How to Treat Reflux in Children with Diet

How to Treat Reflux in Children with Diet
4.56 (91.25%) 32 votes

Hypersensitivity reactions to dairy products even in those who test negative for cow’s milk allergy.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Excessive spitting up and vomiting in infants may be treated with putting them on their left-side down after meals, but of course never when sleeping—it’s always face-up to wake-up to reduce the risk of crib death. Also, you can try smaller, more frequent feedings, thickening or changing formulas, and in breastfed infants (which is ideally how all infants should be), “eliminating cow’s milk and eggs from the mother’s diet.”

I’ve talked about how more than 40 percent of infants with reflux can be successfully treated with cow’s milk removal. It can also affect them on the other end, too—can be a major contributor to diaper rash, and contribute to chronic constipation in 80 percent of affected kids, though only a single kid tested positive for an actual cow’s milk allergy. So, it was like some kind of sensitivity reaction that can really only be diagnosed by giving a cow’s milk-free diet a try. “Anal fissures in infants” may be practically “pathognomonic” for “cow’s milk allergy,” meaning so characteristic of the condition that it could be used as a diagnostic sign: no allergy testing required.

It’s like when cow milk hypersensitivity was demonstrated in 10 of 17 children with severe reflux. In the majority of patients, the hypersensitivity to cow milk was identified only by eliminating it and then re-challenging to confirm. They did endoscopies, measured the acid gurgling up before and after milk, and then verified by repeating milk exposure with double-blind, placebo-controlled challenges when necessary. Yet all but one of the children proven to have this adverse reaction to dairy tested positive on allergy tests. So, they tested negative for a cow’s milk allergy, but still got better by cutting the cow’s milk out, showing that this association between cow milk hypersensitivity and severe GERD, this severe reflux, was observed not only in infants but also in older children.

Another disease that can be cured with cow’s milk elimination is “eosinophilic esophagitis,” a chronic inflammatory disorder of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). To figure out what’s causing the inflammation, an elimination diet is prescribed, where you basically remove everything, and then every time you add back a food, they stick an endoscope down your throat and take biopsies to see if that one food made things worse. And how many freakin’ foods are there! So, you can imagine how “difficult and costly” and invasive this is for families, how “confusing and frustrating.”

So, these researchers at Northwestern figured let’s just see what happens if you just remove one food from their diet instead of making them go through all that. And just eliminating cow’s milk induced remission in 65 percent of the children they tried it on. I mean, normally you’d have to put these kids on steroids, where they try to coat their throat with steroids to knock down their immune response. But then that sets you up for infections like thrush. And of course, as soon as you stop the steroids, the esophageal inflammation comes raging back, because you’re not treating the underlying cause. But steroids are considered the standard of care. Too bad there’s never been like a head-to-head test of cow’s milk elimination versus steroids…until now.

A “comparative effectiveness trial of cow’s milk elimination” versus a swallowed steroid, and they both appeared to work just as well — which is to say the cow’s milk elimination worked better, because no side effects and you’re treating the actual cause, suggesting getting rid of dairy products should be considered the “first-line therapy.”

In adolescence, cow’s milk protein intolerance can contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome, evidently a common problem in young people with chronic fatigue, and. most importantly, “a treatable contributor to their symptoms.” But again, most were unaware that dairy was a problem, possibly because it can take hours between milk ingestion and when you start feeling worse, so people don’t make the connection. So, even those “who report no problems after milk ingestion” may still be suffering problems after milk ingestion.

And finally, what about adults? Well, there’s lactose intolerance. Most people on Earth are lactose intolerant after weaning, with the exception of some human populations that developed lactose tolerance about 10,000 years ago, thanks to a “mutation in the lactase gene,” which enables adult humans to digest lactose (milk sugar). Or, at least those select European populations. Whereas most Hispanics, most Africans and Asians remain intolerant, which may be a good thing, since acid regurgitation, reflux, heartburn is so common among adults in the Western world. Food intolerance may play a role in adults as well. Milk was found to be the leading culprit, but they were using what’s called a “Leucocytotoxic Test,” where you see how someone’s white blood cells react to individual foods in a petri dish.

This test is frowned upon by professional allergy associations as not being sufficiently sensitive and specific. Can’t hurt, though, to put it to the test. “A double-blind, randomized, controlled…trial …performed in 38 reflux patients” for which proton pump inhibitor drugs failed to completely control their symptoms. Okay; well, let’s give diet a try. They randomized people to a diet in which they excluded foods they tested sensitive to — most often dairy — versus a diet which instead excluded foods for which they didn’t test positive for to control for the placebo effect. A month later, the symptoms in the control group dropped, but the symptoms in the true diet exclusion group dropped significantly further. They kinda felt bad for the control group, so they switched them to the right diet too, and two months later everyone was feeling better.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: maxximmm via adobe stock images. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Excessive spitting up and vomiting in infants may be treated with putting them on their left-side down after meals, but of course never when sleeping—it’s always face-up to wake-up to reduce the risk of crib death. Also, you can try smaller, more frequent feedings, thickening or changing formulas, and in breastfed infants (which is ideally how all infants should be), “eliminating cow’s milk and eggs from the mother’s diet.”

