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:
Soft drinks (including diet soda)
Fatty meats (such as bacon, sausage and ribs)
Hot sauces and barbecue sauce
Citrus fruits and juices
And 10 foods are listed as typically good for most people with reflux:
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Whole grain breads
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.
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