Is GERD a Curable Disease?

Is GERD a Curable Disease?

Darnell from Houston sent us this question: “is advanced GERD curable? And if so, how. Will KETO work or help with those with this situation or will it intensify the Gerd situation… Thank you!!”

Dear Darnell,

Advanced acid reflux or GERD is treated and cured with surgery. Nissen fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair is a minimally invasive procedure with almost 100% effectiveness in stopping acid reflux. Nissen fundoplication surgery, when properly performed, is safe and durable. It re-establishes the anti-reflux barrier, and it stops acid in the stomach from refluxing back into esophagus.

Diet has limited efficacy in alleviating symptoms in advanced stage acid reflux. Indeed, stomach content is always acidic irrespective of what diet you consume. In the setting of a weak anti-reflux barrier, Keto diet is not likely to help control your symptoms when you have stage 3 or 4 GERD. Keto diet neither reduces stomach acid secretion nor does it strengthen the anti-reflux barrier.

It is a common misconception to consider diet as both cause and treatment option for severe acid reflux. Certain food items exacerbate acid reflux symptoms in stage one and two GERD. At this early stage of acid reflux, trigger food items, like coffee, chocolate, mint, and spicy food, may precipitate a heartburn attack. Avoiding coffee, tomato sauce… in early-stage acid reflux disease, reduces the frequency and severity of GERD symptoms. Avoiding coffee or going on a keto diet in stage 4 GERD is less likely to be effective.

Acid reflux disease or GERD is a chronic and progressive disease. Understanding disease pathophysiology and natural progression is crucial to offer a tailored and effective treatment that suits each patient particular condition.