Tons of advice exists on the internet to help you manage your acid reflux ranging from exercise routines to diet plans. While some is helpful, most, including prescription medications merely focus on managing or reducing the discomfort caused by your symptoms. They do little to nothing to address the actual causes of your reflux.
So, to resolve your reflux, it is important to start with an understanding of the actual root causes of acid reflux. Once you understand the root causes, you can then work to eliminate them. In this post we will cover the benefits of five key supplements, two important additions to your diet, and how they can be used to eliminate acid reflux, its symptoms, and most common side effects:
- Betaine Hydrochloride
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Essential Enzymes
- Magnesium Citrate
- Vitamin B12
- High Fiber Sources
- Fermented Foods
If you are new to this site, you should first read my How I Cured My Silent Reflux article as it explains the underlying root causes of acid reflux, its corresponding treatments, and provides the necessary context to understand the recommendations on this page. Note that the concepts in the article apply to acid reflux, GERD, and Silent Reflux. After reading that article, if you would like to learn more about the below supplements you can return to this article or get my book:
For a comprehensive / easy to follow plan, additional rationale, and the steps I took to resolve my reflux, get my #1 best-selling book 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux | The Counterintuitive Path to Healing Acid Reflux, GERD, and Silent Reflux (LPR).' Also available in audiobook!
Let's face it, its incredibly difficult to know what you can and cant eat as it sometimes feels like everything triggers symptoms. A list of common reflux triggers is hit or miss, so where do you start to determine what is safe to eat? Furthermore, how long should you expect to maintain this diet and are you even making progress?
We will discuss these challenges and potential solutions in my new online training course "The Un-Cookbook." I have released the first of three modules and you can get it now for a limited time, at its introductory price. As the additional modules release, the price will be updated. Enroll now and you will gain access to the new modules at no additional cost!
I suffered with reflux for more than 15 years. For much of that period I took medications which managed the symptoms, albeit poorly. Ultimately, after a poor diet choice, my symptoms grew completely out of control and I entered the darkest 6 months of my life.
As I describe in my book, the constant stream of mucus, and burning pain in my mouth and lips were maddening (these are typical silent reflux symptoms). This on top of my many other symptoms held me in a borderline depressive state. It was really difficult to concentrate on anything but my symptoms, making it increasingly difficult to engage with those around me.
Ultimately a friend of the family tipped me off to the fact that the tingling sensation in my fingers was related to a B12 deficiency and that this deficiency was a common side effect of acid reflux. I was shocked! My research on this topic led me to realize the very prescription medications I was taking to manage my reflux were making it significantly worse.
The medicines do this by lowering acidity (a condition known as hypochlorhydria), which erodes digestion and enables harmful pathogens to multiply unchecked and imbalance your digestive system (a condition known as dysbiosis). Either of these conditions can contribute to the malabsorption of key nutrients. For acid reflux sufferers this is most notably Vitamin B12, Magnesium, and Calcium.
As I covered in the above referenced article there are a number of digestive tract disorders that follow, ranging of the inability to keep stomach contents contained, reduced ability to move food along the digestive tract, and reduced digestive efficiency. The onset of these issues stems from certain lifestyle, disease, and medical factors, but can be accelerated by the use of prescription and over the counter acid reflux medications.
For the remainder of this article, we will take each of the five supplements and dietary additions and discuss their individual merits. Read to the end so you learn how these supplements work together, how to sequence them and fold them into a broader three phase recovery plan The below diagram organizes each so you can better understand their function, how they are interrelated and how they can help to address the three key factors that are spawning your reflux symptoms (digestion, acidity, and vitamin deficiency).
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Acidity and Digestion
Acid reflux is a multi-faceted disease. As such, it requires a multi-pronged approach that supports a smooth transition away from medications and that builds a solid foundation for continued healing. As you can see in the above chart both Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrochloride span the acidity and digestion categories. However, this does not by any means make the interchangeable.
Betaine Hydrochloride (HCl) is a nutritional compound extracted from food sources like grains or beets. It is an acidic version of betaine that works in the same way as hydrochloric acid (HCl) in your stomach. This plays the role of a tactical, short term, and immediate solution to improve digestion, reset bacterial balance, and restore lower esophageal, diaphragmatic, and pyloric sphincter function. If these are new concepts to you then, or you are unclear if you may need this supplement, I again advise reading my How I Cured My Silent Reflux article.
