Let’s Be Real About Reflux: Getting to the Heart of Heartburn – A Fresh Approach by NUNM Alumnus and Professor Steven Sandberg-Lewis

Heartburn is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. Many individuals suffer from this condition, seeking relief through various means, often with mixed results. In his new book, Let’s Be Real About Reflux: Getting to the Heart of Heartburn, NUNM alumnus and professor Steven Sandberg-Lewis, ND, DHANP, offers a refreshing perspective on understanding and treating reflux. Unlike the numerous misconceptions surrounding heartburn, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis presents evidence-based lifestyle hacks and natural medicine treatments, providing a comprehensive approach to addressing this issue.

Steven Sandberg-Lewis, ND, DHANP
Steven Sandberg-Lewis, ND, DHANP

Reduce CARBs, Relieve Reflux

While medication can provide temporary relief from heartburn symptoms, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis emphasizes the importance of adopting a holistic approach to address the root causes of reflux. One of the notable concepts discussed in Let’s Be Real About Reflux is the mnemonic “Reduce CARBs, Relieve Reflux.” This acronym stands for several lifestyle changes that can positively impact heartburn, depending on an individual’s unique circumstances. Each component of the mnemonic represents a key aspect of managing reflux, providing readers with actionable steps they can implement in their daily lives.

C – cola (soda in general), coffee, chocolate, cigarettes (tobacco in general)

A – alcohol, acidic foods, aspirin (and other over the counter pain and inflammation medicines)

R – refined carbohydrates; excess carbohydrate intake, even unrefined such as whole grains or starchy vegetables; rapid eating; Rx (certain prescription medicines discussed in chapter 1)

B – breathing shallowly; big meals (eating too much at a meal); bigger waist circumference; bedtime eating/ eating within 3 hours of going to bed

S – snacking; sleeping position; shallow chest breathing; saturated fat, (high intake of any type of fat); spicy food; sensitivity to specific foods

For a deeper dive into Let’s Be Real About Reflux, check out this article with Townsend Letter where Dr. Sandberg-Lewis discusses the book’s contents, common factors promoting GERD and lifestyle-based approaches to reduce heartburn.

Meet the author

Steven Sandberg-Lewis, ND, DHANP, is a distinguished naturopathic physician and educator with over four decades of experience in the field. He obtained his doctorate from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, now known as the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), in Portland, Oregon, in 1978. Throughout his illustrious career, he has maintained a successful private practice and has dedicated himself to teaching gastroenterology at NUNM for more than 30 years.

Recognized as an authority in his field, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis is frequently sought after for interviews and lectures both nationally and internationally. He shares his expertise through seminars and webinars, spreading knowledge and awareness about functional gastrointestinal disorders and reflux.

In addition to Let’s Be Real About Reflux, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis is the author of the textbook Functional Gastroenterology: Assessing and Addressing the Causes of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, now in its second edition published in 2017.

Dr. Sandberg-Lewis is one of the founders of the Gastroenterology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (GastroANP). The GastroANP has recently accomplished the significant task of creating a fellowship exam. Dr. Sandberg-Lewis will be among the first group of physicians to take the FABNG fellowship exam in Fall 2023. While licensed to practice Naturopathic Medicine in Oregon and California, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis also provides educational consultations to physicians and individuals suffering from digestive disorders across the United States and internationally. His dedication to patient care and education extends far beyond his physical practice.

For more information about Dr. Steven Sandberg-Lewis and his work, please visit his websites: