Acid reflux and healthy digestion during the holidays

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Favorite holiday dishes are often very rich, which can lead to some uncomfortable digestive issues after a meal. Acid reflux is a common complaint many people have during the holiday season, but it can also be a warning sign for more serious problems. It is important to talk to your doctor if you experience acid reflux every week or even every day.

What is acid reflux disease?

When the ring of muscles, called the lower esophageal sphincter, weaken over time, the valve may not close all the way or open too frequently, allowing acid to reflux into the esophagus. Individuals can also develop hiatal hernias, which can cause chronic inflammation and pain in the esophagus.

Symptoms of acid reflux disease

  • Heartburn: the burning pain or discomfort in your abdomen and/or chest
  • Nausea
  • Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
  • Sour or bitter taste in mouth
  • Bloating
  • Burping

Lifestyle changes during the holidays for acid reflux

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day
  • Pace yourself during meals
  • Avoid common trigger foods
  • Avoid eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed
  • Avoid tight clothing and belts

If lifestyle changes don’t seem to help, over-the-counter acid reducers may ease the discomfort. However, if symptoms persist after the holidays, it is important to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.