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Whitsons Community Blog Forum!

Welcome to Whitsons’ community blog forum! We believe it is important to get involved with our team members, clients, and customers, as well as create a space for information exchange, interesting perspectives, and interactive communications.

Here, you will find professionals from all around the company sharing their experiences and knowledge on a range of topics, from industry-specific trends and recipes to health and nutrition and team motivation.
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Acid Reflux

Posted by Administrator
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on Monday, 16 November 2015 in Health & Nutrition

Acid reflux.  Two words that conjure up images of long, sleepless nights.  While everyone else is off in dreamland, you’re suffering in the bathroom tirelessly searching for the last antacid.  For you, this is a common occurrence and you’ve accepted that this is your life.  You tell yourself it could be worse, but what if it could be better?  Crazy talk, right? 


Put simply, acid reflux is the backward flow of the stomach’s contents into the esophagus.  This occurs when the sphincter that separates the stomach and esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter, fails to close properly, allowing acid to travel back up.  For many, temporary relief comes in the form of an antacid, a medication that neutralizes stomach acid but fails to address long-term relief.  The question we must ask ourselves is “what is the root cause of this imbalance?”     


 Some cases of acid reflux are due to a condition called hypochlorhydria, which simply means not having enough acid in the stomach for food to break down efficiently.  Though it seems counterintuitive, many functional medicine practitioners believe the lack of stomach acid actually opens up the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus, which allows the acid to travel upwards.  By putting more acid back into the stomach, patients often notice a remarkable difference because the sphincter is no longer open1.  Certain medications like NSAIDs and aspirin are contraindicated in this practice.  Do not attempt to do this on your own- speak with a healthcare professional like a functional medicine doctor or dietitian for guidance.


A lack of stomach acid creates additional problems in the form of nutrient deficiencies.  Calcium, iron and vitamin B12 all require adequate stomach acid to be absorbed2, not having enough can lead to complications like anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis, hair loss and brittle nails.  Other nutrients of concern when taking antacids include folic acid, vitamin D and zinc2.        

Further, hypochlorhydria can lead to poor digestion since the acid that is present in the stomach isn’t able to breakdown the proteins efficiently.  This can lead to other gastrointestinal discomfort.  Digestive enzymes may help alleviate these issues by improving digestion.   


Celiac disease is another condition that can cause acid reflux3.  Consuming gluten when one has celiac disease creates an autoimmune reaction within the body, leaving the individual with a range of symptoms to deal with.  Removing gluten often helps the problem, but it is never advised to go gluten-free before being tested3I repeat, do not go gluten-free before being tested!  Doing so can cause a false negative in the test, giving you the impression you don’t have celiac when you actually do. 


Finally, acid reflux may also be caused by food sensitivities.  Food sensitivities are immune-mediated reactions to foods that the body perceives as unsafe.  Anytime these foods are eaten, white blood cells release chemicals into the bloodstream to destroy these foods.  Although this process is highly effective at removing “foreign” material, it causes much pain for the individual.  Symptoms range from fatigue to brain fog and joint pain to acid reflux.  Many conditions and symptoms can be attributed to food sensitivities.  To make matters worse, symptoms can appear up to three days after eating the food or foods responsible, making diagnosis difficult.  Since food sensitivities are dose-dependent (a little might be OK but a lot may not), food elimination diets and food diaries are rendered useless5.


Some long-term consequences of acid in the esophagus include esophagitis and esophageal erosions, ulcers, scarring and/or narrowing. In some cases, esophageal cancer can develop in the form of Barrett’s esophagus6.  As you can see, acid reflux is not just an annoyance; it puts your health at risk. 


These are just some examples of conditions that may cause acid reflux.  Your individual situation may vary and may not be discussed here.  Regardless of how you’ve developed acid reflux, it is important to treat the cause and not just the symptoms if you want to increase your quality of life and restore your health.      


A Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT) is a dietitian who is specially trained in treating food sensitivity reactions and can help you identify reactive foods while working with you to put together a plan that incorporates your safe foods, reducing or eliminating symptoms5.  To find a CLT, e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit a request at www.gutrxn.com


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates. All content and material contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.



1Treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). (2014, November 13). Retrieved October 7, 2015.

2A Practical Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion. (2013, April 22). Retrieved October 7, 2015.

3CeliacDiseaseFacts | Celiac Support Association. (2015). Retrieved October 7, 2015.

4HLA Typing for Celiac Disease. (2012, December 1). Retrieved October 7, 2015.

5What Food Sensitivities Are. (2013). Retrieved October 7, 2015.

6Mahan, L., & Escott-Stump, S. (2008). Medical Nutrition Therapy for Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders. In Krause's food & nutrition therapy (12th ed., p. 656). St. Louis, Mo.: Saunders/Elsevier.

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