A Journey from a Lifetime of Acid Reflux, Asthma and Medications to Healing:Real Food Replaces Medication

Is it possible to have acid reflux and asthma for most of your life and at nearly 50, be able to recover from these serious health problems through nutrition? It was for a dear friend of mine. Last summer I met David Morales, a terrific police officer who was helping my daughter with her car. After talking, I learned that he was an excellent musician, but that he suffered from chronic acid reflux and asthma.  In fact, his asthma at times was life-threatening and his acid reflux, pervasive. He had recently also suffered from some very frightening health experiences that needed effective answers, and he knew that his medications were just covering symptoms.  I had the privilege of sharing my books with him and found that he really took the advice to heart.  Since then, real miracles began to take place with his health.  His story sends a powerful message that I hope will help many other people.  Kathryne Pirtle

I am 49 years old and I’ve had acid reflux and asthma for pretty much all my life. In what I call the early years, the only thing that gave me any type of relief or comfort in controlling my acid reflux was milk, as in those days there were no medications. I still remember the countless nights I slept in a sitting position with a belly full of milk hoping for at least a half night’s good sleep. I was introduced to common acid-blocking medications in my early twenties and welcomed them with open arms. With time, I found myself using these medications anywhere from three up to four times a week without dependable relief. In fact, I would often have to take antacids along with my medication regimen so much so that I would buy them in the largest quantity available to save money.

 In early spring of 2012, while at work, I began to suffer from chest pain. Thinking I was having a heart attack, I was rushed to the local emergency room. After six hours of tests, I was sent home with a clean bill of health, a $7000 emergency-room bill and a RX for a narcotic pain killer. I was informed by the ER doctor that they couldn’t find anything wrong with me even though my body told me otherwise. The cause of this event literally became a mystery and made me very fearful of a possible recurrence.  I was on a serious search to find out what was happening to my health.

In the summer of 2012, I met Kathy Pirtle who enlightened me about raw milk. She told me how drinking raw milk from grass-fed cows had played a crucial role in her recovery from a life-threatening digestive disorder and 25 years of chronic pain.  I had already been drinking store bought milk for years and really didn’t believe it would help me any further than it already had in my early years. She told me about a few sources where I could purchase raw milk. I felt that I had nothing to lose  and that the ten dollars a gallon would be a very small  price to pay if this would help my condition. So the experiment began!  

 I immediately began drinking a minimum of 16oz to 24oz a day. I actually think I drank so much of it because I enjoyed the way it tasted and was tired of drinking juice and soda. Juice and soda were my preferences because I had stopped drinking liquor and smoking completely almost two years earlier.

In addition to raw milk, I began a strict regimen of consuming organic pasture-raised foods such as eggs, bacon, butter and meat and largely cut out grains, sugar and any processed food. I learned how to make milk and water kefir, which helped my digestion improve.  Culturing my own beverages saved me a lot a money—especially the water kefir , which only cost few dollars a gallon to make. I also religiously consumed fermented cod liver oil which I would add to my morning portion of milk. Cod liver oil was a childhood memory as my mother regularly gave it to me and my siblings.

It hasn’t been easy to make these changes because I was used to eating certain foods like corn products, which were an important staple in my diet. Additionally, I have learned that many foods in the store, like corn, are often GMO’s and may contribute to health problems.  Because of this, I began to purchase much of my food from different farms as I didn’t trust the local stores. It wasn’t enough for me to read that the products were organic. I felt that just because the label stated it was organic didn’t mean it really was.  I demanded proof! I wanted to make sure that all my products came from free-range grass-fed animals. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck—then it’s probably a duck!

For exercise,  I continued my daily habit of walking 3 to 5 miles three times a week, which I had been doing on and off for the past 15 to 20 years. I walk instead of running due to shin splints and asthma.

With all of these changes I began to notice some exciting improvements in my health.  After about a month, I noticed that I had lost approximately ten pounds without doing a single exercise except for my walking ritual. About four months into this regimen I noticed I had, give or take a few, lost between twenty to twenty-five pounds! 

