new to the gluten free journey?


Gluten And Acid Reflux

A recent research study linked peptic disease (heartburn, GERD, stomach ulcer) to gluten exposure in patients with gluten sensitivity. This simply means that gluten and acid reflux are linked.

The authors of this study recommend that all patients with non-infectious peptic disease be screened for celiac disease.

Source: Scand J Gastroenterol. 2009;44(12):1424-8.

Gastric Reflux is A Common Symptom of Gluten Exposure

Gluten and acid reflux are commonly linked and are highly correlated. I commonly see patients with a conglomeration of gastric symptoms that are directly caused by gluten exposure. They have questions like, “Why does bread give me heartburn every time I eat it?” or “Why do I have reflux all of the time?”. They have no idea that this could be related to gluten exposure. Reflux, heartburn, ulcer disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and even hernia are some of the more common diseases I have seen go into remission with the implementation of a TRUE gluten free diet.

Make Sure Your Doctor Orders the Right Tests

As stated before, gluten and acid reflux are highly correlated in most cases, so it is extremely important to be aware of what tests will give you the most accurate results. It is common for physicians to rule out infection (primarily H. pylori) in these patients, but gluten intolerance is very rarely investigated and it should be. The results of this study suggest that patients with gastric disease be screened for celiac disease. The problem with this recommendation is that celiac blood tests and biopsies are extremely inaccurate and have a high degree of false negatives. The other problem is that many people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Therefore, testing them for celiac disease is a complete waste of time and extremely misleading. That is why I recommend genetic testing. The results cannot be skewed by diet and are not accompanied with the flaws of celiac blood and biopsy testing.

Drugs That Block Stomach Acid Have Dangerous Consequences

It is important to remember that taking heavy doses of anti-acids and prescription reflux medications are not the answer. Taking these drugs every day only serves to neutralize or reduce stomach acid. Reduction of stomach acid is a major problem as it increases the risk for:
  • Infection
  • Osteoporosis (ironically, gluten also causes bone loss)
  • Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies (calcium, B-12, folic acid, iron, zinc, and more – also common in those with gluten sensitivity issues)
  • Protein and fat malabsorption as well as indigestion.

The chronic use of these medications works against your natural physiology.It does not treat the actual cause of disease, but merely reduces the symptoms (sometimes), thus creating a false sense of “healthy security”. See the diagram below for nutritional deficiencies and consequences of taking acid blocking medications:

What are the Consequences of these Deficiencies?

  • Vitamin A – suppression of the immune system, skin inflammation, gastric inflammation, lung inflammation, acid reflux, and infertility
  • Protein Deficiency – immune suppression, anemia, inability to heal, blood sugar abnormalities, weight gain, cancer
  • Calcium Deficiency – bone loss, hormone disruption, blood clotting problems, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, gum disease
  • Iron Deficiency – anemia, increased risk for viral and bacterial infections, fatigue
  • Vitamin B12 – nerve damage, increased risk for cancer, heart disease, bone loss, anemia, depression
  • Zinc Deficiency – reduced immune function, slow healing, easy bruising, lowered antioxidant status, acidic pH, diabetes, heart disease
  • Folate (Folic Acid) – intestinal cancer and polyps, mood disorders (depression, anxiety), cancer, heart disease, bone loss

Why would anyone want to trade the problems above just to reduce symptoms of heartburn? Does it not make better sense to try and determine the cause of the heartburn? We bathe our intestines with food 3 or more times a day. Shouldn’t we start looking at the diet first to see what foods cause reflux? When did common sense go out the window? The symptoms those with gluten intolerance suffer often time resembles those who suffer from GERD or acid reflux. Below is a list of foods that cause acid reflux:

  • grain
  • wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • soy
  • coffee and tea

An acid reflux diet is a great place to start when you’re looking for relief. There are many more, and it should be stated that different people react differently to different foods. The bottom line is this – if you have acid reflux, have your doctor test for food allergies as part of his investigation into the cause of your problem. Don’t accept a drug-based treatment without a solution since gluten and acid reflux are highly correlated.

Are you struggling with gluten and acid reflux problems? Are you trying to figure out if you have gluten sensitivity? Take our sensitivity test to see if your symptoms are gluten intolerance. Please do me a favor. If going gluten-free eliminated or reduced your gastric problems, please share with us below in the Leave a Reply Box. Your story may help encourage someone else to go gluten-free.

Wishing you excellent health,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior


91 Responses

  1. I feel much better on a gluten-free diet. I don’t know why I have to keep testing myself on this theory though. My celiac panel came back negative and my doctor acted surprised when I told him I felt better sans gluten. So occasionally, I convince myself that this notion is “all in my head” and I eat a wheat product and end up feeling awful. Just happened recently at Thanksgiving…and took me over a week to get my digestive system calmed down again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me…but I do in fact, feel much much better without gluten.

    1. A daughter with IBS for awhile began to have neuro symptoms and developed Sjogren’s autoimmune disease. A colonoscopy confirmed severe irritation but negative on celiac. Was diagnosed with non-celiac gastrointestinal disease at University of Michigan. Once GF and on paquenil temporarily, has been asymptomatic for years.

    2. I had a great GI doctor. We tried every option to control sever Acid Reflux and Barrett’s esophagus. I was being sent to a specialist to possibly have part of my esophagus removed. I original GI Doctor made on last attempt and suggested I try a GF diet and journal how it was working. I have been GF for 3 year, I have been medication free for over a year, and I have no acid reflux or GI pain. If I do accidentally ingest the smallest Gluten I have crippling reflux for several days. I am not saying this is the solution for everyone, but I am so thankful for a doctor who was willing to suggest this. I did not have any testing to confirm Gluten sensitivity, as the doctor felt the results were more important than blood test. I am so happy dietary changes prevent major surgical intervention for me!

    3. You may not have celiac disease but you are most likely have a gluten sensitivity. I have recently learned there is a difference so you are right to go with your Gut on this one 😉 I hope you feel better soon. If not like stated above it would be helpful to have environmental and food allergies done. This has been a game changer for me.

  2. It’s also interesting that people stuck in a cycle of antacid use would have decreased protein digestion (as the article mentions), leading to potentially more food reactions and sensitivities to food proteins like gluten. It can be a vicious cycle.

