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Health Mart Pharmacies: Holiday Heartburn

Christine Jacobson has some pointers to help you enjoy your celebrations.


If you’re suffering from overeating and heartburn during the holidays, or at any time, ask yourself these five questions:

Here’s a quick test to see if you might be having problems with heartburn*:

#1 Do you frequently have the following:

– an uncomfortable feeling behind the breastbone that moves up from the stomach

– a burning sensation in the back of your throat

– a bitter acid taste in your mouth

#2 Do you experience these problems after meals?

#3 Do you experience heartburn or acid indigestion two or more times per week

#4 Do you find antacids provide only temporary relief from symptoms

#5 Are you taking prescription or OTC meds but still have symptoms

If you said yes to 2 or more, you may be suffering from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), so call your doctor

Here are eight quick tips that can help with heartburn*

Avoid trigger foods:

(fried, citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato products, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, pepper)

Don’t overeat

(full stomach puts pressure on lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which may have food “reflux” back into esophagus)

Avoid lying down after eating

(at least for 3 hours after eating, relaxing LES and again for same reason as above)

Watch alcohol consumption

(increases acid in stomach, which again relaxes LES

Relax

(holiday stress causes stomach acid, so make meals pleasant and relaxing by slowing down when eating, chew completely and play soothing music, meditate or relax with a hobby)

Chew gum
(or sucking lozenges for 30 minutes after meal increases saliva production. This bathes esophagus and lessens acid reflux back to stomach)

Take Antacid or H2 Receptor Blocker

(Antacid: Tums or Mylanta, neutralizes acid)

(H2 receptor: Pepcid AC or Zantac 75, reduces acid)

Remember if you use these medications longer than two weeks, see your doctor for an evaluation.


For all your pharmacy needs, check out a Health Mart Pharmacy nearest you by going to www.healthmart.com

*Source: www.heartburn.about.com

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