How to Handle Holiday Heartburn –

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People celebrate with food and lots of it. Those big holiday dinners, the parties, happy hours, and shopping sprees — we love that stuff.

So what’s the problem? It’s a big fat recipe for a bad case of heartburn. Alcohol, caffeine, — plus eating too much rich, fatty food – is a slippery slope to indigestion. The holiday dinner is especially a problem. Once you’ve stuffed yourself, then moved to the couch, you’re in trouble.

“We all want a really full stomach by the time the football game comes on,” says John Affronti, MD, a professor of gastroenterology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “But when you kick back in the La-Z-Boy recliner, you’re tilting the stomach – which allows stomach acid to spill into the esophagus.”

You know the result — that slow-burning feeling that works its way upward. It’s acid reflux, better known as heartburn. Sleeping With Heartburn Carries Cancer Risks.

1. Eat less and eat it slowly

Acid reflux attacks can be triggered by how much food is in your stomach. The more food in your stomach, the more likely your stomach will overproduce the acids it needs to break that food down. This increases the chance that those stomach acids will back up over the food and into your esophagus.

That means you should take care not to stuff yourself at your holiday parties and dinners. Instead, eat slowly and give your body time to get used to the amount of food incoming. By being mindful of portion sizes, you will give your stomach time to digest smaller amounts bit by bit rather than struggling to absorb one or two giant meals.

2. Eat The Right Food

Make sure to choose your foods wisely so you aren’t affected by heartburn. Steer clear from acidic, high-fat and spicy foods or any food that may trigger the symptoms of heartburn. Root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots are great for helping fight GERD and acid reflux symptoms.

3.  Limit Caffiene And Alcoholic Beverages

Caffeine and alcoholic drinks stimulate acid production and are likely to cause heartburn. Consider decaffeinated or herbal teas instead.

4. Substitute water for soda

The acid and caffeine in sodas can cause reflux, but even the carbonation can cause problems. Carbonation bubbles can expand in the stomach, causing increased pressure that contributes to reflux.

5. Take a walk after dinner

It’s a good habit to get into, because it helps food digest – which prevents heartburn.

6. Don’t Lie Down

Lying down can make heartburn pain worse, as it makes digestion harder on your stomach and increases the chance of heartburn occurring. If you wait about two to three hours before your after-dinner nap, this allows more time for food to pass through your stomach, reducing the odds of experiencing holiday heartburn pain.

Instead of lying down, at least sit up with your head higher than your stomach. Alternatively, consider going for a walk and letting that activity aid your digestive process.

7. Use smaller plates

Overeating can fill your stomach, pushing stomach fluid up toward your throat. Using a smaller plate helps you avoid overindulging.

8. Skip Mint Desserts

Candy canes and chocolate mint desserts are best left for others. These dangerous holiday delectables are notorious for helping acid reflux on its way.

Pass on desserts. If you’re prone to heartburn, skip the dessert. Rich creamy frostings and cheesecakes will not only fill you up, but cause excess acid production. And the sweeter the taste, the more you’ll be tempted to eat.

“All in all, it’s just about being smart and paying attention to what you’re consuming and what may trigger your reflux,” Dr. Albert says. “It’s all about moderation—enjoy your time with family and friends, but be careful not to overdo it.”

If you do end up fighting a bit of acid reflux, there are many remedies, including over-the-counter antacids and natural treatments you can try.

And, he adds, two things to keep in mind no matter the season—get your exercise to balance the calories you’re taking in and avoid tobacco products.

“So, no sitting around with the cigars and brandy this year,” he says.

9. Take Medication

when starting any new medication, including over-the-counter (OTC) products, you should speak to a pharmacist to make sure the new drug will not interact negatively with your current therapies. “Patients with severe heartburn, if symptoms worsen or no improvement is made after 14 days, should seek medical care immediately to avoid further complications. Patients using OTC products should not use OTC products for more than 14 days at a time unless directed by a physician,” Badalova says.

Suffering from acid reflux doesn’t have to spell doom on your Thanksgiving holiday. If you follow the tips above, you may find that your risk of experiencing heartburn lessens. And if you are on medication for gastroesophageal reflux disease, consider switching your medications to Medly Pharmacy to make sure you have them on hand in time for the holiday.

10. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms continuously for more than two weeks even though you’re taking over-the-counter antacids

GERD is a recurrent and chronic disease. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious health conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus, an abnormal change in the cells of the lower portion of the esophagus, which can raise your risk of developing esophageal cancer.

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