  3. My reflux worsened when I went gf in 2006. I went gf at a time my brain didn’t work and well, it was all new to me. When I didn’t know what to eat, I turned to dairy (Yoplait – lots of sugar, too). My reflux worsened and I thought I was going to die from the pain (what a joke, I was practically falling out of bed it was on such an incline – didn’t touch my pain either). Dr gave me Nexium, I googled around and I thought, “How crazy is that!”, I’m trying to recover my ability to absorb nutrients and this stuff prevents it! I kept googling and found references to pH and low stomach acid. I likely had low stomach acid and wasn’t digesting my food well (duh). I ate TRULY gf, ie more veg and fruit than anything, and ate protein. Bam, problem solved. It came down to eating more alkaline foods (fruit and veg) vs acid foods (grains, dairy, legumes, meat). I eat a lot of eggs still, and plan to do an Enterolab stool test for antibody response. I don’t have reflux from them, but I wonder if I’m reacting to them and not know it, as celiacs have a harder time digesting proteins in general.

    I found this dr. on Youtube: and find it very interesting. I’d appreciate your opinion Dr. I don’t have the luxury of such a seasonal diet as I’m celiac, but increasing my digestive fire is probably a good thing.

    Donna Gates taught me a lot: . I also use apple cider vinegar in my salads; not sure I shouldn’t be drinking a diluted amount in a glass of water prior to meals, as I’ve read, but I figure it doesn’t hurt.

    I appreciate all you do to spread awareness Dr. Osborne. You’re my alter ego. 😉

  4. I suffered for years with acid reflux and when I asked my Gastro doctor to find the cause, he just said I just had acid reflux. When I asked him if it could be from a gluten sensitivity, he said no. A year later I developed a thyroid problem and read research that said there could be a connection to gluten so I gave it up completly. When I told my Gastro doctor what I was doing, he said it would not help my thyroid or my reflux. Well, my reflux is about 90% better and after 6 months my thyroid returned back to normal. Usually the only time I feel my acid reflux is when I have accidentally ingested gluten. I have learned that you can’t always listen to your doctors (which is very frustrating!)

    1. I just realized that this is the exact same thing that happened to me. I have suffered all my adult life with acid indigestion/gerd. I also have hypothyroidism. I have not had any Wheat for four days & I have not felt better!… No acid… Unreal. I just wished my Dr would have told me about this.

  5. Sophia Smukalla, I have hiatal hernia as well, and the apple cider vinegar really helps. Not right away, but cumulatively. I used to sip it regularly, a teaspoon or so in my water especially with meals. Now I don’t have to use it very often, mainly if I eat gluten or another of my sensitive foods (corn,milk etc) although I have heard it is a good thing to do for maintenance. Also, I use enzymes and probiatics.
    Oh, and Shari, I heard that from doctors too, but my body told me otherwise!

    1. I was prescribed lansoprazole due to constant sore throats. Never been checked for gluten, recently had a few stomach issues, over the phone a doctor suggested go wheat free.
      I have felt better for sure, accidentally ate gluten, as I’m in the early stages of finding the right food.
      I get gas, bloating and acid reflux is severe. It must be the gluten I’m convinced.

  6. After years of taking anti-acids and staying away from dairy as I assumed I was lactose intolerant a friend (RN and nutritionist) recommended a gluten-free diet. I haven’t taken an anti-acid for years, and can enjoy some dairy. I was tested (only after I asked) for celiac and it came back negative. Seems strange that eating GF is the only way I don’t feel lousy !!

  7. I had been suffering from GERD and all the associated problems for more than 20 years until I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2010 October. Within six months on gluten free diet, GERD had disappeared completely. When I occasionally ingest gluten, I get the delayed gastric emptying problem. So I am completely convinced about the origin of the GERD in my case.

    The doctors mindlessly tried to keep me on pantoprazole even when my digestion was getting affected by medication. GERD caused me years of sleep problems and cost me dearly.

    I am very glad that the relation between Reflux and Gluten is becoming more popular knowledge now. For many, this may be the predominant symptom.

  8. I had many chronic health problems for years, but the last 5 of Fibromyalgia type problems, the daily pain being the worst…and my stomach problems were so out of control that I was taking many pills. I finally found a chiropractor that would test me for everything and anything, he found Gluten allergy to be the problem and going off gluten and all grains has really helped my many symptoms. I would encourage anyone to get tested, see exactly what’s going on and stop using band-aids, the acid reflux pills eventually just make things worse!

  9. Please look into the way you are combining foods. An excellent way to eat (forever) is described in Great Taste No Pain by Sherri Brescia. Check out the website. I am gluten and casein intolerant so aside from not eating these foods I also follow her advice.
    It’s a no brainer and has helped me and many people especially with GERD, IBS and all the digestive problems described.

  10. If you’re suffering from undetermined or MD medicated symptoms with no search for the cause, I cannot recommend highly enough eliminating gluten products from your life. It’s not that hard, and in my experience, it wasn’t that long before I felt tremendous relief and overall well-being!!
    I self diagnosed a couple of years ago by going on a strict elimination diet. I knew within days that I was gluten intolerant. Since September 2009 I have been completely gluten free. 17 years ago I had been diagnosed with IBS and told “that’s just how it is”… took medication that didn’t work and continued to feel terrible on many levels, physical and emotional. I had terrible acid reflux (and an ulcer when I was in my early 20’s – I am 42 now). Since going gluten free my whole world has changed. I now sleep soundly, actually waking up feeling rested. I have little to no bloating when I eat meaning no painful gas. My bowels function “normally” (I never knew what that was like my entire life), I had chronic pain in my neck and shoulders which is virtually gone since going gluten free. My periods, both physical and emotional symptoms, are so much easier. My hypoglycemia is almost non-existent. My thinking is clearer and memory improved. (I was inadvertently “glutened” last summer and I was a complete mess for a week!) Going gluten free is not as hard as you think!

