(HealthDay News) -- Heartburn is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus.

The American Gastroenterological Association offers these suggestions to help you control heartburn and GERD:

  • Skip beverages or foods that tend to trigger heartburn.
  • Stick to small meals, and eat at least two to three hours before you lie down.
  • Raise the head of your bed about four to six inches.
  • Lose any extra pounds.
  • Skip tight clothing and exercises that may increase abdominal pressure, such as sit-ups.
  • If you're a smoker, quit.