In contrast to HCl, Apple Cider Vinegary (ACV) supplements are a longer term play. This supplement can also have a positive effect on acidity and digestion, but it is also an excellent prebiotic source, and can help breakdown biofilms and plaques that pathogenic bacteria can erect to protect themselves.. It’s not a longer term play in the sense that you should take the supplement longer than you should HCl. However, it is a longer term play in the sense that it can take time to restore your guts digestive balance so prebiotic sources are helpful to give this process a boost. Longer term, establishing and maintaining proper microbial balance will help to keep reflux from reoccurring once it’s gone. Note, that ACV is best when taken in capsule form as taking it in liquid form can be corrosive to soft tissues and tooth enamel (even when diluted). HCl may not be right for everyone. I cover alternatives in my book:
For a comprehensive / easy to follow plan, additional rationale, and the steps I took to resolve my reflux, get my #1 best-selling book 'How I Cured My Silent Reflux | The Counterintuitive Path to Healing Acid Reflux, GERD, and Silent Reflux (LPR).' Also available in audiobook!
Alternatively, if you’re a do it yourselfer, I have put together a quick three page checklist that covers the three phase plan. You can get that here:
Acidity, Digestion, and Deficiency
One of the best long term plays with regards to reversing acid reflux is improving your digestive health and balance. The best way you can do this is by adding two important elements to your diet. These are fermented foods and high fiber foods. As covered in the How I Cured My Silent Reflux article, lack of food diversity is one leading risk factor to acid reflux.
This, as an overly narrow diet causes microbes that are well suited to digesting these foods to thrive, while others die off. This creates the harmful imbalance that can lead to a loss in ability to digest certain foods, indigestion, and the symptom triggering inflammation that are characteristic of acid reflux.
Eating raw / naturally Fermented foods are an outstanding way to quickly gain the probiotic benefits that would naturally come from a diverse diet. Over time this will help to rebalance your microbiome and drastically improve your digestive health and efficiency.
However, in order for any new probiotic colonies to thrive you have to feed them. The best source of nourishment for these microbes are prebiotics which are found in high fiber fruits, vegetables, and legumes. I am sure you have heard that fiber is good for digestion, however you may not know that the human body is unable to digest fiber directly. Despite this, fiber is helpful because it feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut, which play an essential role in effective digestion.
These pre and probiotic food sources are really super remedies in the sense that well balance digestive process helps extract vital nutrients that serve as building blocks to essential body function. For instance, zinc absorption is required for your body to create stomach acid.
Optionally, test your gut microbiome and receive actionable recommendations on how to optimize your digestive health with the BIOHM Gut Report.
I have arranged a 40% discount if you use the code THEACIDREFLUXGUY at checkout!
Deficiency and Acidity
If you are deficient in Magnesium, or Vitamin B12 then you may be experiencing the symptoms listed in the Treatment Section of the How I Cured My Silent Reflux article. These supplements can help provide near immediate and short term relief while you work on improving your digestion so that your body can resume extracting these vital nutrients.
Lastly, digestive enzymes can be used to boost digestive efficiency and reduce symptoms while you work on improving the longer term causes of your reflux. A healthy digestive system requires very high acidity and has a balance of beneficial enzymes and bacteria that aid in the process of breaking down food. Enzymes break down larger molecules like fats, proteins and carbs into smaller molecules that are easier to absorb across the small intestine.
On my resources page I have provided links to the specific products that I used to eliminate my reflux as well as some that are useful in managing symptoms of reflux in the short term. While there, be sure to grab my transition guide which helps to put these supplements in context of a holistic three phase plan to recovery.
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Latest posts by Don Daniels (see all)
- Interview with Dr Cedrick, Holistic Pharmacist - May 14, 2022
- Which Foods Make Reflux Worse? - April 27, 2022
- What Makes Reflux Worse? - April 19, 2022
I bought the book and want to transition to take the healing supplements. which products do you recommend there is so many different beitaine and ACV pills, any brand you prefer? that is safe? Thank you so much for the information you provide it brings hope to me.
Hi Elvira, I wish you all the best in your pursuit of healing. In the book, I mention that the brands I used are on my resources page here: https://theacidrefluxguy.com/resources
Hello, I was wondering if we are supposed to be taking probiotics while on the program? I don’t see it in any of the steps of the program, but you have an article about choosing the correct probiotics? Thank you.
Hi Maria, Its certainly something to consider. I took probiotics after healing and found that it provided additional resilience for my gut. Probiotics can be taken through any of the phases. https://theacidrefluxguy.com/probiotic
Hi Don, i would just like to ask for your opinion on melatonin. Did you take it, and did it help? Thanks, and i love your site.
Hi Josh, Thanks for the kind words :). Yes I did take melatonin. It made a big difference in my sleep. I cant say definitively if it helped with closure of my lower esophageal sphincter, but I would have to assume it did as my sleep was often interrupted by coughing, hacking, gagging, and interrupted breathing. After starting the melatonin, my sleep was significantly better. Makes sense if it did as melatonin is one of a few hormones that are involved with signaling between the enteric nervous system and hte digestive system.
Hope that helps!
