Is Acid Reflux Worse At Christmas?

We eat and drink far too much at Christmas which can result in acid reflux.  Most people will suffer from indigestion at some point during the feasting season.  The combination of rich food and copious amounts of alcohol plays havoc with our digestive systems.

If you are prone to acid reflux all of this merrymaking is actually unpleasant and uncomfortable.  Christmas celebrations provide many triggers including eating and drinking lots of rich food and slouching in chairs watching television.  Our normally healthy lifestyle becomes chaotic and spontaneous causing our digestive systems to get into a frenzy.

Avoiding acid reflux triggers and ensuring that you have enough treatment to last the Christmas break will help to ease your symptoms.

Acid Reflux Triggers

Acid reflux is a symptom of GORD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease the symptoms are very unpleasant and sometimes develop into a more serious condition.  Symptoms of acid reflux include; bitter taste in your mouth, burning sensation, chest pain, coughing, hoarse voice, sore throat, bad breath and feeling sick.

It is caused by the band of muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus weakening allowing stomach acid to travel up to the throat.  Food and drink are often the main triggers although some medicines also cause symptoms.

Triggers include; dairy products, chocolate, fatty foods, caffeine, spicy food, citrus, strawberries and nicotine from cigarettes.  You must also avoid eating late at night and lying down after a meal.

Surviving Christmas

Christmas is essentially an acid reflux sufferers nightmare due to the high quantity of trigger foods.  Obviously, you will not want to avoid your Christmas dinner entirely to avoid acid reflux so you may have to consider reducing your portion size and go for a walk afterwards.

Avoid overstretching your stomach and eating trigger foods throughout the whole day.  If you suffer from asthma aim to keep your symptoms under control as the inhaler can relax your muscles and cause acid reflux.  Anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants also cause the band between your oesophagus and stomach to relax allowing stomach acid to escape.

Over the counter indigestion, tablets may ease your symptoms a little but maybe not enough.  Proton pump inhibitors reduce the production of acid in your stomach which in turn reduces the incidents of acid reflux.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Omeprazole, Lansoprazole, Esomeprazole and Losec are prescription treatments for acid reflux. They are from a group of medicines called proton pump inhibitors which reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach.  These treatments are very effective so if they do not resolve your symptoms chance are that you haven’t got the condition after all.

Normal routines tend to go out of the window and sticking to the right types of food is fairly difficult over the festive season.  Taking medication is a possible solution that will allow you to enjoy the festivities without the burning feeling.

Long-term use of these medications is not ideal. It is important that you make lifestyle changes to reduce the chances of acid reflux occurring. 

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