‘Tis the Season For … GERD
By Brian Zelis, M.D.
Family Medicine Physician
This time of year means good food and family gatherings, but add a dash of holiday stress, and you have a recipe for a side of digestive discomfort. One of the most common digestive disorders is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and research has found seasonal trends for this condition. Specifically, GERD peaks from October to December and decreases sharply in January and February. This is most likely due to all the overindulging over the holidays and then all the healthy resolutions for the New Year.
Heartburn is just one symptom of GERD, you can also experience excessive belching, feeling a lump in your throat when trying to swallow, a pesky cough, or laryngitis. The condition is usually diagnosed when you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week.
With all of the holiday food and drink, heartburn and reflux might seem unavoidable. You can effectively reduce your GERD symptoms with a few simple lifestyle changes:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid tight clothing and belts
- Eat slowly and chew your food well
- Don’t have a meal within three hours of going to bed
- Don’t lie down after eating
- Limit your portion sizes
- Avoid acidic, high-fat, and spicy foods
- Limit caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and smoking
If you experience GERD symptoms three or more days a week or if lifestyle changes and over-the-counter acid reducers aren’t providing you relief, see your doctor right away to be evaluated for damage or complications. The only thing you want burning this holiday season is perhaps a nice pumpkin spice candle.
Millennium Physician Group
Brian D. Zelis, M.D.
10201 Arcos Ave, Ste 105
Estero FL 33928
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