I’ve talked about how more than 40 percent of infants with reflux can be successfully treated with cow’s milk removal. It can also affect them on the other end, too—can be a major contributor to diaper rash, and contribute to chronic constipation in 80 percent of affected kids, though only a single kid tested positive for an actual cow’s milk allergy. So, it was like some kind of sensitivity reaction that can really only be diagnosed by giving a cow’s milk-free diet a try. “Anal fissures in infants” may be practically “pathognomonic” for “cow’s milk allergy,” meaning so characteristic of the condition that it could be used as a diagnostic sign: no allergy testing required.

It’s like when cow milk hypersensitivity was demonstrated in 10 of 17 children with severe reflux. In the majority of patients, the hypersensitivity to cow milk was identified only by eliminating it and then re-challenging to confirm. They did endoscopies, measured the acid gurgling up before and after milk, and then verified by repeating milk exposure with double-blind, placebo-controlled challenges when necessary. Yet all but one of the children proven to have this adverse reaction to dairy tested positive on allergy tests. So, they tested negative for a cow’s milk allergy, but still got better by cutting the cow’s milk out, showing that this association between cow milk hypersensitivity and severe GERD, this severe reflux, was observed not only in infants but also in older children.

Another disease that can be cured with cow’s milk elimination is “eosinophilic esophagitis,” a chronic inflammatory disorder of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). To figure out what’s causing the inflammation, an elimination diet is prescribed, where you basically remove everything, and then every time you add back a food, they stick an endoscope down your throat and take biopsies to see if that one food made things worse. And how many freakin’ foods are there! So, you can imagine how “difficult and costly” and invasive this is for families, how “confusing and frustrating.”

So, these researchers at Northwestern figured let’s just see what happens if you just remove one food from their diet instead of making them go through all that. And just eliminating cow’s milk induced remission in 65 percent of the children they tried it on. I mean, normally you’d have to put these kids on steroids, where they try to coat their throat with steroids to knock down their immune response. But then that sets you up for infections like thrush. And of course, as soon as you stop the steroids, the esophageal inflammation comes raging back, because you’re not treating the underlying cause. But steroids are considered the standard of care. Too bad there’s never been like a head-to-head test of cow’s milk elimination versus steroids…until now.

A “comparative effectiveness trial of cow’s milk elimination” versus a swallowed steroid, and they both appeared to work just as well — which is to say the cow’s milk elimination worked better, because no side effects and you’re treating the actual cause, suggesting getting rid of dairy products should be considered the “first-line therapy.”

In adolescence, cow’s milk protein intolerance can contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome, evidently a common problem in young people with chronic fatigue, and. most importantly, “a treatable contributor to their symptoms.” But again, most were unaware that dairy was a problem, possibly because it can take hours between milk ingestion and when you start feeling worse, so people don’t make the connection. So, even those “who report no problems after milk ingestion” may still be suffering problems after milk ingestion.

And finally, what about adults? Well, there’s lactose intolerance. Most people on Earth are lactose intolerant after weaning, with the exception of some human populations that developed lactose tolerance about 10,000 years ago, thanks to a “mutation in the lactase gene,” which enables adult humans to digest lactose (milk sugar). Or, at least those select European populations. Whereas most Hispanics, most Africans and Asians remain intolerant, which may be a good thing, since acid regurgitation, reflux, heartburn is so common among adults in the Western world. Food intolerance may play a role in adults as well. Milk was found to be the leading culprit, but they were using what’s called a “Leucocytotoxic Test,” where you see how someone’s white blood cells react to individual foods in a petri dish.

This test is frowned upon by professional allergy associations as not being sufficiently sensitive and specific. Can’t hurt, though, to put it to the test. “A double-blind, randomized, controlled…trial …performed in 38 reflux patients” for which proton pump inhibitor drugs failed to completely control their symptoms. Okay; well, let’s give diet a try. They randomized people to a diet in which they excluded foods they tested sensitive to — most often dairy — versus a diet which instead excluded foods for which they didn’t test positive for to control for the placebo effect. A month later, the symptoms in the control group dropped, but the symptoms in the true diet exclusion group dropped significantly further. They kinda felt bad for the control group, so they switched them to the right diet too, and two months later everyone was feeling better.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: maxximmm via adobe stock images. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

91 responses to “How to Treat Reflux in Children with Diet

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. 29 years ago, when my daughter was an infant, her pediatrician advised me not to feed her cow’s milk, but to use formula instead. The rationale was to prevent developing an allergy to cow’s milk. So I read the ingredients in formula — and they were all based on cow’s milk! I wonder if the pediatrician knew that? I never asked, because my daughter was breast-fed.

