How can I avoid hol­i­day heart­burn?

First For Women - - Health -

Q:

I get bad heart­burn, and I re­ally want to get it un­der con­trol now so it doesn’t spoil my hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions. What do you sug­gest?

A:

For­tu­nately, heart­burn can be eas­ily treat­able. The un­com­fort­able symp­toms oc­cur when the mus­cle be­tween the stom­ach and esoph­a­gus re­laxes, en­abling the acid that nor­mally re­sides in the stom­ach to travel into the esoph­a­gus. For most peo­ple, food is a big fac­tor in re­lax­ing these mus­cles, so con­sider re­mov­ing spicy, fried and tomato-based items from your diet for two weeks to see if you feel any im­prove­ment.

If food doesn’t seem to be the cul­prit, stress may be a con­tribut­ing fac­tor. To ward off stress-in­duced heart­burn, try this be­fore meals: Take five long, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. And as you’re eat­ing, put the fork down af­ter ev­ery three bites and take three more deep breaths. This should re­lax the ner­vous and di­ges­tive sys­tems to keep stom­ach acid from ris­ing up and caus­ing dis­com­fort.

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