A Good Question About an Alkaline Diet, GERD and Whether to Eat Grains or Not

 Hello Cassie,

I’m from méxico and i really need some help!!

I’ve been having gerd  or acid reflux for 9 months now!!!

Yesterday i decided to go alkaline and  just in one day i felt much better,,,i substituted meat with quinoa and  buckwheat as another alkaline website said ( by the way it said totally  avoid animal products and so i did, hopefully you are familiar with dr  youngs approach)

i had a serving of buckwheat for breakfast..a little quinoa  for lunch and a lentil muffin for dinner…all these three meals with a lot of  veggies…i felt a little heartburn but very little compared to this nine  months!!

Then today i increased the amounts of buckwheat and guess what???  The heartburn is horrible!! Im very confused because they said quinoa and  buckwheat were alkaline  i see you can have meat in your approach…can you help me understand??

I  really want to cure my gerd and i don’t know what is the best approach for  it…i really appreciate your help!!! Have you met someone with gerd that is  better now?? I’m getting so frustrated and depressed…i’m already on a candida  diet (5months) no sugar, gluten, dairy, yeast its getting better but not as  fast as i would like to…maybe because i havent stopped grains? Helpppp.  




Hi Alejandra,

I tried to post you an answer earlier but due to the strange goings of my site the blog post got lost and then I went to Spain and couldn’t use the internet.  Sorry it took so long.

The Paleo Alkaline diet is very different than the Alkaline diet.  The Alkaline Paleo diet includes meats but definitely does not include grains in any form.  Fruit is also excluded as I have come to learn it is quite acidic in the body and should never be consumed in large quantities even when we have been healed.

The first reason all grains (alkaline or not) are out of my diet is that there is a substance called gluten in all grains.        

 Here is a video on how all grains contain a variety of glutens and I recommend watching it. Gluten by itself is a very difficult protein for the body to digest and causes all sorts of problems in the gut as well as inflammation in the body.  Inflammation of itself causes acidity in the body.

Our digestive systems are not really able to deal with these glutens as we have basically the same digestive systems that we had when we mostly ate meats and vegetables in Palaeolithic times.

It takes thousands of years for our bodies to evolve to being able to handle a new diet and we have only been eating a high carbohydrate diet for  a very small amount of this evolutionary time.

Wheat causes so much trouble in our bodies.                                                                                                            Wheat, with the new strain that has been genetically chemically produced to create high yields to feed the world,  contains  very high amounts of gluten. This new wheat strain which is now grown all over the world,  raises the blood sugar higher than sugar itself. Wheat is now highly addictive and  will actually increase the appetite as most addictive substances do. Wheat also has a particular characteristic which causes Zonulin, a chemical in the gut, to open the gut wall and allow  food particles and bacteria such as Candida to enter the bloodstream.  This process causing a permanent condition of Leaky Gut (also called intestinal permeability), has itself  been shown to be the precursor of autoimmune diseases. I highly recommend a book called “Wheat Belly” by Dr William Davis MD where he explains about this new kind of wheat and how he has successfully used a no grain diet to treat his patients.

Wheat is also highly acidic in the body much more so than meat.                                                                                        Wheat has a highly inflammatory response in the body due to being very hard to digest and the fact that it raises blood sugar levels as high as sugar does.  Sugar is very acidic to the body.

All  grains are a problem.  All grains (legumes, seeds and pulses)  have  digestive inhibitors called Phytates, Lectins and more to actually stop us digesting them.   This enable the seeds to get through our digestive systems.  In this way these seeds get to propagate themselves in nature.  These digestive inhibitors just of themselves cause a lot of digestive trouble. Grains need very high stomach acidity to cleave the essential amino acids (proteins) from the grain. Most people in today’s world  don’t actually have a very high stomach acidity  and so we aren’t  even receiving  the benefits of the nutrition within the grains, such as the amino acids.

