Heartburn Acid Indigestion
Q: When I stick to the low carb diet plan my horrible heartburn goes away.
What is the science behind why this seems to be so with many people. My
symptoms of acid reflux disease are gradually diminishing as I lose weight
but I haven't popped a TUMS in the monthe since I have started the
induction diet and I'm eating a lot of spicy low carb foods.
can anyone in the group help me?
A:Several theories. Note that folks on low fat and low calorie diets often report that acid reflux goes away, but it's a more common comment among low carbers who often report all types of indigestion vanishing in the first couple of weeks. In my case indigestion was caused by wheat intolerance. I had never gone a week without eating wheat before Induction. When I had major heartburn about 15 years ago (bad enough that it'd wake me up at night, sometimes with the taste of vomit in my mouth) my chiropractor diagnosed me with hiatal hernia. To simplify, that's when the muscle and valve at the base of your esophagus get weak and allow the top part of the stomach to squeeze up into the esophagus. Once that happens, the valve can no longer close off the opening and keep your stomach acids from coming up on you, so if the food you're eating causes a lot of acid production, it works up into your throat and even your mouth. Fun stuff. Other people often offered antacids, but I knew enough to know that slowing down my digestion might lessen the symptom, but wouldn't help with the underlying problem and could lead to other problems like ulcers. I started taking a few papaya enzyme tablets from the health food store after meals, and they helped a lot. It's been too long for me to remember the exact details, but an enzyme in the papaya fruit was supposed to help break down foods so the stomach wouldn't need to produce so much acid, or something like that. The doc blamed it mostly on food allergies, saying that common food allergies like wheat and chocolate were the cause of the muscle weakness. However, since going on and off low-carb a few times, I don't think it's allergies exactly, unless I'm allergic to all high-carb foods. I get heartburn like clockwork when I eat high-carb foods; it's so reliable I can tell when foods had unexpected carbs by whether I get heartburn later. After a couple days of carbing up, it'd be waking me up at night with that puke taste again, whether I was pigging out on potato chips or ice cream or macaroni.