The holiday season can be a difficult time for people suffering from chronic heartburn or reflux, also referred to as GERD. If you are concerned about managing your GERD symptoms, some of these tips may be helpful to you. With just a little planning, you can enjoy this upcoming holiday season!
Nibble your way through the holiday party instead of gorging! Don’t fill up your plate (consider using a small plate). Skip second and third servings. Stop eating when you are full.
Trigger foods can vary from person to person. Common triggers include caffeine, chocolate, citrus juices, tomatoes, soft drinks, coffee, alcohol…. plus fatty and spicy foods. Avoid your trigger foods. Limit or avoid gravy, mashed potatoes and butter. Watch out for stuffing and casseroles that contain onions. You can enjoy the turkey, ham, sweet potatoes and most vegetables. Desserts are a big part of the holiday season. It can be hard to skip desserts, so try lighter desserts, small pieces and minimize chocolate sweets.
Slow down and savor the food. You are more likely to get heartburn it you eat too quickly. Take time to enjoy the conversations around the dinner table!
Water might be your best choice of beverage with your meal. Alcohol, soft drinks and caffeine are triggers for many people. If you must drink alcohol, limit it to one and avoid refills. The more you drink, the more likely you are to experience heartburn.
Don’t nap or recline in your favorite chair after the meal. Help clean up or go for a walk! Stay upright and don’t go to bed for at least 3-4 hours.
If you take prescription GERD medication, be sure to pack it if you are traveling. Keep antacids handy. Talk to your doctor ahead of time about medications you can take as needed.
Happy Holidays. We hope you have a “heartburn” free season!
The providers at Richmond Gastroenterology Associates diagnose and treat GERD. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Disclaimer: This blog article is intended to be informative and is not medical advice.