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Heartburn is usually caused by a condition called GERD.


What is GERD?

GERD stands for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.

“Gastro” refers to the stomach.  “Esophageal” refers to the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.  “reflux” means back-up or backward flow.

GERD is a condition in which acid-containing contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus.


Factors that may contribute to GERD

  • Alcohol
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Certain foods: Citrus juices and tomato products, chocolate, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, fatty and fried food, highly acidic food (pickles, sauces and vinegar), peppermint, onions, garlic, spicy foods


Lifestyle changes which could help

  • If you smoke, try to cut down an ultimately stop
  • If you drink, avoid or limit alcohol intake
  • If you are overweight, try to lose weight
  • Eat small meals and avoid fried or very fatty foods
  • Increase intake of low-fat dairy foods – skim milk, low-fat cheese
  • Avoid lying down immediately after a meal (wait at least 3 hours)
  • Do not exercise of bend soon after eating
  • Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly
  • Try not to skip meals
  • Reduce stress
  • Raise the head of your bed with blocks (4-6 inches)
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes


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