Acid Reflux and chronic fatigue | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Acid Reflux and chronic fatigue

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New Member
Does anyone else have acid reflux? I was just diagnosed and am wondering if one of the side effects could be horrible fatigue. I have had symptoms of reflux for more than 20 years, but just thought it was allergies. It seems that all the mucus and sinus drainage is caused by acid reflux. I am about to start a regimen of medicines and change in diet. My fatigue is unrelenting. No matter how well I think I sleep I am always exhausted. I have sleep apnea and use a cpap at night but it doesn't help the dibilitating fatigue. Also diagnosed with fibromyalgia years ago. I hope someone can help me.


ive had acid reflux for yrs. i blame it on all the meds ive taken since ive been sick with cfs and fibro, including all the supplements. especially the nite time ones. for when we lie down, it all backs up into our esophogus, and causes the irritation.

hugs, joanie


New Member
Hi, skatskat.

In chronic fatigue syndrome, low stomach acid is very common, and low stomach acid, paradoxically, can be the cause of acid reflux. If there is insufficient acid in the stomach, the pyloric sphincter at the bottom of the stomach may not open when it should, to allow the food mixture to enter the duodenum, and then the food mixture can go up into the esophagus.

Conventional doctors commonly prescribe proton pump inhibitors for cases of reflux. They are encouraged to do this by the drug reps, because these drugs are patented and are good moneymakers for the drug companies. The proton pump inhibitors stop the symptoms, but they can end up causing many other problems later on, which then require more drugs, etc. You get the picture.

There are indeed some cases in which too much stomach acid or a leaky esophageal sphincter are involved, but there are also many that are caused by low stomach acid. The docs usually don't check to see which it is. They just prescribe the pills.

If you want to test to see if you have low stomach acid, try this: First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, drink an 8-ounce glass of water into which you have mixed one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Time how long it takes you to burp. If you don't burp within two minutes, you have low stomach acid.

Low stomach acid can be corrected by taking betaine-HCl pills, which are non-prescription. The routine is to take one at the first meal, then two at the next meal, and so on, until you feel a warm feeling in your stomach. Then drop back one pill, and use that dose for each meal from then on. You can adjust it later if things change.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,



Active Member
Years ago I was diagnosed with low stomach acid and I now take HCL with each meal. It improved my digestion 100%. Digestive enzymes and probiotics are also very good, but if you are deficient in stomach acid, they won't be enough. Low stomach acid is very common wtih CFS. Low stomach acid could cause fatigue because it prevents you from absorbing nutrients in your food and supplements.

Re your debilitating fatigue, there are several different possibilities:

Weak adrenals - this can severe fatigue if not treated. My chiro who does muscle testing first discovered the problem (regular docs did not have a clue)and gave me an adrenal glandular product from Standard Process called Drenatrophin PMG. Drenamin is another good product. I think I would have been bedridden without this help. Also, pantothenic acid, one of the B vitamins, is crucial for adrenal health.

Low thyroid

Low B12 and/or low folate - deficiencies in either of these two nutrients causes macrocytic anemia, causing fatigue. If your MCV is high on CBC blood work, it indicates a deficiency in one or both of these and further blood work can pin it down. My MCV was within the "normal" range but at the top of the range - no doctor ever explained to me that this was a problem, but it most definitely was. I had been taking B12 for years, both sublingually and injections, but my energy only picked up when I started taking folate (l-methylfolate, NOT folic acid)

If you have a deficiency in both B12 and folate but only take folate, this can mask the symptoms of the B12 deficiency which is not good, as long-term B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage and other problems. Folic acid in general is not good - it is a synthetic form of folate which many many people have trouble converting into a useable form - folic acid may actually cause a folate deficiency, so if you find you have a folate deficiency, a good product to take is l-methylfolate, or metafolin, Solgar makes a good one.

low potassium - causes extreme fatigue

I strongly recommend you find an integrative medicine doctor - they are generally very knowledgable about nutrition as well as traditional medical practices - has a list of integrative medicine doctors across the nation.

I am a little concerned about the regimen of medicines you're about to start on without checking out other possibilities first. Also, mucus and sinus drainage are very common symptoms of food allergies. Extremely common ones are dairy, wheat and corn and you should be checked for these as well, and acam doctors should do that.

One last thing - I was helped enormously by my chiropractor who does muscle testing (applied kinesiology) - he helped me with my weak adrenals and a host of digestive issues, when regular doctors were clueless. So this would be another recommendation, to find someone who does this. If you go to the Standard Process website and call customer service, they will give you the names of practitioners in your area who use their products and generally do muscle testing.

Good luck!



New Member
Hi, Jam.

TMG is the same as betaine, and it stimulates the alternative BHMT pathway in the liver and kidneys that converts homocyteine to methionine, and that can be beneficial, such as in cases of high homocysteine. However, betaine-HCl has a hydrochloric acid molecule attached to the betaine, and that helps to raise the stomach acid in addition. In that case, the betaine is used to carry the HCl into the stomach, but the betaine will also be used for the BHMT reaction.

In ME/CFS, we try to stimulate the main methylation pathway, which involves
methionine synthase, which requires methylfolate and methyl B12. Your doc is covering both pathways by recommending TMG and the B-complex, which includes a folate and B12. Usually a B-complex will include folic acid and cyanocobalamin as the folate and B12 forms. Those are not the best, but they will work for most people. They are cheap and have a long shelf life, so that's what the common B-complexes contain. I don't know what forms are used in the one you are taking. It is possible to get better ones if it contains folic acid and cyanocobalamin.

Best regards,