Acid Reflux Linked to Gluten Intolerance

Those of you who have ever suffered from acid reflux or heartburn, I can sympathise. I suffered for quite a long time before it dawned on me one day that coffee might be the big thorn in my digestive tract..

See, before I had any kind of know how about gluten I thought of fixing my tummy cramps by not eating and basically replacing the eating part with drink cups and cups of coffee. I was psyched cos I just discovered I can drink soya milk in my coffee..it just all made sense.

I admit.. my cramps did subside a bit at first and if I drank enough coffee I could curb the hunger pangs. My rose coloured glasses fell off after a few months though when all went up in smoke..welcome back pain and hallo to newcomer heartburn.

I stopped drinking coffee, a sad day in my life, but I made it. And it was worth it! I can proudly say I have been coffee-free for 3 and  half years now. I went t the tea drinkers side, and what a happy side it is! A strong cup of Rooibos tea is my drink of choice these days.  Just beware,’coz the following foods can be triggers as-well:

  • grain
  • wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • soy
  • coffee and tea

Below is a wonderful related article that I came across and would love to share:

A recent research study linked peptic disease (heartburn, GERD, stomach ulcer) to gluten exposure in patients with gluten sensitivity.

PD (peptic disease) is not uncommon in the presentation of CD (celiac disease). It is more likely to be found in the second decade of life. CD should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients with non-HP(H pylori) PD and we suggest routine CD serology and small bowel biopsy in patients with unexplained PD.

The authors of this study recommend that all patients with non infectious peptic disease be screened for celiac disease.

Source:

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(12):1424-8.

Gastric Reflux is A Common Symptom of Gluten Exposure

I commonly see patients with a conglomeration of gastric symptoms that are directly caused by gluten exposure. Reflux, heartburn, ulcer disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and even hernia are some of the more common diseases I have seen go into remission with the implementation of a TRUE gluten free diet.

Make Sure Your Doctor Orders the Right Tests

It is common for physicians to rule out infection (primarily H. pylori) in these patients, but gluten intolerance is very rarely investigated. The results of this study suggest that patients with gastric disease be screened for celiac disease. The problem with this recommendation is that celiac blood tests and biopsies are extremely inaccurate and have a high degree of false negatives. The other problem is that many people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Therefore, testing them for celiac disease is a complete waste of time and extremely misleading.

That it why I recommend genetic testing. The results cannot be skewed by diet and are not accompanied with the flaws of celiac blood and biopsy testing.

Drugs That Block Stomach Acid Have Dangerous Consequences

Remember that taking heavy doses of anti-acids and prescription reflux medications is not the answer. These drugs only serve to neutralize or reduce stomach acid. Reduction of stomach acid is a major problem as it increases the risk for:

  • Infection
  • Osteoporosis (ironically, gluten also causes bone loss)
  • Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies (calcium, B-12, folic acid, iron, zinc, and more – also common in those with gluten sensitivity issues)
  • Protein and fat malabsorption as well as indigestion.

The chronic use of these medications works against your natural physiology.  It does not treat the actual cause of disease, but merely reduces the symptoms (sometimes), thus creating a false sense of “healthy security”.  See the diagram below for nutritional deficiencies and consequences of taking acid blocking medications:

What are the Consequences of these Deficiencies?

  • Vitamin A – suppression of the immune system, skin inflammation, gastric inflammation, lung inflammation, acid reflux, and infertility
  • Protein Deficiency – immune suppression, anemia, inability to heal, blood sugar abnormalities, weight gain, cancer…
  • Calcium Deficiency – bone loss, hormone disruption, blood clotting problems, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, gum disease…
  • Iron Deficiency – anemia, increased risk for viral and bacterial infections, fatigue
  • Vitamin B12 – nerve damage, increased risk for cancer, heart disease, bone loss, anemia, depression…
  • Zinc Deficiency – reduced immune function, slow healing, easy bruising, lowered antioxidant status, acidic pH, diabetes, heart disease…
  • Folate (Folic Acid) – intestinal cancer and polyps, mood disorders (depression, anxiety), cancer, heart disease, bone loss…

?????Why would anyone want to trade the problems above just to reduce symptoms of heartburn?????  Does it not make better since to try and determine the cause of the heart burn?  We bathe our intestines with food 3 or more times a day.  Shouldn’t we start looking at the diet first?  When did common sense go out the window?  Below is a list of foods that commonly trigger acid reflux:

  • grain
  • wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • soy
  • coffee and tea

There are many more, and it should be stated that different people react differently to different foods.  The bottom line is this – if you have acid reflux, have your doctor test for food allergies as part of his investigation into the cause of your problem.  Don’t accept a drug based treatment without a solution.

Please do me a favour. If going gluten free eliminated or reduced your gastric problems, please share with us below in the Leave a Reply Box. Your story may help encourage someone else to go gluten free.
Wishing you excellent health,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior

English: Illustration of a2-gliadin showing th...

English: Illustration of a2-gliadin showing the DQ2.5 restricted T-cell epitopes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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