Damage from GERD?: Does anyone know if... - Gluten Free Guerr...

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Damage from GERD?


Does anyone know if GERD causes any long term damage?

GERD has been one of my major symptoms of gluten intolerance for about 40 years. Since being gluten free (last December - and I am getting so much better at this) I have had occasional episodes. Nothing too bad and lasting for a short period of time. As I have been doing FODMAPs I now keep a food diary along with symptoms and notice in the last month that I have had GERD symptoms twice. These occurrences appear to be arbitrary ie not associated with food that I am intolerant to (possibly reaction to stress). I am wondering if this condition has taken some months to heal and because I avoid the dodgy food this has given my gullet time to recover. It is so good to feel comfortable all day and night.

13 Replies

GERD can cause long term damage to osephagus if you have it caused by acid reflux. Your GP or consultant would advise you best on this and possibly have endoscopy to check if there is any damage. Prescription PPI can help.

Thank you Cairnperson. Sorry about my ignorance but what is PPI?

Penel in reply to urbangirl

It's a Protein Pump Inhibitor and not a payment plan!


subo in reply to Penel

hi I have GERD and take omeprazole twice a day it's fabulous

poing in reply to subo

omeprazole maybe fabulous for GERD, but if you have low stomach acid (sometimes a cause of GERD) then it reduces your absorption of minerals quite significantly and leads to deficiencies - it is not meant to be taken long term.

urbangirl in reply to subo

Hello Subo, Penel and Cairnperson

I think I may have been unclear and confused you. My symptoms have never needed medication. I went to the doctor last November because I was worried about the increasing symptoms I was having - including GERD. Since not eating gluten and some other foods my symptoms have gradually disappeared. It is 6 months since I went gluten free and my question was related to the gradual improvement that I have experienced. Over the last 6 months I have had some GERD symptoms but they have not lasted for very long, and I have been considering whether my oesophagus and stomach have gradually been recovering from the damage. Initially although I was eating a gluten free diet (as far as I knew it) I was eating food that I didn't know was dodgy eg glucose syrup, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, sulphur dioxide and potassium nitrate. Now that I have identified and eliminated them from my diet (as far as I know) I am not experiencing any symptoms. Therefore I wanted to know if over time my oesophagus has healed. Sorry about the confusion.

thankyou for that I did not realise only problem when I don't take it my acid reflux comes back ?

poing in reply to subo

I gather that it's quite difficult to quit omeprazole - you can get a rebound over-acidity if you quit cold turkey, so it's better to taper it off and see if you're okay that way.

If your GERD is from low acid then acidic things will help you digest better and reduce symptoms... things like vinegar, lemon juice or betaine HCl supplements. I know it sounds counter productive to add acid, but if you have low acid then the GERD occurs because stuff stays in the stomach too long that the stomach contents are forced back up. I sometimes take Betaine HCl after a meal, if I feel really full on a normal quantity (usually because it's something hard to digest like red meat).

Of course GERD can be caused by high acid too, so if more acid makes things worse, then it will be because you actually do have high stomach acid. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to test so you can work it out beforehand - you just have to find what works best for you.

Please, what is GERD?

GERD is gastro-esophageal reflux disease - known as GORD in the UK because we spell oesophagus differently.

Sorry for confusion urbangirl. I eat wheat/gluten free as helps with IBS etc (was tested for coeliac but am not) but have GORD, so take omeprazole, due to reflux symptons. Have found that if I do eat wheat have all sorts of digestive problems but not eating wheat has not stopped the reflux and heartburn.

Cairnperson, I am sorry that you still have GORD even though you are not eating wheat. I stopped getting heartburn, and other digestive symptoms, virtually as soon as I stopped eating wheat and gluten. I have been keeping a food diary and monitoring symptoms for a few months now as I am doing FODMAPs. I get heartburn when I eat eggs. I read somewhere this could be attributed to what hens are fed. I also have heartburn if I eat bacon and cheese which I understand contain potassium nitrate. When I have purchased cheese from the farmer's market I didn't get the symptoms.

FYI I also get heartburn symptoms if I eat products that contain glucose syrup, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and sulphur dioxide. I don't eat any Free From products and stick to cooking with ingredients I know I am safe with. But of course when I am travelling or eating with friends I can't guarantee that they will use ingredients I am safe with.

I was curious about the long-term effect of heartburn on my oesophagus because it seems to have healed. Before I had a diagnosis I felt it was raw. And if I inadvertently ate some of the ingredients listed above this set off a reaction that took a while to heal. Fortunately this is a relatively rare occasion now as due to my increasing knowledge I can avoid products that contain these ingredients. But I know how miserable GORD can make you feel.

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