Hi Don! I’ve just found your website, I’ve had GERD for about 5 months now, I completed the medical treatment but as soon as I stop taking the pills, all the symtomps came back. My doctor recommended a surgery but I think that maybe there is another way. My symptoms are the burning sensation in my chest, a lot of air burps and the acidic taste in my mouth. I also have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and in this case none of the pills worked. I’ve changed the way I eat, I don’t eat anything that it’s spicy… Read more »
Stephanie, Thank you for your comments. I sincerely hope that you are able to find relief soon! It is unfortunate that these medications are prescribed. They turn what can be otherwise reflux into a situation where the patient is co-dependent on the medications.
Hi, my 11 year old daughter has acid reflux. She may have had it off and on for the past 3 years but the ENT doctor missed it. It became much worse when she was diagnosed with scoliosis last September and had to start wearing a back brace 23 hours a day. She is on Prevacid 7.5mg in the morning and 15mg before dinner. I have elevated her bed 10 inches. She has sore throat every morning and has a hard time with chest tightness especially at night. She is still struggling. I’ve changed her diet the best that I… Read more »
Hi Marilyn, Thanks for your comment. I do hope your little girl can get back to full health again soon. My oldest is 12 and I can appreciate how challenging it is to watch your children in pain. She’s not going to like what I’m going to say; ultimately, it will depend on how much she wants to heal. She’s on a pretty low dose of mediations which is good as it may mean a potentially faster path to recovery. The very best thing she can do is significantly ramp up her consumption of fiber rich fruits, vegetables, and legumes.… Read more »
I just want to mention that I’ve read iron supplements can contribute to reflux.
Hi Don, I very recently (1 month) I suddenly began having a dry throat and heartburn. Within 2 days I could not sleep flat as the acidic taste in my mouth would wake me up. Of course, the doctors immediately said I had GERD. Two trips to urgent care (due to pain and burning tongue) later, I’m on 40 mg of omeprazole twice a day. Nothing really works (antacids, ppi, less acidic food, sleeping on a wedge, etc.) and the burning tongue and throat are horrendous at night. I took your quiz and it is likely to be silent reflux.… Read more »
Hi Sonia, It does seem as though you have developed silent reflux. I’m not a doctor so I cant advise you to try the program. I would say that I experienced similar symptoms, but the onset was much longer. Nearly 15 years with GERD and about 6 months with the worse symptoms of silent reflux. That said, my GERD symptoms were largely a mild form of silent reflux (voice issues, trouble sleeping, elevated sleep having no effect, etc..). The approach on this site has proven effective for a lot of people because it addresses the root causes of reflux, which… Read more »
Thanks for your work on this and insight!!
Don, 15 mo. ago I had Gastric Sleeve and a repaired a hiatal hernia. I also have a history of stomach polyps found and removed with every colonoscopy. I had never had reflux before that I am aware of. I am a 68 yr old female and have lost 55 lbs since surgery. I no longer have sleep apnea. But about 4 to 5 weeks ago I began to get a sore throat every night. Not during the day at all. I also began to get an extremely hoarse voice. It is 24/7. I thought it was allergies, but after… Read more »
Hi Kathi, Thank you for the kind words. Glad you were able to track your symptoms down to silent reflux. Yes, extra pressure on the upper abdomen and diaphragm can certainly exacerbate symptoms. Hopefully, however you are able to strengthen your GI function and get back to normal! But to answer your question you are the first to mention this one 🙂
Hi Don, thanks for all the info and your hard work. I suffer from a red throat, silent reflux and burning mouth. I believe the burning is related to the throat/reflux. Do you know burning mouth as well and do you think these supplements would help me? Thank you
Hi Marilyn, You are very welcome. I would one day love to do a widescale study where folks map their symptoms etc.. so I could give people a confidence interval based on their situation. I will say though that I had the same symptom as well with my Silent Reflux. For me, it was burning in the roof of my mouth and lips and it was the worst perhaps more infuriating than the persistent mucus, my other least favorite symptom. There is a survey on my site called the Reflux System Index that you can take if you want to… Read more »
Hi Don, what if you have too much acid rather than too little. Would these supplements still help, or are they only for reflux caused by low acid?
Thank you for your help!
Hi Stef, If you have too much acid, then I would focus on the other phases of recovery, as outlined in the transition guide. This will ensure you are rebuilding digestive efficiency and restoring gut health. One way to test if you have sufficient acidity is to take one 650mg capsule of betaine + pespsin in the middle of your largest meal for the day. If you get the feeling of heartburn in your chest or throat then you likely have sufficient acidity. If, you get a warmth feeling in your gut you may have either high or low acidity.… Read more »
Did you ever use Gaviscon Advance for your silent reflux? I am currently taking 40mg Pantoprazole 1 time a day, Gaviscon Advance as needed, and recently started supplementing with Betaine HCI, Essential Enzymes, and ACV. I started drinking no sugar added Kefir, as well. The Gaviscon seems to help quite a bit. I have messed up the order of what you suggest in your transition guide and do not take enough Betaine HCI (only 1 at a time). I pretty much just went right to step 2 of the guide. I am still struggling quite a bit. Should I start… Read more »
Hi Brooke, The Gaviscon and Pantoroprazole will impede your progress as they are acid neutralizers and lead to imbalance of your digestion, namely your microbiome. Ideally, the HCl will eliminate the need for these as the acidity will signal your lower esophageal sphincter to close. Additionally, acidity is required to signal your pyloric sphincter to release food contents in a timely fashion into your small intestines. Yes, I would start over :). Phase I is important to set you up for success.
