In this post I have addressed the most frequently asked questions. As you review, please feel free to comment if questions remain and I will update this list as needed as needed.
We will cover the following questions:
- How long did it take you to heal using the supplements?
- What foods are you able to eat now that you have resolved your acid reflux?
- I have had a bad experience with drinking Apple Cider Vinegar in the past. Why do you recommend it on your site?
- When I start the supplements should I continue taking the acid blockers?
- I have read on other sites that Pepsins are bad. Given that, why do you recommend HCl + Pepsins on your site?
- I feel better when I take the supplements with meals, but my stomach gets a hot feeling with breakfast and smaller meals. Should I be adjusting the number of pills?
- The idea of taking Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) supplements scares me. Can I just take the digestive enzymes?
- I recently had an endoscopy which revealed I have ulcers or inflammatory issues. What would you recommend?
- Do you need to be on a special diet in order for one of these methods to work?
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Before starting the supplements, my reflux symptoms were so bad that I couldn’t go without my prescription medications and handfuls of antacids for more than a couple hours. My research on reflux and it’s root causes gave me confidence that the supplements would work, but I was quite surprised at how thoroughly the managed my symptoms from day one. The very next day I started TheAcidRefluxGuy.com. Since that time I have been posting articles, on instagram, and youtube to share my experiences. After 15 years suffering with reflux, it took just 8 weeks to get back to normal, using the supplements. After that, I was able to get off of the supplements entirely. I suspect the length of time for you would be dependent on your current acidity and digestive efficiency as covered in this article. More details on this in my free transition guide (just enter your email and the guide will send to you automatically).
Now I eat what I want when I want! Prior to this, there were several items that triggered my reflux including dairy, onions, spice, cinnamon, caffeine, fish oil supplements, chocolate, eating at night and sugar. I no longer have to do that thing where I decide up front if enjoying the food then would be worth the pain later! For more on the steps I took to eliminate my reflux, I recommend you start here.
I have had a bad experience with drinking Apple Cider Vinegar in the past. Why do you recommend it on your site?
First, let me say I do not recommend anyone to drink apple cider vinegar even if diluted or taken by straw. Overtime it can be corrosive to teeth and soft tissues, particularly those that may already be inflamed by reflux. That said, I did take Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as a component of my healing plan. The difference is I took them in pill form. Your stomach is designed to withstand the high acidity required to digest food. In fact the Hydrochloric Acid that your body produces is many times more potent than ACV. For that reason it is much safer to take ACV in pill form and allow the capsule to release inside your stomach. The primary benefit though is not just the acetic acid, but the pre-biotics which stimulate the regrowth of a healthy gut microbiome. As you will find in my articles, once your acidity gets off kilter, your digestive balance is also thrown off to the point where some of the good bacteria are overrun by pathogens and less desirable bacteria that thrive in low acid environments.
If you are like me, your body will respond immediately and you will be able to feel your body regain its ability to keep your sphincter closed. That was enough for me to discontinue the acid blockers the very next day. In fact, that was the day I started TheAcidRefluxGuy.com! That said, I have run across others who took a more phased approach to ramping down their acid blockers. Just note that the prescription medications and the supplements will work against each other as one is designed to block acidity while the other is designed to restore your body’s natural acidity. As you might imagine the phased approach will take longer to fully implement. For me, I was fully off of the supplements after 8 weeks, while others who phased took several months to fully recover.
I have read on other sites that Pepsins are bad. Given that, why do you recommend HCl + Pepsins on your site?
Pepsins are a digestive enzyme that your body naturally secretes as the primary agent to food digestion. Acid reflux sufferers experience pain when acid refluxing into the throat, airways and mouth. Furthermore it is theorized that the more persistent or intense burning sensations are due to the presence of Pepsins which are activated by high acidity. If this is the case, then pepsins are deposited when stomach contents are expressed out of the stomach into the aforementioned areas. When they later come in contact with acid or acid vapors they activate and begin digesting the soft tissues of the nose, throat and mouth and are experienced as a burning / tingling sensation. From this standpoint, pepsins are bad for acid reflux sufferers.
In contrast, however the recommendation on this site is to buy the Hydrochloric Acid Supplements (HCL) with Pepsins as they aid in effective digestion. Reducing the likelihood of indigestion is a key component of managing reflux in the short term, while healing takes place. As covered in my articles, the supplements help to restore normal body lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function, which is key in managing reflux. If your LES is closed, then no acid can escape your stomach, and therefore no reflux and no Pepsins are exposed to your soft tissues.
I feel better when I take the supplements with meals, but my stomach gets a hot feeling with breakfast and smaller meals. Should I be adjusting the number of pills?
The supplements are doing their job if you have stopped taking your reflux medications and are still feeling relief vs your typical reflux symptoms. In fact, this was how I knew I was on the right track after taking them the first day. Typically, I would be a hot mess if I delayed taking my medications (+copious antacids) a mere 1-2 hours.
To further address the question: Yes, HCl doses should correspond to the digestive complexity and size of your meal (does not mean it is only used with protein). You have noticed that you get a warmth feeling when you take it with easier to digest meals such as you have mentioned with your breakfast. This means for those meals you either need to reduce your dose or skip the HCl for those meals. The dose that you need to take will continue to decline, as your base level of acidity increases, until a point where you no longer need to take the supplements at all. This discovery process is described in detail in my free personal journal and transition guide.
As described in my article, the key while, you are healing, is finding the right balance of supplements and avoiding reflux triggers. This helps ensure your sphincters close properly and that your food is digested properly. When these things happen naturally your reflux is gone.
The idea of taking Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) supplements scares me. Can I just take the digestive enzymes?
As you will learn in the articles on my site, the root cause of acid reflux is actually counter-intuitive… It’s due to low acidity. There are many triggers that can cause this, but the end result is your body has reduced the production of Hydrochloric Acid, your body’s natural secretion, designed to efficiently digest food. As a result, your body loses its natural mechanism to signal the closure of a ring of muscles between your stomach and throat that are responsible for closing and keeping stomach contents contained. Furthermore, due to low acidity other key digestive process erode, including healthy levels of beneficial bacteria, while other pathogens and undesirable bacteria thrive. This delicate balance is further eroded by acid reflux medications (H2 blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors, and Antacids) which are designed to further suppress acid production.
All that being said, in order to restore your body’s natural function you can 1) discontinue the medications and work to restore the balance naturally by eating probiotics, fermented foods, etc… and allow sufficient time for your acidity to restore. This can be done, however it is challenging because of the severity of reflux symptoms and the time it take to fully recover. Alternatively, you can 2) use supplements for a short period to augment the body’s natural acid production and digestive process. This shortens the cycle for your body to resume natural function while managing iterim reflux symptoms. For more details, on this read my supplements article.
I recently had an endoscopy which revealed I have ulcers or inflammatory issues. What would you recommend?
Suggest getting some advice from your medical professional regarding this. The ulcer complicates things as both HCL and Apple Cider Vinegar are acidic could exacerbate your condition. Given these things, you might try the longer term, more natural approach and focus on restoring digestive efficiency through diet. Once your ulcer and or inflammatory issues resolve, you could revisit the approaches I have outlined as a means to resolve your reflux.
No, however you will need to adjust according to your diet. Vegetarians might find it more challenging as HCl is easier to add to high protein diets. For this reason, they may need to increase the quantity of nuts, seeds, beans, soy and other proteins. They may also want to buy HCl with the lowest per pill dose.