Most importantly, my acid reflux and asthma were improving dramatically.  First, I realized I had only taken my acid reflux medication a total of about 5 to 6 times compared to the usual 3 to 4 times a week.  I still, from time to time, consume an antacid for temporary relief, but there is no comparison to the amount I was ingesting previously.  Second, my asthma attack pattern completely changed.  I don’t know if this is coincidence or not, but this fall I didn’t have my yearly asthma attacks, which I could set my clock to occur in early fall, and again in early spring. However, I have noticed that if I stop drinking the raw milk for longer than two weeks that my acid reflux returns immediately, even if I consume a small portion of spicy food.

I must admit that this food and lifestyle change requires a great amount of dedication, hope and discipline and may not be for everyone. I feel that I was blessed with an early warning system call that told my body that I must change what I was doing if I wished to continue to exist. Kathy turned me on to what I think is a great saying, “You Can Pay The Farmer Or You Can Pay The Doctor.”

Guess what—the farmer’s getting my money!
Hope this helps inform people about real milk and real food.

David Morales
25 Year Veteran
Chicago Police Department

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see my book, Performance without Pain and my e-book on healing acid-reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

11 thoughts on “A Journey from a Lifetime of Acid Reflux, Asthma and Medications to Healing:Real Food Replaces Medication”

  1. Hi Kathryne, Just like David, I too suffered with acid reflux and could not get off the medication without severe pain. I too had chest pains that sent me to the hospital only to find I was well (in the doctor’s eyes). He suggested it must be my acid reflux and that maybe I should take more meds. I had already been researching and planning to begin the GAPS diet which is the same foods David is eating…grassfed beef, free range chickens and pastured eggs, raw milk and cultured dairy products made from it, fermented vegetables, fermented cod liver oil….I started the GAPS diet Jan. 4th and have been off my meds completely for 2 months now and feeling better than ever! This is great news for all gastrointestinal sufferers! Take our advice and take control of your own health….or pay the doctors!

  2. We get raw milk, and eggs from a local farmer. I have a little acid reflux…not on blockers just thyroid meds for hypothyroidism. I had H.Plyori (bacteria in stomach) and recent blood test show that I still have it. Not sure how to get rid of it. Do not want to do antibiotic again!
    My G doctor said my stomach isn’t digesting my food fast enough. I had a endocopy and after 12 hrs of fasting showed undigested food. Hmm…thought it was the other way around. My doctor said I’m eating too many fiber/raw foods which is hard for my stomach to digest. I’m not sure what is going on.

  3. Too many high-fiber foods can cause digestion to slow down. When we eat too much fiber, digestion lasts longer and fermentation occurs, damaging the bacterial flora and causing problems such as bloating, flatulence and enlarged stools, leading to constipation or diarrhea, IBS and diverticular disease. Believe it or not, you need excellent stomach acid to digest fiber–so if you have compromised digestion–you probably have low acid and can’t break down the fiber so the food remains undigested.

    The other digestive attribute you need to digest fiber is a healthy gut flora from eating a diet rich in probiotic foods and beverages like raw milk kefir, water kefir, homemade sauerkraut, pickled beets and other fermented vegetables etc.

    When I was recovering from my serious digestive disorder, I consumed only easy-to-digest, nutrient-dense foods that helped heal my digestive tract and build a healthy gut flora. For about 3 years I did not touch a salad or nuts and these were some of my favorite foods!!! I really hope you will take a look at my books–they may help you significantly to understand which foods best heal a compromised digestive system.

    Best in Health–Kathryne Pirtle

  4. Great story, David. Good for you. You changed a bad diet into a good diet.

    My question: what would have happened if you had chosen for another good diet. There are many great diets around, there is the Banana girl, there is raw food fanatics, there are high and low carb people, bloodgroup eaters. They all look very healthy and feel equally so.

    So perhaps becoming heathy \ it is also a matter of what fits with your genetic makeup, or where you live and perhaps in what time of year. Looking at all these healthy people and their diets I wonder if there is one ideal diet for everyone. For now I don’t think so.

    Perhaps the biggest key is stopping the bad habits (refined foods for starters) and changing it into unrefined foods that fit you, may they be raw, Weston Price, bananas or whatever else.