    But it made me wonder how much of the other advice I was getting was not based on actual evidence or facts. I still wonder to this day.

    1. My understanding is that most infant formula differs from cow’s milk in that it excludes casein.

      My understanding is also that many milk allergies are in fact allergies to certain proteins in milk. That is why infant formula traditionally does not include casein. However, there are different infant formulas but they are usually all produced in a way that is designed to reduce the risk of cow protein intolerance.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2553152/

      1. Have you not listened to Dr. Greger’s latest video? Have listen. Turn your volume up and cup your ears. The volume sucks a big one.

        1. My post was simply responding to a comment concerning a paediatricin’s advice to use infant formula instead of cow’s milk.

      2. Mr. Fumblefingers,

        Thanks for your response. Maybe I should have asked the pediatrician about this; I might have learned about the absence of casein a long time ago.

        But now that I think about it, formula is highly processed, whereas breast milk is a “whole food.” But like drugs, formula is necessary and even life-saving in many cases. I’m grateful that we didn’t have to use it.

  2. The very first study referenced by Dr. Greger included this statement (right after the highlighted portion) as part of the recommendations for avoiding acid reflux (heartburn) among children and adolescents:

    “Lifestyle changes to treat reflux in children and adolescents include sleeping position changes; weight loss and avoiding smoking, alcohol and late evening meals.”

    Apparently in Fort Hood there are such a significant number of children smoking and drinking that such a recommendation can be made as a matter of course. I would say, heartburn is the least of their worries at this point.

    In fact, I’d say alcohol consumption has to be part of the problem since hard liquor causes cumulative damage to the lower esophageal sphincter every time. At first it heals quickly and you may not notice the damage but eventually, you end up with heartburn. The alcohol washes the mucosal layer off the valve and then damages or burns the valve skin and eventually penetrates to the underlying muscle and the controlling nerves.

    Milk must cause something similar through fermentation then inflammation. Maybe it can’t get past the inflammation stage because subsequent swallowings scrape it all away. That would be an interesting progression to track.

  3. Sometime Audio is so low cant here completely..Can dr.greger speak loudly so heard clearly ? other than that i enjoy everything here !!

    1. I so agree! The opening sounds are quite loud enough but then the volume of his presentation is so low that I too have trouble hearing.

      1. Audio was so low I had to use an audil equalizer program to boost it so that I could hear. Intro blip could be reduced in volume-for sure too.

        But also remember that they make these videos in sets of about eight each session, so when we report audio or other recurring production errors, there may already be a half dozen or more videos yet with exactly the same problems. We must endeavor to persevere until things are improved. I think I someone mentioned audio issues last week or the one before as well.

    2. Regarding face-up: A physical therapist told me that she has been seeing infants come in with under developed back and neck muscles needing therapy. According to her some of these crib deaths were due to memory foam mattresses. Rather than ban the mattresses they went with the face-up educating. Infants need to spend some time on their bellies but not on a soft surface and you will probably want to watch them just to be safe.

    1. Amy, they are still dairy products. Eggs are considered dairy products as well and they are part of the problem. The common denominator is the glue factor. How that works I would love to hear Dr. Greger explain. Dairy products and eggs are used by industry to make a very wide assortment of industrial adhesives. They work more slowly that way in the human body but the end result is often the same. But that doesn’t explain acid reflux other than the acid part which what dairy is all about.

      And I agree, this video was very difficult to hear and I’m hearing impaired so I’m hoping future videos have better sound.

      1. Eggs are only sold/marketed in the dairy aisle because once upon a time milkmen delivered eggs from local farms with the milk. Eggs are not considered dairy though. Dairy is a product of the mammary gland of mammals. Basically, it refers to milk and anything made from milk, like cheese, butter and yogurt. And eggs are not made from milk. They don’t even come from a milk-producing animal. Another explanation is that eggs are referred to as an animal byproduct. Animal byproduct, dairy product — to-may-to, to-mah-to — it all sounds so similar. But now we know, eggs are just eggs — and milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, those are all dairy.

        1. Not quite Jimbo. There is completely different reason. Think in terms of chemistry and physics. It’s not all about which part of the animal the product came from.

            1. I know that but but from a marketing standpoint they are classified that way and even more conveniently; from a health destruction perspective they are as well.

  4. I find it very strange than dairy protein hypersensibility disappears magically in adulthood, pretty sure it does cause others different chronic problems not caused by lactose intolerance, sinus, fatigue, digestive and many more…

    1. As we age we develop tolerance for chemicals. So what you find is that until the immune system is fully formed by about age 16, there is high vulnerability. After that tolerance according to escalating exposure and the speed of the escalation as well as overall health integrity. As we age, tolerance erodes in later years as we approach death. Along the way, mid-range people do become susceptible to various chemicals depending again generally on the degree of and frequency of exposure.

