Acid reflux occurs when the digestive juices rise into the oesophagus (gullet) from the stomach.
Heartburn is a burning discomfort felt behind the breastbone, often rising from the stomach to the throat. When this happens a lot, the oesophagus becomes inflamed, this is called oesophagitis.
A hiatus hernia occurs when part of the stomach rises through the hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm through which the oesophagus (gullet) passes.
Sometimes altering how and what you eat can help
Foods most commonly linked with acid reflux and heartburn include:
- Fried foods.
- Smoked and salted fish.
- Highly seasoned and spicy dishes, e.g. chilli con carne, curry, soups like mulligatawny or oxtail.
- Vegetables: garlic, onion and peppers.
- Pickles, vinegar, mustard, pepper, spices.
- Skins, pips and seeds of fruit.
- Dried fruit and nuts.
- Strong cheese, cooked ‘stringy’ cheese.
- Tough and strongly flavoured meats and sausages.
- Strong tea or coffee, especially ‘stewed’ varieties.
Dietary advice to relieve symptoms
- Eat small frequent meals.
- Do not miss meals or go for long periods without food.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well.
- Sit (upright) at the table when eating.
- Take drinks after meals rather than with them.
- Avoid eating or drinking late at night.
- Avoid eating foods of extreme temperature, hot or cold.
- Avoid eating foods which you know cause you symptoms.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Ask your doctor or practice nurse for advice.
Talk to your dietitian to make sure your diet is nutritionally adequate if you are avoiding certain foods for long periods.
Contact us for further information or to provide feedback
St Richard’s Hospital
St Richard’s Hospital
West Sussex PO19 6SE
Worthing and Southlands Hospital
Upper Shoreham Road
West Sussex BN43 6QT
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The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.