4. Quit Smoking
GERD and a hiatal hernia are sometimes the side-effects of smoking. However, those that have this illness should quit smoking instantly. The reason is that cigarette smoke damages and impairs muscle reflexes. These reflexes control the release of digestive contents, and smoking makes them involuntarily leak acid.
Depending on the position of the body and the current GI process, acid release can do damage. Smoking also increases the production of that acid, which makes it a double threat to hiatal hernia sufferers. Those that quit smoking after GERD usually improve their symptoms drastically.