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Diet and Nutrition

Apples and GERD

08/04/2009

Question:

Do apples cure GERD

Answer:

In a word, no.  While there is no 'cure' for GERD, there are a handful of dietary changes you can make that will help alleviate the symptoms.

1.  Lose weight if you're overweight.  A bulging belly can 'push' food upwards in the stomach and cause reflux.  Even a 10 lb weight reduction will help.

2.  Limit high fat foods like fried food, high fat desserts, fatty cuts of meat, fast food and food made with whole milk (such as cheese and ice cream).  Fatty foods 'stick to your ribs' and are digested more slowly than carbohydrates or protein, which means they will hang around your stomach longer, increasing the risk for reflux.

3.  Don't smoke and stop if you do.  In addition to a higher risk of cancer, lung disease & heart disease, smoking aggravates symptoms of GERD as it increases stomach acid production.

4.  Avoid alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks.  All of these increase the production of acid in the stomach and can exacerbate symptoms of GERD.

5.  Don't lie down after eating.  Gravity will take over and increase the likelihood of reflux.

6.  Limit peppermint and chocolate as both lower esophageal sphincter pressure, which increases the risk for reflux.

7.  Talk to your doctor about medication for GERD.  Typically these are medicines that reduce stomach acid such as TUMS, Rolaids or prescription medication.

I hope this information was helpful!

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati