If you have symptoms of mild gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), there are things you can do at home to feel better.
Here are some lifestyle changes to try:
- Change your
- It’s best to eat several small meals
instead of 2 or 3 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
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
- If 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 doesn't 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 help.
For more information, see:
- GERD: Controlling Heartburn by Changing Your Habits.
Along with lifestyle changes, you may need nonprescription
medicines to control occasional heartburn. For more information, see Medications.