GERD, NERD & other food-driven ailments that baffle doctors

Meanwhile, Pepsi has a new fat-blocking soda with fiber.

While watching portions of CBS This Morning and The Late Show (Letterman), two news stories caught my attention. One was about untreatable heartburn and the other about a new fat-blocking soda with fiber.

Both reminded me of the same point—our entire system of healthcare and food producers simply have no clue when it comes to our health.   Once again, I am reminded of the sage words of that great American philosopher:

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” — Wendell Berry

You may have heard of GERD, that’s the kind of acid-reflux that we hear the most about, but now our scientists have discovered a different kind of heartburn that is not responding so well to the standard drug treatments. From a recent WSJ article (See link below):

New research suggests that in many people, heartburn may be caused by something other than acid reflux. But gastroenterologists are often stumped as to what it is and how to treat it.

Up to one-half of GERD patients don’t get complete relief from even the strongest acid-reducing medications, called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), and most don’t have any evidence of acid erosion when doctors examine their esophagus with an endoscope. Gastroenterologists have dubbed this condition non-erosive reflux diseases, or NERD.

In a lengthy article that contained well over 1,000 words, there was almost zero information regarding the fact that our bad food choices are the culprit in the vast majority of our health issues. Whether those health issues are life-threatening diseases or some form of indigestion like GERD or NERD. And even when they mention food, they NEVER suggest that we adopt the natural diet for our species permanently. Instead, they give this lame advice:

There is surprisingly little research on whether certain foods may cause heartburn. “Why not try diet first instead of drugs?” asks Jan Patenaude, director of medical nutrition at Oxford Biomedical Technologies, Inc. The South Florida lab company tests patients’ blood to see if it forms an inflammatory reaction to any of hundreds of foods. Patients then stop eating any suspect food, then gradually add them back to see if their heartburn returns.

It gets worse. While doctors in America are perplexed about the cause and treatment of heartburn, the nutritional geniuses at Pepsico have launched a new soda in Japan. As reported by ABC:

Dubbed the “Pepsi Special,” the soft drink set to go on sale Tuesday contains dextrin, a fiber that distributor Suntory claims helps reduce fat levels in the body.

Eager to appeal to young, health-conscious men, Pepsi has put out a comical ad on its website showing a businessman trying to chose between a woman dressed in a pizza costume and another in a burger outfit. The message – you don’t have to give up either, if you drink the Pepsi Special.

This is Pepsi’s first venture into the healthy cola market. Rival Kirin, better known for its beer, released its own sugar-free, dextrin soda this summer: the “Mets” cola.

Wendell Berry

The Bottom Line. These are two excellent examples of just how dysfunctional our entire system of food and healthcare has become. It’s laughable and sad at the same time—and we need some serious leadership to shake some sense into the collective brains of the American public.

Stories like this should shock a few people into realizing that Wendell Berry was absolutely right. Our food and healthcare industries are only concerned about money and if we really want to be healthy, we can’t heed the advice of either. That’s because not a single person in those two industries has a financial incentive for us to be healthy.

So my “blinding flash of the obvious” message for you today is that your only option is to take charge of your own health. Learn how to do that in the 4-part kit following these two absurd articles. —My 651st consecutive daily blog—

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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3 Responses to GERD, NERD & other food-driven ailments that baffle doctors

  1. Shelley says:

    Like Robert above, my GERD went away when I went vegan.

  2. Wendell Berry and Michelle Simon are one same page when it comes to Big Food. I just read this in Washington Monthly on the chicken industry. Folks, it’s not pretty out there where our meat is raised.

    Mike R

  3. Robert Thatcher says:

    My GERD disappeared when I went to a whole foods, plant based diet. I had honestly forgotten about it because of the plethora of other maladies that went away. It’s funny how you can not notice a healing that’s hard to put a price tag on. Now I remember trying to tilt my bed and getting an ill-response to Nexium. I think I’ll avoid fiber Pepsi and stick with steel-cut oats.

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