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high carbs + low HCL = acid reflux?
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SabbraCadabra
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: high carbs + low HCL = acid reflux? Reply with quote

I know this doesn't sound very autism related, but it ties in a bit with the gluten/lactose debate, and many of us suffer digestive problems (of which, several different types are explored). It also goes into detail about poor digestion leading to physical and mental deficiencies.

http://chriskresser.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-but-doesnt-about-heartburn-gerd

I'm not finished yet, still reading through part five or so (and only the first page of comments), but I keep reading parts that remind me of WP, and was wondering what the more scientific-minded of you thought of it.

I was thinking about talking to my doctor about getting on PPIs to treat my suspected LPR, but am now having serious second thoughts.

I know, terrible thread title, I couldn't think of anything good.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is HCL?

About digestive problems for aspies...does anyone know which are the most common apart from the gluten/lactose/casein intolerances?
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SabbraCadabra
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hydrochloric acid (stomach acid).

On the final part of his article, he mentions that low carb or specific carb diets "have been used with dramatic success to treat ... autism spectrum disorder (ASD)". Hmm...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who has studied nutrition and diet extensively, I want to chime in here.

This article does bring to light a common misconception about acid reflux/heartburn. It isn't that someone with recurring heartburn has too much stomach acid, but they have too little.
So when folks eat foods with low enzymatic activity (like high carb foods), and then have too little stomach acid, the food begins to ferment in the stomach (which causes distention, belching, and indigestion). Why it feels like there is acid burning in the esophagus is simple. The fermentation in the stomach squirts a bit of the stomach acids up into the esophagus (just like an overfilled water balloon. Gross analogy, I know).

Personally, I ate roll after roll of antacids for years, and still kept getting terrible heartburn that would last for days.
What ended up working for me was almost counter-intuitive to conventional wisdom. I would juice a fresh lemon, and add it to a glass of water. I drank this at every meal as my only beverage. I'm talking 3 times a day. I also made sure to eat at least 1 large serving of "dark, leafy greens" every day. I prefer baby spinach or baby swiss chard.
I limited sugar in my diet, and isolated and eliminated foods that exacerbated bloating, heartburn, and belching.
When I did feel "acid-y", like my insides were being seared, I would take 3-6 drops of peppermint spirits with a mouthful of water.

This method, while it isn't instant (and everyone loves instant when they are in pain), it is incredibly effective. The first few days are the hardest, because your system is still acidic. Keep with the ingestion of acidic foods like lemon juice, vinegar, greens, and drink all your other fluids away from meal times (to keep the stomach acid you are producing from becoming diluted).

I would guess that people with disturbed gut flora (like gluten sensitive folks, ibs sufferers, crohns, and anyone who has taken a wide spectrum antibiotic in the last 6 years) will typically find that their system will swing quickly to hyper acidosis (i.e. having an acidic system, and as a result producing less stomach acid)
A system in chronic hyper acidosis is open to developing a myriad other disorders, including inflammatory, immune system, and skin and liver issues.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redacted

Last edited by nat4200 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Moved by mod, from general autism discussion to health, fitness and sports. Hopefully will generate more responses here. >>
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SabbraCadabra
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

glassjailer wrote:
Personally, I ate roll after roll of antacids for years, and still kept getting terrible heartburn that would last for days.


The problem with me is I think I have LPR, so there's no heartburn feeling to gauge how I'm doing =/

glassjailer wrote:
I would juice a fresh lemon, and add it to a glass of water. I drank this at every meal as my only beverage.


I was wondering about that. He said you could take lemon juice (which would be less effective than the HCL) but didn't say how to take it, since he said not to drink anything with meals, and to cut back on sugars.

Approximately what ratio should I try? If we had real lemons, I could just suck on those by themselves (probably not good for the teeth, though), but we've got a great big jug of lemon juice, and that stuff never tastes as good as the real thing.

glassjailer wrote:
Keep with the ingestion of acidic foods like lemon juice, vinegar, greens, and drink all your other fluids away from meal times (to keep the stomach acid you are producing from becoming diluted).