Diets which include grains, seeds and pulses, plus vegetarian and vegan diets in general do not support a  high stomach acidity as these modern high carbohydrate diets, whole foods or not, will actually decrease stomach acidity.  There is a epidemic or GERD and indigestion problems from today’s modern diet. 

These undigested  grains (and legumes)  then enter the  small and large intestine.    This is where we start to get problems with bacterial overgrowth such as Candida.   Candida is actually a natural bacteria in the gut, and you can’t and wouldn’t want to get rid of it entirely, as it does have a job.  The problem is when these bacteria have too much food to eat, such as these undigested carbohydrate grains,  causing them to overpopulate.   When Candida is found in the gut in large quantities we not only get thrush, but Candida causes the gut wall to open and undigested proteins enter the bloodstream. Grains which are already an acidic food become even more acidic forming when they are not digested properly by the body. Eating Quinoa and Buckwheat, which are often a part of the normal Alkaline diet, demonstrates one of the problems with this diet as they are  still very hard to digest.  

GERD can definitely be cured.

I know of hundreds of people who had GERD and now no longer suffer with it.  GERD contrary to the general population and most doctors understanding  is not caused by too high a stomach acidity.  GERD is now being understood to be an autoimmune disease.

The pharmaceutical companies know GERD is not caused by high stomach acidity but they receive too much revenue from selling  the drugs that negate stomach acidity.  They only infer in their advertising that GERD is from too high a stomach acid but  never actually say it outright as this would be against the law as they know it’s not true.

GERD and indigestion are now in epidemic proportions in the world.  Proton Pump Inhibitors, antacids and acid blockers are being prescribed and bought over the counter in huge quantities.  This epidemic hasn’t just happened out of nowhere.

GERD is always preceded by too low a stomach acid.

There are many people who have found this out just by taking Betaine Hydrochloride and Pepsin tablets with their meals and within days their symptoms have completely gone or at the least lessened.

However we need to get to the initial reason why our stomach acid is too low in the first place.  We need to fix the cause and not just ingest another tablet to ease the discomfort.

The cause of low stomach acidity is from eating high carbohydrate foods especially including hard to digest grains, legumes and seeds.  Grains need to a very high stomach acidity to cleave the very important body building amino acids from the grain itself.   Without this process we are not only unable  to utilize the amino acids in the grains but also end up with these undigested foods our guts causing all sorts of strife.

It will take time for the body to reverse this disease.  The body does all sorts of healing some is obvious and some you won’t see, but nevertheless there will be a lot of healing going on.  Be patient it took a long time to get GERD and it’s takes a while to reverse the problems incurred from eating a high carbohydrate diet.

The cascading effects just from a low stomach acidity will time truly heal.  If you aged under thirty years  it will take less time just because the body is much more able to heal quickly.

Good stomach acidity creates alkalinity in the body.

When we make stomach acids  in our body we equally create, within the same process,  bicarbonates.  In a healthily functioning body there are plenty of stomach acids and therefore  plenty of bicarbonates.  The acids enter the stomach for protein digestion and the bicarbonates enter the bloodstream creating an alkaline tide.  Some of these alkaline bicarbonates in the bloodstream are used to neutralize the acidic food as it moves from the stomach to the small intestine.  The rest of the alkaline bicarbonate is used to buffer the acids in the bloodstream.   To keep the body alkaline it is imperative for the body to create good stomach acidity.

Alejandra in the meantime, while you body is healing on this Alkaline Paleo program, you will probably get a lot of relief from your GERD from taking Betaine Hydrochloride and Pepsin tablets with each meal.  You will need to work out for yourself how much you needs of this. It’s quite easy just up your dose by one tablet each day until you get a burning sensation in the gut and then reduce your dosage by one tablet.  This is the appropriate dosage you need to begin with.   You can easily relieve the burning sensation with a little Bicarbonate of Soda in water.

I have heard of Dr Young and to be quite honest after thinking he must be a genius for a while I now have realized his theories and behind the times.

I hope this has helped you to understand a little better why GERD is such a problem in today’s world and with this understanding you can now embark with confidence on the Alkaline Paleo program.