    1. Hello Stacey, I read your post, & I seem to have some of the symptoms you had. Like bloating, gas, forgetfulness, feel tired most times, & ongoing GERD for I don’t know how many years now. I also wake up 4 or 5 times a night, & when I do I can’t seem to fall asleep for 1/2 hr.or longer sometimes. Do you think the GERD I’m having and the sleeping problems related? I also don’t digest fats very good, and apparently I don’t absorb the nutrients from my food? Do you think these problems are all related to gluten? Could you let me know what you think & what you’d suggest? Thanks!😊

  11. Dr. O – Yes, my acid reflux is GONE thanks to seeing you! I am also off blood pressure meds, carpal tunnle gone, numbness of toes gone, fatigue is gone, 32 lbs gone, skin is also greatly improving.

    1. How did going gluten-free help you to go off bp meds? I am 42 & have had high bp for 4 years that doesnt respond to meds. Ive went gluten-free before with no change in bp. Any ideas?

      1. I’m guessing she didn’t mean “go gluten free” where a person subs any breads, cookies and cakes with gluten free versions because that won’t lower BP but doing GF naturally and completely removing that type of food should reduce BP.

  12. Has anyone on here suffered from bile reflux? I am trying to go gf for a few weeks to see if gluten is the cause of my bile reflux. Just curious if anyone else has had this promblem resolved by going gf…

    1. Yes. Waking in the middle of the night with stomach bile dripping into my mouth. Honestly I don’t have to go gluten free much more than 3 or 4 days and 95% of my symptoms are gone. Silent reflux, slow digestion, water brashing (tons of mucous developing in my gut and esophagus, won’t digest and I eventually have to throw up…either intentionally to feel better or sometimes unintentionally)

      The thing that I found by accident that helps the most is a stir fry of broccoli slaw and ground Turkey. I season it with fresh ginger, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, salt, pepper. I serve it with dijon mustard and fresh avocado. It turns out broccoli has something in it that is beneficial to gut health.

  13. Hi,
    I have been on the meds for over 20 years. I was recently tested and told to avoid wheat, gluten, soy and eggs. My stomach is a little better and I would like to try and go off the prevacid. I’m now taking enzymes and probiotics on a regular basis.

    Is there a method for going off the meds ? Whenever I try, I have a lot of stomach pain. I assume its the “rebound” effect.


  14. I was having the worst acid reflux I had ever experienced last October. So much that I could hardly swallow my food and was in constant discomfort and pain especially when lying down or bending over. I would have considered myself a healthy eater. I mostly avoided the SAD diet. I was slightly below average weight for my size at 158 pounds. As things got worse I developed hives and a constant rash. Allergy testing in December revealed that I was allergic to nearly every food I was eating at the time. In an effort to cut back on these foods and because eating anything was miserable I dropped to 125 pounds. At this weight I could barely function and my usual 2 mile run was nearly impossible. The doctors prescribed several acid blockers that I took for a short amount of time only to feel worse. I had a scope done and was diagnosed with mild GERD. I expected it would have been much worse due to my discomfort.

    In desperation my wife scoured the internet and found your site, so I decided to give the gluten free thing a serious take along with reducing the the foods I am allergic to. In mid December I started the new diet. The results have been very slow but pleasing. I like the new diet and now look forward to eating foods that I never guessed I would look forward to eating. My reflux is very manageable now and the hives and rash are currently gone. I avoid soy, dairy, oats, corn, and wheat completely. I do eat rice and tapioca. I consume a large amount of fruit, vegetables, and meat. I avoid eating 3 hrs before bedtime. I worry that the rice will someday give me issues but feel 100% better then I did 10 months ago, I can function normally and and grateful for some of the info I’ve learned from your site. I fine the hardest parts are the social events but people who saw me at 125lbs understand and have no comments to make but good ones. Interestingly my mouth sores are gone too, as I’ve read here that can be linked to gluten sensitivity. Thanks for the help and Acid reflux is certainly an nasty and difficult opponent to beat.

    1. How are you now? Your post sounds like I wrote it about me! I feel like I’m dying here. It’s been 5 years and I’m getting worse, not better. I’m afraid to eat, afraid to take acid reflux meds, afraid to do anything! I never have a stomach ache, but can’t sleep, the burning is effecting my throat and ears it’s so bad. I feel like the acid reflux meds make it worse … it hurts to talk!

  15. Hi,
    just thought I would let you know among many other illnesses I have suffered from for years. The minute I went off grain my acid reflux stopped. I have found that when I eat chocolate, or any gluten product back it comes. The gp wanted me on nexium all the time and I refused to take it because of all the reasons above that Dr Osborne explains. I have tried to explain to my doctor how it has helped and he thinks it is a coincidence. Oh dear. I know what has cured me and its not eating the food that causes the irritation in the first place. Yay. I just wish I knew how bad gluten is for you many years ago.

  16. I had acid reflux and Barrett Oesophagus. My gastroenterologist prescribed Nexium and Prilosec, after reading about their side effect i stopped taking them and especially because i didn’t feel they were treating my problem. After being referred to Dr.Osborne who discovered that I had gluten allergy I now am cured from both after 2 years on a gluten free diet. When I reviewed the results of my endoscopy this year with my gastroenterologist, he couldn’t believe that I no longer have barrett oesophagus knowing that I wasn’t listening to him and not taking his prescribed drugs. When I told him about the gluten he didn’t want to believe it although he had no explanation as to how I got rid of my barrett oesophagus. He can think whatever he wants I am happy that I am cured. Thanks Dr. Osborne for opening my eyes.

  17. It is very comforting to read about all this. Same old sad story – chronic heartburn to the point of up for hours at night, pain after every meal. Stopped flour, gluten – settled considerably within days. Tried bread again (my personal weakness) and back it came!

  18. After going gluten-free, I was able to slowly go off of medication for acid reflux. Previously, my acid reflux was so bad that I could barely swallow or eat – and I went from doctor to doctor to try to figure out what was wrong. Finally, someone recommended I try gluten-free. I feel so much better that I don’t even miss eating bread 🙂

  19. It’s really great to read through the messages above, it gives me a real insight into my acid reflux problem. I have come to understand that I am not as gluten tolorant as I used to be. I used to be able to eat 8 or 9 weet-bix and have no issues whatsoever. I don’t eat weet-bix in that quantity anymore but I do like porridge. In doing that though, if I eat 4 of those wee heat n eat porridge portions that you can get in a multi pack, within 2 days of each other I suffer acid reflux and need gavascon to sort it out.

