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Health

The do's and don'ts for reflux sufferers

Symptoms of reflux, such as heartburn, hoarseness, chronic cough or the feeling of a lump in your throat, should be evaluated by a doctor, says Dr. Peter Belafsky, medical director of the Voice and Swallowing Center at UC Davis: "If the exam is normal … the first line of treatment for this should be diet modification, exercise, weight loss. You can do a lot to help yourself."

In "Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure," by Dr. Jamie Koufman and Dr. Jordan Stern with French master chef Marc Bauer, 10 foods are cited as typically bad for most people with reflux:

Chocolate

Soft drinks (including diet soda)

Alcohol

Fried foods

Fatty meats (such as bacon, sausage and ribs)

Mints

Hot sauces and barbecue sauce

Citrus fruits and juices

Tomatoes

Onions

And 10 foods are listed as typically good for most people with reflux:

Bananas

Egg whites

Potatoes and sweet potatoes

Melons

Broccoli

Oatmeal

Whole grain breads

Rice

Chicken (skinless)

Legumes

The book also offers five tips:

• No eating within three hours of bedtime.

• Eat smaller meals.

• Raise the head of your bed.

• Quit smoking.

• Drink lots of water.

health@latimes.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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