Reducing Your Risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn
- Avoid specific eating and drinking habits.
- Quit smoking.
- After eating, wait to lie down.
- After eating, wait to exercise.
- Don’t wear tight clothes or belts.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
To help manage your GERD symptoms, try to avoid eating large meals or eating too fast.
Other ways to manage GERD symptoms include:
Avoiding certain foods such as:
- High-fat foods
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Tomato-based products
Avoiding certain beverages such as:
- Caffeinated drinks
- Carbonated drinks
Smoking cigarettes weakens the lower esophageal sphincter. Stopping smoking can help reduce GERD symptoms.
After eating meals, wait at least 2-3 hours before lying down. This may lessen reflux by giving the stomach time to empty.
Exercise or strenuous activity immediately after eating can cause stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus. Wait at least 2-3 hours after eating to exercise.
Wearing clothing or belts that are too tight can increase the reflux of stomach acid by increasing abdominal pressure. For the same reason, don’t bend over or strain, especially soon after meals.
If you are overweight, losing weight and bringing your weight within the healthful range can help reduce the symptoms of GERD.
- Daus Mahnke, MD
- Reviewed: 03/2014
- Updated: 05/08/2014
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