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Excess Stomach Acid Mimics Hunger

Excess Stomach Acid Mimics Hunger
February 3, 2011 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.


It is not uncommon for individuals to occasionally feel hungry, weak and shaky or develop a ‘sour stomach’ between meals.  Many will interpret this as a sign they need more nutrients because their symptoms seem to improve after they eat a little food.  These symptoms can be so intense that it wakes them from their sleep.

Watch Dr. N’s CoffeeTalk on Heartburn

In spite of the fact these symptoms can improve with food, they have little to do with our biological need for nutrients or energy.  What you are about to learn is that these symptoms are due to an abnormal buildup of stomach acid due to poor functioning of your stomach and intestinal tract.

How Does the Intestinal Tract Normally Function

Throughout the day we constantly produce stomach acid.  We produce even more when we eat a meal.  Stomach acid is required to assist in digesting food, killing potentially harmful bacterial and is also helpful in activating various digestive enzymes.

Think of your intestinal tract as a conveyor belt that constantly pushes our intestinal contents forward throughout the day.  Our esophagus pushes food into the stomach, the stomach pushes stomach acid and partially digested food into the small intestine, the small intestine absorbs ours nutrients and pushes the non-absorbable material (fiber) into the colon and the colon pushes material to the rectum.

This conveyor belt action of the intestinal tract is primarily under the control of the neurological network referred to as the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  The ANS is responsible for the contractions that empty the stomach and propel food along its course through the small and large intestines.

Take ANS Quiz 00001

The conveyor belt action of the intestinal tract works 24 hours per day emptying the stomachs contents and passing it further along the way.  When we eat food, the stomach is stimulated to produce even greater amounts of stomach acid and to empty even faster.  This is an extremely important point because slowed emptying of the stomach triggers the single most common mimic of hunger, an excessive accumulation of stomach acid known as dyspepsia.

What’s the Difference Between Dyspepsia and Heartburn?

Heartburn occurs when the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid.  The valve between the esophagus and the stomach is designed to allow food and liquid to pass downward from the esophagus into the stomach as well as to prevent the backwash of acid into the esophagus.

Occasionally, the valve relaxes and allows stomach acid to reflux backwards into the esophagus.  The acid stimulates nerve endings in the esophagus and causes the symptoms commonly referred to as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  GERD can be associated with a burning sensation in the chest, belching, a bitter taste in our mouth, coughing and wheezing.  Strangely, sometimes the refluxing acid will not cause any pain (referred to as silent reflux) and can cause exacerbation of asthma after eating and trigger recurrent sinus and middle ear infections.

Dyspepsia is a term reserved for the symptoms we might think of as a sour stomach, slight nausea or an upset stomach.  These symptoms don’t result from acid splashing back into the esophagus as in heartburn.  The symptoms of dyspepsia are from an abnormal accumulation of acid in the stomach.  The acid accumulates because it is not being emptied normally, not because our stomach is producing too much.

To review, the symptoms of GERD are from stomach acid splashing backwards into the esophagus and dyspepsia is from too much acid accumulating in the stomach.

Excess Stomach Acid Mimics Hunger

We often confuse dyspepsia with hunger because you may feel shaky, slightly nauseated or weak and eating food makes the symptoms disappear.  They go away because food stimulates the stomach to empty.  The food therefore causes the excess acid to be emptied into the small intestine and your symptoms resolve.

The same symptoms will also go away if you take an antacid such as Tums since they are truly the result from excess stomach acid.  But since they go away after you eat food, you draw the reasonable conclusion the symptoms were due to low levels of blood sugar or some other nutrient.   Consequently, you believe your symptoms are a sign of hunger or “low blood sugar”.  So the next time you feel similar symptoms, you’ll eat food again and the symptoms go away again.  After a while it becomes almost second nature.

But why doesn’t the stomach work properly to empty the stomach acid in the first place?   To understand why this happens, you’ll need to understand the autonomic nervous system.

Your Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is the portion of our brain that coordinates how our organs (heart, circulation, lungs, intestines, bladder, kidneys and liver) function, how intensely we react emotionally, how our hormones are regulated and how our immune system functions. Understanding if the autonomic system is functioning correctly is often the key to many medical puzzles.


The ANS is often referred to as the “automatic” nervous system in that its functions are not under voluntary control. And with such a major influence over the body, an imbalance in autonomic function is quite frequently a component of many chronic symptoms or illnesses.

Take ANS Quiz 00001

Your autonomic nervous system may not always work correctly.  A poorly functioning autonomic nervous system can be from damage to the nerves themselves, medications and even from an imbalance of intestinal bacteria called SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

Damage to the autonomic nervous system can occur from physical traumas such as concussions, traumatic brain injuries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stroke, infections or brain surgery.  We now know autonomic damage can also occur from intensely negative emotional traumas.

The best understood example is known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, the phenomenon otherwise known as “dying of a broken heart”.  Intensely negative traumas such as death of a loved one, molestation or rape, fear, divorce, great financial loss all can damage the autonomic nervous system.

In addition to trauma, excessive consumption of nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids (found in soy oil and other vegetable oils) or carbohydrates can lead to damage through a process known as overnutrition. Additional damage can occur through the “leaky gut” damage of bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, toxin exposure (chronic alcoholism, heavy metal exposure, pollutants).

Any of these conditions can subtly affect your autonomic nervous system causing your stomach not to empty correctly giving you a sense of elevated hunger that is relieved by eating.

Heartburn and the Autonomic Nervous System

As discussed above, the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a neurological network connecting your brain, spinal column and nerves to every organ in your body.  This connectivity allows the ANS helps regulate and coordinate the function of all your body’s organs.

The intestinal tract is primarily under the control of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS.  The parasympathetic branch is primarily responsible for the contractions that empty the stomach and propel food along its course through the small and large intestines.

The ANS is particularly involved with the control and flow of the acid within our stomachs.  The stomach is constantly producing acid throughout the day and acid production is increased when we eat. When we swallow food, it passes through the esophagus down into the stomach.  There is a valve between the esophagus and the stomach meant to prevent acid from splashing backwards into the esophagus when the stomach begins contracting in its effort to begin digesting our food.

While the stomach is contracting, the valve between the esophagus and the stomach needs to remain tightly closed otherwise the acid can splash backwards and cause the symptoms of burning, belching and bitter taste we associated with heartburn or GERD.

Scientific studies show that dysfunction of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS is the cause of poor esophagus-stomach valve function.  Throughout your life you’ve heard multiple medical explanations for heartburn such as hiatal hernia, acidic foods, caffeine, alcohol and being overweight.  These reasons have either been proven incorrect (e.g., hiatal hernia), contribute to excessive acid production (e.g., large meals) or have been discovered to contribute to the poor functioning of the autonomic nervous system (e.g., alcohol, caffeine).

