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What type of diet should you follow after a diagnosis of GERD?

A:

Quick Answer

Patients diagnosed as having gastroesophageal reflux disease are advised to follow a low-fat, high-protein diet, states WebMD. Foods that trigger symptoms of GERD include chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions and garlic. GERD patients are also advised to avoid or limit intake of coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

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Full Answer

GERD is a condition in which gastrointestinal contents repeatedly flow back into the esophagus, explains University of Maryland Medical Center. Persistent heartburn, a burning sensation beneath the sternum, is the characteristic symptom of GERD. Other symptoms of GERD include dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing; odynophagia, which is painful swallowing; food regurgitation; belching; and chronic cough.

Since GERD is commonly caused by the inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, diet modifications are geared towards eliminating or limiting foods that decrease lower esophageal sphincter pressure. Foods recommended for GERD patients include bananas, whole-wheat toast, crackers, broccoli and chicken, states McKinley Health Center. Consumption of fresh fruit salads, vegetable soup, herbed brown rice and whole-grain cereal is also recommended.

Aside from dietary modifications, treatment of GERD also involves lifestyle changes. Patients diagnosed with GERD should avoid eating close to bedtime, wear loosely fitted clothes and lose weight, if needed, suggests MedlinePlus.com. Smoking, heavy meals and medications that exacerbate symptoms of GERD should also be avoided.

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