The gut microbiome is composed of millions of microbes living in symbiosis and regulating a number of physiologic processes including gastrointestinal motility. GERD, a multifactorial gastrointestinal motility disorder, may partly result from gut microbiome dysbiosis. Manipulation of gut microbes through diet, prebiotics, probiotics and fecal transplantation is a promising therapeutic target to eliminate heartburn.
A number of small studies have been published in the literature showing a beneficial effect on reducing heartburn and other GERD related symptoms with probiotic supplement consumption. Probiotics are found in fermented food items like yogurt and sauerkraut as well as dietary supplements. In one study, infants who were given probiotic supplement for 30 days showed accelerated gastric emptying, and decreased food regurgitation. The underlying mechanism of theses beneficial effects remains to be elucidated. There are currently no treatment guidelines of GERD using probiotics. At Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center we encourage all our patients to adopt healthy eating habits including the consumption of fermented foods. However, we caution patients about treating severe GERD and advanced symptoms with food supplements and dietary manipulation. Stage 3 and 4 GERD necessitates management by an experienced acid reflux specialist. At Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center we offer a number of solutions for severe GERD that cure your acid reflux and improve your quality of life.