Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Depending on the type of esophagitis you have, you may lessen symptoms or avoid recurring problems by following these steps:

  • Avoid foods that may increase reflux. Avoid eating excessive amounts of foods that you know worsen your symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux. These may include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and mint-flavored foods.
  • Use good pill-taking habits. Always take a pill with plenty of water. Don't lie down for at least 30 minutes after taking a pill.
  • Lose weight. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate diet and exercise routine to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor if you need help ending a smoking habit.
  • Avoid certain medications. Avoid some pain relievers and antibiotics, as well as some other medications, if you have an enlarged left upper heart chamber (atrium) or after heart surgery.
  • Avoid stooping or bending, especially soon after eating.
  • Avoid lying down after eating. Wait at least three hours after eating to lie down or go to bed.
  • Raise the head of your bed. Place wooden blocks under your bed to elevate your head. Aim for an elevation of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). Raising your head by using only pillows isn't effective.
Sept. 13, 2014