Gerd - Bill Thompson Protocol
Natural Remedies

Bill Thompson's GERD Protocol

| Modified on Jul 29, 2022
Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Grahamp (Andalucia, Spain) on 06/06/2015

Thanks Bill for the protocol and all other info.

I am 71 year male, fit and active, but virtually all my life I have suffered with throat clearing small cough. In England 12 years ago used to suffer badly with bloated stomach which doctors diagnosed as stress related..... that was really debilitating..... Anyway I read an article in The Daily Mail, UK, around 6 months ago about a woman who always had sore throats and could never get a diagnosis until a locum doctor arrived and took an interest and solved the mystery, it was GERD. So this set me thinking. When leaving UK 2003 and living in France, I found that when eating BBQ meat I sometimes could not swallow it and the food became stuck in my osophagus which would only move after gulping a glass of water. Anyway over the last 12 years this has very slowly got worse to the state where I had to make myself sick to get rid of this blockage, I could feel the food starting to be digested and bubbling in my osophagus and it was starting to happen much more frequently. I used to get heartburn on and off, it was strange.... I could go for 3/4 weeks without any heartburn and then for 2 weeks I would get it and take Rennies which always immediately stopped the heartburn. #

On a very few occasion I would get only what I can describe as acid coming into my mouth when I would be asleep and immediately waking me up. This was really terrible and took probably a good hour to get rid the awful taste in the mouth and throat.

Finally early this year I went to the doctor and then specialist for endiscopy and they found that I had a hiatus hernia, an ulcer but no signs of cancer thank goodness and so the doctor then put me on Omprazole. Well at first they made things feel better and I could swallow food much more easily and the doctor then for whatever reason double the daily dose and told me I would be taking them for the rest of my life!

I didn't like to hear this..... so started looking for alternatives.... at the same time I found that my swallowing problem was returning even while taking these tablets. So I decided to get off them and reduced to one every other day and from 18th May have not taken even one. I have been taking sodium bicarb when I get heartburn and I have also started taking bentonite once a day and iodine drops and now I have started with the ACV natural and hoping that all will get better, plus I have bought some Betaine tablets and started taking today. One thing that contributes to my throat clearing I think and my general congestion is a post nasal drip caused by my allergic rhinitus which I have had for 35 years or so. I had ops. on my nose to help breathing but nothing worked. So I am taking Ebestina for the allergy side and Flixinase for my nose to keep it clear. I guess that this problem has a bearing on my GERD......

So anyone with similar problems and cures, love to hear from you....

Bill, thanks again for a great column.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Bodulica (Barrie) on 04/16/2015

Having all the symptoms (and diagnosed) of GERD, several years ago I started taking enzymes with HCL. Ended with terrible, sharp pains in my stomach. HCL was definitely not for me!

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Philippines) on 04/19/2015

Hi Jez...I find it a little surprising that you say that bile salts are acid when, in any definition of bile salts, bile salts are well defined as being alkaline.

I'm also surprised that you generally say that when people have their gall bladders removed (which then causes a lack of bile) then you conclude that this is what what causes their diarrhea. From my readings of people with their gall-bladders removed, these people generally always have constipation issues because bile acts to emulsify food fats and is alkaline and so this creates soap and helps the food to move down the intestines more easily. So if you have a lack of bile then that is why constipation normally ensues.

Therefore, for any person who has already had his/her gallbladder removed and who also has constant diarrhea, I would probably conclude that that person's has other things wrong with their intestines -- with a strong infection of the intestines caused by pathogenic bacteria or fungus or both being the favourite cause of constant diarrhea.

And if a person who has had his gall bladder out also has GERD(low stomach acid) then this is not a good situation. This means that all forms of pathogens, including parasites, that is incoming with the food, will not be killed or neutralized in the stomach due to the low stomach acid. So when these pathogens pass into the intestines they will breed and will likely cause other problems such as diarrhea. Digestion may also be impaired in the duodenum because, with the reduction in alkaline bile salts(caused by gallbladder removal) this means that the neutralizing of the acid chyme or food from the stomach may not happen -- so the upper intestines remains acid. This also means that the digestive enzymes in the duodenum cannot work(they need an alkaline environment to work) and so this could also greatly hinder proper digestion.

