Warning about fasting and reflux – The Fast Diet

acid watcher diet

the 5:2 fast diet ™

This topic contains 54 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by CazT 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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I realise that for many – fd, and losing weight helps to reduce their issues with reflux etc

I have been have huge issues for the past 3 months – problems that began with a ‘lump’ feeling in my throat, and continued into regurgitation, acid, soreness, hoarseness, dry mouth, problems swallowing, burping etc

they only began 5 days after I began the fd
and then I noticed a few weeks ago, when I had a week with NO fd’s, that my symptoms improved

since that time I have stopped fasting (actually just gone totally off the rails food wise, but that is another story)
and a lot of my symptoms have improved, apart from the impossibly dry mouth

anyway, today I have seen a dr and he has ‘scoped’ my throat etc and said that it is ‘irritated’ and that the changes to my eating patterns, and the fasting could indeed have caused/contributed to the problems I have been having
he also said that although drugs like omeprazole help, they don’t stop all the different gastric fluids, and that I need to take gaviscon after every meal, and before bed – for at least a month – to allow for healing

I am posting this because I am still convinced that I cannot possibly be the only person who has experienced this issue

I hope this might help others with similar difficulties

I read an article from a man claiming his reflux is cured having given up alcohol. I have reflux, it has burnt my gullet. The camera shots show a nasty benign growth down there. Normally, I have swallowing and choking issues often.
On April 12th I gave up alcohol and started dieting. a couple of weeks later I joined the 5:2 fast diet, and started to write on the 31 day challenge thread.
I have not had any reflux incidents since I started both abstinence and the diet. That was five weeks ago.

Hi, I’ve really only started posting recently and came across your posts. I take very high levels of Nexium and ranitidine at night. Alcohol is a trigger for me for the acid to increase, and my consultant advised me to cut out caffeine. I find fasting days sometimes cause greater acid problems, and this week I had my 2 fasting days together, which made my stomach sore and my reflux worse. I am hoping that if I lose enough weight (I carry it around my tummy) my reflux will improve.

I’m having trouble with this 🙁 I may have to give up intermittent fasting and I’m not happy about it because it’s the only type of ‘diet’ I’ve ever been able to stick to.

Hi atcgirl, have you tried maybe eating a few more calories -say three times a week? Also have you tried eating porridge made with water for one of your meals? I find this is quite good. I’m sure you already avoid the usual culprits like tomatoes etc.
Don’t lose heart👍

The most probable cause of GERD.

As everyone knows, enormous numbers of bacteria grow in the colon. But what many people don’t know is that bacteria also grow in the small bowel as well. The lower end of the small bowel closest to the colon has the most growth, but bacteria are found throughout. Bacteria in the small bowel dine on the contents of the small bowel; the farther the food goes down the bowel during the digestive process, the more bacteria there are to nourish. The types and amounts of bacteria in the small bowel are a function of the foods coming down the pipeline. If fat and protein are the main foods, fewer bacteria grow, and those that do grow don’t produce much gas. Carbohydrates, however, provide food for rapidly multiplying bacteria that actually ferment the carbs, and the fermentation process produces a lot of gas. If there is an overgrowth of the carb-loving bacteria in the small bowel – a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) – then a substantial amount of gas is released into the bowel. As more bacteria multiply and more gas is released, the pressure inside the bowel increases. The increased pressure then can force the gas, along with the acidic stomach contents upstream, through the lax LES and into the esophagus. And then you experience the symptoms of GERD.

Once I understood this process, it all made perfect sense to me. I realized immediately why a low-carb diet got rid of GERD. Few carbs means few bacteria. And few bacteria with little to ferment means minimal gas. The LES can hold firm against what little gas there might be, and so no stomach acid gets into the esophagus. And the symptoms of GERD vanish.

This SIBO mechanism also explains another phenomenon I’ve had described to me by many patients. A patient suffers with GERD, goes on a low-carb diet, and gets complete relief. The patient stays on the low-carb diet for months and has no symptoms of GERD. Then the patient has a carb blow out, but has no GERD. Eats some more carbs, still no GERD. Consumes more carbs, then, wham, the GERD is back. What happened?

It takes a while for carb-loving bacteria to recolonize the small bowel once the carbs enter the diet again and a plentiful bacterial food supply returns. Until the bacteria reach a critical mass, at which point they are producing enough gas to push through the LES, there won’t be symptoms. But once they do, GERD returns in full force.

I have been on the Fast Diet for just over four months, and for the last month have had choking and vocal problems, which my GP says are due to acid reflux. He offered me the omeprazole, but when I took that I felt faint and got stomach pains. So, I am trying to cut out tomatoes, alcohol and caffeine. I have also done some vocal and posture exercises which have helped. I think stress may have been a factor, and I am hoping that things will settle down, as in every other way I love the Fast Diet, and feel really well on it and have lost weight and improved my BMI.

Hi Bennettw6, I am in a similar position but take a mega dose of Nezium for acid. I also take one ranitidine at night so I sympathise. My consultant has told me to quit alcohol, caffeine, tomatoes and keep sugar to a minimum. In terms of beverages, he suggested leaving alone decaf for a while too and if possible and drink only water if the inflammation is bad. It does work but it is a big ask. I have two NFDS between fasting otherwise I get a build up of acid. I need a stone off and as I carry most of my excess weight around my waist. I’m intrested in your vocal and posture exercises. What do you do and has this helped? I retired from teaching last year and my stress levels have dropped but haven’t seen a huge change in acid.

GERD and reflux benefit, or disappear, on a low-carb diet. I started with a low-carb diet because you’re not hungry and it improves or eliminates so many conditions. I’m now combining low-carb with some fasting.

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