Category Archives: Ear Infections and Acid Reflux

Quenching the Fire—Real Hope for Those who Suffer from Acid Reflux

After decades of being told by the experts that a diet high in fiber and low in fat is the key to robust good health, why is it that one in every 5 Americans is being treated for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, (GERD)?

Studies show more than 60 million Americans are currently being treated by their physicians for acid reflux. Last year there were 470,000 hospitalizations and 1.9 million visits to the emergency room as a result of GERD, commonly known as acid reflux. What’s more, GERD is now being diagnosed in children, birth to four years.

Since 1999 the majority of Americans say they are now following the dietary guidelines recommended by the FDA, eating at least 5 servings of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains each day.  We are also following the advice of the medical community and eliminating from our diets traditional fats,(like butter) and decreasing our intake of protein—especially our favorite food-to-hate—red meat.

What is it, then, that such a large percentage of our population is doing that would promote the massive increase in this ailment? Should our entire nation succumb to popular medications that merely treat the symptoms but do nothing to remedy the underlying cause?

In my e-book, Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness I pull back the curtain of misinformation to reveal the truth about why we are all chronically ill not only with GERD, but a variety of ailments including cancer, heart disease, allergies, dementia, even autism: see The Healing Diet for Acid Reflux Disease

Much of what we are told about good nutrition today is based on trends and faulty research funded by the Goliath factory farming industry. For 25 years I suffered from debilitating pain and chronic illness. Over that time I also suffered from symptoms of impaired digestion including persistent flatulence and at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with acid reflux that almost ended my career as a professional clarinetist. Even though I diligently followed popular health dictates as outlined in the traditional Food Pyramid and the resulting digestive illness and malnutrition nearly cost me my life.

If the Food Pyramid isn’t the answer, what is?  In Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness I explain how our bodies actually work to digest and assimilate the food we eat.

Before the 1950s most of our foods came from small family farms. These high quality foods were from animals eating their natural diets.  Cows ate grass, chickens ate bugs and worms, and all fish were caught in the wild.  These are nutrient-dense foods our bodies need for optimal health and digestion, but unfortunately, this is not what we find at our grocery stores today.

Consider how many ads you see for drugs to address chronic health problems like acid reflux, gas, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Pharmaceutical companies expect to earn a whopping $400,000,000 in annual sales from going over-the-counter with the ‘little purple pill. This remedy for acid reflux is nothing more than a slow death.

Current information on so-called healthy eating will not heal digestive disorders and will ultimately lead to nutrient deficiencies, illness, and even death, it behooves us to learn the difference.

The principles of a truly healthy diet are but one aspect found in this exceptional e-book.  Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness also provides information on where to find nutrient-dense foods, shares delicious recipes and menu ideas, and makes the road to true healing informative and enjoyable.

For more information on healing and building health with nutrient-dense foods and seminars on this subject, see Performance without Pain and The Healing Diet for Acid Reflux Disease

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Ear Infections and Acid Reflux–What is the relationship?

Ear infections have become a common ailment in children. A child who suffers from frequent ear infections is at risk for permanent hearing loss. Although the most widely used treatment for ear infections is antibiotics, is this approach really addressing the underlying cause and are there long-term risks of not looking at the real health issue? When a society sees a common health problem and the answer is a medication, one must ask, “Is there is a great danger in following this path?”

What could possibly be an underlying reason for a mass epidemic in ear infections in children? What many people do not realize is that acid reflux is often present in a child with ear infections. As refluxed liquid enters the upper throat and inflames the adenoids, it causes them to swell. The swollen adenoids can block the passages of the sinuses and Eustation tube and fluid can build in the sinuses and middle ear. Acid reflux affects 1 in 5 people in our country. Therefore, looking at the acid reflux problem closely will not only help these children heal permanently, but also help to understand what our society as a whole faces to prevent this and other health epidemics that are related to poor digestion from continuing to escalate.

Acid reflux is caused from poor digestion. Hippocrates said that, “All diseases begin in the gut.” So treating ear infections with antibiotics is not only an incorrect long-term healing approach, it does not address the underlying problem of poor digestion and can be just one more element that puts a person at risk for other serious diseases.