      For instance food sensitivities are nearly always the foods we crave. So if you think you can’t live without chocolate, that is likely your trigger to illness events. And it might not be to all forms of chocolate. It might be to a chemical in the form of chocolate you like the most. Finding out what that chemical is can be impossible because there’s no way to know the recipe.

      1. Yeah but tolerance doesnt mean it doesnt hurt us, see tolerance to alcohol and cigarettes, imo tolerance is opposed to vitality thats why overall younger people are usually less tolerant to unhealthy things especially the first times, the more tolerance the less vitality you have to nasty things and thats not a good thing actually.

    2. Got stomach pain when drinking dairy during childhood. Later however, the stomach pain disappeared, but instead dairy made me tired, depressed and it was causing my skin to break out. I only found out that it was because of dairy after I had decided to try to leave out any animal products in my diet as a last try to get my acne under control (I rarely ate meat or eggs anyways, so the major change was leaving out milk). Only after that I actually noticed how miserable life was feeling before, because I finally felt great.

      1. Same story for me without the major skin issues but instead terrible digestive, sinus problems, fatigue, allergy increased and more…i think eggs was giving me kinda same problems but less potent.

    3. It doesn’t disappear in adult hood, your tolerance just increases to the point where it is masked. Many people are suffering brain fog, ibs, mental health, asthma, excema and food addictions from dairy and don’t even know it.

  5. Then we get to the Conclusions of the Nutrient Study near the end of the video where there are comments about the addition of dairy to Chinese and Oriental cultures and the effect on those people. It reads like this:

    “Milk and dairy products provide many nutritional advantages, the most important being the consumption of calcium.”

    It’s outside the bounds of the study (and this speaks to the limitations of such studies) to examine the reasons why dairy would appear to be suddenly so attractive to Asians who didn’t suffer from osteoporosis until Europeans came along. That is until you look at their diets which are high in rice, particularly white rice which has practically no nutritional content never mind calcium.

    What we know now about dairy contributing to osteoporosis is a condemnation of dairy consumption. Then add to the fact that rice is a phenomenal cause of constipation rivalled only by dairy and refined flour and you can easily see a mega event on the horizon for public health in those countries that will put obesity in the shade or worse, magnify it. What a profitable way to reduce the innate efficiency and actual populations of Asian countries without firing a shot!

  6. I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for four years. I drink rarely and don’t smoke. I’m trying to wean myself off a PPI (Aciphex), but I’ve not been successful. Same story goodie my blood pressure meds.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

      1. Dawn,

        Are you already pretty much vegan Whole Food Plant-Based?

        Are you already not adding any salt?

        And not sneaking any pesky processed foods?

        Flaxseeds and exercise are the types of things Dr. Greger has recommended.

    1. I am not a medical person, but the first thought that comes into my mind is:

      Are you eating broccoli sprouts?

      If you have things like H Pylori that has been known to help.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15387326

      Cranberries or Cranberry juice might be another

      https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/health/07really.html

      Foods containing flavonoids, like apples, celery, onions, garlic, and tea also may inhibit the growth of H. pylori.

      Cabbage juice to heal any ulcers / leaky gut.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1643665/

      Ginger helps with things like heartburn

      Those were just the first things which came to my mind, but I have never had any of it, so now I just hand it all to the Moderators to fix.

            1. The B12 question just reminded me that I should ask which kind of B12 you supplement with.

              A few of us got in trouble supplementing with Methyl B12. It is less shelf-stable and it is what stores tend to sell nowadays.

              I just went to Vitamin Shoppe last week and looked at the B12 and I think they had 20 different brands of Methyl B12 and 1 Methyl plus Adenosyl B12 and 1 Cyano B12 and ZERO Hydroxo B12.

              Don’t just take Methyl. I say it coming from someone who developed symptoms of insufficiency when I was just using that.

              I am back to Cyano.

              I paused at Methyl plus Adenosyl and that combination is more complete than Methyl alone according to a researcher on PubMed.

              But Cyano is the one I understand the dose of because that is the one Dr. Greger showed with the Homocysteine curve.

              Older people might need more of it and I don’t know your age either.

              1. Then again you could eat a squirrel. Tasty, no chemicals and if living in your attic, you’re one pest to the good. The rest of the family to go. Perfect B12, no fat, good organ meat, clean Vitamin A. I don’t think I’d bother with the fur. Back to the Paleo. Clean the body outside and your Vitamin D is taken care of because you’ll be at it for at least 20 minutes if you aren’t already set up for it. Say a word of thanks and appreciation over it and you’ve covered all your bases. I don’t think you’d see any of the downward indicators Dr. Greger mentioned from eating Rocky the Squirrel.

    2. Do you eat a whole foods, plant based diet or just a vegan diet? Vegan can be healthy or not. Unless you eat a lot of nuts, seeds, avocados (high fat), it would be hard to eat an unhealthy WFPB diet. Read “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall.