I'm having a hard time grasping this concept, because of all the "heartburn triggers to avoid" lists I've been reading, most of the suggestions contradict those old lists. I haven't read through any of the low carb diets he links to yet, so I'm not sure what I can or can't eat...

Also, how long before/after eating should I hold off the fluids? He said to eat more small meals (six a day), so that complicates it further...

glassjailer wrote:
I would guess that people with disturbed gut flora (like ... anyone who has taken a wide spectrum antibiotic in the last 6 years)...


I've had LPR symptoms since I was a kid, but I'm sure being in the hospital didn't help (an unrelated issue). They had me on hardcore antibiotics for about a month, and Nexium/Prilosec for at least two months (I can't recall). I've noticed huge changes in my digestive system since then, it all makes a lot more sense now.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting series of articles, and I think there is definitely a little truth to it. I have read before that acid reflux is sometimes caused by low stomach acid and bacterial fermentation in the stomach (that article recommended apple cider vinegar as a treatment, which is also mentioned in this article).

However, there are also many cases of acid reflux that are caused by overacidity of the stomach, just as the usual therapeutic approach assumes. That is definitely the case for me, seeing that I only get acid reflux when I ingest acidic foods, such as orange juice or salad dressings with a lot of vinegar. If I avoid these foods, my digestion works just fine (unless my Crohn's acts up, that is). I think that Dr. Kresser's articles, with headlines like "How your antacid drug is making you sick", downplay these cases a little too much in favor of his own low-stomach-acid hypothesis.

I've also learned to mistrust claims that a large number of seemingly unrelated diseases have the same simple and easily curable cause. Dr. Kresser links a very wide range of health conditions -- cancer, allergies, asthma, anemia, dermatitis, gallstones, arthritis, IBS, IBD's, hepatitis, osteoporosis, diabetes, a number of mental diseases, and even autism -- to low stomach acid, and that simply can't be true. The autism claim alone should tell you that this hypothesis is a little far out.

Dr. Kresser also contradicts himself. In the first article, he writes:

Quote:
Just as studies show acid secretion declines with age, it is also well established in the scientific literature that the risk of GERD increases with age.

If heartburn were caused by too much stomach acid, weíd have a bunch of teenagers popping Rolaids instead of elderly folks. But of course thatís the opposite of what we see.


But in the third article of this series, he states the exact opposite:

Quote:
Although it is commonly assumed that stomach acid production declines with age, recent studies suggest that the secretion of stomach acid doesnít decrease with age and that the trend is actually to increase, especially in men.


There is also too much panic mongering about Helicobacter pylori in these articles. While potentially pathogenic, H. pylori is found in the majority of people and constitutes a normal part of the human gastrointestinal flora. Specialists only speak of an infection in case of a gastritis. The mere presence of H. pylori in the stomach lining does not constitute an infection.

I think the information to take away from this article is that not all cases of heartburn can be treated with antacids. Some people might have better results with acidic foods such as vinegar and lemon juice, in combination with a low carb diet. That is something everybody with heartburn has to find out for themselves. But I wouldn't get my hopes up that this approach is a magic bullet for nearly all civilization diseases, not to mention a cure for autism spectrum disorders.
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SabbraCadabra
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CrazyCatLord wrote:
The autism claim alone should tell you that this hypothesis is a little far out.


Well, he only mentions that low carb diets have been used to treat autism in other studies. No mention of what aspect of autism this was supposed to treat, no specifics.

CrazyCatLord wrote:
But in the third article of this series, he states the exact opposite:


Yeah, I noticed that. I'm not sure if it was just a huge typo or what, but he goes back to his original statement in the article(s) that follow.

I noticed a couple other typos, including one that also contradicted what he was trying to say, but the one you're referring to seems like a very, very large typo to make, so I'm not sure...maybe he meant in healthy males who don't have GERD? I have no idea. I'll have to check the comments when I get to it and see if it's addressed.

CrazyCatLord wrote:
There is also too much panic mongering about Helicobacter pylori in these articles.


In the final article, there's a comment where he states that the goal is not to eliminate h. pylori completely, but to get it back down to normal levels.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SabbraCadabra wrote:
CrazyCatLord wrote:
The autism claim alone should tell you that this hypothesis is a little far out.


