Heartburn can often be prevented. Follow these tips to help prevent heartburn:
Maintain a reasonable weight.
Avoid any foods and beverages that worsen your symptoms.
Wear clothes that are loose around the waist.
Eat smaller meals and try not to overeat.
Get enough sleep and minimize stress.
Wait three hours after eating before you lie down.
Elevate the head of your bed six to eight inches.
A few people have GERD that doesn't respond to treatment. Or they may have other concerning symptoms, such as weight loss, difficulty swallowing, anemia, or black stools. If you're one of them, you may need any of the following tests.
Diagnosing Acid Reflux With a Barium Swallow Radiograph
Your doctor may decide to use a special X-ray procedure -- the barium swallow radiograph -- to rule out any structural problems in your esophagus. In this painless acid reflux test, you will be asked to swallow a solution of barium. The barium enables doctors to take X-rays of your esophagus.
Barium swallow isn't a surefire method of diagnosing GERD. Only one out of every three people with GERD has esophageal changes that are visible on X-rays.