I just discovered that Dr. Norm Robillard’s excellent book on the causes and treatment of heartburn, Fast Tract Digestion Heartburn, is available free on Kindle. I don’t know how long it will remain free, but I wanted to get this post up and out so that anyone who has heartburn or GERD can grab a free copy.
I briefly contemplated doing an in-depth review of this book replete with multiple quotes and my digressions, but since I don’t know how long the book is going to remain free on Kindle, I figured it would be best if I just got the post up quickly.  In short, the book discusses how small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) causes most cases of heartburn. SIBO can be successfully treated in most cases with a low-carbohydrate diet. Dr. Robillard’s book discusses treatment, including some not-so-low-carb options. In lieu of my review, here is Dr. Robillard’s website, which provides more info.  I highly recommend this book to anyone with heartburn.
Grab a copy now.
Disclosure: Dr. Robillard is a friend of mine. We had a few discussions during his writing of the book, and I am mentioned in the acknowledgements.
Note: Just heard from Dr. Robillard.  The book will be free through Jan 1, 2013.  So don’t dilly dally.  Get your copy now.
And Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Thanks Dr. Eades – Already downloaded it. Knew that there was a link between carbs and heartburn. 10 year anniversary of 70 pounds lost and tenaciously steady weight loss due to your help in providing literature, recipes and the like for low carb living. Once the carbs were reduced, I have used antacids rarely if ever. When I was heavier and trying low fat (high carb), I used about 60 tums per month. Maybe someday mainstrean low carb will appear in restaurants and grocery stores. Sigh.
    Thanks again, and Happy New Year’s to you and your family.

  2. Thanks for the book recommendation, it couldn’t have come at a better time. During the Xmas holidays I grossly overshot my carb intake and as a result I spent a thoroughly miserable night this weekend.
    I have long noted how a low-carb diet has an immediate effect on heartburn but I always looked on it as a pleasant side benefit. I had no idea that there was a complex biological process at work and I am eager to learn more in the book.
    Thanks again.

    1. Rick wrote: “I have long noted how a low-carb diet has an immediate effect on heartburn”
      Exactly the same thing happens to me though I never connected the dots until now. When you are looking somewhere else for the solution, you don’t see it even if it is right under your own nose 🙂 Thanks for the book recommendation

  3. Thanks. Just downloaded it. About 15 years ago, I found that eliminating wheat from my diet got rid of my heartburn. However, after about 10 years, it returned, despite being on a LC diet. The gastroenterologist said I have no LES, as well as hiatal hernia. So I doubt that diet can help at this point.
    However, never hurts to try. And I *did have 10 good years.
    If you know the author, you might mention that the tables aren’t displaying properly. The right-hand columns (the most important ones) are cut off, and I couldn’t see them no matter what settings I chose.

      1. But wait! I finally got them when I went to Full Screen or toggled Multiple Columns to show one column. I’d had it set for two columns for easier reading. I’m not a Kindle expert.

          1. Hi Linda,
            Can you tell me what device you are using? My HTML guy formatted the tables to display on multiple devices. I am going to meet with him to have a look at this. In the interim, try viewing on your computer with one of the free apps such as Mobipocket Reader.

  4. My reflux has greatly improved since going wheat free/low carb over a year ago. I now take the absolute minimum dosage of losec and am trying my hardest to kick it altogether. Thanks for the book link, hopefully I will learn enough get better. I do have a hiatus hernia though so maybe 100% drug free will never be for me but heck, I’ll give it my best shot!

      1. Hello again Dr Eades – You asked me to let you know how I went with my acid reflux and if the book helped me. The answer is yes, the book was wonderful! I already knew a lot of the triggers for heartburn burn but still got reflux. I was told that due to having the hiatus hernia I would always have to take medication. WRONG… I have finally, slowly, weaned myself completely off the omeprezole and now take no medication at all for anything – not bad for 56 years of age.
        I was already wheat free and low carb but the final help – which came from the book – was lowering milk intake (to almost zero).
        Thank you for letting us know about this book and your ongoing help to people in general 🙂

  5. Many thanks and Happy New Year to you both! (Also glad to see that your apostrophe key has returned from vacation 🙂 …..)

