You can make changes to your habits and lifestyle to
prevent your symptoms of heartburn. Here are some things to try:
- Change how you eat.
- 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 heartburn 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
heartburn 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 better.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
- If you
get heartburn 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.)
- Do not wear tight clothing
around your middle. Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can
help. For more information, see the topic
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
July 11, 2011
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