DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I’m 62 years old and am having difficulty keeping healthy weight on due to GERD and reflux. I am really confused about what foods and beverages I should avoid, and what foods will not make my reflux act up. What do you recommend mature adults who have this condition avoid, and what healthy food are best for my situation?
ANSWER: In the past, doctors recommended quite a few dietary restrictions for people who had gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But more recent recommendations advise against such restrictive diets. In fact, eliminating the wide range of foods that could be associated with reflux is no longer the norm. Instead, we now suggest only avoiding foods that you know make your symptoms worse. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight is important because being overweight has been shown to increase reflux.
Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus — the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Occasional acid reflux is very common. Almost everyone experiences it from time to time. Acid reflux starts to become a problem when it happens frequently or if it involves large amounts of acid.