It Burns, Burns, Burns … Heartburn

A common consequence of holiday excess is heartburn. Overeating and lying down too quickly after meals are the top causes of that burning sensation or sour taste. About 1 in 7 Americans have these symptoms at least once a week, with those who smoke or are overweight at higher risk. The following food and beverages — many found in abundance on dinner tables these days — can aggravate indigestion:

Spicy or fatty food


Carbonated beverages


Coffee and tea

Citrus fruit or juice



Lifestyle changes, over–the–counter antacids, or prescription medicine will do the trick for most people. But consult with your doctor if heartburn persists; it could be a warning sign of a more serious condition. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends:

Eating 2 to 3 hours before lying down

Not smoking

Losing weight

Avoiding overeating

Choosing foods high in protein and low in fat

Placing 6–9 inch blocks under the head of your bed to elevate your upper body.

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