Will changing my diet affect GERD?

To reduce symptoms of GERD, you need to:

  • avoid foods that trigger your symptoms
  • eat more frequent, smaller meals since overeating
    can cause symptoms
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Certain foods may affect how well the

lower esophageal sphincter works or
irritate
the tissues
that line the
esophagus . If you have GERD, you need to
avoid foods that cause these problems. You should also eat
smaller, more frequent meals, because large meals may
increase your risk of
reflux.

What foods should I avoid?

Here are some common types of foods that may be
playing a role in your
GERD
.

These recommended dietary
changes don’t mean you’re restricted to a bland diet. With
planning, you can enjoy tasty meals and still control GERD.

Type of Food Specific Foods How the Food Causes
Symptoms
High-fat foods
  • cheese
  • fatty beef
  • hot dogs
  • slows the emptying of the stomach’s contents,
    which increases the risk of reflux
  • weakens or prevents the lower esophageal
    sphincter, or LES, from working properly
Fried foods
  • donuts
  • French fries
  • slows the emptying of the stomach’s contents
  • weakens or prevents the LES from working
    well
Tomato-based products
  • barbecue sauce
  • chili
  • ketchup
  • pizza
  • salsa
  • spaghetti sauce
  • tomato juice
  • tomatoes
  • irritates the lining of the esophagus
Citrus-based products
  • lemonade
  • lemons
  • limes
  • orange juice
  • oranges
  • pineapple
  • irritates the lining of the esophagus

Some candies

  • cake
  • candy, including chocolate, peppermint, and
    spearmint
  • cookies
  • hot cocoa
  • weakens or
    relaxes the LES
Alcohol
  • beer
  • hard liquor
  • relaxes the LES
Caffeinated drinks
  • coffee
  • tea
  • irritates the
    lining of the esophagus
  • may weaken the LES
Carbonated beverages
  • seltzer/club
    soda
  • soft drinks
  • may cause the
    stomach
    to
    distend and cause reflux
Spicy foods
  • curries
  • garlic

  • hot sauce
  • jalepeno peppers/hot peppers
  • mustard
  • onion
  • salsa
  • irritates the
    lining of the esophagus
  • weakens or prevents the LES from working well

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