Got GERD? Eat This Way to Help Avoid Symptoms

FRIDAY, Nov. 24, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Some folks feasting this holiday have to contend with gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.

In fact, about one-third of the population is affected by this chronic condition, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

That’s why it is providing tips on how to manage this digestive disorder, as part of GERD Awareness Week Nov. 19-25.

“Diet plays a crucial role in the management of GERD. Certain foods and eating habits can exacerbate symptoms, while others can provide relief and improve the overall quality of life for individuals dealing with GERD,” academy spokeswoman Julie Stefanski, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Baltimore, Md., said in an academy release.

GERD occurs when stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, the academy says.

If left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious illnesses like esophageal cancer.

Stefanski says people who want to manage their GERD should:

  • Avoid trigger foods that cause or worsen GERD symptoms, like mint, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, acidic foods and spicy foods.

  • Eat smaller, frequent meals throughout the day to reduce pressure on the stomach and esophagus.

  • Limit fatty foods and added butter and oils in your diet, choosing instead baked, broiled or steamed options and getting your protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu and beans.

Consulting with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) also can help GERD sufferers, Stefanski said. They can help develop a personalized nutrition plan around an individual’s specific needs and triggers.

“By making informed dietary choices and working closely with a RDN, individuals can gain better control over GERD symptoms and enjoy a more comfortable and fulfilling life,” Stefanski said.

More information

Cleveland Clinic has more about GERD.

SOURCE: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, news release, Nov. 20, 2023

What This Means for You:

A solid dietary plan can help people manage their GERD.

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