    3. Cut the caffeine and MSG (that includes nutritional yeast). No sweets or desserts although you could get away with a few pieces of dried fruit. Take raw garlic on an empty stomach, preferable first thing in the morning. Squeeze a couple of cloves into a cup add enough water to swallow the stuff. Brilliant for killing off H pylori which can flourish on certain meds. Also good for thinning the blood so be careful mixing it with the meds.

      Then take slippery elm powder, couple of tablespoons mixed with enough water to make a slurry. chow it down. It lines the gut. No raw fruit or veg. Go for brown rice and well cooked cabbage/brassica and a lentil dhal with veg added to it. Get a pressure cooker to well cook your grains. Couple of weeks of this, majoring on starch and veg all well cooked and you should be off the meds, but you do have stop the PPI to work this protocol. and never go back to it. And if you are overweight you have to lose the weight too.

    4. For GERD, the NIDDK recommends avoiding fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, coffee and tomatoes. Plus no booze and no alcohol.
      https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/eating-diet-nutrition.

      For blood pressure, you could look at the various videos on this site eg
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-how-to-treat-high-blood-pressure-with-diet/

      You could also try non-dietary solutions for hypertension like meditation, exercise etc
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721815/
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444761/

      1. PS Many of us are sensitive to salt/sodium. Most wholewheat breads and canned vegetables, soy sauce, and even tofu contain measurable amounts of sodium for example.

        Try eliminating or severly reducing your onsumption of high sodium foods for a few days and see if your BP alters.

        1. Fumbles, the links and comments that you have posted are what my gastro advised when I was diagnosed with GERD…. particularly fat laden foods. Nachos, for example, are a reflux nightmare. Fat from cheese and chips, acid in tomatoes, salt in chips, and sometimes eating far too much. I took ph strips and tested everything lol. Yogurt “ripped my throat”… one of the worst, along with some teas and herbal teas (coffee was alright) vinegars and dressings, gum, citrus like lemon or orange. I advoided those foods and many more, becoming wfpb soon thereafter. Bed wedge and raising the bed head did not work at all. I was a crumped lump at the foot of the bed.

          What did work was walking after meals, within 20 min, in all weather, all year. Sitting is one of the worst things for digestion..

          Btw, I didn’t experience reflux of material regurgitating more than maybe 6 times in my life. I was scoped (3 times now) and diagnosed with severe gerd which led to years of ppi use.

          1. My wife has GERD. In her case, sleepijng with her head and shoulders in an elevated position is very effective in preventing reflux attacks.

            I suspect though that there are different types of GERD – some people have it because they have a hiatal hernia for example. Perhaps that is what they were looking for when they ‘scoped you.

            I’ve only had reflx once and that that was due to overeating although I understand that eating/snacking close to bedtime can cause reflux too.

            However, certain blood pressure medications can apparently cause it too. I wonder if your GERD started after you began taking BP tablets? Calcium and beta blockers can do this.

    5. Hi, Dawn! You can find everything on this site related to GERD here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/gerd/
      Everything about hypertension is here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/hypertension/
      If you are a coffee drinker, that could be contributing to both problems. Without knowing more about your diet and lifestyle, it is difficult to answer your question comprehensively, but I hope that helps!

  7. Vitamin K which is high in many green leafy plants could be your problem. A few years ago I suddenly had high blood pressure and an arrhythmia/atrial fibrulation. Doctors wanted me on medication right now.

    I resisted despite a couple of trips to the hospital to get my racing heart under control. The drugs the doctors wanted to prescribe all came with severe side effects. I tried one of each then set them aside and decided on the elimination diet as described in this video. The first thing I discovered was that I’d been eating the new Kale salad from Costco by the huge salad bowl full at least twice a day. I stopped that and my blood pressure returned to normal quickly.

    The atrial fibrillation was more difficult. Eventually I discovered it was because I was eating too many sunflower seeds. I stopped. At first, when I tried to go back to eating nuts of any sort, the arrhythmia was back. After longer abstinence I can tolerate a few different types of nuts but sunflower seeds are still off the menu.

    The bottom line is doctors will slap you with a prescription like a second breath without the slightest effort at looking for a cause. There are probably millions of people on killer medications who really only ate too much of something. So now they’re still eating that too much of something and the effects are masked by the drugs until they need more drugs to combat the first drugs.

    That goes back to what I said in a previous post about food sensitivities. I really over did it with kale and sunflower seeds. But of the two, sunflower seeds were a long time abuse and I’d had early warning signs over the years that didn’t compute because I’d run out of sunflower seeds and forget all about the problem.

