Find GERD & Acid Reflux Nutritionists
- Acid Reflux
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Gut Health
90% of Zaya patients pay $0 for one-on-one nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian.Check Your Insurance Coverage
Find the right care for you.
Pay with your insurance.
Book your visit online.
More about GERD & acid reflux nutritionists
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid and partially digested food flow back into the esophagus.
This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscular ring that normally prevents stomach contents from entering the esophagus, weakens or relaxes.
The persistent reflux of acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation.
What causes acid reflux?
GERD can be caused by various factors, including obesity, hiatal hernia (a condition in which a portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm), pregnancy, certain medications, and lifestyle habits such as smoking and consuming certain foods and beverages.
Some common trigger foods that can exacerbate GERD symptoms include fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, mint, and acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruits or juices, tomatoes, garlic, and onions.
What are the symptoms of reflux?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) manifests through various symptoms related to the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.
Common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Heartburn. A burning sensation in the chest that may radiate to the throat.
- Regurgitation. The sensation of acid or food coming back up into the mouth.
- Chest pain. Discomfort or pain in the chest that is often mistaken for a heart attack.
- Difficulty swallowing. A feeling of food getting stuck in the throat or a narrowing sensation.
- Chronic cough. A persistent cough which may be worse after eating or when lying down.
- Hoarseness or sore throat. Irritation or inflammation of the throat which can lead to voice changes or discomfort.
- Asthma symptoms. Wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, which can be triggered by acid reflux irritating the airways.
What are the risks of GERD?
Untreated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to various serious complications that significantly impact esophageal health. These risks include:
- Esophagitis. Untreated GERD can cause inflammation of the esophagus, known as esophagitis, which can range in severity. Severe cases may result in extensive erosions, ulcerations, and narrowing of the esophagus. Esophagitis can also lead to gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, characterized by symptoms such as anemia, hematemesis (vomiting blood), coffee-ground emesis, melena (dark, tarry stools), and, in more severe cases, hematochezia (passing bright red blood through the rectum).
- Peptic strictures. Chronic inflammation from prolonged acid exposure in the esophagus can lead to scarring and the development of peptic strictures. These strictures cause a narrowing of the esophagus, leading to difficulties in swallowing (dysphagia).
- Barrett’s esophagus. Persistent acid reflux may result in a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, where the normal squamous cell epithelium of the esophagus is replaced by columnar epithelium with goblet cells. Barrett’s esophagus is considered a precancerous condition and increases the risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer.
When to see a GERD & acid reflux nutritionist
If you are experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or have been diagnosed with GERD, working with a GERD nutritionist can provide valuable support in managing your condition through proper dietary choices.
You should consider working with a GERD nutritionist if you:
- Experience frequent heartburn or acid reflux. If you frequently suffer from heartburn or acid reflux symptoms, a GERD nutritionist can help identify trigger foods and develop a personalized eating plan to alleviate discomfort.
- Struggle with managing your symptoms through lifestyle changes alone. If you have made lifestyle modifications, such as adjusting your eating habits or avoiding trigger foods, but still find it challenging to control your GERD symptoms, a nutritionist can provide further guidance and strategies.
- Need assistance in developing a tailored meal plan. A GERD nutritionist can work with you to create a meal plan that focuses on foods that are less likely to trigger acid reflux, while still meeting your nutritional needs.
- Seek guidance on weight management. If you are overweight or obese, weight loss may be beneficial in managing GERD symptoms. A nutritionist specializing in GERD can provide guidance on a balanced and sustainable approach to weight management.
- Have other health conditions or dietary restrictions. If you have other health conditions or dietary restrictions that need to be taken into consideration while managing GERD, such as diabetes or food allergies, a nutritionist can help develop a comprehensive eating plan that addresses all your unique needs.
How Zaya Care’s GERD & acid reflux nutritionists can help
When working with a dietitian specializing in GERD, the first appointment typically involves a comprehensive assessment of your medical history, current eating habits, and specific symptoms related to acid reflux.
The nutritionist will collaborate with you to develop an individualized GERD diet plan that addresses your dietary needs and aims to reduce GERD symptoms. They will provide education on trigger foods, portion sizes, meal timing, and other lifestyle factors that can affect acid reflux.
Follow-up appointments with a GERD nutritionist involve monitoring your progress and making necessary adjustments to your meal plan. The nutritionist will provide ongoing support, answer your questions, and address any challenges you may encounter.
They may also recommend additional strategies to manage GERD, such as stress reduction techniques or weight management strategies if applicable. A nutritionist specializing in GERD can help you by:
- Identifying trigger foods. They will work with you to determine which foods and beverages exacerbate your symptoms and guide you in making alternative choices that are gentle on the digestive system.
- Creating a personalized meal plan. Based on your preferences, dietary needs, and GERD symptoms, the nutritionist will design a customized meal plan that promotes optimal digestion and minimizes acid reflux.
- Providing guidance on portion control. They will educate you on portion sizes to prevent overeating, which can contribute to acid reflux. They will also offer tips on mindful eating techniques to promote better digestion.
- Offering ongoing support and accountability. The nutritionist will be there to support you throughout your journey, providing motivation and guidance to help you adhere to your dietary plan and make sustainable lifestyle changes.
Benefits of working with a Zaya Care GERD & acid reflux nutritionist
Zaya Care’s GERD & acid reflux nutritionists offer personalized and evidence-based nutrition guidance to improve your health. With expertise in managing GERD through diet, our team stays updated with the latest research and recommendations.
When you choose our services, your nutritionist will create a customized plan based on your medical history, dietary preferences, and lifestyle. They will incorporate foods that alleviate symptoms and enhance overall well-being.
Throughout your journey, your nutritionist will provide ongoing support, motivation, and accountability. They will assist you with meal planning, navigating social situations, and making informed choices for your gastrointestinal health and well-being.
Working with a Zaya Care nutritionist specializing in GERD empowers you to take control of your nutrition and make positive changes for your health. Our dedicated team is here to help you achieve your goals and improve your quality of life.
GERD, Acid Reflux, & Heartburn Nutrition Resources
- GERD Diet: Foods to Eat & Avoid With Acid Reflux & Heartburn
- Foods to Help With Acid Reflux & Heartburn at Night
- 7-Day GERD Diet Plan PDF (Printable Plan for Acid Reflux & Heartburn)
- Heartburn & Acid Reflux During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & More
- Alkaline Diet for GERD: Best Foods to Eat
- Vegan or Vegetarian Diet for GERD, Acid Reflux, & Heartburn