    My affliction seems less severe than some of those I see here because I can scoff heaps of bread and have no problems.

    I wonder how much better I might feel if I dropped the gluten laden foods all together? Seems like madness, I love pies and that bread based goodness.

    Worth a crack though I suppose 🙂

  20. CD runs in my family, but I test negative for it. However, I do have terrible acid reflux. I can eat all kinds of spicy, high acid foods without problem–to the horror of the “experts”–but if I ate anything with gluten in it during the day, I’d have to pop Tums all day long because of the severe pain in my back, chest and stomach. If I ate anything with gluten within 5-6 hours of going to bed I’d be up all night. Eliminating gluten brought me almost instant relief. I’m hoping it will also help with weight and joint pain over time.

  21. Eating gluten free stopped my GERD almost immmediately about five years ago, and it has not returned. However, I have further symptoms that are related to gluten-sensitivity and foods that contain or produce vaso-active amines in the gut.

    I was diagnosed with GERD and medicated for about a year when I began eating gluten free, which cured that problem. However, additional symptoms I had at the time included stinging of oral soft tissues and pins and needles in my extremeties, especially at night. These did not go away with the gluten free diet.

    One allergist treated me for food allergies, but a second allergist/immunologist diagnosed me with sensitivity to vaso-active amines instead. Dr. Osborne, I believe this phenomenon is likely the result of years of gluten damage to my gut microstructure resulting in loss of the ability to produce the enzyme diamine oxidase.

    This enzyme is produced by the microvilli of the intestine. It normally degrades histamine (a breakdown product of the amino acid histidine). Without diamine oxidase (also called histiminase), histamine from food crosses the intestinal wall and adds to the histamine load internally resulting in allergy-like symptoms. Although histamine is the most commonly discussed vaso-active amine, other amino acids that produce other bioactive breakdown products when partially degraded also contribute to this problem.

    In sharing with family members diagnosed with CD, they agree that vaso-active amine sensitivity causes symptoms that they could not recover from by eating gluten free alone, in spite of the fact that they have been diligent in removing grain from their diets, especially corn. Again, I think this may be due to years of gluten exposure before being diagnosed with CD and the inability of their guts to fully recover. In our cases, reducing symptoms has required limitation or avoidance of vaso-active amine-containing foods, which are well-documented. Use of histaminase in capsule form has helped us when exposed to low doses if used quickly.

    This sensitivity is well-known in the medical literature, and I have even seen an old article that suggested it could be related to “gut health”. Information about it can be found on the internet. Further digging may find that it has been linked in the past to gluten sensitivity but I haven’t seen that, yet. I believe it deserves further attention by gluten sensitive people.

    Karen, Ph.D. Microbiology/Biochemistry

    1. Hi Karen,That’s interesting what you’ve written..It was about 9 years ago that I had my first episode of anaphylaxis.I was referred to an allergist who conducted allergy tests .It was found that I have histamine sensitivity .I didn’t really understand about this at the time and I was prescribed cetirizine antihistamine tablets to keep my histamine levels under control .I later stopped taking those everyday ,as they were making me too sleepy .I carry chlorophenamine tablets 4mg with me and take them when required .I often know when my histamine levels are rising, as I get the odd hive appearing .I had read up that it’s the lack of the enzyme DAO that prevents the breakdown of histamine in the body.I had no idea that gluten was one of these things that caused the problem by damaging the villi .I had suffered from GERD for many years and prescribed medication like Nexium to help with acid reflux. Wheat products do seem to affect my digestion.I have slow bowel function and was diagnosed with IBS about 3 years ago.I have recently been diagnosed with rosacea ..My skin is very inflamed on my face .I believe that diet may have something to do with this.I have been prescribed topical antibiotic cream and oral antibiotics , which Ive had reactions to .One been anaphylaxis and the other been severe acid reflux and bowel issues. I need I need to try a gluten free diet ,but I don’t know where to begin .Have you or any one got any advice.I would be grateful.
      Thankyou in advance .

  22. My 13 year old son was having chronic stomach pain, we got caught up in the conventional loop of endocopies and PPI’s. he was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and duodenal ulcers. He was tested for Celiac and the doctors told us it was absolutely NOT related to food. Test for CD came back as negative. We were on the standard American diet “SAD” at the time. We tried just about everything to make him feel better, he had terrible allergies and dry eye. Thanks to the likes of Dr. Osborne , we have gone gluten free. We eat pretty much paleo with no grains, dairy (except grass-fed butter or ghee), or legumes. Allergies are pretty much gone and he is doing so much better. We worked with Chris Kresser, and he ordered a mMetametrix

  23. (Cont) stool test and found H. Pylori. He was put on a herbal antibiotic and H. pylori reduced. We have tried to get him off of PPI’S but to no avail. He gets severe debilitating stomach pain. We assume this is rebund, and have got no good solutions on titrating off. I have searched the web and talked with numerous doctors and pharmacists. Dr. Osborne, if you have some suggestions on titrating off of 20 mg of Omeprazole daily for the last 5 years, it would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Gluten gives elasticity to dough helping it to rise and to keep its shape. It is found in many staple foods in the Western diet. It is a protein composite found in wheat and other grains, including barley and rye and processed foods thereof. Gluten is composed of a gliadin fraction (alcohol soluble) and a glutenin fraction (only soluble in dilute acids or alkali).,

  25. I have had terrible reflux for nearly 30 years. I am now to the point of chocking on almost everything I eat. I used to take Prilosec, but even that didn’t completely help. Now my 15 year old daughter is showing much of the same symptoms and hasn’t been able to sleep well for nearly a year. My son’s wife has been diagnosed with Celiac, and so I have found myself going more and more gluten-free in consideration for her. So a month ago my daughter and I decided to go completely gluten free. I can’t believe how much better I and my daughter feel, and she is also sleeping very well now. Neither of us has been tested for GERD or Celiac, and now I have learned that being gluten-free for a month will probably cause a negative result on the celiac test. I can’t fathom the thought of going back on the gluten just to prove that I have gluten sensitivity, and I don’t have a lot of faith in my doctor’s ability to help me anyway. Am I crazy to “self diagnose” like this? I am still chocking, but not nearly as bad, and that’s only after a month.

