No Time for Heartburn

7 Daily Habits That Can Halt Heartburn

Over-the-counter antacids and prescription medications are the most common treatments for GERD. In the most severe cases, surgery may even be required. But regardless of how bad your GERD symptoms are, successfully fighting heartburn and acid reflux also requires some changes in lifestyle, ranging from the food you eat to the clothes you wear.
gerd-smoking

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Quit smoking

Everyone knows that smoking damages your heart and lungs. But what about your digestive system? Yep, that too.

Nicotine, like alcohol, may worsen GERD symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, which causes stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.

Smoking also causes bile salts to migrate from the small intestine into the stomach and reduces the amount of saliva you produce. (Saliva helps flush stomach acid out of the esophagus and contains a natural acid-fighter, bicarbonate.)

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