The role of diet in the development and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease: why we feel the burn
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common esophageal disorder that is characterized by troublesome symptoms associated with increased esophageal acid exposure. Cornerstones of therapy include acid suppressive agents like proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and lifestyle modifications including dietary therapy, although the latter is not well defined. As concerns regarding long term PPI use continue to be explored, patients and providers are becoming increasingly interested in the role of diet in disease management. The following is a review of dietary therapy for GERD with an emphasis on the effect food components have on pathophysiology and management. Although sequential dietary elimination of food groups is common, literature supports broader manipulation including reduction of overall sugar intake, increase in dietary fiber, and changes in overall eating practices.