    1. I feel the same way! I absolutely do not want to start eating gluten again & feel miserable just to find out, according to some Dr I no longer trust anyway, that gluten is my problem. Or have them tell me it isnt gluten, when going gluten-free is the only thing that has helped despite them constantly pushing their PPI drugs on me!

  26. I had been on heartburn medication for 5 years. After choosing to go gluten-free (not celiac) I noticed a difference within a week! I could not believe that after all these years it was just a slight change in diet.
    I thought it was ridiculous a mid-20’s female would have to be on heartburn medication so young and continue to take it. Tests were run, nothing was found.
    Gluten-free is changing so much more than I thought.

  27. I wanted to lose weight and decided to eliminate wheat from my diet. I had been taking antacid (Rolaids) for heartburn several times a week but never thought to relate it to wheat.

    However, since I haven’t eaten wheat (4 weeks or so), I have not taken a single Rolaid for heartburn and burping and have not had a single digestive problem!

    I am still amazed at this simple “cure” for my digestive problems and it was only now that I have read up on Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity that may cause digestive problems. It certainly did for me!


  28. I read Wheat Belly in February and immediately cut out all obvious gluten (4 months). I had been having an occasional small episode of acid reflux. It stopped immediately, and my arthritis pain lessened also. A few days ago I was in a situation where I had pizza, one beer, then the next day burger with a bun and also barbeque with a bun, etc. I had acid reflux so bad that I was up almost all night. I was just wondering if by going gluten free I actually made my response to ingesting gluten even worse? I plan to stay off, but just wondered if anyone knows the answer. Thank you!

  29. I took Omeprazole for several years and decided to go off of it. I ate just one food item 2 hours apart for a few weeks and discovered that out of all the foods listed not to eat, there was only one that seriously bothered me – wheat (although I don’t drink soda). That said, I have also discovered that certain processed “gluten free” items will bother me. I seem to be able to make things from scratch from gluten free flours and not get reflux.

  30. Nancy, I just read your post. I have wondered the same thing. It does seem to be worse than before if I eat something with wheat (although I wonder too if it’s just because I am spoiled by not experiencing it very often now).

  31. I’ve had a horrible cough for two years and was diagnosed with acid reflux two months ago (Sept. 2013). I was prescribed Omeprazole but took myself off it after four weeks because it made my symptoms worse and seemed to weaken my immune system.
    I switched to a gluten-free diet three weeks ago on the off chance it would help – and my cough has improved 90%; hooray! However, now I’m getting some mild heartburn almost every day, which is a totally new and annoying symptom for me! Could it be all the nuts I’m now eating? I don’t get it; I’ve eliminated pop and cut way back on coffee, caffeine, and sugar…

  32. I have been wondering if I have an intolerance of wheat or gluten. I am a little confused though. I’m fine when I eat sandwichs, pasta and other products. Even drnking milk doesn’t bother me. But as soon as I have a cereal such as weet-bix I get an awful case of reflux. I eat it sometimes just because I want to, and then I have to put up with the symptoms… The symptoms start pretty well straight after I have eaten. I used to eat it all the time when I was younger, no problems then. Though 11 yrs ago I became pregnant and have had trouble eating weet-bix since. I’m also someone who loves baking… (wheat flour)

  33. This is really great info. I suffered from acid reflux for many years and this is the type of advice that really helped me to overcome my problem. So, to all you sufferers, YES! There is hope! Just don’t lose faith and know that your body can heal itself. I was lucky to find some great advice that helped me overcome my acid reflux and get better.

  34. After just one day of experimenting with eliminating gluten from my diet, my overnight acid reflux wasn’t there at all last night and it’s now midday and I haven’t needed to take a single antacid tablet yet today when I’d normally have had 3 or 4 by now! Ok, it might just be the ‘placebo’ effect working it’s magic to some extent as it’s early days, but something has definitely changed! Breakfast from now on is pan-fried vegetables with prawns or tuna!

  35. Looking back, Ive suffered from reflux since High school (Im now 42) Coincidentally, I had problems with fertility & was dx’d with PCOS in my late 20’s. My fertility dr put me on a low carb diet to lose weight. Since then, everytime Ive needed to lose weight I eat low-carb (no processed foods). In the last 4 years Ive noticed symptoms such as- bloating, gassy, brain fog -all improve drastically when I eat low-carb, in addition to losing weight. Bowel issues also resolved for the first time since my youth. Just recently as I was back to eating all carbs, my reflux had gotten horribly worse- up all night, aspirating when I would sleep etc. Dr’s prescribed Prilosec then Protonix, but neither helped at all. H-pylori was ruled out. Endoscopy showed nothing. On different occasions in the last couple of years, Ive also been found to be anemic & have a vit D deficiency. After my latest Dr visit due to having difficulty swallowing due to my reflux, I once again explained to my dr that the usual reflux causes didnt really apply to me- It didnt matter what time of day I ate, and onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, caffeine etc, “the usual suspects” did not induce my reflux at all, & the PPIs they love to prescribe did not work. But I could not sleep due to it & I was miserable! Luckily, about this same time I went back to my low-carb diet for weight-loss. Instantly the reflux disappeared! My nurse-friend pointed out that maybe it was Gluten! So I began researching. I mentioned gluten to my dr & she tried to come up with reasons why it’s not – contradicting my actual health hx unbeknownst to her apparently. My plan is to continue to eat gluten-free. I just started taking iron, vit B complex & vit D supplements. My question is regarding my high bp. Im wondering if it has been so hard to control because Im possibly not absorbing the bp medications? I havent seen much improvement with it when Ive eaten low-carb (gluten-free) in the past. Has anyone had any success with high bp & is there a correlation?

  36. I came across this site and was reading over every ones comments on what they were going through and how the were dealing with it. I have been dealing with a lot of stomach issues, I was constantly feeling bloated, my stomach would hurt and burn, was constantly feeling tired and worn out, and my head just felt like i was all ways in the cloud. I went to my doctor who sent me to have a scope done and they said I had GERD and gastritis along with acid reflex. They put me on protonic which it seemed to help a little but then I was constantly getting sinus infections at least every two months. My doctor sent me to a ENT specialist who did some test and said that I have allergies and that my highest one is Yeast. So between all this they keep telling me to watch what I eat and follow a yeast free diet but to also follow a GERD diet. Ya try finding things for both of these is a challenge and I am at my wits end. Anyway as I was reading over this site I was wondering if anyone would know if the Gluten free diet would be better for me.

