Heartburn affects one in five adults, and can make life miserable. The holidays can be a particularly difficult—and painful—time for people who suffer from heartburn. It’s not just what types of food we tend to eat during the holiday season, but also how much food we eat and when we eat it. All of these behaviors have a negative impact on our digestive system, and often cause uncomfortable flare ups of heartburn.  Here’s some further information from Dr. Atul Maini and Dr. Borys Buniak of The Heartburn Center at St. Joseph’s Health.

  • When you lean back in a chair or lay down after eating, you tilt your stomach and allow stomach acid to spill into the esophagus.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, and fatty foods are common around the holidays – but are some of the worst culprits for heartburn.
  • Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications only treats the symptoms temporarily; these medications do not treat the actual problem that causes heartburn.
  • The only way to control heartburn is to eat smarter foods, in smaller portions. Try eating light-appetizers like shrimp and vegetables to “front-load” your meal, and avoid over-eating the fattier foods during the main course and dessert.
  • Plan ahead to identify substitutes like fruit and yogurt for dessert instead of cookies and cake. Choose light meats over dark meats. And whole grain or multigrain breads are good choices, too. 

Get more information at www.sjhsyr.org/heartburn