Also remember that the gall bladder is just a collection point for bile in between meals. When you have a meal then the correct amount of bile will be discharged from the gallbladder to do its job during digestion. So if you no longer have this collection point or bile reservoir known as the gallbladder then other problems such as constipaton will arise due to lack of bile. But if you also have GERD(low stomach acid) as well then your intestines will most likely already be infected with pathogens such that other problems like bloating, gas, pains and diarrhea may result from this situation.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Daniela (Canada) on 01/14/2019

Hi Bill,

Thanks for sharing the Gerd protocol. Could you please clarify two things: dosage for betaine HCL and duration of using this protocol?

With thanks, Daniela

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Jez (North Carolina) on 04/19/2015

Thanks for responding. If you Google "diarrhea after gallbladder removal" you'll note a Mayo Clinic article and many other links to this post-gallbladder removal situation. I'm not asking my question well here (and I seem to have lost it), apologies. Bile malabsorption (or oddly sometimes called bile salts diarrhea) diarrhea is caused by the bile dripping from the liver into the intestine (there's no gallbladder to provide regulation and timing as you well note). Oddly, it's a very seemingly acidic liquid that comes from the gut, burning, however alkaline the bile. I've found that nothing I consume after 15 years of struggling with this actually helps any more. As for the GERD, I have heard two opposing things: that GERD can be caused by too little acid in the stomach or too much, it just depends on the unique individual. Doc prescribed for high acid but I opted for dietary alterations 'though I am a non-GMO, organic, mostly paleo-type eater leaning toward the theory of low acid. But lately, I've mostly been a bone broth drinking, coconut flour bread consuming, boiled chicken eating refugee of gallbladderless nightmares. In the meantime, I find myself awash in a sea of advice for how to treat the gut after gallbladder removal. All advice assumes constipation with rare nodding pass at the rare diarrhea side effect in some. The advice often includes bromelain (which I have taken) and pancreatin (ditto). I find that the laxative effect when I eat seems worse with these additions. I'm confused as to why that would be. So what's my question? I don't know anymore. I have GERD. I have no gallbladder. I have CFS(20 years). And none of these get better with age. Thanks for such a detailed response. I suppose it's Imodium for me and perhaps this suggested routine for the GERD. I've tried baking soda as you suggest as well. GERD comes and goes and seems to have no rhyme or reason but I suspect there's something I'm not seeing. My worst time of symptoms with the gut has followed on the heels of major attempt to alkalinize my system. It's really strange. Far too many things to manage and they overlap.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Dia (Usa) on 11/27/2015

Jez - I am not a doctor....but the thought keeps coming to me that IF I were having your issues I might go to the LIVER as part of the problem. No scientific truths attached to this feeling except that when I try to solve problems and 1 thing doesn't work, then go to the next level and 'troubleshoot' there. I can't imagine that the Hulda Clark or Andreas Moritz Gallbladder/Liver Cleanse protocol will hurt you (yes, folks without Gallbladders can use this protocol to release gallstones nestled in the liver). I had a great variety of distress for many years and finally got so lacking in energy that I thought I was dying. A liver cleanse came to mind, but I put it off for several months because of the regurgitation issues I had that caused me to fear doing a cleanse, I finally did it....figured all I would do was throw up if it wasn't working well. Anyway, many people online speak ill of these cleanses......all that I can say is good things. I cannot tell you how much stuff came out of my overburdened liver. I did 9 cleanses until finally nothing came out at all. I had all sorts of things over the weeks come out, as if my liver was cleansing in stages fifth cleanse seemed to produce some 'parasite/fluke-like' things......I seriously wondered if these weren't the result of my 1998 trip to China. Since China I've done parasite cleanses, but not the liver cleanse!! I offer this in sincere hopefulness that it is the KEY to your issues and that all plumbing will zing along well and major issues settle right down IF you do the cleanses. Even tho' I copied Hulda Clark's recipe from the internet, I also read Andreas Moritiz' book about the GB/Liver cleanse. I agree with you that you will find a good end result to your problems....after all, God has provided an answer for you. I agree you will find it and I hope a Liver cleanse is it....even if it is not the final answer, it won't hurt you if you do it according to directions. Then God can take you to next level!!

PS - Jez, please look into Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for your CFS. It is also something I would try if I had that condition. Very low side effects, and it can be purchased without a script (but some docs will prescribe). Certainly worth a try, especially since your beleaguered body could use an immune boost!

