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Don't Let Reflux Ruin Your Thanksgiving

Expert offers tips for avoiding heartburn this holiday

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Thanksgiving can be challenging if you suffer from heartburn, but there are a number of things you can do to have a more pleasant holiday, an expert says.

Certain foods are more likely to cause heartburn and chronic heartburn and should be avoided. These items include fatty and spicy foods, onions, garlic, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, and mints, Dr. Juan Carlos Bucobo, director of endoscopy at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York, said in a hospital news release.

"Overeating and eating too fast will increase the chances of heartburn if you are predisposed. Smaller portions separated over time will decrease the chances you will burn in agony. At the main meal, try using a smaller plate and eating slowly," he said.

Alcohol -- especially in large amounts and particularly red wine -- can worsen heartburn. If you drink, do so in moderation. Nicotine is another trigger, so quitting smoking would help ease heartburn, too.

Don't lie down for three hours after your meal. Doing so is likely to worsen your heartburn.

There are a number of over-the-counter remedies for heartburn. If your heartburn becomes more frequent -- more than two to three times a week -- you should see your doctor, Bucobo advised.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about heartburn.

SOURCE: Stony Brook University Hospital, news release, Nov. 19, 2015

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