  6. Oh, I am so glad to see a medical doctor finally “getting it”. Most medical advice on how to avoid heartburn GERD is useless: patients are told to avoid alcohol, chocolate, and spicy foods. My worst reflux trigger has always been the lactose in dairy products.
    It had bothered me that medical science has completely missed the real cause of heartburn. They call that science???? Meanwhile, my GERD completely resolved following your Protien Power Diet.
    Another commonly ignored aspect of GERD is sleep apnea. Whether GERD contributes to the apnea or the apnea causes the GERD isn’t quite clear (one theory is that in the struggle to breathe, a vacuum is created which suctions up stomach contents into the airway, another theory is that reflux enters the airway, causing swelling and apnea) but it is often overlooked. Sleep apnea may go undetected for years, causing disruptions in ghrelin, leptin, and insulin pathways, elevated cortisol, etc. which contribute to obesity, and obesity may contribute to greater degrees of sleep apnea. A vicious cycle that needs to be addressed as well.
    I appreciate doctors like you and Dr. Robillard who actually take the time to look at the underlying causes of these conditions instead of assuming the gluttony of the patient.
    Happy New Year and thanks for the link!

  7. Both my husband and I had serious heartburn and acid problems. We went on a low carb diet last August and within a week all symptons disappeared! Now what do I do with all those useless drugs?!

  8. Thanks for the freebie alert. Having quickly read the text portion, the book seems to suffer from tunnel vision. By considering GERD as the ONLY nutritional issue, it seems to ignore any downside of high glycemic load foods, such as blood sugar control.

    1. Fair comment. I would like to address the glycemic load issue if I may.
      I had initially planned to cover all SIBO-related conditions in one large volume of Fast Tract Digestion. In the end, I decided on a strategy to write a book series where individual conditions would be covered separately in each book in the series. Now my challenge is to produce these volumes. I can’t say at this time when a volume covering diabetes will be released.
      While I understand that many diabetics consume low GI foods to help control blood sugar levels, there is a dilemma in addressing SIBO-related symptoms, such as heartburn, with this type of diet. Low GI foods include oats, barley, beans lentils, legumes, pasta, rye, wheat, certain rices, sweet potatoes, apples, oranges, milk, yogurt, ice cream, fiber, fructose, and lactose. These foods include many difficult-to-digest carbohydrates that are likely to exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux, IBS and other SIBO linked conditions.
      The Fast Tract Diet does not recommend a specific level of daily carbohydrates although the meal plans in the book contain approximately 75 grams of carbohydrate per day. The relatively lower levels of carbohydrates help offset the higher glycemic index of some of the foods used in the diet.
      While 75 grams per day this is better than the American Diabetes Association’s recommendation of 130 grams per day, I think the best overall diet for diabetics with acid reflux is a very low carb or ketogenic diet while being careful not to consume too much fiber and sugar alcohols. This approach, covered in my first book, Heartburn Cured, is consistent with the recommendations in Protein Power.
      Thanks for raising this issue. I may add this comment to the next revision.

  9. I downloaded the book & have read quite a lot but it was deff NOT written with diabetics in mind. I have be using a ketogenic diet with very very little starch or sugar for about a year & my gastric problems have gotten worse not better. I find that an empty stomach is the worst even if I am not hungry!