The acid reflux epidemic in children is most often a direct outgrowth of a familial inheritance of poor gut flora when the child is born. When a child passes through the birth canal, it should acquire a healthy dose of gut flora from the mother. However, if the mother’s digestive health is poor or the child is born by a cesarean section, it’s gut flora, a first line of defense for illness, may be greatly compromised. If the child is breast-fed, this can help establish good intestinal flora for digestion, but only if the mother also has this asset.

Acid reflux and its related symptom, ear infections, have become epidemic since the drastic change to our food supply in the 1950s, where people began eating hard-to-digest foods that were very low in nutrient-density and stopped eating traditional probiotic cultured foods. This has caused a society laden with digestive problems. Hard-to-digest, low-nutrient foods slow down digestion and can promote the proliferation of a candida overgrowth in the stomach and intestinal tract. The gases from the fermentation of food create the acid  reflux conditions that can cause ear infections.

The solution for permanent healing is to return to the types of foods that supported healthy digestion and optimal health in our ancestors. These foods are the nutrient-dense meats, poultry, dairy and eggs from pastured animals and the wide array of cultured and fermented foods that used to grace our tables and provide the body with the building blocks of optimal health. Cultured foods like raw milk kefir, yogurt, homemade sauerkraut, pickled beets and beet kvass were a part of the everyday meals of people worldwide for thousands of years. They insure the proper gut flora that is absolutely necessary for good digestion.  By approaching ear infections from the much broader perspective of poor digestion and changes to our food supply, we have the tools to improve our own health and help future generations to free themselves of the far-reaching effects of a profit-based industrial food supply.

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

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Natural Remedies for GERD/Acid Reflux–are they effective?

There are mountains of books on natural healing from digestive disorders. Considering that 1 in five people have GERD/acid reflux–the mountain of information does seem necessary. In most circles, an illness that affects 1 in 5 people would surely be considered an epidemic! I have gleaned all the health books that have natural remedies and have compiled a good list below. While all of these are helpful for healing the symptoms, they do not address the fact that with a digestive disorder there is serious long-term malnourishment. These books also do not ask the question, “Why do we have an exponential increase in acid reflux in our population?” Or–“Is acid reflux a precursor to other degenerative illnesses?” If we look at the two profound statements of leaders in the study of optimal human health; that “All diseases begin in the gut,” of Hippocrates and “All disease is caused from malnourishment,” of Dr. Weston A. Price, we can begin to ascertain the magnitude of the acid reflux epidemic and see that we are probably at the brink of a health disaster unless we begin changing our food supply. A nutrient-dense, traditional foods diet is an effective approach to healing symptoms and the underlying cause of acid reflux/GERD. When you purchase traditionally raised foods from small farms dedicated to bringing you the highest quality foods, you vote with your wallet! (For sources of nutrient-dense foods see

Good Suggestions:
• Eat small, frequent meals
• Eat slowly
• Follow an anti-Candida diet
• Take enzymes and probiotics
• Eat fermented foods
• Eat an easy-to-digest diet
• Cut down on simple carbohydrates
• Cabbage juice, celery juice potato juice may be helpful
• Aloe Vera juice may be helpful for healing
• Helpful herbs: slippery elm, ginger, marshmallow root, licorice, bladderwrack, chamomile, fennel seed, lemon balm and turmeric, cumin, meadowsweet
• Orange peel extract may be helpful
• Papaya and papaya juice may be helpful
• Bitters may help digestion
• Colostrum may help to boost the immune system
• Raw honey and cinnamon before bed may be helpful
• MSM and Zinc Carnosine helps heal damaged tissue in stomach and intestinal lining (never found bone broth as a remedy, which will do the same thing much more effectively)
• Acupressure may be helpful
• Wear loose clothing
• Minimize stress
• Meditation is helpful
• Regular exercise is helpful
• Sleep 8 hours
• Elevate you bed
• Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
• Avoid allergenic foods
• Avoid grains
• Avoid vegetables that produce gas
• Avoid high-fiber foods
• Avoid fried foods
• Avoid juices and citrus fruits (except lemon)
• Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, mint and mint flavorings
• Avoid spicy foods
• Avoid microwaving, food additives, vegetable oils and nutrient-poor foods
• Avoid NSAIDS and antibiotics
• Avoid smoking

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

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Tradtional fermented foods–why everybody needs them for good health

Traditionally cultured and fermented foods like plain whole milk kefir and yogurt from grass-fed cows, homemade sauerkraut, kimchee and pickled beets, and beverages like beet kvass and  kombucha were common foods throughout history before refrigeration. They were a way to preserve foods worldwide. Would it surprise you to know that you absolutely cannot afford to live without them though?

