HealthSheets™


Tips to Control Acid Reflux

To control acid reflux, you’ll need to make some basic diet and lifestyle changes. The simple steps outlined below may be all you’ll need to ease discomfort.

Watch what you eat

  • Don't have fatty or spicy foods.

  • Eat fewer acidic foods, such as citrus and tomato-based foods. These can increase symptoms.

  • Limit drinking of beverages that are fizzy or contain alcohol or caffeine. All increase acid reflux.

  • Try limiting chocolate, peppermint, and spearmint. These can make acid reflux worse in some people.

Watch when you eat

  • Don't lie down for 3 hours after eating.

  • Don't snack before going to bed.

Raise your head

Raising your head and upper body by 4 to 6 inches helps limit reflux when you’re lying down. Put blocks under the head of your bed frame or a wedge under your mattress to raise it.

Person lying in bed with block under head of bed.Person lying in bed with foam wedge under mattress at head of bed.

Other changes

  • Lose weight, if you need to.

  • Don’t exercise near bedtime.

  • Don't wear tight-fitting clothes.

  • Limit your use of aspirin and ibuprofen.

  • Stop smoking, if you smoke.

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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