Hi Don thanks for all the info. So after 1,5 year of me having stomach pain I decided to take on an endoscopy test. The symptoms I have along with the stomach pain is difficulty breathing ( having chronic asthma ) and also burn in chest and something like back pain/pressure which I feel it exactly in the middle of back exactly and its like a pin , maybe behind the stomach. The symptoms are really disturbing , my life has changed a lot , I even wake up at night with the pain. My doctor’s findings after the endoscopy… Read more »
Hi Yiannis, It sounds a bit like you may have silent reflux. Here is a quiz you can take to determine the likelihood of silent reflux vs GERD: https://theacidrefluxguy.com/silentrefluxquiz. The photos didn’t come through, but I would suggest that this “therapy” is intended to address the root causes of reflux, which are rooted in digestive issues. This, as opposed to just managing the symptoms. Being intentional with what you eat is part of it, but it may also be helpful to supplement your recovery with a few digestive aids. The transition guide in this article can help with a phased… Read more »
Thanks, it all sounds inspiring, and makes sense. I’ve just started taking a ppi a few days ago and don’t notice any benefit. I think stress and anxiety has brought on the reflux the last couple of months I’ve become aware… it’s scary cos I was trying to address it with a herbalist but it wasn’t going away. I think I need to manage stress. So hard to know what to do.
Hi Don, thank you for this website. You mentioned that those with gastritis should not use HCI. I have had gastritis twice in ten years, so it’s a rare occurrence. Does this mean I can take HCI supplement?
Hi Stef, My comments were in reference to active gastritis as it can further inflame. I am not a doctor so it may be worth getting some medical advice on this, especially if having gastritis once means you are predisposed to reoccurrence.
Hi Don, I suffer from Gerd, small hiatal hernia and psoriasis. My symptoms include throat burning, chest pressure and pain, ear and jaw pain at times and more recently stomach discomfort (burning sensation sometimes). I am currently taking Prilosec but that doesn’t seem to help much especially at night (I’ve also tries so many other poi’s but nothing helps and I just get bad side effects from them. I’m considering starting the supplements you’ve mentioned and wanted to know if you’d recommend taking the HCI since I have psoriasis. Thanks for your help!
Hi Dee, Not sure if you noticed it, in the article but psoriasis may be a side effect of vitamin deficiencies caused by the reflux medications. It could be that vitamin b12 supplements can help to alleviate the issue. If you have done any googling, you may have noticed that hcl is an often cited remedy for psoriasis. I have not researched this specifically, so it may be worth doing some due diligence.
Thank you Don for your information. You have impressed upon me many things….like the need for enzymes for digestion and balance
You’re very welcome. Hope it helps!
I am 22 years old and about 6 months ago was diagnosed with silent reflux. Basically, I have a constant sore and red throat. I have been taking protonix and it just recently stopped working. Do you think these supplements would be helpful to me even though I don’t suffer from traditional GERD? Thanks in advance!
Hi Madison, I took protonix, omeprazole, pantoprazole, nexium and a whole host of medications for more than 15 years. They did an ok job with managing my symptoms so long as I took a handful of antacids throughout the day. Over time, my dose increased twice from 10mg to 20 to 40. Once my symptoms escalated to full fledged silent reflux a third doubling did not work. Silent reflux in particular is quite resistant to the medications. If you try it, I do hope this approach will work for you as well as it did for me. Best of luck!… Read more »
Good Morning Don – do you also recommend a multivitamin??
Hi Christine, For individuals that have been on acid reflux medications (PPIs, H2 Blockers, Antacids) for an extended period of time I recommend B12 and Magnesium. This is due to the fact that these medications suppress acid and your digestive efficiency to the point that your body doesn’t process these nutrients well. Additionally, low acid allows for harmful / nutrient hungry bacteria to proliferate. Calcium is on that list of common deficiencies as well, however it counteracts with the other supplements I recommend so I do not recommend it. Better to get healed and allow your body to resume extracting… Read more »
I have been suffereing from acid reflux for the past 5 months. Upper GI endoscopy shows that I have a small hiatal hernia. I am on ppis and very am eating very small meals for the reflux to be in control. Do you think your supplements will help people with hiatal hernia too? I am loosing weight and want to increase the quantity of food in my meals. Will your supplements help me do so?