Well, he only mentions that low carb diets have been used to treat autism in other studies. No mention of what aspect of autism this was supposed to treat, no specifics.


In the last article, he writes:

Quote:
See the resources section below for books and websites about these diets, which have been used with dramatic success to treat everything from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to Crohnís disease.


Other than behavioral therapy, I'm not aware of any treatment for autism, not to mention one that has been a dramatic success. Certain diets can improve nerve health and thereby help reduce accessory symptoms such as anxiety and depression (the common denominator of these diets seems to be increased vitamin B intake, and vitamin B supplements have a similar effect), but that doesn't treat the neurological developmental disorder that causes autism.

Btw, I've tried the so-called paleolithic diet for a while, with the addition of lactose-free dairy products. The idea was to starve the carb-dependent yeast Candida albicans in the gut flora, which some practicioners see as the cause of Crohn's disease and the (hypothetical and unproven) leaky gut syndrome. My Crohn's really got a little better, but I didn't notice any change in my Asperger symptoms.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the best option. If you can't get fresh lemons, go ahead and use the bottled stuff. What you want is the acidity AND the enzymatic energy of the fresh fruit. But it is ok to use bottled.
Or try a Tbs of Apple cider vinegar. Sucking on or eating lemons isn't going to be effective, or good for your teeth.


My suggestions to you, SabbraCadabra ...

Mix juice of 1 lemon (small), with approx 1.5 cups of water, and drink after at least 1-2 meals a day to start. If it is too sour, use just 1/2 lemon. Or use bottled lemon juice (1 TBS per cup). Make sure to rinse out your mouth with a bit of water afterwards to protect your teeth.

You mentioned that you didn't know what you could eat on the low carb diets. General rule on low carb, eat any veggies you like besides tomatoes, potatoes,eggplant, corn, and peas (lots of people have problems with nightshade plants). Have protein at every meal. Avoid sugar, bread, crackers, cookies, chips, sodas, and anything that comes in a box or can (prepared foods). Some grains like quinoa, are good in limited amounts. Enjoy dairy in moderation, excepting milk and fresh cheeses, if you have no lactose intolerance.

An example of what these meals would look like :
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with baby spinach mixed in. Add 2 oz of cheddar cheese. LemonH2O
Lunch: Parmesan Asparagus with Chicken Salad.
Snack: Handful of pecans, or 1/2 avocado, salted.
Dinner: Salmon or beef, grilled, with a large green salad, limit dressing. LemonH20.
Then, if you are still hungry later, have some a couple frozen fruits, or a cup of almond milk.

You can hold off on the fluids after eating for 10 min, if you'd like, but try just sipping the lemon water with your meal, or wait til afterwards. What works for you is the best choice, so do an experiment to see what your body prefers.
Eating many small meals can make things more complicated. What is really meant by this statement is "Don't eat big meals". Try not to eat beyond the feeling of "not hungry anymore", and have a protein rich snack a few times per day, only about 3-4 mouthfuls.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you want more suggestions. Good luck! I hope your digestion improves soon!
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SabbraCadabra
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CrazyCatLord wrote:
In the last article, he writes:


Yeah, but again, he's not stating any specifics. Maybe he's only referring to the fact that many people swear by the whole "gluten free" thing.

glassjailer wrote:
If it is too sour, use just 1/2 lemon. Or use bottled lemon juice (1 TBS per cup).


Is the water necessary? Or is it only to dilute the sour taste? Because I can handle it without the water just fine.

glassjailer wrote:
You mentioned that you didn't know what you could eat on the low carb diets.


It's not that specifically, but the fact that it doesn't specify if it's okay to eat heartburn triggers that are on the low-carb list. He links to quite a few different diets, so I've been skimming through them.

So far, I like the low carb diets much more than the GERD diets, because for the most part, I don't have to stop eating things I like. I do eat sandwiches quite often, though...this whole "no bread" thing is weird.

glassjailer wrote:
General rule on low carb, eat any veggies you like besides tomatoes, potatoes,eggplant, corn, and peas (lots of people have problems with nightshade plants).


I was reading this site: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

And he's come to the conclusion that certain starches, like white potatoes, are fine. I was wondering about corn, though.
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