Acid reflux? Here’s what to do.

Acid reflux, or GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, happens when stomach acid flows up into your esophagus and irritates the lining. That can give you heartburn, a sore throat, a dry cough, and even chest pain. Certain foods and drinks such as alcohol, mint, spicy foods, and yes, coffee can trigger it because the relax the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and the stomach that normally prevents acid from regurgitating. Coffee does so due to compounds called methylxanthines. Switching to expresso drinks that contain less overall coffee, like lattes or cappuccinos, might help a bit. But coffee is still an acidic drink, meaning it can aggravate symptoms, so cutting back on your brew intake could make a difference. Avoiding it is best, but if that’s too difficult, try drinking just one cup a day. Other things that reduce GERD: eating smaller meals; waiting at least three hours after eating to go to sleep; stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy eight. If you still feel the symptoms, see your doctor, who may recommend other treatments. (Women’s Health)