carbohydrates and acid reflux

Do Carbohydrates Cause Acid Reflux?

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With a burning sensation in your chest and some bloating in your stomach, it can be easy to conclude that you are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a term used interchangeably with acid reflux. However, what may be challenging to identify is the cause of the GERD.

Generally, many people will identify carbohydrates as the cause based on what they have heard from other people without proof. In this article, you will learn the relationship between acid reflux and carbohydrates, the different causes of GERD, how you can treat it, and how compound pharmacies can help.

Common Causes of Acid Reflux

Based on common knowledge, it is true that carbohydrates can cause GERD. However, it’s caused by a high carbohydrate diet; eating low-carb diets won’t cause GERD. Besides carbohydrates, eating large amounts of any food can cause GERD. Even a liquid meal can give you heartburn if you lie down immediately after the meal.

Smoking or consuming alcohol can also cause heartburn, especially when the substances are strong. Also, you are exposing yourself to the risk of GERD by snacking right before bedtime. Furthermore, you can suffer GERD symptoms if you are obese or overweight, taking spicy, fatty, or acidic foods as your favorite foods, or taking some muscle relaxers.

Why Carbs Cause Acid Reflux

After a meal, the body typically absorbs the nutrients and uses them to fuel various metabolic processes. However, some carbohydrates can’t be digested even if they offer other benefits to the body. Instead of getting absorbed by your body, they will go through the gut without digestion.

Since the body doesn’t break them down, many of them will stay undigested, leading to a buildup of these components. With the buildup of the unprocessed food components of a high carbohydrate diet, you will inevitably experience GERD symptoms.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux symptoms thankfully show up quickly, allowing you to know what’s going on with your body fast. The most common symptom is heartburn, characterized by the scorching sensation in your body. You may feel this sensation moving from your abdomen to your chest and throat.

More acid reflux symptoms include the bloating you’ll feel around your stomach, bloody vomiting, or excessive burping. Moreover, the stomach acid upset may cause you unending hiccups and nausea. If you have many of these reflux symptoms and begin to experience weight loss, that may be a leading indicator of GERD.

How Doctors Diagnose Acid Reflux Disease

Once you notice some of the reflux symptoms, the best line of action is to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis of your condition. At the medical facility, the doctor may conduct a pH monitor test to check for esophageal acid exposure and check the quantity of acid in the esophagus.

They may also check your stomach for ulcers through barium swallow, a procedure where you swallow a mixture to enable an X-ray to see your structures. Also, they may utilize the endoscopy method of putting a long tube camera in your throat to examine esophagus or stomach problems.

Ways to Treat Acid Reflux

carbohydrates and acid reflux
A low-carb diet is an effective way of treating GERD.

The aftermath of a correct diagnosis of GERD is to begin treatment. Depending on the cause of the disease, the doctor will prescribe a suitable treatment method. By outlining a corresponding method for each cause, you can get a smooth and quick recovery process.

For instance, if the primary cause of the GERD was the high consumption of dietary carbohydrate, going on a very low carbohydrate diet or keto diet will help you counter the GERD symptoms quickly.

Low-Carb Diet

Given that a high carbohydrate diet is an identifiable cause of GERD, it makes sense that going on a very low-carb diet will reduce your reflux periods. In the diet, you will implement a carbohydrate restriction and consume simple dietary carbohydrates that your body can easily digest.

The low carbohydrate diet usually has an estimated 10% to 15% of needed daily calories as carbs. With the low-carb diet having a different carbohydrate density from the high-carb one, it’s essential that the carbs are simple carbohydrates to aid carbohydrate digestion. A simple carbohydrate can be broken down fast and is vital for a low-carb approach in low-carb diets.

Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet is generally considered more restrictive than the low-carb diet as it reduces dietary fat intake to prevent more reflux symptoms. The keto diet recognizes the problems of a high-carb diet and replaces the carbs with fatty foods, ensuring the body uses ketones as its fuel.

With a higher fat intake in the keto diet, it may be healthier to rotate through low-carb meals, fiber, and a high-fat diet. The regular use of a keto diet can help you prevent long reflux periods since there will be no buildup of indigestible carbs.

Weight Loss

Losing weight is a versatile psychological process which helps in treating various diseases. For obese patients, weight loss can be the most suitable method to eliminate reflux episodes. Thus, exercising and eating healthily can help them beat gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Since GERD occurs in obese people when there’s increased pressure on the LES, a weight reduction can eliminate the pressure and thus the occurrence of acid reflux disease. Interested GERD patients can register at a gym and begin a strict diet to help their weight loss.


A GERD patient can buy both prescription and over-the-counter drugs to treat the symptoms of the disease. Getting prescriptions for antacid medications or certain customized compound medications can help you eliminate the acid in your stomach that comes from acidic foods.

Asides from the antacids, you can try proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers that also help to reduce the stomach’s acid production. Furthermore, you may consider foaming agents for a thick coating of your stomach against reflux.


After trying the other treatment methods without results, your doctor may prescribe surgical treatment for the disease. The surgical procedure may be inserting a ring around the distal esophagus or creating an artificial valve with the stomach’s top.

Regardless of the surgical procedure, the surgeon will usually check for distal esophageal acid exposure to confirm a high acid exposure before commencing. If there’s low esophageal acid, the doctor may suggest other treatment methods such as a low fodmap diet (eating only carbs that can be absorbed) or avoiding classic exacerbating foods.

Can Compounding Pharmacies Help With Your Acid Reflux?

Yes! Since compounding pharmacies create compounding medications that are customized for each patient’s healthcare needs, they will also help you with customized compound medications for your acid reflux.

Fort Worth Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy that can make the most suitable medication for your GERD. With our state-of-the-art customization technology, we can make the medication into a liquid meal, tablet, or gummy. Be sure to contact us if you need more information on how we can help with your acid reflux medication.

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