Gerd Tips For The Holidays

By: Dr. Michael Tran

The holidays are known for festivities, family, fun and of course, food. Some people, however, suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Here are some quick tips to help minimize the impact of GERD so you can better enjoy the holidays:

  1. Do not overindulge and avoid over-eating or eating food too rapidly.
    • Overeating or eating rapidly will increase the pressure inside the stomach which will overcome the natural barrier against reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter.
  2. Take your antacid medication before eating.
    • Instead of taking your medication after symptoms begin, take it prophylactically so that should reflux occur, you are not playing catch up to your symptoms.
  3. Avoid laying down and going to sleep too soon after eating – wait about 1-2 hours.
    • Laying down after eating will place pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter from all the stomach contents and increase the chances and severity of reflux.
  4. Minimize the amount of alcohol consumed at the holiday parties.
    • In some people, alcohol decreases the strength and resistance of the lower esophageal sphincter which will allow more reflux events to occur.
  5. Avoid foods that may trigger or increase the severity of reflux including:
    • Spicy foods
    • Fatty and rich foods
    • Mint
    • Caffeinated or carbonated beverages
  6. Obesity in itself can increase the chance and severity of GERD.
    • In preparation for your New Year’s resolutions, strive to make it a goal to lose weight by eating healthy and exercising!