Preventing Holiday Heartburn

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Updated: 11/24/2011 1:27 pm
All that rich, delicious food on your thanksgiving table can trigger an uncomfortable condition.  We have tips for avoiding heartburn and an even more serious problem.

It's not unusual to experience heartburn from time to time but when it happens at least twice each week,  you may have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. 
GERD can flare up during the holidays.. As we tend to overeat and consume alcohol when celebrating with family and friends.
When we swallow food, it travels down the esophagus, a valve then opens to let the food enter the stomach and closes again.  But in those with GERD, the valve is faulty and doesn't shut properly allowing stomach acids to flow back into the esophagus and that can be  harmful, especially if left untreated.

Doctors usually prescribe medicines to control the acid as well as lifestyle changes including maintaining a healthy weight, eating smaller meals, waiting at least 3 hours after eating before lying down or going to bed, and not smoking. 

Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger heartburn such as fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and chocolate is also recommended.

Here's another tip after a big holiday meal, get moving, go for a walk or play a game of flag football in the backyard instead of just watching it on TB.

Heartburn strikes an estimated 20% of Americans at least once a week.
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