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Lifestyle Changes for Heartburn Patients

There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to decrease the severity of heartburn and acid reflux. These include:

  • Elevate the head of your bed 4-6 inches
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco inhibits saliva, which is the body's major buffer.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothing.
  • Lose weight if overweight.
  • Modify your diet. Nutrition therapy assists with control of symptoms related to GERD and can increase the effectiveness of medications you might have to take.
  • Reducing total fat in your daily diet
  • Avoid foods such as chocolate, mint, greasy or spicy foods, and tomato dishes.
  • Eat small, frequent meals (six to eight per day) to avoid pushing stomach acid into the esophagus.
  • Drink only a small amount of liquid at mealtime; get the fluids you need by drinking throughout the rest of the day.
  • Stay upright and do not recline for 3 hours after eating.
  • Avoid bending over or straining immediately after eating.
  • Limit caffeine intake (coffee, tea, and cola drinks).
  • Avoid carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw, which produces excess gas in your stomach.

Rex Heartburn Center
Phone: (919) 784-BURN (2876)
Fax: (919) 784-7532