(HealthDay News) -- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sometimes called heartburn, occurs when yourstomachcontents back up into youresophagus.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says without treatment, GERD can lead to a host of medical issues affecting the esophagus and breathing.
To help tame GERD, the agency suggests:
Lose any excess weight.
Wear loose-fitting clothing around your abdomen, since tight clothes can squeeze yourabdomen and push acid into youresophagus.
Stay upright for three hours after meals.
Do not recline or slouch while sitting.
Sleep on a slight angle by raising the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches.
Quit smoking, and stay away from secondhand smoke.
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