ExitCare ImageHeartburn is a painful, burning feeling in the chest. It may feel worse when you lie down or bend over. Heartburn is caused by stomach acid moving into the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus).


  • Take all medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Raise the head of your bed with blocks only as told by your doctor.

  • Do not exercise right after eating.

  • Avoid eating 2 or 3 hours before bed. Do not lie down right after eating.

  • Eat small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals.

  • Stop smoking if you smoke.

  • Keep up a healthy weight.

  • Avoid foods that give you heartburn. Foods you may want to avoid include:

  • Peppers.

  • Chocolate.

  • High-fat foods, including fried foods.

  • Spicy foods.

  • Garlic and onions.

  • Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.

  • Food containing tomatoes or tomato products.

  • Mint.

  • Bubbly (carbonated) drinks and drinks with caffeine.

  • Vinegar.


  • You have bad chest pain that goes down your arm or into your jaw or neck.

  • You feel sweaty, dizzy, or lightheaded.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You throw up (vomit) blood.

  • You have trouble or pain when swallowing.

  • You have bloody or black poop (stool).

  • You have heartburn more than 3 times a week, for more than 2 weeks.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.