Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy on February 09, 2017

Sources

Cleveland Clinic: "GERD or Acid Reflux or Heartburn Overview."<br>American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "GERD and LPR."<br>National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Acid Reflux (GER and GERD) in Adults."<br> AudioJungle

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Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: If you have GERD, do everything you can to keep it from getting worse. You can make some simple changes to take control and protect your esophagus. Here are five good habits to help you with GERD.

If you're overweight, shed some pounds. Extra belly fat puts pressure on the stomach. And this causes your stomach acids to build up and backflow. Losing a few pounds will relieve the pressure and ease your symptoms.

Eat small meals more often. Watch those portion sizes. And instead of eating three big meals, consider eating smaller ones throughout the day.

Don't lie down after you eat. When you're upright, gravity helps keep acids in your stomach. But when you lie down, it's the opposite. So don't lie down for three hours after eating any meals or snacks. And definitely avoid late-night dinners and snacking close to bedtime.

Cut your gut some slack. Tight clothes squeeze your stomach and force acid up into your esophagus. So loosen up your belt or wear clothes that fit loosely around your tummy.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the LES and lets those stomach acids flow up into the esophagus. Too much alcohol can also damage the wall of your esophagus.

With these changes under your belt, you're that much closer to controlling your symptoms.