl Betaine and Digestive Enzymes
  • Rule out H Pylori, and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). There are natural remedies for these conditions too, but outside the scope of this article.


Stay tuned for my next blog where we’ll discuss

how HCl (hydrochloric acid) helps to keep you healthy.

As always there are a few key points to keep in mind with regard to your health and wellness.

  1.  Everyone is different – biochemical individuality
  2.  There are always other healing modalities that you can try.
  3.  If your doctor doesn’t have the time to guide and educate you on the underlying causes of illness and   how to make healthy lifestyle changes, (let’s face it not many of them do) ask around and see if you can find a really good nutritionist to be a part of your wellness team.