  37. Tried a gluten free diet 5 years ago on a whim having heard a friend’s husband’s acid reflux disappeared as a result.
    Had assumed my reflux (increasingly a problem since H.S.) was related to fatty foods, but no gluten for a couple of days is easy, so I tried….
    After just ONE day off of gluten…tried a pint of ice cream & potato chips (assuming the blast furnace in my stomach would be fully stoked by the fat)…miraculously NOTHING.
    Have been gluten free for 5 or 6 yrs since.
    The only time I reach for an antacid (maybe once a month)is when I get accidentally glutenized (eating out usually) or an episode of holiday gluttony.
    Tried to pay it forward by cluing my family in. Since my father has been diagnosed w/ Barret’s, my aunts and brother are all on acid-blockers I thought they’d be prime candidates for a gluten free trial. A day or two…it’s EASY.
    Two have tried gluten free diet and concluded gluten WAS, indeed the culprit. Sadly both relatives have chosen the purple pill over what, to me, is the obvious, better choice…
    Have heard “experts” on gluten try to paint a black and withe picture of gluten-related maladies by implying that celiacs are the only ones that really benefit from a gluten free diet (i.e. that “gluten sensitivities”, like mine, don’t exist) Not TRUE.
    Gluten absolutely CAN and DOES cause reflux…obviously not for most folks, but for those that hide Tums all over the house (as I did)…Isn’t it worth a try?

  38. I was diagnosed with celiac 3 years ago and I was having severe stomach acidity and reflux. After 3-4 month being gluten free I was fine but last month I probably ingested gluten accidently and now I am having gerd symptoms. Now I am totally gluten free and I had an endoscopy and my Dr said I am maintainig a gluten free diet but acidity in my stomach and gerd is not going away. I am not sure whether I am now allergic to other food. What should I do?

  39. hi,, everybody is saying gluten free ,,but NOBODY is mentioning what foods to eat and avoid ,,,why wont anybody be SPECIFIC ? extremely frustrating ,,EXTREMELY ! avoid wheat grains etc etc ,, that doesn’t say much ,, that’s fo sure ,,so lets start being specific people ,,for examplle baskin robbins ice cream pre packed quarts dont say GLUTEN anywhere in the ingredients ,, WILL YOU PEOPLE BE SPECIFIC ,, jesus christmas for christ sake ! sorry about the semi swearing but people saying they are gluten free has helped says BALLS ! ,, what should us people who want to go gluten free eat ,, and dont say fruits and veggies ,, WHICH ONES ,, dont eat when and grains etc etc ,, WHAT ARE THE FOODS ,,,GOD !

  40. I found out by accident what you describe here. My 16 year old daughter suddenly developed chronic fatigue. After two years of doctors finding no clue (including negative celiac tests), I read in an article about muscle shocks (one of her symptoms) that celiac disease could be a cause. She started a gluten free diet and I joined just to support her a little bit. After a few weeks the reflux I suffered almost every night for years, had disappeared completely. For half a year I don’t use acid blockers anymore.

    1. Anthony. I felt really bad that you are upset about what is gluten. There are many books at the store, on line and at the library for free. This is a matter of educating yourself. Its always better to research and study, then to just try an easy fast find it quick on a chat line.

      Please study, learn, and talk to your doctor about what is gluten its foods. Start with your doctor first please. Then head to the library!

  41. Dr. Osborne,
    I am in my early 20’s and have been on omerprazole for almost 2 years now. I used to have a lot of heartburn and the medicine calmed it down until about 6 months ago where I would get acid reflux at night. It’s off and on again every night, I can’t seem to figure out what sets it off. Do you think this could be a gluten intolerance? No one in my family has celiac, however multiple of my family members do suffer from heart burn so I’m wondering if it’s just a misdiagnosis. Any advice would help!


  42. I have been on a Rabeprazole for 15 years for Gerd /Heartburn. My doctor simply said my stomach produced to much acid. The drug worked great but have always still suffered digestive problems and gas and now i am anaemic due to iron deficiency and with all the bad press on PPi’s i thought i better try to get off them . I did a lot of research and decided to go Gluten free. I stopped gluten 3 days ago along with no Rabeprazole and guess what ! No heartburn !!! I have also been careful not to eat to many large or very acidic foods and stay hydrated. It seems now i have been taken these powerful unnecessary prescription drugs for 15years to cover up the problem while gluten has been damaging my body and i hate to think what damage it has caused longterm also from the the drug. Do not trust you’re doctor always ! I intend to keep this protocol up and if i am still good in a month my Doctor will be getting a complaint from me .

  43. I went gluten free two months ago, but still have to take 30mg lansoprazol and 150mg ranitadin per day to control reflux. If I bend after meal I got food into throath – it never happened before.
    Does it mean that my reflux isn’t connected to gluten intolerance or do I have to wait more time to settle this? Because when I read all your responses that your problem with reflux was solved immediately after quitting gluten, I doubt I have the same issue. Although I had extremely low Vitamin D (16), my ferritina is on the lowest limit, stomach aches… and many other signs of gluten intolerance. The only test they made me was igA antigliadina antibodies, which came 16 (the lowest positive is 20).
    Any idea?

      1. I can remember having severe heartburn as a young child. I had constant lower belly pain with constipation all of my life as well, with a tendency for migraines and very very anxious. When I had an endoscopy because of a constant sore throat and had the dr tell me to take omeprazole for the rest of my life, that’s when I knew something needed to change. I took my health into my own hands and met a nutritionist who guided me through changing to a gluten and dairy free diet. I’m a changed person! My skin looks great, no more stomachaches or heartburn! If i am exposed to gluten I get heartburn almost instantly, and when I have dairy I have a sore throat. I would def recommend a.gluten free diet to someone with stomach issues

  44. I have had severe itchy rashes since 2001 and constipation as far back as I can remember. Drs gave me steroid creams, anti histamines fibre powders and drinks to help my symptoms. I had patch tests, blood tests, biopsies and top and tail endoscopies to find the problems. Everything comes back as negative. They did discover I have a hiatus hernia though. I’ve taken Lansoprasole 30mg on and off for the last 10 years for acid reflux but over the last year it became really bad, that I was would be taking tablets daily as well as gaviscon. I’d put on weight so decided to start the American south beach diet. Since day one of starting the diet, I haven’t had any reflux and my skin rashes are barely there now. It’s so nice to not be living on tablets or my daily doses of gaviscon.

