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GORD can affect children and adults but can be treated with lifestyle changes.

GORD can affect children and adults but can be treated with lifestyle changes.
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Living with GORD

2-minute read

Most people with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) respond well to treatment and the outlook is generally good.

The first thing to do if you are living with GORD is to make lifestyle changes. GORD is a digestive problem, so diet and nutrition play an important part in its management.

Most people with GORD find that their symptoms are influenced by what they eat and drink, as well as how and when they eat. It's recommended to eat smaller, more frequent meals, avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed, and to not lie down straight after eating. You can identify the foods that make your symptoms worse so you can avoid them.

Other things you can do to manage GORD include:

  • stopping smoking, because tobacco smoke irritates your digestive system and makes your symptoms worse
  • losing weight if overweight
  • reducing how much alcohol you drink because it irritates your stomach and relaxes the muscles around your oesophagus, allowing stomach acid to reflux
  • safely raising the head of your bed by about 20cm with something strong such as a piece of wood or wooden blocks

If lifestyle changes fail to control symptoms, then medicines can be added. If they don't work, surgery may be considered, but this is rarely necessary. Surgery can cause complications and risks, so discuss these with your doctor.

A few people get complications associated with GORD. These can be quite serious. Your doctor will monitor you if they think you could be at risk.

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Last reviewed: September 2018

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