Gut Bacteria and Heartburn

Your intestinal bacteria should be concentrated in the lower colon with very few bacteria in the upper small intestine where most nutrients are digested and absorbed.  For every 1 bacteria in the upper small intestine there is 100 million bacteria in the lower colon!

Unfortunately, some of these colon bacteria will find their way up into the upper small intestine (a conditional called SIBO) and can trigger heartburn.  This form of heartburn is often triggered by a particular type of food.  Common examples are spicy food, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers and certain fruit or nuts.  Some estimates are that SIBO may affect 50-75% of the U.S. population.

SIBO Button

If someone has abnormal bacteria in the upper intestine that are activated by nutrients found in spices, the active bacteria are capable of sending a signal up the vagus nerve ( a major nerve of the autonomic nervous system) and tell the brain to slow down the intestinal track and not to empty the stomach.  This happens with any kind of nutrient the bacteria are activated by.

If the stomach isn’t emptying while you are eating, the food contents and accompanying digestive enzymes and acids overfill.  This will make you very bloated and cause the reflux of the overfilled stomach contents into the esophagus giving you heartburn.  The slowing of the intestinal tract is also responsible for your intestinal cramping, constipation and if the overgrowth is bad enough, you developed diarrhea with particular foods.

Obesity, Insulin Resistance and Carbohydrates

The increasing rate of obesity in the United States is associated with a growing incidence of insulin resistance.  Insulin resistance is the metabolic disturbance that causes a wide variety of medical problems such as type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, abnormal cholesterol, heart disease and strokes, Sleep Apnea, many forms of cancer and Polycystic Ovarian Disease.

Insulin resistance was originally thought to be consequence of obesity but its cause seems to be more complicated than simply being overweight.  Accumulating evidence suggests that insulin resistance is more the consequence of the type of foods we ate in excess while becoming overweight or obese than simply eating too many calories. More specifically, insulin resistance is caused mainly by the excess of carbohydrate consumption in our diet and not to simply being overweight.

If carbohydrates are the primary cause of insulin resistance then why does weight loss improve insulin resistance as well as the bloating, heartburn, bloating or a nagging sense of persistent hunger?

The reason weight loss helps with these conditions is because people significantly reduce their carbohydrate intake when reducing their calorie intake when losing weight.   In a recent study that showed significant improvement in insulin resistance because of weight loss, the study participants had decreased their carbohydrate intake by about 100-150 grams per day.  That’s a reduction of the average American’s carbohydrate intake by 1/3 to 1/2.

I have many patients who have successfully treated their symptoms from excess acid accumulation by simply reducing their carbohydrate intake.  Most didn’t lose a significant amount of weight but still had significant improvement in their symptoms with carbohydrate reduction alone.  Many were able to stop taking the antacids they had previously been prescribed.

Countless studies demonstrate the ability of weight loss to reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and the risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer.  Again, what these countless studies were seeing was not the sole beneficial effects of weight reduction per say but also the beneficial effects of reduced carbohydrate intake associated with the decreased caloric intake that is necessary for weight loss.

When viewed in this respect, it’s easy to understand why some individuals at a normal weight who eat relatively high proportion of carbohydrates still can develop dyspepsia as well as disorders related to insulin resistance such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.

Remember, it’s not really their weight that makes the difference; it’s the proportion of carbohydrates they eat, their age (we become more sensitive as we get older) and genetic differences in their sensitivity to the toxic nature of excessive carbohydrates.

How Do Carbohydrates Harm Our Autonomic Nervous System?

Excessive dietary carbohydrates can lead to an increase in metabolic inflammation in the brain through a process known as overnutrition.  A variety of studies are demonstrating that metabolic inflammation can directly impair the functionality of the autonomic nervous system.

The negative autonomic impact of excessive carbohydrates helps explain why carbohydrate reduction improves many physical symptoms of autonomic dysfunction such as urinary frequency, heartburn, bloating and lightheadedness. Many researchers now believe that the high levels of carbohydrates in the typical American diet are in excess of a threshold that our modern brains can tolerate.

Another example of a food item that can cause toxic effects when consumed in excess is alcohol.   Many studies have shown that drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages such as wine per day is seemingly harmless to our health.  But it’s common known that drinking 1-2 bottles of wine per day more than likely leads to poor brain health, damage to the liver known as cirrhosis as well as damage to our heart muscle (a condition known as cardiomyopathy).

Also, people falsely believe they needn’t worry about eating too many carbohydrates if they exercise regularly.  They will simply “burn them off”.  The toxicity of excessive carbohydrates is not due to the excessive calories they may provide but more due to the toxic effect.

You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

Thinking that exercise can rid one of the toxic effects of carbohydrates is similar to an alcoholic thinking that drinking a bottle of vodka is harmless since they will exercise enough to burn off the calories in the vodka.  Exercising more may burn off more calories but will not affect the potential toxic nature of either alcohol or carbohydrates.

The amount of carbohydrates in the American diet over has crossed a toxicity threshold in many individuals.  The toxic of excessive carbohydrate consumption is resulting not only in the diseases associated with insulin resistance but is also damaging our autonomic nervous system.

Remember, the autonomic nervous system controls the function of every organ in your body.  And when the autonomic system is damaged and not functioning properly, we experience symptoms such as bloating, heart burn, lightheadedness, fatigue, excessive sweating, flushing of our skin, constipation as well as urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence.

Reduce your carbohydrate intake and you can eliminate these symptoms.

How Many Carbohydrates Should We Eat?

To answer this question we need to look at the evolution of our Stone Age ancestors and the amount of carbohydrates they consumed.  Scientific evidence suggests that our primitive ancestors ate a diet that consisted predominantly of animal tissue (protein and fat) and plants known as browsing foliage (dark green leafy plants).

During the Stone Age, carbohydrates were very uncommon in the wild and consisted of occasional roots, wild fruit or honey. Overall, the availability of carbohydrates was uncommon.  Other than being on a tropical island, when was the last time you saw some fruit such as an apple or orange when walking in the woods?  These foods do not grow commonly in the wild.  They are cultivated plants that became more readily available after the agricultural revolution.

Many Americans consume more carbohydrates per day than our Stone Age ancestors consumed in a year.  The amounts of carbohydrates available for human consumption didn’t begin to increase until the agricultural revolution (5,000 -10,000 years ago) when man learned to grow grains such as wheat, barley and millet.  The domestication of livestock and the consumption of livestock milk became an additional source of carbohydrates (milk sugars) as well.

But 10,000 years is a very small span of time from an evolutionary perspective.  Although there may have been a few beneficial evolutionary mutation associated with protection from infectious diseases in the last 10,000 years, science has failed to demonstrate any adaptive genetic mutations that might have changed with the subsequent marked increase in carbohydrates in the human diet.

