Calming Holiday Heartburn

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The holidays are a time of celebration and for many that means not only rushing about shopping for gifts, but also attending holiday parties.

From now until the beginning of the New Year, many of us will be bouncing from party to party, which can translate into overeating and indulging in rich foods and cocktails. And for some, this can result in digestive discomforts, such as heartburn and bloating.

While the issue of heartburn and bloating are not life threatening, they can still make people miserable at a time when they should be relaxing and enjoying themselves. The cause for this type of digestive distress can be something as simple as not paying close enough attention to what you’re eating and drinking while at the same time, mingling with guests.

The reason these two issues come up often during the holiday season is that our eating habits tend to change. When attending a party, we usually find ourselves grazing through a variety of foods. We also tend to stand, eat and talk at the same time rather than sit down to complete a meal.

This combination can lead to heartburn, especially if we indulge in a lot of fried foods, and bloating, which is caused by inhaling air as we eat and drink.

One way of avoiding heartburn and bloating is as simple as being more mindful of not only what you eat, but how you eat. Here are some other simple suggestions for those who may find themselves with nagging digestive issues during the holidays.

- Don’t overeat. It can increase your risk for heartburn later.

- De-stress. Stress and anxiety can boost heartburn risk.

- Heartburn symptoms can sometimes be confused with heart attack symptoms. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe chest pain, have difficulty breathing or have jaw or arm pain as these may be a sign of a heart attack.

- Take your time – eating and drinking too fast makes you swallow air, causing you to bloat.

- Get moving – exercise can deflate “bloat.”

- Avoid carbonated beverages.

- Cut back on gassy foods such as cauliflower, beans, broccoli and cabbage.

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