Changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you and others suffering from GERD.
Certain foods, such as chocolate, mint, fatty foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, pepper, coffee, and alcoholic beverages can either irritate the esophagus or weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), setting the stage for the stomach contents to reflux upward. Avoiding or limiting these can be helpful. Smoking also weakens the LES, so this would be a good time to kick the habit.
Watching how much you eat at one sitting can also help. A large meal hanging around in the stomach can set the stage for more reflux. So, smaller meals may prove to be more comforting.
It’s also a good idea to forget the late night dining. Since lying down can trigger heartburn, try to eat your meal at least two to three hours before going to sleep. This will help allow the stomach to partially empty, toning down the amount of acid in the stomach. (Raising the head of the bed on 6-inch blocks will allow gravity to help keep the stomach contents where they should be — in your stomach.)
Losing weight can also help combat the problems associated with GERD, as excess weight can make the symptoms of GERD worse.
You may want to meet with a registered dietitian (RD) to help map out a diet with all your health goals and limitations in mind. You can find one through the American Dietetic Association.