Five easy ways to keep acid reflux from ruining your Thanksgiving.
If you live with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or experience acid reflux after eating certain foods, you might be approaching the biggest feast of the year with more dread than excitement.
When stomach acid creeps up into the esophagus, you feel that uncomfortable heartburn sensation. This process, known as acid reflux, can be more than just unpleasant — chronic acid reflux (often diagnosed as GERD) that’s left untreated can eventually lead to more serious complications, such as inflammation, ulcers and scarring.
To minimize heartburn symptoms, take these steps before, during and after your Thanksgiving meal.
- Graze a bit beforehand.
If you come to the dinner table starving, you could end up overeating. And when your belly is at max capacity, stomach pressure increases, and so do your chances of acid reflux.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
If there’s ever a time to forgo the Spanx or too-tight jeans, this is it. Clothing that’s snug in the abdominal area adds additional pressure to the stomach, and can trigger acid reflux.
- Swap your trigger foods for a safer choice.
Avoiding the foods that have caused acid reflux in the past may seem like an obvious move. But looking up some substitutes ahead of time will better prepare you to opt for angel food cake over key lime pie, for instance. Check out Cleveland Clinic’s Dietary Guidelines for GERD for helpful suggestions.
- Stay upright for at least an hour after you eat.
When you lie down, gravity is less able to help food and stomach acid travel downward. Instead of hitting the couch after the big meal, offer to help with the dishes, do a puzzle with the kids, or chat with family around the dining room table.
- Have your heartburn medication on-hand.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications, like Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid AC (famotidine) and Zantac (ranitidine) can reduce stomach acid production, while others, like Prevacid 24 HR (lansoprazole) and Prilosec OTC (omeprazole) can block acid production and help heal the esophagus. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may even suggest a higher-strength version, like prescription Prevacid (lansoprazole) or Nexium. Whatever your provider or pharmacist has recommended, don’t be without it on Thanksgiving — and check Blink Health to see if you can save money.
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911. Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 536 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com