  45. I diagnosed myself of gluten sensitive after I followed Dr Osborne. I went off gluten and things got better. My memory improved, lost weight and it doesn’t fluctuate as I stick to my gluten free diet, rash like symptoms disappeared, constipation is much better (I can now go everyday, it used to be after second day) my arthritis problems gone (although I still keep myself warm whenever I feel cold, especially my feet). Honestly I feel better. I am grateful for the work that Dr Osborne is doing, saving lives.

  46. I am having serious gerd type issues with terrible chest pain. I have been to hospital multiple times for suspected heart attack. Thankfully it wasn’t. I’ve had a angiogram that was normal. A nuclear stress test that was normal. I’ve been on protonic and Prilosec since about 2012. Nothing has stopped the chest pain. My stools are narrow and pieces with lots of bloat, gas, distention, cramps, and nasuea. I’ve noticed some bleeding but may be hemorrhoids. I do notice all those are dramatically worse when. I’ve eaten wheat flour based foods.

  47. Staring a gluten free diet solved the problem for me after a short time (approx 6 weeks). I had suffered heartburn for 45 years since I was 15 years old and every test from every specialist failed to identify gluten as the culprit. Gluten was not recognised as a problem until after the turn of the century. I had been dealing with the problem all those years by taking bicarbonate of soda to neutralise the acidity and had learned to live with it until one morning my wife said to me I wonder if it is a problem with gluten ? From then on symptoms were very rare and almost non existent and usually if I broke the rules and had a doughnut or some bread. if I stuck religiously to a gluten free diet there was no problem.

  48. Gluten was my worst enemy !
    I started taking omeprazole from my doctor when i was 24 and straight away the pain went away – but wait

    It came back!

    It was a treatment not a cure and after 10 years of taking this medicine.
    Going for more dr appointments and endoscopys i was fed up

    Fes up with the pain of not being able to sleep,
    Waking up me and my wife bless her in the night with the pain from the reflux.

    It got to the point were i was waking up in the morning and the feeling of my lungs being drenched in acid from the reflux
    Was just to much.

    I was getting lumps in my throat
    I decided i cant take this any more at 34 years i thought this surely cant carry on anymore. My future didnt look good!

    My mother inlaw recomended going gluten free

    My life changed and at 37 years of age now i can say going gluten free
    For the last 3 years has changed my life.
    I try to stay close to a plant based diet as i can i have cut dairy out also.

    Because i have treated the cause i dont take any omeprazole of which at 34 i was taking between 4 to 4 20mg aday.

    Noooo painnnn

    Nooo painnnn

  49. Exactly the same for me. I had daily and almost constant nausea and would wake up each night wanting to vomit. I had every test imaginable and everything came back negative. I have hashimotos hypothyroidism so I read about cutting out gluten. I tried it and within three days all of the nausea went away. I now only get nausea if I eat gluten by mistake, even small amounts in non-gluten free oats. Thank you for raising this issue for other sufferers and making it more widely understood!

  50. If your doctor puts you on omeprazole or other meds for heartburn or tells you that your stomach produces too much acid, find another doctor! Ditch the gluten, and stick with it. I woke up one day with heartburn and had it every day for 4 months. I learned about gluten intolerance and gut health and gave up gluten completely. It took me three months to cure myself but that’s better than being on omeprazole for the rest of my life. Do some research and take a good look at what you’re eating. It takes discipline but feeling good is a great motivator. Good Luck!

  51. Hello

    I should start by saying my whole life I’ve been “generally unwell”

    I am very fit and very active but I seem to be lethargic all the time and have this… Feeling of shakey ess every day of my life. At one point my doctor asked if I normally shake I said yes his response _ OK so that’s normal.

    October 2018 I thought enough is enough my weight never improves my health is horrendous etc and I was referred to a dietician at the age of 29. No such luck as kept getting put to end of list.

    In 2019 I become seriously unwell. I had sickness everyday for about 60 days lost one stone in weight which is not great for someone who was lready underweight. I got then put on omeprazole. Problem solved. No shakes. No sickness and or Diarrhoea and… I felt less lethargic. 2 months later I was taken off this to test the doctor theory that it was just reflux. Very quickly all my symptoms returned. Sickness. Shakes. Nausea. Fatigue. Here we go again… So naturally the doctore put me on omeprazole again but this time no such luck nothing worked I was still ill and within 10 days I lost 15 lbs… (I had gained some weight in between testing the omeprazole theories. Doctor had no idea kept putting it back although.. Said covid stopped everything. A friend suggested gluten free diet. I asked my GP to test me for this but was told I was getting way ahead of myself and they had to test my blood for infection first before doing anything. Seemed silly as I’ve had my blood tested three times in 6 months. So I did gluten free for 14 days and I have never ever felt better. Spoke with my dietician who then told me my iron levels etc in my last bloods were very low – despite GP telling me the results were ‘normal’ I have had the heli cobactor test which was normal and told my GP I felt fine wen off gluten. So now they’ve suggested I have coeliac…. Had my test Friday of first week in July and waiting results. Regardless of these results I’ve been off gluten and feel much better than ever in life and I don’t have any shakes….. ***I do not recommend anyone come off gluten until they’ve had advice from a dietician or a doctor – this is my personal experience but always follow your doctor advice***

  52. I’ve been diagnosed with esophagus hernia and GRED. My doctor had me take Omeprazol for over 4 years and more recently put me on Duloxatine. Recently, my wife assisted on doing a genetic testing, which apparently is not available in US so we had to do this in Germany (at least we could find any). It turns out I was intolerant to gluten. I’m now on a gluten free died for two weeks and already feel much better.

    We are from Europe and emigrated to US mainly for the better healthcare and we’re finding this not to be true more and more. The paradox and perhaps the answer is that healthcare is EXPENSIVE in US and it probably makes sense to keep the protocols the way they are.

