GERD Treatment: Lifestyle Interventions

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GERD Treatment: Lifestyle Interventions

GERD treatment occurs in a stepwise manner first from lifestyle interventions to medical therapies to surgical interventions when necessary. (For medical therapies and surgical interventions see GERD Medical Treatments.)

Lifestyle Interventions

Lifestyle interventions for the prevention of GERD generally include eliminating factors that are known to contribute to GERD symptoms. These factors may include the following:

  • Certain foods (i.e. coffee, alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods, spicy foods)
  • Medications (i.e. beta-blockers, anticholinergics, nitrates, calcium channel blockers)
  • Hormones
  • Smoking

Additionally, the following recommendations may also reduce or eliminate GERD symptoms:

  • Avoid large meals
  • Waiting at least 3 hours after eating to lie down
  • Elevating the head of the bed 8 inches

Obesity is also a major contributing factor to GERD! Weight loss, through improved diet and increased exercise, can lead to partial or complete resolution of GERD precluding the need for additional therapies. Please see our sections on Nutrition and Exercise sections for more information.