To put the evolutionary time span into perspective, if the entire span of human evolution is represented by a 100-yard football field, the last 10,000 years would encompass only the final ¼ inch of the entire 100-yard field.  As you can see, 10,000 years is not a significant amount of time compared to the millions of years required for human evolution.

The point of this is to help you understand that we were designed through evolution to adapt to eating predominantly animal tissue (protein and fat) and low amounts of carbohydrates.  We did not develop the metabolic ability to handle such large quantities of carbohydrates in our diet and our bodies are suffering because of it.

To put it another way, the average American consumes more carbohydrates in a day than our Stone Age ancestors consumed in a year.  It’s the excessive amount of carbohydrates in our diet that are having a toxic effect on our nervous system.

Carbohydrate Reduction and the Theory of Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is a relatively new scientific concept that our neurological tissues (brains, spine and nerves) has some ability to recover function from at least mild levels of insult or damage.  Neuroplasticity means ‘nervous tissue’ that has the ability to ‘regain its function’ after being altered just as plastic regains it shape after being bent.

After a stroke, patients have the ability to regain some neurological function.  After a nerve or the spinal column is damaged by an injury, remarkable degrees of recovery have been known to occur.  The recovery in these cases may not be complete in severe cases but can often be complete with mild injuries to the nervous system.

After the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is damaged, it too shows a remarkable ability to recover from the toxic effects of excessive carbohydrates.  I have many patients who have completely recovered from the neurological damage that causes heartburn, erectile dysfunction, lightheadedness and urinary disturbances after reducing their carbohydrate intake.

One exception to neuroplasticity of the ANS is in patients with long standing type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.  In this circumstance, the nerves have been severely damaged by the toxic effects of excessively high blood sugar and insulin levels as well as the damaging effects of inflammation associated with insulin resistance.  Fortunately, most patients who have worked at controlling their diabetes still have a good chance of reversing the their ANS dysfunction.

How Many Carbohydrates Are Too Much?

What should you reduce your total daily carbohydrate intake to?  The average American diet now consists of 50-60% of calories from carbohydrates.   Scientific studies suggest that you can greatly improve health if you reduce your carbohydrate intake to approximately 20-25% of your total daily caloric intake.  This is equal to about 100-125 grams of carbohydrates per day for women and 125-150 grams per day for men.

First start by reducing the larger amounts of carbohydrates from your diet; start with the frequent servings of potatoes, rice and pasta and the sugar containing drinks.  Replace these with more protein and low carbohydrate vegetables.

After a week or 2, count the grams of the remaining carbohydrates in your daily diets for a few days.  You will quickly realize the high amount of carbohydrates you had been consuming on a regular basis.

Reducing your carbohydrate intake to 20-25% of your total caloric intake has a dramatic improvement in the diseases arising from insulin resistance as well as improving your neurological functioning.  Your triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels improve, your blood pressure will be greatly reduced and your blood sugar levels will normalize as your body’s response to insulin to improves.

Carbohydrate reduction has been calculated to have 6-8 times greater power of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (strokes and heart attacks) than do the statin medications that are commonly prescribed to lower LDL cholesterol levels.  Why treat these conditions with potentially toxic medications when you can prevent and even reverse these conditions by simply reducing your carbohydrate intake.


If you’re experiencing persistent hunger between meals, occasional nausea or episodes that feel like low blood sugar, eliminate these symptoms by simply reducing the carbohydrates in your diet.  You’ll notice a significant improvement in only a few weeks.

And if you have learned something useful from this article, I urge you to pass it on to 1 or 2 of your friends and encourage them to not only improve their lightheadedness and fatigue but their overall health as well.
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  1. Danielle 3 years ago

    Hi! I have been having problems with what they think is my gallbladder I am going to get a scan to see what’s going on with that. I also have GERD and I am also 4m P… So I have been feeling very hungry lately even after eating a big meal I’m constantly hungry… Even drinking something hot or cold I feel it in my stomach and stuff…Could it be a result of liver or gallbladder problem? I haven’t talked to my doctor about this yet…

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      See your doctor and get a full work up. It’s the best place to start.

      If that is negative, you may look at whether or not you have SIBO

      Dr. N

    • Danielle 3 years ago

      I have they have done blood test everything came back normal but my liver enzymes were raised both times. I just had a HIDA scan and my gallbladder it’s working at 91%, nothing is wrong there. I also have had an ultrasound on my liver, and gallbladder everything looked fine there. I have had pain below my right rib cage, upper right chest, and right upper back. Diarrhea, feeling nauseous, I sometimes feel a popping feeling below my right rib cage, acid reflux/GERD. I’m at a loss of what could be going on =

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Damage or dysfunction of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system often causes your exact scenario.

  2. Teresa 3 years ago

    Just found your website. Your articles are interesting and got me thinking. I blacked out in the shower about 13 years ago, had a major headache for two weeks and had to lose the nerves in my two front teeth.
    Shortly after I started to have gut problems, and was told by a kinesiologist that I had a flora imbalance in my gut. I have since had problems with eating gluten and am totally free of it in my diet. The last two years however I have had difficulty swallowing esp bread and meat. I have acid that I assume is affecting my gullet. And more recently chest pain,anxiety and breathing difficulty.
    I have been on a healthful diet and am currently taking herbs to help with the transformation and transportation of nutrients by the spleen .I have also been receiving acupuncture.
    Any thoughts or advice?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      Passing out in the shower can often result in damage to your autonomic nervous system when you hit your head. To make matters worse, I’ve seen this also trigger SIBO secondarily as well so you could have both autonomic damage from the injury and autonomic dysfunction from SIBO.

      Dr. N

  3. Randi Munns 3 years ago

    Hi Dr. N,

    Thank you for posting this article. It’s is nice to finally read something that makes sense with my situation and doesn’t just assume I have an ulcer based upon my symptoms. I experience moderate to severe stomach burning 2-3 hours after I eat as well as excessive burping while eating. This has been pretty consistent for the past couple of weeks. My uncle passed away on February 14 and very shortly after that I began experiencing extreme anxiety, which is still occurring and I was put on Buspar and clonazepam to help. I had read about low stomach acid and thought that might be what was causing my pain so I began taking digestive enzymes and betaine HCL. I thought it was helping because I had a couple days where my symptoms weren’t as bad but today they are just as they were. Any suggestions? My next thought was to stop the betaine HCL, add probiotics and take liquid antacids as needed.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      Sorry to hear about your Uncle’s passing. Sometimes the strong emotional reactions triggered by such events can cause the autonomic nervous system to react abnormally and could cause your symptoms. I’ve seen this scenario also seem to trigger SIBO in some individuals.

