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M Fox & C Prakash Gyawali, 2023. Dietary factors involved in GERD management, Best Practice Research Clin Gastroenterol.

Dietary factors involved in GERD management

M Fox & C Prakash Gyawali
Best Practice and Research Clinical Gastroenterology
April 25, 2023


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is extremely common, and even modest weight gain has been associated with higher symptom burden as well as objective evidence of reflux on endoscopy and physiological measurement. Certain trigger foods, especially citrus, coffee, chocolate, fried food, spicy food and red sauces are frequently reported to worsen reflux symptoms, although hard evidence linking these items to objective GERD is lacking. There is better evidence that large meal volume and high calorie content can increase esophageal reflux burden. Conversely, sleeping with the head end of the bed raised, avoiding lying down close to meals, sleeping on the left side and weight loss can improve reflux symptoms and objective reflux evidence, especially when the esophagogastric junction 'reflux barrier' is compromised (e.g., in the presence of a hiatus hernia). Consequently, attention to diet and weight loss are both important elements of management of GERD, and need to be incorporated into management plans.

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