Hi Yogitha, It worked for me and I have a hiatal hernia. That said, it likely depends on the size of the hernia. It is believed that hernias reduce the pressure your lower esophageal sphincter can exert to close the junction between the stomach and the esophagus. Unfortunately I don’t have information that would help to determine how successful it may be based on size.
Thanks for the Reply.
Thanks for your hard work!
Hi Don, 2 months ago I was perfectly healthy, am taking small dose of meds for high blood pressure but after starting an exercise program and eating better my blood pressure was even normalizing. I felt better than I did in a long time. Then I contracted Covid about a month and a half ago. The symptoms were mild just nasal congestion and loss of taste and smell but soon after I started getting major anxiety and panic attacks. My blood pressure shot up and I went to the hospital 3 times. I was given more blood pressure medication and… Read more »
Hi Keith, So sorry to hear what you have been through over the past couple of months. The HCl, as you may have seen in this article, is the active component to influence proper closure of the lower esophageal sphincter. The problem you are describing is likely due to the acetic acid found in ACV. Taking this without first closing your LES can exacerbate existing reflux symptoms. If you dont already have it, feel free to download my transition guide which explains the approach I found to get the HCl dose right and affect closure of the LES. Best Regards,… Read more »
Hi! My 15 yr old son was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Reflux is typical with these babies so he was on a preventative acid reflux medication for the first year of his life. He’s never had any issues until this year. Labor Day he started having gurgling in his stomach/ chest area, severe pain in his left shoulder, and trouble breathing. We’ve gone to a GI doctor that has prescribed Prilosec for 6 weeks, but I’m not comfortable with giving him medication. His symptoms stopped completely a month after they started and then they began again 2 days… Read more »
Hi Kim, With exception of a comment that was recently added to the site (17 year old), I had not heard of those younger than 19 years old trying the supplements. Aside from allergies or other warnings on the supplement labels I’m not aware of a reason it would be unsafe. Of course, it is always best to test these options with a doctor to be sure, especially when it comes to your child!
I am taking the 3 digestive supplements. One pill of each with a meal and experiencing burning in my esophagus and burping where previously I had silent Gerd with the symptoms of throat clearing and a swollen throat but no heartburn. Should I be feeling the burning in my throat. I don’t know if I need more or less of the HCI Betaine. Any suggestions?
Hi Debbie, If you have stopped taking the reflux medications, is possible that you are not taking enough HCl to affect the closure of your lower esophageal sphincter. If you dont already have it, I discuss this in detail in my transition guide: https://theacidrefluxguy.com/transition. The additional burping is common in the first week or so on the supplements (changing in digestive efficiency) and if that is the source of your discomfort, it should hopefully subside soon.
Hi Don, I have a few questions, what did you eat while taking the supplements? How long did it take to start seeing results after taking supplements and long did it take to discontinue the supplements? What do you est now?
Hi Ketrice, You dont have to alter your diet, however it is far better to eat plainly (avoiding processed foods, fatty foods, high sugar, common reflux triggers) while you are first transitioning. This is so you are able to more easily determine the source of any symptoms you experience while you are transitioning. As you begin to recover, this becomes less and less important.
Don, I’m taking the supplements and seem to have more acid reflux. Should I stop the ACV caps and see if that makes a difference?
Hi Glena, Hard to say without more information. It could be that you are not taking enough hcl to affect the closure of your sphincter. It could be that you are not taking the supplements at the right time – best in the middle of meals vs before or after. Have you discontinued your other reflux medications? If not, they could be counteracting. Certain meals are triggering which may cause you trouble early in the transition. Any of this helpful? If not, please feel free to provide more details of your experience.
I am still experiencing problems with my acid reflux and do have a lot of symptoms similar to what you shared in this article. My recent blood test shows that my Vitamin B12 is high and Magnesium is normally. Please help me
Hi Nyiko, Have you tried the supplements or are you seeking help with how to get started?
Hi Don! Thank you for sharing your story! About 2 weeks ago I started to have sore throat, chest and back pain, cough, lump on my throat, difficult breathing. It’s been horrible. I end up been at the emergency and I was told that I have acid reflux. So, I was prescribed with 40 mg omeprazole. I’m starting to feel better except at evening. However, I’ve been reading people’s experience regarding come off the ppi and the fact that symptoms would get worse. I was quite scary and that’s the reason I would like to try your method. However, I… Read more »
Hi Ana, I didnt experience any rebound with the supplements despite the fact that I stopped taking the prescription medicines and antacids. Prior to the supplements, however if I missed taking my prescription in the morning or at night, I would be a coughing hacking mess within a couple hours. Then I would have to take antacids and the medicine to get my symptoms back under control. There is definitely a difference between taking ACV in liquid and pill form. ACV is highly corrosive to tooth enamel and soft tissues (like your throat) even if diluted to consumed with a… Read more »
Hi Don. I have had Acid Reflux that has developed over the past several months. I have also had severe bouts of anxiety over the past several months as well. It seems pretty clear in my mind that the 2 are connected as the severe type of anxiety that I have been experiencing sounds like it can lower the acid in a person’s stomach. I am also having weeks of insomnia lately where I can’t sleep most nights. The insomnia is probably a combination of the anxiety and the acid reflux that I am having as I get the reflux… Read more »
Hi Chris, I suffered terrible anxiety for the 15 years that I was dealing with reflux. Unfortunately for me, I rationalized this with the growing pressures of my job and didnt see the connection with when I started taking the reflux medications. Not sure if are taking these medications, based on your description, but if you are there is a great chance it is the medications that are causing this. In either event, it sounds clear to me that getting rid of your reflux will have a positive effect. I also suffered with very poor sleep during this period. Again,… Read more »
Hi Don, thank you for your story. I was diagnosed with peptic ulcer from bacteria infection and put on antacid medication which I have been taken for 4 months now. The meds are making me feel horrible. Extreme gas, acid reflux, slow digestion, mood swings just to name a few. I want to stop taken the meds but afraid the symptoms would get worse, beside the supplements you suggested is there any other advice you would give being that I have an ulcer and if I start using these supplements how soon should I stop taking the antacid meds.
Hi Diane, Thanks for your comment. I would be careful about adding acidity given your ulcer. If you have been on the acid reflux medications for a while, is your ulcer healed by chance? If not, perhaps you can focus on diet and or try the essential enzymes for a while until your ulcer heals.
In your experience, are painful tongue and roof of mouth sores ever indicative of reflux (either silent or GERD)? Those are my main recurrent symptoms (for 35 years) that drive me nuts. I don’t have any other overt symptoms of either silent reflux or GERD however, and they get worse if I take probiotics. I know it’s crazy. But you may have very well solved my father’s myriad problems with silent reflux!!
Hi Caroline, I’m sorry to hear about the sores. Anything else that you can correlate increased quantity or severity of sores? They part you mention regarding probiotics does make it seem to be digestion related. Are the probiotics in supplement form or with yogurt? Do you take reflux medications?
Thank you so much Don. I certainly don’t expect you to have the answer. The probiotics I took were Culturelle Digestive Health (10 billion active cultures). After 8 days I couldn’t talk because of mouth pain. I don’t take reflux medicine. I would think that I have Transient Lingual Papillitis (TLP) except for the fact that the roof of my mouth also gets “scorched” feeling in places at the same time. I thought I might try aloe vera juice. But if that doesn’t help, I MAY try ACV capsules. Their increased prevalence may be due to my not following a… Read more »
Caroline, You are right. I dont know what might have been the cause of that. I do pray that you find relief soon!
Sounds similar to the symptoms I first noticed thinking I was burning my mouth from hot food. Feel so lost with it all, just started taking ppi for it 3 days ago but seeing no improvement… despair.
Hi Matthew, I put together a guide that provides the exact steps to follow. Also, I have a book on amazon that is available on pre-order now and that is releasing on feb 19th that goes into far more detail on the steps to take and why.
Is it safe to use the supplements if you use an antihistamine nasal spray?
Hi Susan, I’m afraid I’m not qualified to answer that question. Good question for your doctor!
How long have you been reflux-free? Completely off supplements?
Can you eat ANYTHING you want now?
Thanks for your responses.
Hi Cassie, Yes I am completely off of the medications and supplements! I stopped taking the medications the next day after starting on the supplements and 8 weeks later I was able to stop taking the supplements. Now, I eat anything I want! Just had a bowel of cereal this morning. Something that I had avoided for years as dairy gave me problems!
Hi Don, I’ve been taking the HCL and ACV for about a week, my digestive enzymes haven’t come in the mail yet. I started with 1 of each pill with supper, then a couple days later I started taking them at breakfast as well. I’m still getting reflux and have to take tums or pepto to help, is this normal? I’ve been on ppi’s for years, and am currently on pantoprazole but stopped taking it once I started these supplements. I suspect I have low stomach acid simply because every year it seems I have to take a different ppi… Read more »
Hi Tristan, Thank you for your email. Glad to hear you are on your journey towards healing! Hopefully the digestive enzymes arrive soon as they should help to further mitigate indigestion. Have you started increasing the quantity of HCl, in accordance with your meal complexity? For instance, meals with higher protein content will need more HCl to properly digest. Easier to digest meals such as breakfasts might only need one to no HCl (especially as your acidity returns). When I started, I began with 1 648mg HCl with each meal and at most I took 5-6 with high protein meals… Read more »
Thanks for your response! I started with 1 HCl and 1 ACV with dinner. Then after doing that for a couple days, I’m now doing 1 HCl and 1 ACV at breakfast, and that same amount for dinner. But I’m finding that I still have reflux daily.
