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News & Events How to Avoid Summertime GERD Symptoms

How to Avoid Summertime GERD Symptoms

If you suffer from heartburn or GERD, summertime fun like barbecues, picnics, and holiday celebrations, can be a reason for concern. You might even skip those weekend get-togethers or pool parties to avoid the pain that follows. , There are ways you have fun and feel good, so let us suggest some ways to avoid summertime GERD symptoms.

What Is GERD?

Heartburn is a milder version of GERD that only strikes you occasionally, but when these symptoms happen several times a week, it could be a sign you have graduated to GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disease that strikes when the valve at the end of your esophagus does not function as it should. This valve opens to let food and drink pass into our stomach, which should then automatically close. When it malfunctions, it allows stomach juices and acid to come up into the esophagus and often into your mouth.

You are likely experiencing this if you wake up with a bitter taste of bile in your mouth. If this is happening to you, it’s time to contact an experienced healthcare team like Dignity Health Medical Group in Chandler and Gilbert for some help.

The Problem with GERD

Besides having acid reflux interrupt your sleep and cause chest pains, if not treated, you can end up with some more serious complications. These could include esophagitis, an inflammatory condition that can cause cancer of the esophagus. Over time, your esophagus can narrow leading to problems swallowing known as esophageal stricture. Barrett’s esophagus is another condition affecting the tissue lining and  lead to cancer. Respiratory issues can also develop from GERD.

You can see GERD is not something you want to ignore. Over-the-counter antacids can help, but seeking a diagnosis and treatment is your best option.

Managing GERD in the Summer

This condition has specific triggers like tomatoes and tomato products, spicy foods, barbecued and fried foods, citrus juices like lemonade, carbonated drinks (especially those with caffeine) and alcohol. Here are some tips for enjoying summertime with GERD:

  • Instead of a beer, opt for a nice cold bottle of water.
  • Only use lean meats on the grill.
  • Eat at least 3 hours before bed.
  • Eat smaller meals and eat more slowly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, as excess pounds can exacerbate heartburn.
  • Smoking relaxes the valve in your stomach and can cause GERD, so consider quitting smoking.

You Can Still Enjoy Summer

Making lifestyle changes, losing some weight, having a regular exercise regimen, and knowing what foods to avoid can all improve your symptoms. There is no reason to take yourself out of the picture during summer fun.

There are medical treatments to help with GERD symptoms all year long. Contact Dignity Health Medical Group today for treatment options and additional recommendations. Call our Gilbert office at (480) 728-6590, call our Chandler office at (602) 582-5233, or request an appointment through our secure online form.

Sources: Preventing heartburn at summer cookouts – Capital Digestive Care

Can the Heat Make Heartburn Worse? – Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center

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