Preventing and controlling Heartburn

Tips for preventing and controlling Heartburn (Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease)

  1. Check your medicines: Avoid drugs, particularly painkillers that may contribute to heartburn.
  2. Examine your diet: Avoid foods that seem to trigger heartburn like caffeine, chocolate, high-acid foods (such as citrus and tomato juices) and mint-flavored foods. Dairy foods can be triggers in people who are lactose-intolerant. Avoid fatty foods, especially animal fat. Also, it is a myth that carbonated drinks relieve heartburn. Just the opposite is true.
  3. Quit smoking: Tobacco irritates the digestive tract and contributes to heartburn.
  4. Avoid alcohol: It can cause and aggravate heartburn.
  5. Lose weight: Losing weight even a little can alleviate heartburn.
  6. Change your eating habits: Eat small, frequent meals rather than three large ones. Don't eat late at night, and don't lie down right after eating
  7. Prop yourself up: Elevate the upper portion of your body when you sleep. An extra pillow under your head won't do it. Your chest and shoulders need to be elevated, too.
  8. Exercise: A regular aerobic exercise program, even a brisk daily walk, helps many people with heartburn. It reduces stress and helps you lose weight. However, don’t exercise right after a meal.
  9. Reduce stress: Stress doesn’t cause heartburn, but it can make it worse. So stress-reduction may help you control heartburn.