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Effectiveness of lifestyle measures in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease – a case series

Authors Madeleine Nowak, Petra Büttner, Simone Harrison, Kym Daniell, Beverly Raasch, Rick Speare

Published 15 September 2006 Volume 2006:2(3) Pages 329—334

Madeleine Nowak1, Petra Büttner1, Simone Harrison1, Kym Daniell2, Beverly Raasch2, Rick Speare1

1School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, and 2School of Medicine, North Queensland Centre for Cancer Research within the Australian Institute of Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Aim: To assess the effectiveness of lifestyle measures in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) among adults attending a dietetic practice.

Methods: A retrospective case series of adult patients presenting with GERD to a dietetic practice over a three year period. The routine lifestyle counselling for treatment of symptoms of GERD included: not reclining within two to three hours of eating; a diet low in fat; small frequent meals; avoiding dietary components considered to relax the lower esophageal sphincter; and avoiding local irritants.

Results: Twenty three cases were included (12 male). Eighteen, (9 female) were referred by their doctor, 7 (6 female) presented for GERD alone, 7 (4 female) presented for GERD together with comorbidities, and 9 (1 female) incidentally mentioned GERD during a dietary consultation for another disorder. Thirteen participants (9 female) had previously undergone endoscopies, 18 (11 female) were taking medication for GERD, and 19 (7 female) had comorbidities. Twenty two (10 female) reported an improvement in symptoms with 11/18 taking GERD medication at presentation reducing their medication following treatment.

Conclusions: These results suggest that a more thorough investigation of lifestyle modification in the treatment of GERD is warranted.

Keywords: lifestyle modification, gastroesophageal reflux disease, symptom reduction, diet, case series

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