You mention 5 supplements, but I’ve only noticed:
Am I missing something?
Thanks so much for all of this info – stumbling on this has ignited hope in me getting rid of my LPR and doing away with PPIs (I’ve only been on them for one month)
Ben, Thanks for the question. The other two supplements (vitamins) are B12 and Magnesium. However, these two would not be needed in your case as you have not taken reflux medications long enough to have developed a deficiency. Let us know how it goes for you 🙂
Hi Don, I have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus about 6 months ago. I have been prescribed 40 mg omeprazole twice daily. One 30 minutes before breakfast and 30 min before the evening meal. While the PPI has reduced my acid reflux to almost zero I feel it is important to see if I can reduce or eliminate the omeprazole. Would you agree? Now that I am cutting back I sometimes feel my right sinus start to drain after eating. Is that acid reflux? I have also made other life style changes that I believe has helped. Like eliminating… Read more »
Hi Rodney, First my apologies for the delayed response. It has been a very busy week for me. As you may have discovered from my articles I am a huge advocate for getting off of acid reflux medicines. In my latest video I share the very serious long term side effects I faced, having taken these medications for 15 years. The lifestyle changes you are making are fantastic ways to manage your reflux. I need to write an article and post another video on this topic. However, I do have some additional tips for you in my transition guide. The… Read more »
thanks I will read your transition guide.
Do you need to be on a special diet in order for one of these methods to work
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
Thanks Don Is this something that I will have to continue taking or once I have it straightened out I can stop taking
I stopped taking the reflux medications immediately and after 8 weeks, I was able to stop taking the supplements. Along the way, your bodies acidity and digestive efficiency start returning to normal and as that happens, you will know to ramp down in the quantities you are taking. I share my personal experiences in more detail in my journal / transition guide: https://theacidrefluxguy.com/transition
Thank you so much for this insight. I’ve been diagnosed with reflux about 8 days ago. N placed on PPI. But I can tell exactly when the medication wears off because I’m awoken from sleep with the burning n chest pain and sour taste in my throat. I also don’t like the tingling I’m getting in my legs since. So I’m going to definitely try your recommendations as I don’t think I should be this dependent on medication for life
Hi Kim, Hopefully you will see very quick results given such a recent diagnosis. Let us know how it goes!
Hi Don I have been to an ENT. He prescribed me Prilosec it might of helped a little. That was 2 years ago. Today I’m sitting here thinking what do I do. I have a constant throat clearing, cough, & recently I have been having this gagging like symptom. Kinda feels like a little pinch in my throat. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a drink handy. Like right now it is 8:20 am I went ahead and took a Prilosec with a little water. I can feel my throat. I’m having phlegm already. Haven’t… Read more »
Hi Deborah, You may very well have developed silent reflux, as I did. The phlegm is certainly a tell tale sign. For me, I found that my nose would run when I ate and symptoms were the worse in the mornings when the mucous response had time to accumulate. Regarding snacks, I would be conscious of what you are putting in your body. In particular, for me it was high concentrations of sugar that really exacerbated my symptoms, not to mention other common reflux triggers. I struggled with voice quality for 15 years and now for the first time in… Read more »
During this Quarantine I have started to have a strange feeling on my throat where it felt strained. From there I began to have abdominal pain/ bloating and constipation. Now unfortunately the pain has moved into my chest as well as my back. I was told by a doctor I had acid reflux. So I’m really hoping the digestive pills you recommended work! Because the pills they have given me have not.
Hi Tyla, Thanks for the comment. Hope it works well for you – keep us posted! If you don’t already have it, you might pick up a copy of my reflux transition guide and personal journal: https://theacidrefluxguy.com/transition
Hi Don thank you for sharing
I have been having bad acid reflux and was prescribed omeprazole. I notice my heart racing and tingling left side of my face. I cannot eat much because of the pain.
You are very welcome. I hope it works as well for you, as it did me. Let us know how it goes or if you have follow up questions!
