Answer:

There are a number of ways to reduce the occurrence and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition which causes heartburn, regurgitation, trouble swallowing and other symptoms. Unfortunately, however, low-carb and Mediterranean diets are not among the approaches with the best supporting evidence. For details, including what approaches (including dietary, lifestyle, supplements) have been shown to help and what to avoid, see the full answer >>

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8 Comments

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Joshua16850
May 20, 2018

I suffered from GERD for years, despite trying most of the recommended fixes (avoiding certain foods, elevating the head, etc.) and daily use of Nexium. Then, to my surprise, I found that the problem disappeared when I stopped eating onions. Why this is so, or whether it can be generalized, I don't know, but it worked for me. I was able to stop the Nexium and other measures and have had virtually no heartburn since.

Jeanne15182
June 20, 2017

Chewable DGL (diglyrhizinated licorice), works very well for many people in my practice.
Unlike regular licorice (herbal, not candy) it doesn't have a worry about increasing blood pressure.

I'm not associated with this company, but Enzymatic Therapy makes a great chewable.
1 tablet at the start of symptoms, for a max of 2 -work well.

ConsumerLab.com
June 22, 2017

Thank you for sharing your experience with this, Jeanne. You can find information about deglycyrrhizinated licorice in the Encyclopedia article, here: https://www.consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21674

Catherine18624
November 11, 2019

By using DGL, I have personally been able to stop taking PPIs for many years in terms of abdominal pain from GERD and, as an integrative RDN, have recommended it for clients. DGL is thought to stimulate secretion of mucin, which protects the esophagus from stomach acid causing GERD. HOWEVER, more recently I have realized that, while it seems to protect my esophagus, it apparently does not protect as far up as the acid can travel. So, at night I wake up feeling the acid in my throat and, seemingly, in my eustachian tubes as well. While it does not appear that any studies have been done on this and this is just anecdotal so far, I think it is important enough that people should be aware of this possibility.

richard15150
June 18, 2017

DGL licorice two tablets chewed 20 minutes before eating, works wonders for me. Stopped PPI and replaced with dgl

Barbara15114
June 16, 2017

I had GERD diagnosed by smptoms and an upper GI series. At the same time, i went on An Atkins diet to loose weight and ate no carbs for 18 months. Between the weight loss and the no carb diet, i have had no problems with Gerd since. That was 15 years ago. I also maintained the weght loss. Interestingly, I had significant projectile vomiting as an infant. Any studies on projectile vomiting with breast fed babies and gerd as adults?

Peggy18339
September 17, 2019

Hi Barbara15114. Have you heard anything new on the association between projectile vomiting as an infant, and adult GERD? My adult son had the vomiting and now has severe GERD that he treats with a PPI. Thanks! I hope you're still doing well with your diet.

Ruth15105
June 15, 2017

Wow! No benefit to limiting alcohol? Again, it may be individual but alcohol markedly worsens my GERD. It is thought to relax the upper esophageal sphincter. It may be worse with a hiatal hernia, but this is a fairly common condition too.

Claudia15102
June 14, 2017

I had GERD very bad -- my weight dropped to 83 pounds because I couldn't eat. I was already doing everything you're supposed to when my symptoms began (wasn't overweight, ate small meals, slept with my head elevated, didn't drink much alcohol...) My symptoms were relieved with omeprazole, but after I had significant bone loss I was determined to get off PPIs. I did not have any luck with any supplements but what has worked for me is alkaline water. I think in general alkaline water is way over hyped but it made sense to try it if the issue was acid. At home I have a reverse osmosis filter with an alkalizing cartridge. At work I add drops of an alkaline formula to the bottled water we get. I aim for somewhere around 9 for a pH. I am almost completely symptom free now, and my weight is healthy.

Larry15099
June 14, 2017

I'm surprised nothing was mentioned about taking pro-biotics to fight acid reflux. I had chronic acid reflux and after reading an article that pointed to the lack of good bacteria in our gut I decided to try pro-biotics.

I'm here to tell you that this works, at least for me it did and a number of people I've recommended this to. Don't buy cheap pro-biotics, most of the living bacteria they started out with is dead even before it hits the retail shelves. Try to buy a good refridgerated pro-biotic as that will guarantee you more live bacteria.

ConsumerLab.com
June 17, 2017

Thank you for sharing your experience, Larry! You can find more information about probiotics for digestive issues in the CL Answer about supplements for indigestion ( https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/or+heartburn%3F/indigestion_heartburn/), linked to from the answer above. Some, but not all probiotics require refrigeration; see the Probiotics Supplements Review for tips for choosing a probiotic, how to ensure a higher number of viable cells, and proper storage ( https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Probiotic_Supplements_and_Kefir/probiotics/#buying) as well as our tests of popular products ( https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/probiotics/#results).

Bernard15095
June 14, 2017

about gerd.when i get heartburn i drink a glass of water. 9 out of 10 times it washes away the acid.(or drink milk).think about it, it makes sense. I have neuropothy in my feet.Before it got too bad,I started massaging my feet.the tingling & pain went away.

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