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Nutrition

Hints To Make Your Holiday Season Heartburn-Free


When you think of “welcome guests” at the holiday table, heartburn generally is not one of them. Nevertheless, holiday feasts often provoke heartburn symptoms, including burning behind the breastbone, difficulty swallowing, sore throat and even asthma, chest pain and nausea, according to Dr. John Losurdo, gastroenterologist at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.

Losurdo offers the following tips to combat heartburn during this holiday season:

* Avoid overeating.

* Avoid fatty foods.

* Avoid alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated soda and coffee (caffeine relaxes the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach) peppermint and spicy foods.

* Avoid lying down following a large meal — the muscle that connects the stomach and the esophagus may relax, causing acids to travel up the esophagus.

* Avoid strenuous activity to allow the stomach’s contents to digest without disruption.

* If you experience heartburn on a regular basis, take an over-the-counter acid-reducing agent before the meal to avoid symptoms; or take an antacid following the meal to reduce or relieve heartburn symptoms.

* Wear loose clothing that does not constrict the stomach muscles.


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