      Dr. N

  4. karla 3 years ago

    Hi it’s me again, Karla. I just posted regarding “dying of a broken heart”…I just forgot to mention that the day prior to feeling completely starving, hiccuping, nausea…I ate a possible old lemon with extreme salt. My bad habit I’m desperately eliminating. And missing too. Lemons have always been my comfort food, so to speak. Thank you endlessly and happy birthday!

  5. karla 3 years ago

    Hi, super thank you and much appreciation for all your work & dedication. I’ve read your post & comments and wondered of the ‘Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy’. My ten- month younger than me brother past away 6/9/2015. Plus, I’ve been trying my best to hold my own against negative loved ones, especially as my health considerably took a plunge cause I failed to afford correct my horrible eyesight for nine months since June 2015. Yes, I’ve been high unequivocally stressed the past year but I firmly believe in breathepositive always. Well, my question is can the “dying of a broken heart” be “fixed” via cutting carbs as well? Believe u me should it be possible that I’ve come even close to this would be a shock to my entire family. Throughout 2014 & 2015 I’ve been training myself to eliminate the most important meal = breakfast mainly on account i’m just not able to afford. I do get to eat a healthy dinner each night. My hunger pains really started to become dramatic in the last week. I starved a whole day then the next day I felt nausea and completely not hungry, the thought of food was revolting. The next day I sipped h2o and beef broth. The following day I managed 4 deliciously saltine crackers, two spoonful of savory sweet oatmeal, well just the slimy gooeyness. The following day I ate a bit more, gulped h2o. My stomach feels like it tightens if I don’t feed it. Thank you for your time and dedication, I’m hoping u can understand my post as I tried to keep it short & simple. Good luck in all your endeavors always breathepositive. P.s. I too apologize as I failed to proofread the above.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      Broken Heart Syndrome can be recovered from and carbohydrate reduction can help but alone is not enough. A full restorative approach to reverse autonomic dysfunction is required.

      Dr. N

  6. Michelle 3 years ago

    My brother has had severe stomach problems for years now. Constant pain before and after eating. He has cut out gluten, beef and any acidic foods. He never feels hungry. He only knows he needs to eat because his stomach hurts. His stomach hurts after he eats also. He has had severe acid reflux problems also. He is taking medication for that before he eats. Drinking water even hurts his stomach. Please help.
    Concerned Sister

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Water hurting the stomach is a sign to me that he has underlying damage to the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Go to and watch the video about heartburn.

      Dr. N

  7. anastasia macdonald 3 years ago

    I have had some crazy symptoms no one can help me with, and Im in need for a solution! Im 23, and as of about 2 years ago I got these symptoms. When I eat small meals, or try to eat healthy and diet, I get dizzy 1-2 hours after a meal, which turns to shakiness, feelings of anxiety, extreme lightheadedness, and in rare occasions a panic-attack-like state. My blood sugar is normal, doesn’t fall below 65, I don’t eat less than 1600 calories a day when this happens, low carbs, high protein, high fat, lots of fruits and veggies. The symptoms get worse with foods like rice and pasta. It doesn’t seem to be hypoglycemia or under eating. No ulcers, healthy blood work. What could I possibly have? Please help, thank you so much!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      These are classic signs of cerebral hypoperfusion (i.e., low blood pressure to the brain). Foods with salt and sugar boost pressure to the brain, and the “low blood sugar” sensation you feel is in reality the brain panicking because of low brain oxygen levels.

      If your general labs are normal, this is often due autonomic dysfunction and can occur because of physical, emotional or inflammatory brain injury.

      Dr. N

  8. Sumi 3 years ago

    Hi Dr,

    I have those symptoms plus breathing problem and anxiety occurs too whenever I have acidity feeling in my throat and oesophagus. I dont know what it is. What do you think I may have. Gastritis or Gerd?


    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


  9. Tina 3 years ago


    Ive been sick for, probably, ten years. Im a 48 year old, divorced mother of three from Eastern, Ky., have many worries (that I can’t stress enough), worked in the school system for 12 years as a secretary before a car fire and haven’t worked since 2005. The last couple of years I’ve had real bad pain in my left side. Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with Gastritis, Hiatal Hernia and Ulcers in my Small Intestine. I was put on Protonix and have been on it for a week and I feel much worse with worse pain in the upper part of my stomach, al around my back and down my right side. I have essential tremor and have had this for at least ten years. My mom has it and two of her siblings. It’s my opinion that most of my problems stem from my gut. It’s hard to afford to eat right and hard after years of habit to learn how to eat right. I would love your opinion on all of this.

    Thank You

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      It certainly sounds like the intestines. You might try cutting back your carbohydrate intake and add some inulin fiber.

  10. Anne 3 years ago

    I didn’t get a chance yet to read through this entire article but it’s so relieving to know Im not alone. I’m a fitness specialist and my diet is VERY dialed in and healthy 90% of the time, tracking fats protein and carbs everyday. However I still experience these issues very severely and they have inhibited me in so many ways and truly my life life revolves around my excessive hunger with all side effects you listed. Did you mention anything OTC that could also aid in this? It was recommended to me to take HCI with pepsin along with apple cider vinegar before each meals so I’ve been doing that for about a week…thoughts?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      If you’re already very focused on the food, your problem might be underlying autonomic dysfunction with low blood pressure to the brain. Salt and processed carbs help normalize pressure to the brain. Your sense of hunger may be the brain’s way of getting you to eat in order to normalize oxygen delivery to the brain.

      Dr. N

  11. Nina 3 years ago

    Dear Dr. Nemechek,

    Inulin fiber, even in the smallest amounts, gives me diarrhea. Can you suggest something else? Any information would help greatly!

    Thank you so much,

  12. Dave 3 years ago


    I just have the feeling of being incredibly hungry all the time, but it’s the same feeling but turns into a Cronic pain, I feel nauseous, have dizzy spells, can’t sleep and slight constipation. My diet is not bad, we have plenty of veg and very little fried food. I was worried it was an ulcer?

  13. Breanna Powell 3 years ago

    Wow!!! Amazing!!!! You helped me more then youll ever know! I am feeling sooo much better with my indegestion and acid reflux problem. My stomach wss backed up pretty bad. Thank you!!!!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Glad to hear it.

  14. Emma Thomson 3 years ago

    Hi, I have recently been feeling like a bottomless pit constantly hungry even during the night, had bloods done awaiting results. Although I am 8months post pregnancy so not sure if that relates.
    I do have ibs and experience a lot of reflux also.
    I am eating nearly every half an hour to an hour, get nauseous inbetween food and can feel light headed! This article has helped a lot although waiting for bloods to come back, no idea what is causing it would love to know.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      The combo of IBS and hunger suggest possible SIBO. You might try some inulin supplementation, it’s a prebiotic fiber that helps with SIBO. Inulin is found in a wide variety of common foods.

  15. widhiartha 3 years ago

    Thank you doctor, your article explain many of my recent symptoms. Excessive hunger even just 2-3 hours after big meal, a bit lightheaded when stand-up, always started by a gas sensation inside my upper abdomen.
    In the beginning I am afraid of anemia, but I don’t have pale face/lips/eyelids and I am still strong enough to run more than 2 miles. I asked lab for a CBC tests and everything seems normal, my blood pressure also normal.
    I will try your suggestion to reduce carb from my diet, especially considering rice is always main food in my daily meal.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Good luck.

  16. Loredana 3 years ago

    Thank you for this infromation.
    How cani read more from you Doctor!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Sign up on our Facebook page – Nemechek Consultative Medicine

  17. Joe 3 years ago

    I have had the sane burning hunger pain but for the first im so glad I found this sight. Is there any way to help ease the pain as I can miss any more time off college. Thanks

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Read through the article and it discusses how to cut your carbs. Read some of the other discussion in the comment section as well.

  18. Jeannie 3 years ago

    OMG I can’t believe I found this article! A stomach issue that I’ve had for approx two decades and getting worse/stronger with time, this article made me realize it’s stomach acid!! The trigger? When I start eating yet don’t eat full, it’s like my stomach is still craving for more food. But when I don’t feed it (e.g. want to go to bed soon), my heart starts palpitating, get headaches, fatigue, slight nausea, slight sweat, can’t sleep well during the night and you guessed it–extreme stomach pains that feel like fingernails scratching the inside of my stomach walls, but have recently progressed to sharp, darting pain, that only go away after 3 or 4 days of consistent and constant eating 2 or 3x my normal portions until I’m full to the limit (due to my fast metabolism, I’m surprised I don’t weight over 200 pounds lol)–those around me are astounded by my food portions when I’m in ‘hungry mode’ or as I call my stomach sometimes: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or bipolar lol.

    I had an duodenal ulcer when 14, so perhaps I am more susceptible to acid issues. After reading this article, I went out and bought my first bottle of Pepto Bismal last night and I must say, I think it worked instantaneously. Where I would have been woofing down a massive dinner (my stomach started acting up 2 days ago), the Pepto Bismal ‘calmed’ my stomach down and the fullness that one feels after they’ve consumed their meal was able to shine through, therefore, I was able to stop eating and have a restful sleep.

    Thank you Dr. Nemechek on posting this article. It has changed my life and I have enough of a lead to go see my family doctor so we finally have something to work on.

  19. Sid 3 years ago


    My problem is after eating still i feel as if i am hungry, dry mouth and sensation to urinate again and again. I have done all Sugar and Urology tests and all are normal.
    If i take any anti-acid like Zintach or Nexpro i feel 80% of the above said symptoms are not there.
    Can you suggest what should i do to get rid of it, because the biggest problem for me is frequent urge to urinate during day and disturbed sleep in night because of it.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Sounds like you might be having some autonomic problems.

  20. Calen 3 years ago

    Thank you for a very informative article this explains quite a few symptoms. I have been having the hunger symptoms described for a few weeks now, also the sinus drainage in the morning and occasional coughing. It started after I upped my carbohydrate levels to gain weight. I lost weight after a bout with H-Pylori which was cleared. Do you know of any better foods that will help weight gain without resorting to carbs?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      The question is why do carbs bother you now after being treated for H. pylori. It might of triggered some SIBO – gut bacterial love carbs. Try adding some inulin fiber to your diet and see if you can tolerate them more.

  21. Dave 3 years ago

    Hi Doc,

    I hope you can help… I only experience this symptoms when I haven’t smoked marijuana in 24 hrs or more…i don’t get the nausea or dizziness, jus that constant burning sensation of hunger, even minutes after eating. I was diagnosed with acid reflux about 3 yrs ago but stopped medication once symptoms stopped. I know I eat a lot of carbs…Im just really confused as I never get this when under the influence of marijuana.

    Is this withdrawal or something else….hopefully I hear back from you


    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Marijuana does some very interesting things to the human physiology that are only now beginning to be understood. I don’t think its withdrawal as much as it helps your autonomics function a little better and help your stomach to propel the acid out better.

  22. CarlS 3 years ago

    Thank you Doctor!
    But actuallyI have also IBS with constipation so I doubt that Xifaxan would be beneficial!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      I think it helps all the patients with IBS. Those with diarrhea just seem to get more benefit because of the obvious intestinal issues. Approximately 20% of patients with SIBO have no intestinal symptoms at all.

      SIBO causes much more than diarrhea – it can cause inflammation from bacterial translocation (leaky gut), alters intestinal hormone release, directly alters autonomic functioning, and produces excessive amounts of chemicals (such as propionic acid in autism).

      Xifaxan helps much more than just diarrhea.

      Dr. N

    • Nichole 3 years ago

      ‘The broken heart’ it really a thing? Does your brain REALLY send signals to your stomach? I have been so bloated and I don’t overeat at all- but feel and look a quite bloated all the time..I eat well- only until it gets late and I get down.. I’m 5’10 and weigh was 130 6 months ago..the bloating cause me to be tired my breasts have gotten bigger and my back seems to feel strained.. Is it depression? I can’t help but feel like I am dying EVERY day of my life- thanks..

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Broken Heart Syndrome is also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, and yes there is plenty of bidirectional communication between the stomach/intestines and the brain.

      Dr. N

  23. CarlS 3 years ago

    Dear Doctor,

    Thank you a lot for this very helpful article. You are the only doctor to be able to put words on our problem. Most of them just give us omeprazole and do not really try to find the root causes for dyspepsia.

    Weirdly enough, I noticed that hunger pain appeared only when I took anti-acid medications (omeprazole, and even tums or gaviscon). Could it be that anti-acid medications have the reverse effect on me and increase acid? Or can hunger pain be also triggered by very low acid levels?

    Thank you a lot,

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      I’ve found that antacids and exaggerate SIBO and make symptoms worse. You might try supplementing with inulin twice daily (1/2 – 1 tsp) or talk with a local doc about treatment with Xifaxan.

