Certain foods can either increase your likelihood of developing GERD, or they can make your symptoms worse. These include:
* fatty foods,
* tomato products,
* caffeinated or carbonated drinks,
* citrus fruits and juices, and
* certain spices.
Some foods cause your lower esophageal sphincter to become weaker, and some cause your stomach to make more acid than usual. Both of these problems can increase acid reflux. Other foods can further irritate the lining of the esophagus after it's been damaged by reflux.
When, and how much you eat, can also cause problems. If your lower esophageal sphincter isn't working properly and you eat large meals, the level of food and acid in your stomach may be high enough for juices to back up into your esophagus. Finally, if your esophageal sphincter doesn't stay closed when it should, and you eat too close to bedtime, lying down can cause acid reflux.