  8. I have an adult friend that was on the proton pump inhibitors . I went with her to all doctor visits. When I told the doc about the re-bound effect on stopping the ppl, we were informed that there is no such thing. I furnished medical journal articles (about the rebound problem) for him to read. On a return visit three months later,—- guess what he told us about— did WE know about the rebound effect & started to explain it to us. In order to get off PPI’s, we had to titrate the dosage down and it took almost a year to stop. We purchased empty capsules in the local health food store. (Can’t buy them in pharmacy stores). One capsule divided taken for a month then less and less in each capsule. etc. until down to a bit every other day until none. Finally off PPI’s and guess what, this lady is now a junior/ senior in a local university nutrition program. She is learning so much and also talking with others about WFPB. Yes, she still has some reflux but not like previous. A wonderful work in progress for her and myself. Our experience is that it takes a much longer time to get off PPI’s then stated in the literature. Believe me, she tried them all with docs guidance. Thanks for listening. Be well friends. Food is where it is at.

    1. Ruthie,

      I hate when doctors and nurses do things like that and they do it all the time.

      When I was doing caretaking, the number of times I could speak on a subject, which I, as a caretaker, had seen over and over again and the doctors and nurses would act clueless. Then, later suddenly understand everything. Plausible deniability.

      I remember talking with so many doctors and nurses when my relatives were getting hallucinations and losing their ability to communicate when on Morphine and, at the time, I could name 6 or 7 people who went through the same thing and not one of the doctors or nurses had ever heard it was an issue and I was asking, “How is it that it is an issue for everybody I have ever known who used it and you have never seen it even one time?”

  9. I read a article that vegans are subject to a deficiency of riboflavin (vitamin B-2). This reminded me about another article I read about Okinawan centenarians who, although generally healthy, seemed to be deficient in B-2 and a number of them had sores on either side of their mouths, which is a symptom of B-2 deficiency. Is it true that vegans may not get enough B-2? and if so, what should we eat to prevent it?

    1. For me, that is the one where you eat 5 stalks of broccoli a day or 1/4 teaspoon of Nutritional Yeast

      Mushrooms, Asparagus, Legumes and Leafy greens and fortified cereals, etc.

        1. I looked it up and one site said 1/4 teaspoon, but a different site said more like a heaping teaspoon.

          A heaping teaspoon should cover you even if you don’t eat the other things.

    2. The Okinawan centenarians weren’t vegan nor did they eat a completely vegetarian diet.

      But yes, they had a low intake of B2 but they had even lower intakes of vitamin D and B12. Perhaps our current understanding of the need for dietary vitamin D, B2 and B12 is incomplete. Our intestinal bacteria produce B2 in any case. Be that as it may, a 10% chance of dry and cracked lips seems a small price to pay for massively increasing one’s chances reaching a healthy 100 years of age.

      ‘Green vegetables also contain riboflavin. Grains and cereals are fortified with riboflavin in the United States and many other countries [4]’
      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Riboflavin-HealthProfessional/

      1. VegSource pointed to them as proof that we can be insufficient to the point of being symptomatic and still be okay.

        There aren’t studies on that though.

        He is so against supplementing D3 and Omega 3 and he is so against nuts that I feel like he says things like that.

        The Okinawans are also used by the Keto community as proof for calorie restriction and that is fine, I guess.

        I have had relatives who did live to an advanced age well into their 90’s and they ate everything in moderation as elderly people, but if you had sat with them and talked about their lives, there was the Depression, which had calorie restriction, Wartime – which had rationing of things like sugar and meat and flour for the ones on the home front and there was definitely calorie restriction and type of food restriction during both of those eras – especially meats and sweets. Even before wartime, they didn’t have refrigeration and didn’t have vehicles and grocery stores in the same way. They relied on gardening and canning. For meat, it was more raise a few chickens and eat their eggs. Rabbits was one thing they did eat for meat, but there were 6 siblings in my great-grandmother’s generation and 6 siblings in my grandmother’s generation and my grandmother’s siblings had many kids and many kids means that you don’t get them hooked on candy or meat.

        When my grandmother spoke about her childhood, it was things like popcorn for breakfast and baked bean sandwiches for dinner and her family didn’t have enough clothing for all of the kids to go to school.

        It was interesting to me because when she was in the hospital near the end of her life, she had one ridiculously precious nurse who also came from 6 siblings and that woman immediately said, “We didn’t have much food, but we would always make room at the table and there were always guests and everybody would laugh and sing and we would be eating things like baked bean sandwiches.” and I had her pause to see if she was related to me because those were the exact sentences that 2 generations of my family would say. They always set a place for a guest and one would always show up and they didn’t have much food, but they shared it freely and mostly they would just laugh and sing. They were all musicians and would go around performing. But mostly I remember the laughter.

        1. I remember the end of sweet rationing in the UK – I was only 2 at the time so it must have made made a big impact for me to remember it. Meat rationing didn’t end until 1954.

          It’s possible that such WW2 dietary restrictions in Europe and Canada, more drastic and longer-lasting than in the US, may partly explain why life expectancy in the US has increased less than in Europe since 1980.

    3. Hi, Ron. I am not sure where you found these articles. You might be interested in this video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/nutrient-dense-approach-to-weight-management/ It seems unlikely that people eating traditional Okinawan diets would be deficient in riboflavin, because many staples such as rice and green vegetables provide riboflavin, and lower fat, higher carbohydrate diets appear to decrease the need for this nutrient. I hope that helps!

