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Avoid Heartburn from Holiday Meals

The holidays are a time when people often gather together to enjoy a hearty meal, but for those who tend to suffer from acid reflux there are things to watch out for to control the ...

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If you didn’t know how to avoid heartburn over Thanksgiving dinner, then you want to read on so you are well-informed and prepared for the upcoming holiday meals.

The symptoms of heartburn typically result after eating where you feel a burning pain in the chest, behind your breastbone. It results when stomach acid backs up in your esophagus.

Learn to avoid and control heartburn over the holidays with these tips.

  • Watch for food triggers.
    Certain foods are heartburn triggers. You want to watch out for food that is spicy, citrusy, fatty and fried as well as alcohol, carbonated drinks and coffee. Things like ketchup, mustard, tomato sauce, peppermint and chocolate should also be avoided because they may irritate the lining of the esophagus.

  • Don’t overeat.
    A packed stomach is a trigger for heartburn. You want to eat in moderation. Just because there’s enough food to go for seconds and thirds doesn’t mean you should.

  • Loosen the belt.
    Tightfitting clothes can put pressure on your abdomen and lower esophageal sphincter. By loosening the belt, you’ll give yourself some room to breathe.

  • Avoid lying down after a meal.
    Wait at least two to three hours after a meal before lying down. For those who head to bed early, you may want to think about having dinner earlier. You want to avoid reflux by staying upright. Consider taking a stroll after dinner.

  • Other tips.
    If you are feeling chest pain or have difficulty swallowing, you need to seek prompt medical help as other causes should be considered. You can also help control heartburn by taking additional steps like losing weight if your are overweight and stop smoking as cigarettes decrease the ability of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to work properly.

Source: American Gastroenterological Association

Photo by Billy Alexander, via Free Images.