Home | Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)

What is gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)?

GORD is a common medical condition that affects many people worldwide. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. When we eat, food travels down the oesophagus, and there is a ring of muscles at the bottom that helps keep food in the stomach.


However, in some people, the muscle ring may not work properly, and acid from the stomach can flow back up into the oesophagus causing discomfort. Symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation, that occur more than twice a week and interfere with daily life, may be indicative of GORD. It is essential to seek medical advice if experiencing these symptoms. Left untreated, GORD can lead to other complications. Fortunately, treatments are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Dietary management of GORD

Certain foods and eating patterns can trigger GORD symptoms and this can make knowing which foods to choose, and when to eat very confusing. Our dietitians can work with you to understand which foods are contributing to symptoms, and tailor dietary recommendations to your lifestyle to optimise food choices and behaviours for symptom management.

Diets should be individualised for people based on symptoms, with reintroduction of foods and habits if there is ineffective control of symptoms. The manipulation of meal size, timing, and overall macronutrient composition appears to be more effective than elimination diets, with an overall emphasis on reduction of meal size, carbohydrate content (especially simple sugars), and late-night eating patterns. Dietary patterns should be additive to an overall anti-reflux plan which includes additional lifestyle modifications such as smoking cessation, weight loss, and head of bed elevation in those with nocturnal symptoms.

Managing GORD can reduce the risk of oesophageal damage in the future, so working with our dietitians to ensure proactive and effective dietary management to reduce symptoms, can provide long lasting health benefits.

For more detailed information about GORD see our latest gut health blogs.

How a dietitian can help

Our consulting work with clients complements Dr Kerith Duncanson’s and Dr Georgina Williams’ research in gastrointestinal nutrition and functional gut disorders. Our research knowledge allows us to cut through the confusing, conflicting and overwhelming dietary advice you have been bombarded with. We focus whatever energy and time you have on your ‘best bets’ – what is most likely to work well for you, now and into the future.


Even more importantly, we help you to help  yourself – to food! We can help take the stress and worry out of food decisions by serving up science in healthy, ‘bite-sized’ chunks of relevant, practical advice to help you take control of your health.