      Dr. N

  24. Lb 3 years ago

    Hi. 2 years ago i was diagnosed with IBS and have been taking Mebeverine 135mg 3 times a day. My diet consists of porridge for breakfast, a banana and a handful of almonds or a breakfast bar for lunch and my dinner is either pizza, lasagne, soup, jacket potatoe, pie, it varys but my portions are small as i don’t want to get ill. But the past 2 weeks have increased my food as i feel deprived, week 1 was good week 2 i have been hungry even when i have just eaten, but also bloatedness and a feeling of being totally full. Like today i had a banana and was absoloutly stuffed. Your article has interested me very much as you mentioned a symptom of ‘sweating’ i have hyperhidrosis, i have had it since i was a child (i’m now 23) it only effected my hands but for the past year and a half it has effected my entire body, it never was bad at all prior to a year and a half ago but it is now terrible, i even left my job because of it. What are your thoughts. Thankyou.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      In my experience, patients with IBS had a combination of underlying bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and autonomic dysfunction. Fixing both the SIBO with Xifaxan and reversing autonomic dysfunction by reducing metabolic inflammation often completely reverses all the symptoms. The hyperhydrosis is another symptom of underlying autonomic dysfunction. Watch my screencast on metabolic inflammation and vagus nerve stimulation and you’ll see a general overview how I restore autonomic dysfunction.

  25. Lee 3 years ago

    Dr. Nemechek,

    Hoping you might be able to help me. Frequent hunger pangs and shakiness are some of the issues I am dealing with. My stomach has been making loud noises constantly for over a year now. Dr has not yet been able to figure it out. It came on suddenly one afternoon and has been present every day since. The noises vary in sound, from gurgling, popping, high pitch and then hunger growling before meals sometimes. I do not experience any pain or bloating really, feels more like it’s just not able get where it wants. It’s usually more prominent when laying down on my back, and more so when stomach empty rather than after eating. I’ve never been a very gassy person but now it seems like I rarely do and that not all is passing. Also, it often feels like something is coming up my throat, like I need to burp, and then it goes back down and makes a noise in my stomach. Other times it’s like something comes up and makes a gurgling sound in my throat when it gets to my mouth. Burping in general is also more frequent. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Cut your carb intake like I recommend to others

  26. Hannah 3 years ago

    Hi Dr. Nemechek,

    I’ve been experiencing nausea, occasional vomitting and burping on and off for the past three weeks. I’m at a loss in terms of what to do and my Dr doesn’t seem to be taking my concerns seriously. I’ve missed a lot of work because I’ve felt so nauseous and therefore don’t feel like eating and have no energy.

    My Dr prescribed me pantoprazole, which I am starting today.

    Is loss of appetite a common problem with excess stomach acid? My body feels hungry and empty, but even thinking about having a meal makes me queasy.

    I’ve been eating small snacks like fruits, a little soup, crackers, etc.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Cut your carbs like I recommend to others.

      Dr N

  27. A.T.R 3 years ago

    Many thanks for sharing your expertise. Sadly you do not practise in Australia.

  28. HB 3 years ago

    Thank you!

  29. Heidi 3 years ago

    Hi Dr. N,
    I’ve been having symptoms of an acidy feeling after eating, bloating, frequent urination and feeling of hunger. Not really quite heartburn as it doesn’t go into my esophagus. I’ve been tested for low gallbladder function (no stones though) and have had Candida in the past. Low carb seems a good start as I usually go for breads, pasta, etc. Also alcohol and caffeine seem to make it worse. Do you suggest also cutting those out?
    Thank you!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Yes, shoot to keep your carbs under 100 grams per day. BTW you probably have SIBO, not Candida.

      Dr. N

  30. Kaileigh 3 years ago

    Probably the best article ive come across. But I just wanted to confirm that reducing carbohydrates can reduce dyspepsia symptoms or would you recommend a realignment? It’s difficult to tell whether I have low stomach acid, or too much, but anything right now to help my nausea and upper abdominal pain. I’ve been carb and sugar free for 1 week so far

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      The vast majority of people don’t MAKE too much acid, they simple HAVE too much because their nervous system doesn’t empty the stomach correctly.

      Keep up with the carb reduction, less than 100 grams per day.

      Dr. N

  31. HB 3 years ago

    Dr. Nemechek,

    I’ve been suffering from stomach problems since age 18 (now 40.) Currently, my most bothersome symptoms include frequent belching, constant hunger, and frequent nausea. Several years ago an alternative doctor stated that he believed that I have systemic candida. I never received treatment for it. Now I am pregnant and my symptoms have worsened. I currently eat small meals every couple of hours and take a probiotic. Any recommendations? I would like the suffering to end. Thank you in advance.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      Most of what is believed to be Candida is actually symptoms from SIBO. Cutting carb intake, and supplement with inulin fiber and high dose omega-3 fatty acids can greatly improve your situation in many women.

      Dr. N

  32. Jack Anthony Davis Jr. 3 years ago

    Long story short, my stomach has a pain in wich I’m hungry but I have already eatin. This has been occurring for like two months and I still don’t know how to solve the problem can you email me if there’s a resolution.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      You need to try the things I suggest in my posts; reduce carbs to less than 100 grams per day, supplement with inulin fiber and increase your intact of omega-3 fatty acids. If possible, contact my office and make an appointment to have your autonomics tested and then we can develop a most advanced regimen that will fully reverse the autonomic dysfunction that is causing your symptoms.

  33. Toly 3 years ago

    I feel dizziness, n feel some boiling sensation in my throat, right backach behind the breast had visited Dr n gave me medical for acidity reflux but no improvement have a nerves pain abdomen pain below the left ribs please help me…

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      See my prior response.

  34. VINAY 3 years ago

    Thanks Dr. Will try it.

  35. Louise 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post this article! Fantastic information, so very helpful when I’ve been struggling with all these symptoms for a long time with little help from my gp. Thank you again

  36. VINAY 3 years ago

    Dear Dr.
    The hope i had lost has come back after going through your posts. I a having frequent hunger problem from past 4 year for which i have consulted more then 15 doctors and and done all types of possible tests like, ct scan, glucose test, endoscope , colonoscope , TSH T3 & T4 etc.
    Let me explain you the actual problem- The actual problem started in 2012 with blotting of stomach after every meal for which i tried many medications and gradually it came down with a new problem of frequent hunger. The hunger would strike instantly and if i do not have some food immediately it would result in sever head ace, back ace, blotting, giddiness , increase in heart beat and weakness. Now a days the back ace & blotting is rare when i have this issue but the rest still continues.
    I request you to suggest me how to come out of this problem which is really bothering me a lot.

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago


      You more than likely have a combination of bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine combined with some autonomic dysfunction. Read my post on Heart Attacks and Heartburn ( and follow the directions at the end. It should help your symptoms – Dr. N

  37. Alessandra 3 years ago

    Hello Doctor,

    I’m not sure if you will be able to help me figure out what’s wrong with me but it’s worth a shot! Last week I went to the ER because I was having headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain and pain in my chest on the right side and under my right breast. After doing an x-Ray of my chest and an ultrasound to check my gallbladder, everything came back clean. They said it might have something to do with my nerves and I should go see a neurologist. Now I am going on my 4th day of having different issues. I feel as though something is stuck in my throat. It has caused me to have a dry cough that I just can’t get rid of, burping and pains as if I’m hungry. It hurts to lay down and causes me to have trouble swallowing. Could this have anything to do with acid reflux? I’m not sure if both of my situations could somehow be related but I’m extremely confused and worried and no other doctor can figure it out PLEASE help!

