How This Dietitian Cured Her Acid Reflux (GERD) Naturally

How This Dietitian Cured Her Acid Reflux (GERD) Naturally

Written By Molly Pelletier, MS, RD, LDN, gut health Registered Dietitian

a woman dietician sitting at a kitchen counter with a cutting board and a pineapple, tomatoes, kiwis and a spaghetti squash


When I was an undergrad nutrition student at Boston University, my digestive health issues (acid reflux, IBS) were at their worst. Originally, my heartburn and digestive symptoms happened once a week, but eventually, they worsened and increased in frequency. Every morning, I would wake up with recurring throat/chest pain and anxiety about how my unpredictable symptoms would play out during the day.


After seeing multiple GI doctors, I was prescribed a PPI, given a low fodmap diet handout, and sent on my way. I was on this medication for over a year, but the symptoms continued. I would wake up at night gagging, and my heartburn, sore throat, and stomach pain persisted. 


Unfortunately, the medication did not work for me because it did not address the root cause of my acid reflux symptoms. One afternoon, I remember standing in the grocery store re-reading the label on a box of crackers, filled with overwhelming confusion. I felt totally lost as to what to eat or how to eat due to my digestive issues. After dozens of doctor appointments, ER visits, and medical tests, my anxiety was at an all-time high and my list of “safe foods” was dwindling every day. When my doctors were at a loss for advice and my condition was not improving – I knew I needed to take my healing into my own hands. I also knew that taking medications for extended periods of time was not good for my long-term health, and I wanted to find a natural resolution. 


a cutting board on a white kitchen counter with kiwis and a dietitians hands holding out two kiwis


Here are a few key changes I made to heal acid reflux naturally…


  • I cut out caffeine or limited my intake. My stomach pains started to improve as well as my acid reflux. I made a commitment to no longer have caffeine on an empty stomach. 


  • After much research into natural remedies for GERD, I started to use healing mucilaginous herbs such as slippery elm, marshmallow root, and DGL licorice root supplements. These herbs help coat the lining of the throat/esophagus, calm inflammation, and repair the gut mucosa. If you choose to take herbs in addition to prescribed medication, it is important to take them at least an hour before or after your medication and always consult your healthcare provider. It’s best to receive personalized recommendations before starting any new supplement or herb. 


  • Instead of fasting all day and eating 1-2 large meals, I shifted my intake to 5 small, frequent meals. This helped me to decrease the amount of food at one time, so my digestive system could manage each meal and digest it accordingly. Getting into a routine with nutrition that allowed me to nourish my gut and hormones was pivotal.


  • Having an early dinner and not laying down for ~3 hours after eating helped me to ensure optimal digestion. I enjoy eating a large breakfast, with substantial lunch & protein-rich snacks throughout the day to make up for a smaller, lighter dinner. This routine has prevented me from undereating or missing nutrients which can worsen IBS and acid reflux symptoms. I personally struggled with acid reflux symptoms at night, so an elevated maternity pillow (kept me on my left side) and melatonin (yes, melatonin for reflux!) were key in preventing nighttime symptoms.


  • Instead of gulping water during meals, I shifted my hydration to throughout the day between meals. Drinking excess water during a meal can cause a dilution of digestive enzymes and overfill the stomach, which often causes symptoms to flare. 


  • Stress management is VITAL for the IBS/ acid-reflux healing process! The gut and the brain are connected via the Enteric nervous system, therefor decreasing stress can help alleviate poor digestion. In my own gut-healing journey, Gut-directed meditations helped me to stop health anxiety, change my mindset, and heal my nervous system. Gut-directed meditations and yoga help to calm the nervous system and soothe the digestive system. That is why I created the Integrative Gut Health app FLORA, to make these gut-directed meditations, and reflux-friendly yoga classes accessible, even on the go. 


  • Lastly, fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and starchy foods like potatoes, helps to feed the gut microbiome, which produces short-chain fatty acids that ultimately decrease inflammation in the body. Increasing my fiber-containing carbohydrate intake helped me to promote proper bowel movements and healthy gut motility, which can help aid acid reflux symptoms after meals. Note: constipation is a root cause of acid reflux, so it’s essential to also support bowel regularity in order to heal acid reflux/GERD.


a woman dietitian sitting on a white couch holding a cup of hot tea with a plant in the background


Fast, forward to today…

I’m a gut health Registered Dietitian and recovered from severe IBS/GERD. My approach to nutrition counseling is rooted in science and built on the foundation that everyone has unique nutrition and lifestyle needs. It’s my mission (and greatest joy) to help you discover your root causes of imbalance, and share with you evidence-based, integrative wellness tools – so you too can heal your gut, repair your relationship with food, and live your absolute best life


If you’re ready to start your acid reflux healing journey, you are in the right place. I created the FLORA app, which is a community platform for those healing from acid reflux. Take control of your health today by designing your Gut Healing Protocol on FLORA for free with your 7-day risk-free trial. 



Download FLORA for Apple Devices | Download FLORA for Google Devices 



Written by Molly Pelletier, MS, RD, LDN | Molly Pelletier is a Registered Dietitian specializing in digestive health, IBS, and Acid Reflux. Her work, across multiple disciplines, centers around developing a healthy relationship with food and the importance of gut health. Molly’s personal struggles with acid reflux and digestive dysfunction were the catalysts that led her to complete her BS and MS degrees in Nutrition Science at Boston University. Molly’s background in nutrition science and personal health journey culminated in the curation of the community platform FLORA, where she shares evidence-based tools and strategies to help others heal their gut and optimize their overall well-being. 


To learn more about acid reflux, follow Molly on: 




Work with Molly


an ad for Calm & Soothe by Dr Barry's Remedies


Looking for more helpful resources? Try these…

Your Mood and Your Digestion

Top 5 Supplements for GERD & Acid Reflux

Why Do I Have Acid Reflux


Try these tasty low-acid recipes…

Ground Turkey Teriyaki Bowls

Pad Pak Thai

Crispy Baked Eggplant Fries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.