5 Lifestyle Tips for GERD Sufferers


Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Seriously, stop smoking.
Seriously, stop smoking.
© iStockphoto.com/Razvan

While the symptoms of GERD can sometimes make an otherwise normal day seem unbearable, there are some good lifestyle choices available that can make a big difference in your quality of life.

If you have GERD, try cutting out alcohol to see if it makes a difference. Red wine in particular seems to exacerbate GERD-related heartburn. Carbonated drinks and caffeine can also prompt reflux, so you may want to switch to water and then introduce different beverages to your system over time to see what works for you.

Nicotine products (even nicotine gum) cause the LES to relax, allowing reflux to happen. Also, smoking further agitates an esophagus that is already raw from excessive contact with stomach acid.

Losing weight may be the single best thing you can do to improve your life if you are dealing with GERD and are also overweight. A smaller belly equals less pressure on your stomach at all times, meaning less reflux. There are countless other positive benefits you'll also receive through weight loss, such as lowered cholesterol and blood pressure.

Finally, if you take any kind of medication for non-GERD conditions, have your doctor look it over to see if it might affect your reflux in any way.