Healthy Lifestyle Advice by John Reed, MD: GERD

Asian woman having heartburn, acid reflux after eating burger, eating junk food concept

Date: October 2, 2023
Categories: Health Focused

As a board-certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Dr. John Reed, with Augusta Health Primary Care, Fishersville, loves to help his patients treat and reverse chronic diseases, lose weight, and get off their medications with lifestyle changes.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) 
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) occurs when stomach contents flow back (reflux) into the food pipe. It is usually caused by the failure of the muscle valve (called the lower esophageal sphincter) between the stomach and the esophagus to close properly. The backwash of the stomach acid irritates the lining of the lower esophagus and causes heartburn symptoms.

  • One of the best ways to reduce or eliminate reflux is to lose weight (if you are overweight). The healthiest way to do that and MAINTAIN is with a whole-foods, plant-based eating pattern.
  • Some mechanical habits can worsen reflux or bring it on, like wearing clothes tight around the midsection or lying down soon after eating, so do the opposite.
  • Many foods are thought to worsen reflux, like fatty foods (fats are very acidic), sodas, coffee, alcohol, citrus, and tomatoes, whereas eating smaller portions and more fiber likely reduces reflux.
  • Smoking seems to contribute to reflux; please consider quitting.

If you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Reed, please ask your primary care provider for a Lifestyle Medicine referral.