Curbing GERD

Ever felt that burning sensation creeping up in your chest? More than 60 million Americans experience gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at least once a month. But indigestion doesn’t have to have the last word. Before you pop that next antacid, consider these tips for tackling heartburn before it starts.

  • Break slow. Gulping down a quick morning meal stirs up stomach acid. Instead, get up 10 minutes earlier and sit down to eat. One of the best breakfasts for suppressing symptoms: oatmeal with sliced bananas or applesauce — the bland nature of both the fruits and high–fiber cereal are easy on your belly. Sprinkle with a little ginger, which has anti–inflammatory properties believed to calm upset tummies.
  • Steer clear of the red zone. Tomato sauce, salsa, even ketchup can trigger acid reflux. If you’re experiencing symptoms, go with light broths — which are mild but flavorful — and avoid spicy dishes. But even if it doesn’t flash that ruby color, don’t be deceived. Heavy sauces like Alfredo and gravy can be just as potent.
  • Incline and decline. Avoid lying flat on your back. Propping yourself up with an extra pillow can help refuse acid’s attempt to bubble up. Be especially mindful of what you eat and drink before bedtime — chocolate, alcohol, coffee, and carbonated beverages can not only disrupt your sleep, they stir up reflux.

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