In order to function properly–that is to break down our foods into usable components and detoxify our body– the human digestive system needs ample probiotic bacteria and enzymes. Fermented and cultured foods naturally provide these components. Without these kinds of foods, we may develop many serious digestive problems like candida overgrowth, which chemically change the way our foods are processed and we will not be able to get rid of toxins. Ultimately, poor digestion equals poor health. In fact, acid reflux, inflammatory conditions of all kinds and cancer can be linked to poor digestion and a toxic overload.

Do your health a big favor–devote time to learning to prepare these delicious cultured and fermented foods. As your digestion improves so will your health!

For more information on preparing cultured and fermented foods see our website at Both of our books, Performance without Pain and our e-book on healing acid reflux are wonderful guides to optimizing digestion.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Acid Reflux–a Serious Digestive Ailment that Can Lead to Other Chronic Health Problems and Inflammation

Acid Reflux—a National Epidemic and a Precursor to Chronic illness

Treatment of Acid Reflux/GERD with Traditional Foods

There are endless radio, television, internet and magazine ads dedicated to medication that treats acid-reflux and other related digestive complaints. In fact, 60 million Americans have acid-reflux and many people have acid reflux without knowing it. In addition to the typical symptom of acid-regurgitation, other less-known symptoms include hoarseness, belching, chronic throat clearing and sore throat, persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, nausea, asthma and wheezing and persistent hiccups in adults.  In infants and children, frequent ear infections, excessive crying, nausea with or without vomiting, excessive coughing, respiratory problems, refusing food, excessive belching and burping.

What is the cause of this massive increase in GERD—there has been a 56% increase in the last few years of medicine for acid-reflux and digestive disorders in infants and children from 0-4 years old! Should our entire population succumb to these medications that magically “heal” the symptoms of these discomforts, thereby inadvertently expanding the wealth of drug companies? Could it be that there is a great danger in the “purple pill solution”—that the “purple pill” is the wrong answer to your health challenge? In fact, what you need to know is that untreated or incorrectly treated acid reflux may lead to serious, life-threatening illness—that it may be a precursor of severe degenerative conditions.

The most effective approach to the treatment of acid reflux with traditional foods. Through a diet of nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods from pastured animals and wild-caught fish, adequate vitamin A and D, and cultured foods that correct poor intestinal flora, acid reflux and intestinal damage can be permanently healed.

For more information see

A “Healthy” High-Fiber/Lowfat Diet may actually lead to digestive disorders and chronic inflammation

The “healthy” high-fiber/low fat diet diet that has been given the greatest press by doctors, ads and news reports may actually be quite harmful for your digestive system and leave you over time with chronic inflammation, allergies of all kinds and malnourishment.

High fiber foods are quite difficult to digest as they are high in cellulose. First, when we eat a high amount of fiber, it can expand in our stomach and cause digestion to last longer. This can lower the stomach acid in the stomach making it difficult for the food to be broken down. As soon as stomach acid lowers, bacteria, viruses and fungi can thrive in the stomach where they normally will be kept at bay. This can cause over time a candida overgrowth.

A  candida-or yeast-overgrowth-in the stomach will pass into the intestinal tract causing bacterial imbalances and dysbiosis. Some of the symptoms of dysbiosis are acid reflux, flatulence and bowel disorders of all kinds like constipation or diarrhea. With a candida overgrowth, our foods are not broken down properly, we cannot absorb nutrients well, our intestinal tract can become damaged and inflamed and we eventually can become malnourished. This cycle can cause systemic inflammation throughout the body as well as allergies.

Traditional fats are essential for nutrient absorption. Dr. Weston A. Price ( found that the diets of healthy populations worldwide included ample fats, like butter, cream, lard and meat with its fat from pastured animals, coconut oil and eggs from pastured chickens. He determined that without adequate fat in the diet, a person could not absorb the nutrients from the food no matter how good the diet. When the Indians and explorers could only find lean meat, they starved to death. Adequate fat from traditional foods is absolutely necessary to good health and without it, good digestion will not be possible and eventually one will become malnourished and have chronic inflammation.

Following the media’s “healthy” diet may not provide you with a life-time of good health. Building health with traditional nutrient-dense foods can offer healing and protection from digestive disorders and chronic inflammation.

For more information see