From MSN Health and Fitness…
"Lifestyle changes that may help include:
- Quitting tobacco use. If you smoke or chew tobacco, stop. The nicotine from tobacco relaxes the valve between the esophagus and stomach. This can allow stomach acid and juices to back up (reflux) into the esophagus, which causes the uncomfortable feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain just behind the breastbone commonly referred to as heartburn.
- Changing your eating habits. For example, avoid coffee, chocolate, and alcohol and eat smaller, more frequent meals. This may make heartburn less likely to occur. Take your spouse or partner along with you when you see your doctor to discuss diet habits. It will be easier to make changes in your diet if your family understands what you need to do and why.
- Losing weight if you are overweight. Being overweight puts additional pressure on your stomach and increases the likelihood of heartburn occurring. Even losing a few pounds can help.
- Avoiding or reducing pressure on your stomach. This will make heartburn less likely to occur.
- Staying upright after meals. This includes raising the head of your bed 6 in. (15 cm) to 8 in. (20 cm) by putting blocks underneath your bed frame or placing a foam wedge under the head of your mattress. This will help prevent stomach acid from flowing into your esophagus when you are sleeping. Using extra pillows does not work."
Give up coffee, cigars, chewing tobacco and lose weight… sigh.