Now that studies are beginning to show that PPIs could — the jury's out still — cause some problems, it may be a good time to step back and ask whether we've been reaching for that PPI bottle too often and too soon. Occasional reflux can be treated effectively with the old-fashioned antacids. Some people find that only certain foods (chocolate, coffee, fatty food) trigger GERD-related heartburn, so they learn to avoid them. A chewing gum habit increases the production of saliva that can soothe an irritated esophagus and wash stomach acid back down into the stomach. And if the problem is nighttime heartburn, elevating the head of the bed can help.