  53. After many years of taking antacids after meals and having heartburn and reflux, as well as tests to determine the cause of it all, I was chatting with friends and family who suggested it could be due to gluten intolerance. I have just started to remove all gluten from my diet and I totally feel so much better already. I only wish I knew about this years ago, I could have saved myself so much pain. It has bee. Great to read that other people are coming to the same conclusions and really terrific to read the information and comments on this site, thankyou

  54. Reading this page in the middle of the night because I ate some gluten and got reflux.

    There was a delicious looking pizza and I thought “just one slice would be ok?” (I had two).

    I started to put the connection together this year, that wheat was the trigger for me.

    I would much rather be sleeping right now, than sitting up waiting for acid to subside.

  55. Yes! I have had GERD for years and needed PPIs to manage. I decided to remove gluten from my diet due to some skin issues I was experiencing, and noticed that I no longer needed PPIs. I’ve been gluten free for months, and haven’t needed any medication to manage my GERD. It’s gone.

  56. I have been on a very strict gluten free diet for almost a decade, but still struggle with consistent acid issues. My dr prescribed me odanestron to deal with the nausea, but it never stops the hot sharp pain in my stomach and guts, and I often throw up yellow. My Dr hasn’t prescribed anything else, and I am afraid of what I am able to take. Only Mint industries makes gf medication in Canada and their list is short, everything else is always a gamble. The constant pain has made me feel scared all the time, but my dr is determined that when I fix my eating my stomach will fix, but I can’t eat when I’m always in such pain. I don’t know how to make it stop.

  57. I removed gluten 100% from my diet for almost 5 1/2 weeks. My first bite of gluten was Mac & Cheese, and it gave me INSTANT heartburn, headache, and a bit of bloating.

    I have introduced gluten back into my diet since I grew up on it, and I constantly feel nauseous each and every day. I am working with my doctor to test for gluten/celiac as well as my heartburn issues.

  58. Dr Osborn, i was diagnosed with gastric and reflux disease and i was given somac and nexium but these medication doesn’t work for me, please help me to get rid of my reflux disease.thank you

  59. I took gluten out of my diet after a friend suggested it might be the problem. I had gone to many doctors and had many uncomfortable GI tests and all came back with not problem. I was not sleeping had pain in my sternum and esophageal spasms. I was even regurgitating while I was sleeping. Getting rid of gluten stopped most of the problems. I am still trying to figure out the acid issue that keeps me up most night. Do you have any suggestions? I do not take any medications.

  60. I think I am narrowing down my heartburn to gluten. About 4 years ago I went gluten free for 6 weeks to see if it would help with my chronic headache based on advice from my naturopath. It didn’t help with the headache but when I introduced gluten again I got minor bloating the following day so I decided to stay off gluten. Occasionally I would have a little gluten without any problems. A couple years later on a long camping trip I decided to forgo the gluten free diet and a few weeks later I had major bloating. It wasn’t really painful but certainly noticeable. So then I went low carb and my bloating transitioned to GERD. My GI tested me for celiac which came back negative but of course prescribed prilosec. I’ve tried different supplements and eliminating certain foods to no avail. It seems now that I have finally linked it to gluten. I was gluten free for a few weeks and had only minor periodic bouts of heartburn. Then I accidentally ate the equivalent of a couple Sunchips (second ingredient is whole wheat) and noticed heartburn three days later and it lasted about a week. Then gluten free again for a couple weeks with no heartburn and then I accidentally had granola with whole wheat in it. Again, about 3 days later I get heartburn. I have taken a licorice supplement and that seems to help with my symptoms. I plan to go at least a month or so and then try a bit of something that’s not whole wheat to see if that makes a difference. If it does, then I’ll try my einkorn flour to see if that also causes heartburn. I’ll update as I find out more.

  61. When I stopped eating gluten, my two years of gradually worsening heartburn, acid reflex and irregular bowl movement gone within 24 hours. This is before I read this article and I thought to myself that this really can’t be true, if I had gluten sensitivity I would have know it well before age 45 and the impact is on intestine and not stomach. I have experimented with many other food with no real improvement in last two years. The only thing that I have noticed was if I eat 2 or 3 bread base meals a day my symptoms are far more sever than usual. So when I all my symptoms are completely gone in last two weeks after I stopped eating gluten , I googled the link between GERT and Gluten and come across this article. I am glad that my experience is not a random coincident and at list some research linked that two. Also very interesting to see many other people added their comments and confirming similar experience.

  62. I found out that I was gluten intolerant quite by accident. I decided it was time to lose some weight. I had success with the Adkins diet in the 90’s so I tried it again. Not only did I lose over 35 pounds I also stopped having the heartburn I had suffered with and took medication for for 30 years. I no longer need the meds and I feel so much better.

  63. I suffer with burning in my upper tummy when I burp it burns in my chest and have ibs coul cutting wheat out help get rid of my symtoms

  64. In reading all the comments, at least I don’t feel so alone! I was a premature baby. Spent first month of my life in the hospital. I developed PCOS when I was 16. It was never fully diagnosed until I had a total hysterectomy a few years ago. The PCOS caused me to gain weight, which resulted in diabetes type II. Then I was diagnosed as being allergic to corn. Then breast cancer. Suffered anemia during that. Recently I have experienced anemia again. Was requested to take upper endoscopy and colonoscopy. No bleeding in stomach, but my gastroesophageal flap is deformed. I have an hiatal hernia. Found one polyp in my colon. Still waiting for lab results to show if a have celiac disease. I’m kind of tired of all this. I expect when I try to find food that meets the requirements to reduce diabetes, celiac disease, avoid corn and other foods I refuse to eat, there won’t be much in the way of foods to eat. At least I can’t blame the broken bones and plates and pins on this. I can blame that on the chemo. It’s getting difficult to find the energy to keep living.

  65. Oh my god! I have had reflux and chronic heartburn for 15 years and never knew why! I tried cutting out everything – except BREAD!

    I chanced upon this and stopped eating bread a couple of weeks ago. Not a SINGLE episode. That’s been it all this time. Wow.

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sing up to our newsletter for 10% off your first order!

Receive the latest strain releases, exclusive offers and 10% OFF welcome discount.