  38. shawn 3 years ago

    I have problem with stomach valve. I am taking meds to reduce acid.I feel hungary most of the time. Started drinking Boost,meal replacement drink. This helps when I drink it.Is this ok,or any suggestions.This has been problem for months, I need your help… many thanks

  39. sunil 3 years ago

    first of all thanks a lot sir helped me a lot to get rid of my stomach problems.actually i had abdominal pain often after eating and some times i feel nausea and full ness of stomach and also it is irritating me for many days that too much greenish watery mucus comes in the morning when i clean my tongue ..why is happening ..if i reduce in take of carbs ..will it be helpful..?or anything else i have to do ?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Yes, try reducing carbs to less than 100 grams per day.

  40. mk 6 years ago

    THANK YOU for this post! I couldn’t figure out why my stomach hurts so much when I’m hungry, yet eases about 20 minutes after having a meal. I kept seeing “low stomach acid” when I’d search for answers online but that didn’t make sense since I get acid reflux quite frequently. Your post absolutely answered all of my questions and I sincerely thank you.
    I do have one question. Are there any natural remedies or supplements that you would suggest to help with this? I don’t mind Tums or Pepto Bismol, but I hate to take them for extended periods. Right now I’m taking aloe vera juice, which seems to help, but not eliminate the problem entirely. Thanks!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago

      Glad you found it helpful.

      Many patients get relief from their heartburn symptoms by supplementing with a prebiotic fiber called Inulin.

      It seems much heartburn and reflux s triggered by a condition called bacterial overgrowth, otherwise known as SIBO.

      The inulin helps re-balance the gut and reverses the symptoms in many cases.

      Good luck.


  41. cha 6 years ago

    I’m having a terrible nausea, arthritis, spams, random heart beat, and hair loss. And I notice, it all started with my stomach, please help me, cause everyday I’m in pain. I admit I used to eat sour foods before and always skip lunch. Is it the result of it? please, it would help me alot. I’m still 18

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago


      You need to start adjusting some of the foods you eat. Try to eliminate all sweetened drinks as well as eating less bread, cereal, pasta and rice. These foods are contributing to your problems.

      Some kids have great improvement if they also add a prebiotic fiber to their diet. The fiber you should use is called inulin (brand name Clear and Natural) and can be purchased from the store.

      If you symptoms don’t complete go away, you need to see a doctor.

      Good luck,

      Dr. N

  42. Vidhya 6 years ago

    Dear Dr. N,

    I stumbled about this well written article to combat my pregnancy indigestion and frequent hunger. Though symptoms such as indigestion and frequent hunger are common during pregnancy , I do feel that excessive consumption of my carbs plays much bigger role. My recent conversation with ditecian also have shown that my 95% of diet is carbs needs to be cut down. As vegeterian , Im finding hard to adjust to carb less diet but after reading your artcile im definitely doing it.

    Also most important note is that my younger brother for the past five years have been suffering from all the symptoms mentioned above. He has done all possible checks , scans, endoscopy etc.. All result shows that excess acid production and was prescribed Lanzoparazole or omniparazole to combat the symptoms. I have suggested him to read your article and contact you as earliest as he is really tired of knowing whats causing issue. Please kindly help him.

  43. Chloe Stanger 6 years ago

    Hello, I was very interested reading your article because my doctors and I have been stumped by my symptoms of excessive hunger for the past 5 years with no clear cause, and no one has ever mentioned the possibility of dyspepsia to me before. I’m wondering if you think this is something worth pursuing in my case? The only known health issues I have are IBS, PCOS, and hypothyroidism. I’ve been to numerous doctors who act as though this is in my head because i’m hungry even 20 minutes after eating a well balanced, full meal and when my symptoms get really bad, its almost a panicky feeling along with the nausea, shakiness, and dizziness. If I don’t eat fast enough I can also get a migraine headache and/or blurred vision. Can that also be explained by dyspepsia? I admit to a high carb diet due to IBS because with my sensitive stomach, breads and carbs are often the only foods I can eat without irritation. But i’m willing to try if it would help with the hunger because right now it is ruling my life and causing quite a bit of weight gain because food has been the only thing to ease my symptoms. If I have to reduce my carbs slowly due to my limited diet, would an antacid be recommended? Would an OTC pill be effective or should I talk to my doctor about a prescription? I realize these are a lot of questions to ask in this format but i’m quite desperate for answers at this point. Thank you for putting this information out here!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago

      Start with some Omperazole (Prilosec OTC) once or twice daily. Add some high dose omega-3 fatty acids (see my recent post). If still with symptoms, maybe try some Inulin prebiotic fiber once or twice a day . Let me know how you do.


  44. Zoe Pierce-Wood 6 years ago

    After reading your article I have a question. My partner and I are both suffering from what seems to be dyspepsia for the first time. We do eat a reasonable amount of carbohydrates (mostly white pasta, rice and bread) without any problems but I recently bought some wholewheat(brown) pasta and we have eaten a large quantity of it every day for about four days. Could this be the cause as most articles other than yours RECOMMEND wholewheat pasta as something to ease dyspepsia?

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago

      It is technically true that there are some health benefits to higher fiber foods such as brown rice. But I find the significance of the benefit is greatly exaggerated and generally insignificant.

      When I’m working with a patient whose health is suffering (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc), a change to high fiber foods has little noticeable impact.

      A reduction in carbs regardless of fiber has a very powerful positive impact on a patient’s health.

      As to your specific question, brown rice is not magical and certainly seems to of altered your health for the worse.

      The increase in carbohydrate that you refer to is probably the cause of your dyspepsia.

      Reduce your total carb intake and things should go away.


  45. Bob Slimak 6 years ago

    Thanks! This is the best article I have read, so far, concerning my problem of excess stomach acid. The only problem is it did not include anything on how to eat without our typical carbohydrate diet without loading your body with cholesterol. I guess I will have to research that separately. I have trouble with inflammation of the stomach lining and my Dr. wants me to take Aciphex, but that is ridiculously expensive, $780 for a 90 day supply!!

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago


      A growing body of evidence suggests that excessive dietary cholesterol is only a problem when combined with excessive dietary carbohydrates. A low carbohydrate diet in combination with a moderate fat diet is quit helpful and necessary.

      Reduce carbs below 100 grams per day and allow yourself to have more butter and dairy products and you heartburn should be much better in no time.

