Fighting Heartburn: Can A Caveman Can Do It?

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Acid Reflux, GERD and the Paleo DietThere are a few primary treatment options for Acid Reflux. Macon residents often have the choice of long-term medicinal treatment with over the counter antacids or prescription strength PPIs, but a lot of patients are apprehensive about starting a pill regimen that has no end in sight. For those who are up for the challenge, a lot of GERD symptoms can be lessened or even eliminated with diet and lifestyle changes.

The Paleo diet is getting a lot of attention at the moment. This diet imitates the eating habits of those in the Paleolithic period— in other words, cavemen. This is a hunter-gatherer dietary lifestyle that is comprised mainly of meats, eggs and vegetables with a very small portion of carbohydrates.

Paleo and Acid Reflux

Cutting out carbs is not going to treat your reflux in the same way your GERD surgeon can. If you are suffering from chronic heartburn then it is important that you talk with Dr. Bagnato about treatment options and do not attempt to make such drastic dietary decisions without professional guidance.

A lot of Paleo dieters make big claims about how the diet changed their health for the better. One common claim that you will hear from GERD sufferers is that cutting out carbs during the Paleo diet completely eliminated their acid reflux.

One study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill confirms this claim. Researchers found that obese patients who followed a very low carbohydrate diet experienced significant relief from their GERD symptoms. Before you throw away that loaf of bread and commit yourself to a hunting trip, there are a few things that you should consider regarding the Paleo diet and GERD.

Carbohydrates, Weight Loss and GERD

Think of dietary plans as a spectrum. The Paleo diet is on one end of the spectrum, sitting close to the Atkins diet and any other carnivorous diet fad. The other end of the spectrum would be the vegan, vegetarian and cabbage soup diets. Somewhere in the middle there is a well-balanced diet where meats, vegetables and carbs are consumed in harmony and moderation.

Cutting carbs will help you lose weight, and losing weight can reduce the symptoms of GERD. This is a connection that the Paleo diet has picked up on, and is also why there are so many anecdotal claims about finding heartburn relief after switching to a Paleo diet.

To experience these same benefits of heartburn relief, you don’t need to try the Paleo diet. Developing a well-balanced diet plan and adding more exercise to your lifestyle can lessen your GERD symptoms. For help developing a healthier diet plan that is good for GERD, talk with Dr. Bagnato.

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