I typically get heartburn in the evenings about 4 hours after dinner. It’s not a constant burn or regurgitation, but just some burping and with that, a burn sense at the base of esophagus/stomach. It is driven by carbohydrates. If I go low carb, the reflux disappears almost overnight. I did this for 1 week the other week and then reintroduced carbs again. I was fine for 3 days eating all sorts of carbs before heartburn started again. I’ve tried HCl but it seems if I take 1-2 it does nothing and I still get heartburn and I once took… Read more »
Hi Sean, Thank you for your questions. I have a few questions for you that can help narrow down the issue you are facing: How long have you been dealing with reflux and are you on acid reflux medications? Are you allowing at least 3 hours after eating before laying down? Do you get reflux if you eat the same carbs with protein? Are you taking the HCl in combination with ACV and the digestive enzymes as I suggest in my post or did you try these independantly at different times? I agree with you regarding antibiotics w/o addressing the… Read more »
I’ve been dealing with it for about 2 years now. Had an EGD done 1year ago which showed h pylori gastritis. That was eradicated with antibiotics. Didn’t help reflux at all. In fact 3 months later I developed c diff from all the antibiotics and I believe I acquired c diff from the EGD procedure. They do about 40 per day and they do BOTH ends of people all the time and they do them back to back. It’s gross. So anyway, I had to go on vancomycin for another 10 days for c diff. Since then I’ve been taking… Read more »
I should note that after the hpylori antibiotics and the subsequent c diff infection, I didn’t really have reflux for several months. I had posted that the antibiotics “didnt help reflux at all” — what I meant to say was that I am dealing with reflux today just as much as 2 years ago, however it did subside after h pylori treatment for some time (not sure how long, probably several months). This may have been due to my incredible fixation/obsession on treating/fighting cdiff and I may have just been completely ignoring any reflux, but I think it was probably… Read more »
I just tried taking 2x HCl with my meal. I took 1x with dinner last night and it didn’t seem to do anything.
It’s been about half hour and I’m feeling a stomach ache now. Wouldn’t say its a burn, its more a wrenching ache.
So apparently 2x is too many yet 1x does nothing…
I am in India . How to get the supplements?
Hi Vasanthi, This site ships worldwide. You just need to update the country in the top right of the page:
Hi Sean, So sorry to hear what you are going through. Unfortunately, I cant speak to taking one or two supplements together because I took them all together at what I found to be the right dose. It may be that 4 HCl alone is not enough for you, given your current digestive balance. In response to your question I added a guide that speaks to the approach I found that identifies proper dose of HCl. You can get the guide sent to you automatically by entering your email address in the form in the middle of the page “FREE… Read more »
After starting the supplements, how long do you recommend still taking acid blockers? I’m on Prilosec OTC (self prescribed for over 10 years now) and I’m trying to find the best way to get off it so far this seems like one of the best ways! Thank you!
Hi Walter, I wish I had a definitive answer for you. The answer is, it depends! 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. That said, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, to fully recover to the point where you don’t need to take the supplements. You can experiment periodically and see if you get symptoms when you skip. If you… Read more »
You are very welcome! Can I ask what you found to be most helpful?
Similar to you I have been on PPIs for years, research and current body tells me need to week off these at earliest. Last endoscopy found polyps and small duodenal ulcer. 40mg omeprazole once daily for 8 weeks to sort acid reflux, heartburn symptoms. 3 supplements or B12 and Magnesium best approach now? Thanks
The ulcer potentially complicates things. Suggest getting some advice from your medical professional regarding this. I mention that as in my research I have seen that some, who have ulcers have experienced issues when taking HCl and even digestive enzyme supplements. The HCl is designed to promote restoration of normal acidity. That said, normal acidity can cause issues with ulcers. If you have been on PPIs for years there is an increased chance that you are currently deficient in B12, magnesium, and calcium, however it is not a guarantee. I’m increasingly a proponent of limiting things I put in my… Read more »
I would take your advice on testing the levels as this is a good shout, so will ask doctor to set this up soon and let you know how that fairs. The only major concern I have at present is the brown saliva I bring up in morning, I don’t have it at any other time of day so seems to be a nightitme acid reflux issue. What is your best guestimate on what this could be signalling? I stop eating 4+ hours from bedtime so not sure why this would still be an issue. I asked my doctor if… Read more »
For years I woke with copious saliva in my mouth in the mornings. It wasn’t brown, but it was a significant amount. What I didn’t realize until I got rid of reflux was this actually my body’s response to the reflux. I suspect this is blood mixed with saliva. For you, I suspect this is blood mixed with saliva. Guessing this only happens at night because the blood is from an irritated area of your esophagus (or gums, but I suspect you would feel if they were irritated or sensitive). To test this, try sleeping with your upper torso elevated.… Read more »
Hi Sean, did you find the source of the brown liquid? (Yellow mixed with blood) Same thing is happening to me ever since I got LPR reflux this past month. Also found a polyp and several small ileum ulcers. Hiatal hernia as well 😫. I went to a dentist and he said I have gingivitis and inflamed gums. Do you guys (Don too)think it’s the gums being irritated from the acid reflux in the night showing up in the morning? I sleep elevated and same thing every time I wake up. My drs all think it’s the gums. Thanks
It could be from your mouth or from your throat. I had reflux for years, but once it developed into LPR, I started having phlegm in the mornings. For me it was my bodies mucosal response to acid vapors in my throat, nasal passage, and mouth. Any of these areas can bleed. A few things you can try to lower the a acidity in your mouth 1) drink lots of hot water through the course of the day (clears mucous) 2) gargle with hydrogen peroxide (oral antiseptic) 3) brush your entire mouth (not just teeth) to clear residual acidity 4)… Read more »