gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be painful
and, if allowed to continue, can lead to complications including esophagitis.
Esophagitis is irritation or inflammation of the esophagus.
can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD. Here
are some things to try:
- Change your eating habits.
- It's best to eat several small meals
instead of two or three large meals.
- After you eat, wait 2 to 3
hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good
- Chocolate, mint, and alcohol can make GERD worse. They relax
the valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
- Spicy foods, foods
that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make GERD
symptoms worse in some people. If your symptoms are worse after you eat a
certain food, you may want to stop eating that food to see if your symptoms get
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
you have GERD symptoms at night, raise the head of your bed
6 in. (15 cm) to
8 in. (20 cm) by putting the
frame on blocks or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress.
(Adding extra pillows does not work.)
- Avoid or
reduce pressure on your stomach. Don't wear tight
clothing around your middle.
- Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can
How can you modify your lifestyle to relieve symptoms of GERD?