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Charity (Faithville, Us) on 02/04/2021

Gallbladder Removed? What Happens Next Explained By Dr Berg - YouTube

What Happens to Fat Absorption With NO Gallbladder? : Dr.Berg - YouTube

There is more information on the pages you can link to. Eric Berg knows his stuff and has helped me heal my gut issues. I have a gallbladder. Blessings, Charity

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Lisa C (California, US) on 02/17/2015

I just want to thank you so much, Bill for the advice regarding Betaine HCL in the acid reflux forum. I have been suffering from pylori caused duodenal ulcer for a year and a half. It was so frustrating because I would think I had stabilised through various treatment only to experience a return of the pain. After reading your detailed explanation about low stomach acid I took a chance and started taking some with every meal.

I tried gauging how much to take based on the size or protein and fat content of the meal and I have been given my life back. Most experiences with ulcer cures seem effective mostly with stomach ulcers and very few seemed to make it as fas as the duodenum. I started trying to experiment with alkaline waters and enteric coated alkaline pills but the relief was inconsistent.

When I read about CCK from your link and the impact on the duodenum, I knew this was a major find for me. I am just so happy that I want to scream it from the mountain tops! Things I have tried: antibiotics, ppi, mastic gum, colloidal silver (helpful but no cure), peppermint oil, slippery elm, aloe Vera, probiotics, beta glucan, wobenzyme, Roberts formula, gastrazyme, gastromend, zinc carnosine, activated charcoal, homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies, cranberry juice, kombucha, baking soda, oregano oil, etc. I'm sure I have forgotten quite a few but nothing helped consistently.

i can now eat and drink anything and I know I won't be awakened in the middle of the night with extreme gastritis.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Timh (KY) on 03/04/2015 2073 posts

I would advocate the avoidance of any bile products that are harvested from Ox or Bear cadavers. Living in a cage w/ a catheter is quite inhumane. Anyway, it's not necessary.

The human body makes bile from the amino acids Taurine and Glycine. Take 500mg each of these, and along w/ digestive enzymes you should be ok. Yellowdock, Dandelion, and Artichoke promote bile flow and may help. Eat Beets or drink Beet Juice regularly to keep the liver clean.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Elliot (Jacksonville, Fl) on 03/07/2015

Hi Bill, Seems like you are quite well versed on the subject. I'd like to point out that there are other potential causes of GERD like Hiatus Hernia, over-acidity, preservatives etc. Two months ago I took Avalox (level 2 antibiotic) for a persistent sinus infection. Interestingly, I found that my GERD symptoms were substantially reduced (at least for now). This may lend credence to those who suggest that some GERD is caused by Helicobacter pylori. Can you please comment on this?

Here is the advice I used to give friends with GERD:

Acid reflux or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease is not only responsible for stomach pain but can cause many difficulties including sinusitis, asthma and even cancer. Much of the pain and damage is actually not in the stomach but in the esophagus and higher when the stomach acid spills over. Some people don't feel pain at all but can still damage their esophagus, throat, sinus, lungs and even erode tooth enamel.

Taking prescription antacids over a long period may cause serious side effects. Below is a list of potential fixes, but you will need to experiment to see which work best for you.

  • Eat smaller meals.
  • Some people benefit from drinking a cup of water with a soupspoon of apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of raw honey (processed honey can work well too) before and/or after a meal. This tricks the stomach's sensor into believing that there is enough acid.
  • Don't drink much while eating to avoid diluting digestive juices. If the stomach senses that there is not enough acidity because of the dilution it will add more.
  • Try not to mix proteins and fruits s as they get digested differently.
  • Chew well before swallowing to speed digestion
  • Avoid eating fried, spicy or fatty foods.
  • Some people need to avoid foods with preservatives.
  • Many processed foods contain additives that may not agree with your system. Track indigestion events to see what food may be the culprit.
  • Don't lie flat (to sleep or otherwise) for at least three or four hours after eating.
  • Sleep with your upper body (from torso on) elevated at a 45+ degree angle.
  • Eat foods that digest quickly like fruits and vegetables. The faster food gets out of the stomach the better.
  • Take an advanced acidophiles and enzyme supplement like Solgar Advanced 40+ and Rainbow Light Advanced enzyme to help speed digestion.

(Just added) Finally, your reflux may be caused by an hiatus hernia which is not related to above. Also, a growing number of people believe that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is the cause of many reflux cases. There are some natural ways to control or eliminate it.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Staci (Indiana) on 07/28/2022

I believe it could be your gallbladder… I hope you've figured it out by now.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Jez (North Carolina, US) on 04/19/2015

Bill, this information looks promising. My number one question: what of those who have GERD and bile salts diarrhea (too much bile in the intestines) from gallbladder removal? Will any of these ingredients add to the overly acidic environment beyond the stomach? (I'm assuming not but I've learned not to assume anything.)


Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Lexie (USA) on 02/04/2021

Hi. Thanks for the info about your situation. I had my gallbladder out about 8 years ago. Now - thru the years, I have constant diarrhea as well. What does CFS mean in your posts? I am going to try the liver cleanse. I do believe it is the liver that is causing me problems. Hope your situation and health has improved. Lexie

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Jez (North Carolina) on 04/19/2015

Bill, I had to read your response again. There are times when over-exertion and CFS makes for a lower mental absorption reality. O.o It really does sound like tackling the GERD will be essential and it's best to assume low acid. You've explained this in ways I've not experienced and it makes sense. One note: I started, in desperation, using psyllium husk powder and clay to sop up my gut. It helped. Would you see this as risky given all else? (If this is asking too much, I understand.)

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Gene (San Diego, Ca) on 03/03/2015

Bill, Thanks for the insightful information. Could you please include the bile component of digestion. I'm currently using Ox Bile, but am not sure when the optimal time before/during/after a meal to take - and also what quantity. Thanks, GA

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Bill (San Fernando) on 03/03/2015

Hi Gene...Bile is needed in digestion to emulsify fats in order to aid in the efficient absorption of fats into the blood from the intestines. Bile is also alkaline and, together with the bicarbonates from the pancreatic juices, helps to create soap. This soap helps to move the feces down the intestines easily and without problems.

Generally, if you are heavily lacking in bile from the liver, then this could manifest as a serious ongoing constipation issue. People who have had their gallbladders remove usually always have trouble with constipation due to lack of bile because the gallbladder is the main reservoir and dispersal point for bile during digestion.

There's really no need to take ox-bile unless your stools are pale yellow or green or if you are seriously constipated. These days, you can easily buy pancreatin enzymes combined with ox-bile.

But if you have had your gallbladder removed or you are seriously lacking in bile then you will need to take much higher amounts of ox-bile to compensate for your lack of bile -- and that's when ox-bile tablets should be used and taken on there own at mealtimes.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Karly (Au) on 03/08/2015

Hi Bill,

I am very excited to see your article - thank you, thank you!! Your protocol and explanation have given me hope for numerous ailments mentioned in the article - thank you!!

Question - how long does one need to take the daily dose of each of the above nutrients for? Is it lifelong or is there a time frame you recommend for gut neutralising and healing?

It sounds like this protocol will prevent further damage to the esophagus through reduced reflux? Do you have any additional suggestions to promote healing of the esophagus?

Thanks for the hope - I can't wait to try it out!

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Tom (West Coast, Us) on 03/15/2015

Hi Bill, I have been a major GERD sufferer for years. After one endoscopy, two H-pylori tests coming out negative the gastro-enterologists can't tell me anything. I've mainly been taking Pepcid, Zantac, and Nexium of various dosages over a LONG period only to experience temporary relief. You mentioned one of the possible dangers of this sickness is excess weight loss. I don't have a weight problem except for the protruding belly but not overweight. Is it possible I have too much stomach acid production?

I think I'll give your protocol a try. Thanks, Tom

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Will (Wa., US) on 03/19/2015

This is great information and I am in hopes the information provided here represent the keys in curing what ails me which is silent reflux. I've been on PPI's well over 20 years now. Zantac and others before that. They have for the most part kept the heartburn away. I am in process of weaning myself off PPI's gradually. Couldn't handle it cold turkey.

In 2011 I experienced what was to become several more episodes of vertigo. This last one got my attention landing me in the ER. From there working backwards, in 2008 the GERD symptoms I experienced then were severe. Stress and anxiety then was off the charts. The GI doc upped my dose to 20mg of Prilosec twice a day. The endoscopy showed as being clear. Shortly after getting this under control and backing down two one single 20mg daily dose I started experiencing pressure in my right ear. It's also the side I sleep on the most. The ear pressure has been a constant companion to this day.

I was recently tested for allergies and which turned up both food and pollen allergies such as dust mites, ragweed, milk, egg whites, bakers yeast etc. The ENT says on a scale of 1-10 I'm a 6.5-7 for allergies. I came across mention of histamine-producing foods and remember after eating an orange and then another day after eating bowl of Chex Cinnamon cereal how my sinuses flared up. I'm not allergic to either according to the tests that were done. But citrus type foods and cinnamon produce histamine. I think the root cause of my symptoms is the PPI use and what it has done to me digestive wise. I also think this has resulted being more allergic in a way I certainly never was before. Any thoughts?

