Ease heartburn without drugs
Now that we’ve entered BBQ season, we thought it would be a good time to share some tips on how to avoid heartburn. Here’s some advice from our partners at Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely program.
Many people who have heartburn don’t need drugs at all. They can feel better by making changes in their diet and lifestyle. Try these things before you try drugs:
Watch what you eat. Try to figure out which foods and beverages give you heartburn. Then try to avoid them. Foods and drinks that may cause heartburn include:
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Garlic and onions
- Oranges and other citrus fruits
- Chocolate and peppermint
- Coffee and other drinks with caffeine, such as Coke
- Foods with a lot of tomatoes, such as pizza, salsa, and red pasta sauce
Eat smaller meals and do not go to bed right after you eat. Do not overload your stomach. And avoid lying down for two hours after you eat.
Stop smoking. If you need a reason to stop smoking, heartburn may be it. Research shows that smoking raises your risk for heartburn and GERD.
Lose extra weight. It has been proven that losing just a few extra pounds can help lessen the effects of heartburn and GERD.
Loosen up. Don’t wear tight clothes or tight belts that press on your middle. The extra pressure can make heartburn worse.
Sleep with your head raised. Raise your upper body with pillows. Or raise the head of your bed about six to eight inches. Try putting wooden blocks under the top legs of the bed.
VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is a proud partner of Consumer Report’s Choosing Wisely Program, part of the ABIM Foundation. We are committed to providing patient and family caregivers helpful and timely health information. If you have any questions or would like additional information about Choosing Wisely visit: http://www.choosingwisely.org/