Indigestion, reflux and heartburn

Appetite for Life

Indigestion, reflux and heartburn

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If you suffer from indigestion, reflux or heartburn, the following tips may help you to avoid pain after eating. If your symptoms don’t improve or you have symptoms often, see your GP.

Try the following

  • Chew your food well and eat slowly – don’t rush your meal.
  • Try to relax at meal times.
  • Avoid large meals or overeating. It may help to have small meals and snacks every few hours rather than three large meals a day.
  • Try drinking fluids between meals, rather than with meals.
  • If you have symptoms at night, try raising the head of your bed or using a wedge pillow.

Avoid or limit

Avoid or limit anything that you know causes you reflux. Common triggers include:

  • fatty and spicy foods
  • smoking
  • too much alcohol or coffee
  • eating just before bed
  • tight fitting clothing
  • lying flat after you eat or drink
  • stress and anxiety
  • becoming constipated. See the high fibre eating and preventing constipation pages for more information.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.