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Coping with Digestive Problems

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from acid-related gastrointestinal discomfort, there are things you can do to improve your health and enhance the quality of your life.

  1. Avoid spicy, acidic, and tomato-based foods like fruit juices and Mexican and Italian foods, (eg, pizza.)
  2. Avoid fast-food hamburgers and other fatty foods. Chocolate in any form should be avoided by people with gastric reflux.
  3. Limit your intake of coffee, tea, alcohol, and cola.
  4. Watch your weight. (Being overweight increases pressure in the abdominal area, which can aggravate reflux.)
  5. Don’t gorge yourself at mealtime. Eat moderate amounts of food.
  6. Don’t exercise too soon after eating.
  7. Avoid bedtime snacks and eat meals at least 3 to 4 hours before lying down.
  8. Stop (or at least cut down on) smoking.
  9. Elevate the head of your bed with wooden blocks. (Don’t elevate your head by using extra pillows; this can increase abdominal pressure.)
  10. See your physician if you are taking antacids three or more times a week.