Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Font Size

Study: Acid Reflux on the Rise

Obesity Increase Likely to Blame, Researchers Say

Not All GERD Patients Overweight

More research is needed to understand why some patients get better over time, says New York City gastroenterologist Anthony Starpoli, MD.

“This is a very common problem, and it is interesting that there appear to be patients who get better,” he says. “We don’t know if it is because they were more careful about what they ate or if they lost weight, but it is worth finding out.”

Starpoli, who is associate director of esophageal endotherapy at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital, says he is seeing a growing number of patients with GERD and esophageal cancer.

Many are overweight and have eating habits that go hand-in-hand with acid reflux, but others are not overweight and are very careful to eat well.

“This is not just a disease of older people and people who are overweight,” Starpoli says. “I have many young patients whose weight is normal and they still have terrible reflux.”

In addition to weight loss, lifestyle factors that can improve acid reflux include:

  • Avoid large meals before bedtime. Eating meals at least two to three hours before lying down will give food time to empty from the stomach before bed.
  • Avoid overeating. Eating four to five small meals is better than three large ones for avoiding heartburn and reflux.
  • Avoid personal heartburn triggers. For some people it might be chocolate and caffeine. For others it might be fruit juices or high-fat foods.
  • Stop smoking and avoid alcohol.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
digestive health
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
digestive myths
Extreme Eats
graphic of esophageal area