Health Advice



Walk away from heartburn and GERD

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When Craig David sings, "I'm walking away/From the troubles in my life/I'm walking away/Oh, to find a better day," he could be letting you know that there's a new way to put some much-needed distance between you and your heartburn.

Researchers from Harvard University have figured out that exercise clears out stomach acid that causes troubling heartburn symptoms, such as a burning sensation in your esophagus or chest, a bitter or acidic taste in your mouth and pain that gets worse when you lie down. When these symptoms are persistent and severe, they signal GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is linked to the development of esophageal cancer.

It's estimated that over 60 million Americans contend with heartburn at least monthly, and 15 million Americans experience heartburn symptoms daily. If that's you, listen up.

The researchers identified five lifestyle habits that can control or KO reflux: Daily moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes is numero uno. But it's most effective when joined with drinking only two cups of coffee or tea daily; not smoking; maintaining a healthy weight; and avoiding heartburn-triggering foods, such as peppers and tomatoes.

These steps can let you dodge the possible side effects of long-term usage of meds called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs -- ranging from pneumonia, kidney disease, vitamin B12 deficiency and bone fractures to dementia.

Bonus: By working out daily, you'll acquire a more positive outlook and feel more empowered to take charge of your health in the other ways the researchers recommend. That'll fire you up in a good way.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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