Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What should a person who has intestinal metaplasia eat? What diet would you recommend?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat should a person who has intestinal metaplasia eat? What diet would you recommend?


I would like to change my diet since I've been diagnosed with intestinal metaplasia. What do you recommend? Thank you!


In order to fully answer this question, it is first important to know where the intestinal metaplasia is occurring. Usually intestinal metaplasia is diagnosed by a biopsy sample taken during upper endoscopy, and this typically can be found in either the esophagus or in the stomach. The causes of the findings in the two locations are somewhat related, but different. For example, metaplasia in the esophagus is usually related to chronic acid reflux into the esophagus. On the other hand, metaplasia in the stomach is more likely to be related to either a genetic tendency to the disorder or to infection of the stomach with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (which also may be associated with increased acid reflux). In either case, eating a diet that does not provoke acid secretion or reflux may be helpful, especially if you have any symptoms of heartburn. These foods differ from person to person but could include coffee, alcohol, tomatoes, chocolate, and greasy foods. However, changing your diet will not be the only thing that will need to be done. You will need to talk to your gastroenterologist in detail to determine what other treatments, such as acid suppressing medications, will be needed long term. Please discuss with him or her soon.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.