Chronic Pain & Fatigue

What is GERD? Surprising Truths Behind Chronic Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), otherwise known as chronic acid reflux, is a common and often misunderstood condition that affects over 780 million people globally. Contrary to popular belief, GERD is not simply a matter of “too much stomach acid”, but a complex interplay of various factors.

GERD Symptoms Beyond the Burning Sensation

While heartburn is the most well-known symptom, GERD can also manifest in:

  • Respiratory Issues: Chronic cough and asthma-like symptoms.
  • Dental Erosion: Due to acid exposure in the mouth.
  • Throat and Voice Problems: Like laryngitis and a persistent feeling of a lump in the throat, leading to difficulty swallowing. This condition is known as “dysphagia”.
  • Dermatological Reactions: Acid reflux can cause skin rashes and even hair loss due to nutrient malabsorption affected by frequent stomach acid exposure.
  • Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Stomach pain and intestinal discomfort are direct consequences of acid damaging the gut lining.
  • Neurological Effects: Migraines may develop or worsen due to the body’s inflammatory response to constant acid reflux.
  • Metabolic Disturbances: Weight fluctuations, including unexplained loss or gain, can occur as GERD interferes with the normal digestion and absorption of food.

Rethinking the Conventional Approach

Traditionally, GERD has been primarily associated with:

  1. Excessive Stomach acid: Often treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and antacids.
  2. Weakened Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES): The LES is the muscle that acts as a valve, preventing stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. When this muscle weakens, it allows for stomach content to flow back up more frequently.
  3. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Infection: A common bacterial infection that can damage the stomach lining and increase episodes of acid reflux.

The Bigger Picture: Lifestyle & Functional Imbalances

However, emerging research has shed light on additional factors that play a significant role in the development and persistence of GERD:

  1. Hypochlorhydria (Low Stomach Acid): Contrary to popular belief, GERD is not always caused by too much stomach acid. In some cases, it is linked to insufficient stomach acid.
  2. Dietary and Lifestyle Triggers: Certain foods, beverages, and lifestyle habits can relax the LES, exacerbating reflux. These may include spicy or fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, obesity, overly processed foods and even late-night eating before sleep.
  3. Stress and Hormonal Imbalances: Chronic stress and hormonal disruptions can impact digestive function, leading to increased acid production and weakened LES.
  4. Gut Dysbiosis and Inflammation: An imbalance in the gut microbiome and increased inflammation can contribute to GERD by affecting digestive function and gut-brain communication.

These often-overlooked factors highlight the need for a more comprehensive, integrative approach to addressing the root causes of GERD, rather than merely treating the symptoms.

The Path Forward: Personalized, Integrative Care for GERD

At Recoup Health, we understand that a one-size-fits-all approach is often ineffective in managing GERD. Our interdisciplinary care team, consisting of Functional and Lifestyle Medicine experts, a nutritionist, yoga & occupational therapists, Ayurvedic & naturopathy physicians as well as your dedicated health coach works closely with you to uncover the unique drivers behind your acid reflux symptoms, whether it’s dietary triggers, hormonal imbalances, or gut dysbiosis.

How we treat GERD:

  • Root Cause Analysis: Utilizing advanced diagnostics as well as your detailed history, to identify factors contributing to GERD, such as hiatal hernia, esophageal motility disorders, and gastric acidity.
  • Customised Dietary Counseling: To identify and eliminate your specific trigger foods.
  • Targeted Supplementation: To address your nutrient deficiencies.
  • Holistic Detox therapies: This include therapies like enema, colon hydrotherapy, IV nutrition and Far Infrared Sauna Therapy.
  • Psychological Counseling: To help manage the stress and emotional aspects that can often exacerbate GERD symptoms, providing tools and strategies to enhance mental well-being alongside physical health.

Unsure whether booking an appointment is the right step for you? We encourage you to drop us a note at We’re here to answer any questions and provide the information you need to make an informed decision about your healthcare journey.