  10. Just spreading the word about a simple way to stop reflux as it happens. When I get reflux, I eat a mouthful of uncooked old fashion oatmeal. I get it down with as little chewing as possible. It soaks up the acid and stops the pain quickly. For me it works better than antacids.

      1. Slapping bandaids?
        I have had reflux for 35 years
        i have done the various medicines
        occasionally I get reflux
        I get scoped every few years
        a handful of oatmeal works great

        1. Doug,

          Thanks for sharing your experience.

          Ages ago, boy, it must have been when my mother passed away because she wasn’t in the ER with me, but I had reflux just a short time.

          When I was trying to sleep, I thought I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t lay down without feeling like I lost my breath. I went to the ER and the one amazing ER doctor just said, “I think you have reflux” and I had never had it before.

          I say that it was an amazing doctor because it is one of the only times I didn’t spend 6 to 12 hours in the ER.

          She recommended a wedge and I used that for a few years and it worked.

          I remember that when I looked it up it said that you can get it after a virus or something like that.

          I also say that the doctor was amazing because at the same time, my friend went through test after test after test and doctor’s visit after doctor’s visit after doctor’s visit and about a year later it was going to be the same answer I got within 5 minutes.

          I am surprised that I didn’t have it forever because I was drinking a Double Gulp soda for breakfast and was drinking x-large iced coffees with 80% of the cup filled with whole milk (after the ice) Just a shot of coffee to taste more like coffee icecream. I was on the junk food/comfort food diet.

          But it went away and never came back. It did take me a while to be brave enough to sleep without the wedge, but I did and it was fine.

          It had to be months after my mother died. The fact that you can get it after being sick, I wonder if the immune system helps?

          1. I have a friend who has it bad. She has been on the elimination diet probably for 15 years and ended up FodMap and she gets scoped now and then, too. It is really complicated for her.

            The whole internet debate between alkalizing and needing a more acidic stomach and all sorts of other issues have made it harder.

            She has been on antibiotics almost every year and just is someone who tends to be sickly.

            She has even had things like peeing crystals.

            I don’t know. I feel like she and I choose opposite logic so often that I don’t know if she should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque or not.

        2. First you said, “I have had reflux for 35 years,” and then you said “occasionally I get reflux.”

          Color me confused.

          1. Why does that confuse you? I’ve been having haircuts for much longer than 35 years – but not every day. I only have a haircut occasionally.

          2. In my book, medicine would also come under the category of band-aid.

            Again I say, if I were you I’d want to find out WHY I get acid reflux in the first place, albeit only occasionally. What were you eating or doing when these scenarios took place? Combining certain foods at one meal can cause grief for some people.

                1. I take that back. Several years ago, I don’t know what I had for dinner, but later that night I felt very uncomfortable. Couldn’t sleep, and had the feeling I badly needed to burp. No pain or anything, but I wondered if this was the acid indigestion people talk about.

                  So I turned on the computer (desktop) and googled around. I didn’t have any Tums or anything in the apartment, but I did I did have some Arm and Hammer baking soda on a top shelf of my cupboard. I measured out 1/4 teaspoon in a glass of water, and gulped it down.

                  Blessed relief! Soon after, I was burping away and able to fall asleep. *burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp* :-)

            1. YR
              Because you are so healthy I don’t think you understand how hard it is to figure out the cause of someone’s issues and how long it may take to find the solution.

              1. True….knock on wood, so far, so good. But I always like to sleuth down the WHY’s of things. And that goes for any little thing…….

                BTW, Lida, I still think a rebounder would help you a lot. Just my two cents. :-)

                1. Always appreciate your input
                  Have been looking at rebounders and the ones that appear sturdy, come fully assembled (a must!) and are highly rated are also $$$$

  11. Wow! I didn’t expect so much great advice! I am on a WFPB lifestyle. I’d like to say I never eat processed foods, but I can say it is a very rare occurrence … maybe once or twice a month.

    I’m not B12 deficient according to my blood work. I take Vitamin D daily. I am not taking magnesium so I will start. Any recommendations on how much magnesium I should be taking? I’m thinking I’ll skip the squirrel recommendation!

    Not sure where to start first, but I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful recommendations. It is very much appreciated!

    Peace!

      1. Also, you should know that you have a higher risk of getting Sibo and C Difficile because of being on them.

        A teaser medical synopsis said that they had the first reversal of C Difficile from dietary modification, but I think you would have to buy the study or use the Russian site (There is a video on this site about how to use the site get those nutrition articles for free, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the free Russian medical study site is how so many Nutrition web sites ended up listed as Russian spies and I am not gonna do it. Nobody has said that, but my brain said it to myself.)

        You can get tested for either Sibo or C Difficile and the dreaded Fecal Transplants are out there. I would prefer to find out how to do it with things like cabbage juice and broccoli sprouts, but people seem to do well with those.

