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Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet).

It usually occurs because of the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus becoming weakened. GORD causes symptoms such as heartburn and an unpleasant taste in the back of the mouth.

Being overweight can place increased pressure on your stomach and weaken the muscles at the bottom of the oesophagus increasing the risk of developing GORD

For further information:
Read this information on NHS Inform
Watch this useful NHS Lothian video

Lifestyle change ideas for people with GORD

Healthy eating

  • Add in fruit or vegetables at each meal (avoid citrus)
  • Use plant based fats over animal fats
  • Swap animal protein for plant based options eg lentils, pulses, seeds & nuts
  • Opt for whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats, millet or quinoa
  • Serve smaller portion sizes to help you reduce meal volumes
  • Use smaller plates and utensils to feel satisfied with smaller amounts
  • Choose water or tea over high sugar drinks
  • Eliminate carbonated beverages and caffeine if they trigger symptoms
  • Enjoy small desserts few days in a week or substitute with fruit to finish a meal
  • Limit alcohol

At night time

  • Finish eating approximately three hours before lying down
  • Wear loose clothing to reduce pressure around the belly
  • Practice deep breathing or other stress reduction techniques before sleep
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Elevate head when sleeping, ideally using a wedge pillow or adjusting mattress or head of bed
  • Lie on left side to minimise reflux


  • Do 20-30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week such as walking, swimming, dancing, exercise classes or cleaning
  • Add in 2 days of strength and flexibility training such as weight training, yoga, Pilates etc
  • Incorporate activity into your lifestyle. If you track steps, aim for more than 7,000-10,000 steps on most days (5-8km)