  5. Dear Catherine,

    Yes, there are similar attributes to certain diets that compare to elements of the work of Weston A. Price. His work, when you study it, was thorough research on healthy, immune populations all over the world. He studied not just one “diet”, but looked at overall dietary principles in the different diets of these people that gave them perfect health. This is very important. So, while eliminating processed food and sugar etc. is an excellent start, there are certain foods have have an ability to heal the gut, improve digestion and offer the highest level of nutrients–and healing. From his research, Dr. Price established a set of dietary requirements necessary for optimal human health that involve nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods with adequate traditional fats from pastured animals and wild-caught fish. The surprising traditional practices involve high-fat nutrition and nutrient-dense products from pastured animals and wild-caught fish and seafood including:

    • Nutrient-dense, high-vitamin A and D foods, such as liver, cod liver oil and egg yolks—essential for nutrient absorption and methylation (Price found that healthy populations had 10x the amount of Vitamin A and D from natural sources in their diets.)
    • High quality traditional fats critical for digestion and nutrient absorption, such as raw butter and coconut oil.
    • Bone-broth soups made from chicken, beef, or fish, simmered up to 36 hours that heal the intestinal tract and provide essential nutrients in an easy-to-assimilate form, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other amino acids.
    • Easy-to-digest, high-enzyme, traditionally cultured foods to help develop a healthy intestinal flora, such as homemade sauerkraut, pickled beets, and raw milk kefir and yogurt from grass-fed cows.
    • High quality proteins—meats, raw dairy, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood—from animals eating their natural diets

    Weston A. Price’s work is really worth a clear study. One diet is not right for every person, but clearly, a nutrient-dense diet will have the most ability to support healing and optimal health.

    Best in health,
    Kathryne Pirtle

  6. Thanks for your reply, Kathryne,

    I can imagine eating the Price way is very healthy, and I do it myself, for a large part. But for instance in the morning I make slowjuices, assuming that attributes to my health. So I give it a personal touch. Perhaps in the spirit of Dr. Mercola.

    I love the work of Price, but people who eat totally different also seem to do great. There’s even people who, contrary to the beliefs of the Price fans, flourish on a diet raw food. And there’s people who most exclusively eat fruit, although there are rumors the hardcore vegans often suffer from what is dubbed ‘vegan rage’.

    Seeing all these happy and healthy people eating in totally different ways make me wonder there’s perhaps several ways leading to Rome.


  7. Dear Catherine,

    As I have said, there is not one diet that is right for every person. However, the dietary principles that Dr. Price found present in healthy populations are a goldmine for countless people on a healing journey. Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut,” and Dr. Price said, “All disease comes from malnourishment.” The principles of healing determined in Price’s research will effectively address gut issues and provide the optimal nutrient density necessary for maximizing healing.

    Best in health,
    Kathryne Pirtle

  8. I have a friend who’s son has had GERD for basically his whole life and has been on antacids since he was 5. He is now 16. He has a hiatal hernia and a structure in his esophagus. The cardiac sphincter isn’t working, and he is scheduled to have surgery to correct this by using some sort of rubber bands (I think) to mimic the function of this muscle.

    Does anyone have a similar story who has found an alternative to surgery?
    This kid has been to general doctors, docs at the Mayo Clinic, worked with FDN practitioners, etc, etc. and is now starting on a more WAPF friendly diet.

  9. Dear Shawn,

    I have not heard of this problem. However, I have had successful work with manually pushing down the hiatal hernia with an excellent chiropractor I work with. It has been my experience that the esophageal sphincter is weakened because of candida overgrowth in the stomach–and the candida attaches itself to the esophageal sphincter and paralyzes the muscles. I am leery of surgery and would look at this as an option first. Once the candida problem is resolved and the hiatal hernia is manually pushed down on a regular basis, there may be total resolution of this problem. I would recommend that your friend’s son sleep on a propped up bed–either with a wedge or propping up the head of the bed itself. Also–he should not eat before bed–and not eat hard-to-digest foods. My e-book should help tremendously.

    Please feel free to e-mail me directly through my website.

  10. Hi Kathryn,

    Thank you so much for your blog and ebook. I just purchased it! My husband has been suffering from acid reflux for many years now and I’ve finally become enlightened with the fact that he needs to change his diet dramatically! I want to start him tomorrow!!

    I read In your book to start with bone broth the first week. Does that mean ONLY bone broth for the entire week? Almost like a cleanse? He’s going to hate that idea, but this may be his answer. It’s funny because I just made a huge batch of beef bone broth. Please give me this clarification ASAP. Would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

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