        You can find a really healthy WFPB person and spend time at their house and keep petting their dog and using their bathroom and open and close every door or make out with the person if you really like them and swap microbiome that way. That is a joke of sorts. A joke, but if you watch the swapping microbiome videos, dogs and making love and 30 minutes of kissing were on the list of how to swap good bacteria.

    1. There are doctors who discuss how they wean people off of the PPI’s

      https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/my-approach-to-tapering-off-a-proton-pump-inhibitor/36802

      Also, since you are taking something which affects the absorption of B12, you should know that you can still be deficient even if you test okay.

      I say it because if you are insufficient, your homocysteine could be elevated and if that happens, you could have problems. High Homocysteine can affect more than blood pressure.

      https://stichtingb12tekort.nl/wetenschap/stichting-b12-tekort-artikelen/english/misconceptions-about-a-b12-deficiency/

      1. The doctor recommends Melatonin and, instead, I recommend watching Dr. Greger’s how to increase your Melatonin from food. A handful of pistachios equaled a high-dose Melatonin. (As few as 2 pistachios raised Melatonin levels)

    2. Hello Dawn,

      Are you on a plant-based diet? If so, a B12 supplement may be warranted even though your levels are okay as of now. We have the ability to store vitamin B12 in our bodies for up to a couple years, so levels can fall thereafter. As for magnesium, if you are taking while on a PPI, that’s okay, but ideally you would not be on it long term and would get your magnesium from food sources instead. I would recommend speaking with your physician about the appropriate dose for you.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

  12. It would be nice to know how to get rid of allergies/food sensitivities to healthy plant based foods.Anybody come across any serious research papers?
    Thanks

    1. Hello, thanks for your question.

      To my knowledge, there is no known cure to food allergies, however, sensitivities may be overcome. In many cases, digestive symptoms arise from damage to the digestive tract and by identifying problem foods through an elimination diet you can allow your gut to heal over time. Once healed, many people can eventually eat those troublesome foods again. Undergoing an elimination diet and challenge is something that should be discussed with a healthcare professional, such as a dietician, gastroenterologist, nutritionist, or naturopath.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

  13. Thank you, Dr. Greger. This is the first time acid reflux in children and adolescents has been discussed in this depth.

  14. I hope Dr. Greger can respond to the following papers (links below). The research paper is referenced in a recent report by the Cornucopia Institute, an organization I normally trust. But they were founded by, and their board is predominantly dairy farmers, and they have an obvious bias and blind spot when it comes to plant-based milks. The paper suggests benefits from milk and no impacts on cardiovascular health, cancer, or bone health. Here’s the research paper link:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122229/pdf/FNR-60-32527.pdf

    The Cornucopia Institute’s report on plant based milks is so biased, a classic example of a marketing scheme hidden inside a supposedly fact based report. The ostensible purpose of the report is to help consumers choose the healthiest plant based milk, but the real purpose is to convince health conscious consumers that milk is the best beverage. I think we need to organize a response, and I’m starting here, with all of you. Responses needed!
    The link to the report is:
    https://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PlantBasedBeverageReport.pdf

    1. I don’t think that Dr Greger has the time to respond to individual enquiries.

      However, if you look at the first article you linked, you will find that all the senior authors of that paper receive funding from various dairy industry bodies. The second article was published by an organisation devoted to promoting the interests of US organic farmers including organic dairy farmers.

      Both papers therefore have massive credibility problems because of financial conflicts of interest.

      The number of ‘research studies’ funded by US and international dairy industry bodies is mind-boggling. To my mind, the vast number of papers authored by researchers with ties to the dairy industry is the classic example of ‘why there is so much commercial corruption in nutrition’ as Dr Greger’s 27 June 2019 blog is called. For example, for a number of years the US National Dairy Council was the sole national sponsor of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During that time, the academy reversed its position on dietary saturated fat claiming that it was not a nutrient of concern after long having recognised that it is (based on the scientific evidence). I suspect that that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are an academic, you often don’t keep your position and your staff unless you keep publishing and bringing in grant funding. Industry bodies and things like the Atkins Foundation which have substantial funding for ‘research’ (in reality, marketing) are often lifelines for many nutrition academics.

      1. Thanks for your response, but I am not questioning the obvious bias and recognizing it does not solve the problem–which is how this biased study is used to confuse the public and lead people to make potentially harmful dietary choices. I’m hoping Dr. Greger will be familiar with this study and already knows of someone who has critiqued the methods and design and if not, perhaps it is something he would do a report on. For us, it isn’t enough to simply point out the bias. We need a research scientist to pick it apart and find the flaws. I admit that I haven’t taken the time to delve into that myself, although I am a biologist, and I tend to be generally suspicious of meta analyses. It is easy to inject all kinds of errors into those types of studies, consciously or not. And further, Dr. Greger and all of our readers here need to be aware of what is going on over at Cornucopia Institute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This