Value of lifestyle modifications in GERD

The treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) usually includes lifestyle modifications. These include dietary changes such as avoidance of chocolate, mints, citrus, fatty food, carbonated beverages, tobacco, as well as coffee/caffeinated products. Patients are also advised to lose weight, avoid late evening meals and postprandial recumbent position, and to sleep with their right side down.

Are any of these recommendations useful?

According to a review in Archives of Internal Medicine, there are a paucity of supporting data. However, “there are some other [obvious] health-related benefits associated with these dietary interventions.” The authors do recommend to avoid lying flat for 3 to 4 hours after a meal, and weight reduction for obese patients.

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Illustration: New York Methodist Hospital Heartburn (GERD) Program

7/5/06 22:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.