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Heartburn: Reducing Pressure on Your Stomach

Topic Overview

Putting pressure on your stomach may push stomach juices into your esophagus, causing heartburn. You can make changes to help relieve your symptoms of heartburn. Here are some things to try:

  • It’s best to eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals.
  • After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good idea.
  • If you get heartburn at night, raise the head of your bed 6 in. (15 cm) to 8 in. (20 cm) by putting the frame on blocks or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress. (Adding extra pillows does not work.)
  • Do not wear tight clothing around your middle.
  • Lose weight if you need to. Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can help.
  • Be careful when lifting and bending. Bending over tends to increase the amount of stomach acid that can get into your esophagus. When lifting, bend your knees—rather than bending over—to avoid putting more pressure on your stomach.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised March 6, 2012

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