  10. Dear Dr Eades,
    Thank you for this valuable tool to help with low carb living. I have the metabolic syndrome with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high fasting glucose. I am pre-diabetic and will be finding out in a couple of weeks if I finally did cross over to type 2 diabetes. I have been taking Metformin 2x a day for about 4 or 5 years now, so maybe I am already diabetic and just haven’t been told I am. (My doctor at that time said he was starting me on Metformin to help stave off diabetes). But 10 years ago I enjoyed a year of low carb living on the Atkins diet. I will admit I am a carb/sugar addict and eventually was advised that the Atkins diet was not good for long term use and gladly started my decline back into carbs with a bag of Doritos. There were a couple of comments about diabetes considerations and I was also thinking about how to manage that issue as I move forward. But I have been taking Nexium, then Aciphex with OTC Omeprazole thrown in between (due to cost considerations) for about 5 years. I have become aware fairly recently of the downside to PPI meds and bone health, yet one more thing about which to worry. If I can get rid of the GERD with a diet that also considers diabetes that would be great to stop the PPIs at least. Thanks again.

  11. Thanks! Since it’s now January 2 and I don’t have a Kindle anyway, I’ll keep an eye open for the printed form if it’s available. 🙂
    I don’t see that anyone pointed this out: Is it “Fast Track” or “Fast Tract”?
    Chiming in with the others: Amazing how low carb can make digestive issues just quietly disappear.

    1. Almost any measurement that actually correlates with body fat levels and body fat distribution is better than BMI. Most professional athletes, most of whom are in terrific condition, have BMIs in the obese range.

  12. @Joe Smith @mreades
    Maybe they’ll start giving steroids to models to grow their muscles. They can still be skinny but meet the BMI requirement.

  13. Now that I think of it, they’re using BMI to make sure that models have _enough_ weight, regardless of whether it’s muscle or fat, so maybe if a BMI is too low that’s a useful statistic. It’s rather a different use of BMI than I’m used to considering.

  14. Thanks Dr. Eades. It just so happens that I have been suffering from heartburn for several years now so this book is a great gift to myself. Just downloaded it. Aloha from Hawaii.

  15. “Grateful” grossly understates my appreciation for your life-changing work and another gracious post Dr. Eades, as well as the critically important work you are doing, Dr. Robillard. My dear wife has suffered the ravages of Crohn’s Disease since 1971, as well as years of ignorant or misguided treatment schema that have resulted in 11 surgeries. She was left with half a colon and less than 1/3 of her small bowel, namely, short bowel syndrome for the last twenty years. She was able to progress from TPN to a “normal” diet, but has suffered from the “normal” side effects of multiple surgeries and bacterial overgrowth that went undiagnosed and untreated for many years. She is still being treated with now-updated drug therapy for mildly active Crohn’s, including Xifaxen for bacterial overgrowth, but her dietary advice has been mostly mediocre to totally inept, which only made her more miserable over the years…unnecessarily so as it turns out. After years of struggling, I discovered your work, Dr. Eades. It has taken time, trial and error, and a bit of convincing, but we have finally taken charge, and the result is that, with a carb-restricted diet, she has felt much better since, and, almost miraculously, has had some “normal” stool on occasion! I know you can appreciate why we celebrate that fact. Nonetheless, gerd is still an issue with her, and she is dependent on drug therapy that, while not totally ineffective, may be counterproductive to her total health. As we improve our application of low-carb diet principles, with me doing most of the cooking, I would hope that we could help her improve or control the gerd, maybe eliminating the drug crutch for that condition. I am excited about Dr. Robillard’s book and will be also giving a copy to our son who struggles mightily with obesity and gerd. Maybe it will also be a catalyst to help break down whatever mental barriers that have caused him to resist listening to our pleadings to follow the live-changing and life-giving advice in “Protein Power.” Thank you, good doctors, again for your important and life-affirming work in the interest of the common good. You should be honored widely, as I already do, as reformers who, hopefully, are leading our society out of the dietary dark ages. Finally, any thoughts you may have regarding my wife’s less common presentation would be appreciated. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Sorry to hear about your wife’s affliction. I’ve had success with my patients with Cronhn’s disease by adding glutamine to their low-carb diets.

  16. Thank you again! The convenient protein shake my wife takes with lunch contains 3,320 mg of L-Glutamate/L-Glutamine blend in a mostly whey-protein base. She has felt better since she incorporated that shake into her regimen over the last year. She often has a shake with breakfast too, so double dose on those days. Is that a reasonable amount? Meanwhile, I’ll toast you the next time I have Jameson, like St. Pat. Day…or before.

