Heartburn and the Holidays

Janet Rastin

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the joy of celebrations, delicious meals, and cherished moments with loved ones. However, for those who suffer from heartburn, this festive time of year can also bring discomfort and distress.

Luckily, managing heartburn during the holidays is entirely possible, allowing you to savour every moment without the burn! Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat.

It’s a common issue, especially during the holiday season when rich, spicy, and fatty foods are on the menu.

5 Ways To Prevent Heartburn

Below are 5 ways you can prevent heartburn, but for more personalized information, visit your PharmaChoice pharmacist!

  1. Mindful Eating Habits: During the holidays, it is tempting to overindulge in your favourite dishes. However, large meals can put extra pressure on your stomach and increase the likelihood of heartburn. Opting for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and eating slowly allows your stomach time to properly digest your food. Avoiding lying down after eating can also help prevent heartburn symptoms. At holiday gatherings, the buffet often features an array of delectable options. Unfortunately, some foods are more likely to contribute to heartburns than others, so it is important to choose wisely when preparing your holiday plate. Foods that are high in fat, spicy, and acidic are known for triggering heartburn and should be avoided when possible.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Water is your ally in managing heartburn. Sipping on water throughout the day can help dilute stomach acid and keep digestion smooth. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can exacerbate heartburn symptoms.
  3. Elevate the Head of Your Bed: If nighttime heartburn is a recurring issue, try elevating the head of your bed by a few inches. This can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus while you sleep.
  4. Stop Smoking: If you are a smoker, consider this the perfect time to quit. Smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter, making it easier for stomach acid to flow into the esophagus and trigger heartburn. There are many products at your local pharmacy that can help you in your journey to quit smoking, and your PharmaChoice pharmacist can provide counseling on these products as well as offering practical tips. 
  5. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Solutions: Pharmacies offer a wide range of OTC medications to help manage heartburn. Always consult with your pharmacist for help choosing the OTC option best suited to your needs. 

There are also prescription medications that may be prescribed to help relieve your heartburn symptoms. PharmaChoice pharmacists are medication experts and can provide you with more information about these medications and how they work.

Additionally, some prescription medications can contribute to heartburn symptoms but your PharmaChoice pharmacist can screen the medications you are currently taking to determine if they could be contributing to your reflux symptoms.

Do not let heartburn steal the joy from your holiday festivities. By adopting mindful eating habits, making smart food choices, staying hydrated, and seeking the guidance of your PharmaChoice pharmacist, you can enjoy a heartburn-free holiday season.

Janet Rastin
Rastin's PharmaChoice
Ancaster, ON