      Dr. N

  46. Jason 6 years ago

    Thank you Doctor Nemechek for your quick reply!

    My doctor changed my medication from Prevacid to Dexilant which seemed to help with my acid reflux a little better but no help with the painful bloating and gas.

    My doctor also gave me a probiotic called Align which I’m been taking daily. You are suggesting a prebiotic inulin fiber which can be obtained OTC. I’ll give one a try. I’ve also printed out your article and plan to take it with me during my next visit.

    Many thanks to you!

  47. Jason 6 years ago

    I just found and read your article. Thank you for sharing this.

    I’ve been on acid reflux medications for more than 20 years but just the last month or so I’ve become so bloated (painful in fact) with belching and becoming nauseated like never before. I’ve had these symptoms in the past but they would subside after a day or so and wouldn’t happen regularly. In the past 4 weeks or so I’m luck to not have these symptoms!

    I visited my doctor last week due to this (I typically see the nurse practitioner and not my gastro doc who is also our family doctor) and she had blood work done on me to test for elevated white blood cells, checked my pancreas, liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Two years ago I had an ultrasound on my gallbladder due to infrequent bloating and gas but it showed nothing. I’ve had colonoscopies in the past as well as several endoscopies.

    All tests came back fine. I’m sure my carbohydrate intake is fairly high even though my wife and I have been on Weight Watchers for more than two years now. I did do Atkins prior to it and I felt great with the reduced carbs but my cholesterol spiked considerably on it.

    My doctor is thinking about scheduling another endoscopy to see what might be causing my problem. My nurse practitioner did mention that i could be suffering from Dyspepsia. After reading your article I’m starting to think that might be my problem.

    What caught my attention in your article about insulin resistance. For years now it’s not uncommon for me to break out in a sweat when I’m hunger or after I’ve eaten a lot of rice or food with carbs. I notice it after eating rice specifically. I’ve told my doctor and I’ve been tested for diabetes several times but all come back normal.

    I’m going to start cutting down on my carb intake and see if that solves my problem.

    Thank you again for writing this article.

    Best Regards,

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 6 years ago


      It sounds like you might be developing some bacterial overgrowth as well. This can cause dyspepsia and worsen heartburn.

      Bacterial overgrowth (also known as SIBO) responds well to supplementation inulin fiber (a special prebiotic) once or twice a day.

      I common suggest this to reverse heartburn


    • Vivian Williams 3 years ago

      Dear Dr Nemechek
      I have tried to find a doctor who can help me diagnosed the problems that I have with my stomach. Every since I had my last child by c section. I have had this problem . I have so much bloating and this bloating expands my stomach. I was diagnosed with hiatus hernia, gastritis, and gerd. I have this big usual round stomach and it doesn’t goes with my little body. I can’t eat nothing, everything bloat me, even when I don’t have anything on my stomach it still bloat . Sometimes when I get nervous, my stomach will get big. I am lactose and can’t eat no dairy products. I can’t eat no raw vegetables, sweets, soda, tea, hot dog,
      ground beef and the list goes on. I cant chew gum, drink from a straw or suck on anything, such as a pick of candy. All bloats me. I have had all kind of testing and was prescribed protons which also bloat me. I need help because the problems still exists. Please email me

    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 3 years ago

      Sounds like you have some damage or improper functioning of the autonomic nervous system. This can be triggered during pregnancy.

      You should take the Autonomic Quiz and SIBO quiz that are in the left column of the blog.

      If you’re interested about how we can help, you’ll have to call 623-208-4226 for more info.

      Dr. N

    • Vivian Williams 3 years ago

      Thanks for your quick response. I will take the quiz,

  48. edward 6 years ago

    I am very glad to find this article.

    I have been experiencing the exact symptoms described by Veronica for like 3 months now, i couldn’t imagine how exact Veronica’s explanation matches my problem. I thought I was alone and doctors didn’t really understand my issue apart of saying its acid.

    I eat carbohydrates like 95% of my daily meal, I feel a need to eat something after like 3hrs(between meals) and this makes me scared of myself because I never eat that regularly in the past.

    I get a lot of nausea in the morning on my way to work, I sometimes feel I can vomit in a bus/train so this increases my fear and uncomfortability.

    I went to hospital and got a Omeprazol dose to use for 2 weeks, to be honest after I take Omeprazol I feel like my day goes well, but recently I decided to stop it so that I can see if I can survive without taking Omeprazol daily, but surely I can’t survive, my day becomes terrible, I just have to eat a lot in the middle of meals to avoid the hunger and nausea problems.

    I will cut down carbohydrates and monitor my problem closely “at first I couldn’t imagine how I can cut carbohydrates from my meals”

    Thanks a lot for this article.


  49. Veronica 7 years ago


    I have finally being able to stop eating carbohydrates; it was really difficult to stop because that’s what I mostly ate for years. I stopped gradually, and I have felt the difference. I no longer feel nauseous or uncomfortable after eating. What I am consuming now is fish, ground turkey, chicken, eggs, and green salads and mineral water or spring water. I still can’t eat early in the morning though, my first meal is around eleven in the morning.

    Thank you so much for answering my message and for taking the time to write this article that has helped me so much to solve my health problem.



  50. Veronica 7 years ago

    Dear Dr.,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article. I was trying to find what was wrong with me. One month ago I had this horrible symptoms of strong nausea, rapid heartbeats, fainting sensation and overall sick feeling. It was horrible. Before I got to these symptoms, I always had the “hungry” sensation. If I didn’t eat anything after three hours, I would start feeling hungry and bloated to the point where I could no longer stand. It was really painful. I thought this was normal since I had lived with this symptoms for years, probably 15 yrs. A month ago, I had an endoscopy done, and they only found excess acid in my stomach. The Dr. prescribed Omperazole (2 a day) for three months. Is it OK to take the medicine for this long? I am concerned about this because I am not used to take medicines of any kind.

    I do eat mostly carbohydrates. I will stop eating as much right away.

    Thank you,


    • Author
      Patrick Nemechek, D.O. 7 years ago


      I’m pretty sure your symptoms are from autonomic dysfunction of the stomach and intestinal tract. A reduction of carbohydrates to less than 100 grams per day can have a tremendous impact onreversing your symptoms in only a few weeks.

      The carb reduction will also help with the lightheadedness, rapid pulse and fainting as these are more than likely signs that your autonomic system is also unable to maintain normal blood pressure to your brain (a condition called orthostatic hypotension).

      Omperazole is fine to take to alleviate your symptoms but you will find you won’t need it in a month or so after reducing your carbs.

      Remember, ALL carbs have to be accounted for. There is no such thing as “healthy carbs”.

      Drop me a line in a few weeks and let me know how its going.


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