  17. For the last two years I have been suffering from symptoms that were diagnosed as LPR (Laryngopharyngeal reflux,) rather than GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease.) I have no heartburn symptoms or pain at all. It all started with a considerable amount of mucus in the back of my throat, like a tremendously uncomfortable and persistent post-nasal drip. Also, I have the taste of acid in my mouth quite often; it is a metallic, salty, taste that feels sour and lemon-like. At times I do have pain down my throat and chest when swallowing.
    I took proton pump inhibitors for some months, but stopped when I saw no improvement.
    I first read Protein Power in 2000. I generally try to follow its advice, though lately I have too much of a sweet tooth. But since then, my staple breakfast has been cottage cheese.
    I am glad I came upon this post and I am ready to buy the book, but I would like to know more about the differences between “Fast Tract Digestion” and “Heartburn Cured”. Do I need to read both or will the most recent one be well enough. Thank you!

    1. The second one should cover it all. It’s a little more technical, so if you want an easier read, I would go for the first one.

    2. Elvira,
      I got Fast Tract and I think it’s right on.
      However, not all reflux is digestive in nature–or at least not exclusively digestive in nature. Reflux, especially LPR, can be a result of sleep apnea. The theory is that when the airway is constricted and you are struggling to breathe, the negative pressure gradient pulls gastric contents up into the airway. I would say with LPR that’s probably even more likely the cause than SIBO, although SIBO could be a contributing factor.
      If you haven’t had a test for sleep apnea, you should to rule it out. Doctor’s can’t tell by looking at you, and often overlook the possibility if you’re not an overweight, middle-aged male.

      1. Thank you. I’ll have to check that. But my problem actually doesn’t happen at night, and I sleep really well. When I get up I don’t have that acid taste in my mouth. It starts later. I actually get the feeling that posture, sitting and driving for example, activates it.

      2. Interesting theory Elvira. I will evaluate and include this idea in the next edition along with other LRP concepts. It makes sense to me. This mechanism (negative pressure gradient) may also explain the connection between smoking and GERD.

  18. I have some questions about the 6 Week Cure. I posted a comment at its blog, but it doesn’t seem to be active at the moment.
    Today is my first day and I am on my way out to get potassium and a few other things I need. I had eggs for breakfast and a shake for lunch. I cannot imagine for the life of me how I am going to drink two more shakes before the end of the day. I don’t believe I will be hungry enough to have the third one. Will it be OK to just drink two shakes?
    Is it OK to stay in the first two week phase longer? And, is there a mineral and vitamin supplement with all the components and amounts listed in the book that you would recommend?

    1. Sorry about the other blog. We’ve been so busy that we’ve just kind of let the 6WC blog sit idle.
      It’s okay to forgo one of the shakes if you don’t want it. Not a problem. Two is fine.
      And you can indeed stay on the first phase longer if you wish.
      Good luck. Keep us all posted on your progress.

    1. I was going to do an analysis on this paper but my good friend Peter Attia beat me to it. Click here for his excellent review.

  19. Thanks for the book! Will try to check your book! The best thing about it is that it is up for grabs for free.

  20. Whoa, is there any question about this?
    I used to suffer terribly from heartburn and kept a bottle of antacid in my desk drawer in the office to counteract it.
    Since I went low-carb about 6 years ago, I have never suffered from it, apart from the time that I ate a ‘Mr Kipling Apple Pie’ last week (you have to be English to understand this version junk food – it is like a McDonalds apple pie, but with cheap shortcrust pastry).
    What sets off heartburn for me is fruit pies, and bananas. As a result, I simply don’t touch them.
    But what is really troubling are the people I see who suffer heartburn who decide to go ‘under the knife’, rather than change their diet. And of course, those who go ‘under the knife’ are carrying more pounds than they should be….

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