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Kay (Au) on 04/15/2015

Better But With Side Effects

Hi there,

Thanks for this protocol and all of your information! I started the full protocol about 10 days ago and I have to say that it seems to have almost completely eliminated my persistent and long term reflux - thank you! The only worry is that I now have a very sore throat (at the base of the throat) - which I have always experienced when trying to go off my strong PPI. Do you think this means that the acid is burning the esophagus (even though I am not getting the refulx))???

Many thanks again! Kay

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Green Augustine (Mold, Denbighshire) on 05/06/2015 41 posts

Hi Bill, I've been following the discussions on Gerd, Hiatus Hernia and Leaky gut for a good few weeks and am encouraged but also more than a bit confused and hope for some clarification from you if possible. Briefly I'm a 66 year old Causasian woman living in North Wales and was diagnosed with Hiatus Hernia in 1995 after a very stressful year or so. I've managed it, I thought reasonably well, till last year when it flared up and nothing seemed to help. I grow all my own organic veg, eat everything organic which I cook myself, nothing is processed and I am over weight by about 15 kilos/ 2 stone or so Which I'm working on. I had started taking Cayenne pepper tea late Summer and suspect this might have made things worse so I changed to Meadow sweet and camomile which does sooth things. In January I saw a private digestion consultant who later put a camera down into my stomach, and checked also for H Pylori, gluten intolerance and did a small biopsy. There was no sign of intolerance or of the HP bacteria, but the Hiatus hernia he said was very large and there were scars or lesions on the stomach lining which he said was as a result of too much acid in my stomach. He put me on Pantaprazole 20 mg( pantoprazole sodium sesquihydrate) which he said I'd need to take for life. I'd already tried Omaprazole etc and felt terrible - nausea, wind, dizziness so I wasn't too keen. I did however try them for a week but felt nauseous, dizzy and so much wind till about midday plus alternating constipation and diarrhoea ( I have to take them around supper time). So I stopped Taking the M for the moment. I had a session with a Kiniesiologist - and apple cider vinegar, organic pure slippery elm, kefir, raw milk etc were all rejected by my body though it loved the homeopathic remedy I'd been given, coconut oil etc and Ted's wonderful mixture of turmeric, cumin and ginger. Today I Started lemon juice with Bicarbornate of soda after breakfast and so far so good. However, the Kiniesiology also highlighted leaky gut which I guess is linked to Gerd etc. In your protocol for Gerd, you say this is not necessary correct for Hiatus hernia if I've understood it correctly. My kinesiologist says if I can heal the leaky gut, probably the Hernia etc will improve( also lose some weight will help).

Since seeing the Kiniesiologist last week, I've been mainly having green veg soup with a chicken bone broth base, herbs and cumin etc for lunch and dinner which feels soothing. I'm cutting down on grain, though I seem ok with Einkorn( very ancients grain) and have cut right back on raw milk and kefir though take sauerkraut - my own homemade and unpasteurised- I also sleep witH raise mattress etc. so my question is - where should I go from here? Do I need a test on over-acid stomach- the specialist says if I don't lower acid level, I'll get ulcers which of course is dangerous and scary. I do feel a bit confused with all the different suggestions and I realise there's no 'one size fits all' for any disorder. But any helpful input would be appreciated greatly. This is an amazing site and thank heavens we have access to such knowledge and experience. The specialist means well but is trained and brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies and can't / won't see any other solution than drugs. And I don't feel this is helpful necessarily.

Thank you very much in advance and earth blessings on you all.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Kathy (Nv) on 05/06/2015

I am not a professional however I too have leaky gut and hiatus hernia. I also went to a kinesiologist for treatment. The best thing I ever did! Fixed me right up! So much faster and easier than a regular dr. Vinegar with baking soda added really helps the digestion process.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Green Augustine (Mold, Denbighshire) on 05/11/2015 41 posts

Thank you for that, Marshall. I'll see if I can find a chiropractor. I already see a McTimoney chiropractor so maybe he can help. I asked my Tai Chi teacher who is a master and he's also shown me some movements to help so I'll try that too. I'm finding Bicarb and lemon juice very helpful too.

Betaine HCL for GERD
Posted by Green Augustine (Mold, Denbighshire) on 05/11/2015 41 posts

Thanks Kathy. I've also found Bicarb or baking soda as you call it, very helpful once I got the dose right for me. I read somewhere on this site that Bill was recommending Colustrum for leaky gut and BElaine for acid reflux. I wonder if anyone has any experience of these two and how helpful they've been?