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Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) (cont.)

What home remedies treat and sooth acid reflux (GERD)?

Patient Comments

In some cases symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle. The following steps may reduce reflux.

  • Don't eat within 3 hours of bedtime. This allows your stomach to empty and acid production to decrease.
  • Don't lie down right after eating at any time of day.
  • Elevate the head of your bed 6 inches with blocks. Gravity helps prevent reflux.
  • Don't eat large meals. Eating a lot of food at one time increases the amount of acid needed to digest it. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine, mints or mint-flavored foods, spicy foods, citrus, and tomato-based foods. These foods decrease the competence of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol increases the likelihood that acid from your stomach will back up.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter and increases reflux.
  • Lose excess weight. Overweight and obese people are much more likely to have bothersome reflux than people of healthy weight.
  • Stand upright or sit up straight, maintain good posture. This helps food and acid pass through the stomach instead of backing up into the esophagus.
  • Talk to your health-care professional about taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or medicines for osteoporosis. These can aggravate reflux in some people.

Talk to your health-care professional if you need tips on losing weight or quitting smoking.

Is there a diet for acid reflux?

The diet for acid reflux (GERD) is one of elimination. People with GERD should avoid the following foods that may aggravate acid reflux

  • alcohol,
  • fatty or greasy foods,
  • chocolate,
  • onions and garlic,
  • caffeine,
  • mints or mint-flavored foods,
  • spicy foods,
  • citrus, and tomato-based foods.

In addition, being overweight can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux. Losing even 5 or 10 pounds may help relieve some of your GERD symptoms. Talk to your doctor about a diet plan to help you lose weight.

What foods aggravate acid reflux?

Certain foods may stimulate the production of stomach acid and may irritate the esophagus. Common foods that may cause heartburn include:

  • Onions and garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods
  • Coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated), tea, cola, energy drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomato and citrus juices
  • Mint

Different people have different triggers. Your doctor may suggest you keep a food journal to find out what aggravates your acid reflux symptoms.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2015
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Acid Reflux (GERD):

Acid Reflux (GERD) - Experience

Please share your experience with acid reflux or GERD.

GERD - Home Remedies

What lifestyle changes or home changes have you made that have been successful in managing GERD?

GERD - Symptoms and Signs

What were your GERD symptoms and signs?

GERD - Medical Treatment

What medical treatments have been effective in treating your case of GERD or acid reflux?

GERD - Medications

What over-the-counter or prescription medications have been effective in treating your case of GERD?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease »

Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal physiological phenomenon experienced intermittently by most people, particularly after a meal.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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