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Fast Ways to Beat Heartburn

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Stopping heartburn can be simpler than you think. Follow these three easy steps to keep acid at bay.

Fast Ways to Beat Heartburn

The drinks, the pigs in blankets, the endless supply of pies: You've got lots of opportunities to get heartburn over the holidays, so it's only right that we give you tips on why it happens and how to relieve it. First, know what you're dealing with: "Heartburn occurs when stomach acid splashes back up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your chest," explains Virender Sharma, MD, director of the Esophageal Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Fried, fatty foods and big meals produce more stomach acid, so it's more likely that acid will splash back up." When the burn hits, try these easy fixes:

  • Chew each mouthful thoroughly so it's easier to digest. A good trick: Put your fork down between bites and swallow before picking it up again. It's painstaking, but a great way to be mindful about every bite.
  • Take a walk after eating. "Light activity helps your stomach empty faster," explains Dr. Sharma.
  • Drink slippery elm bark tea with dinner (check you local health food store), says Carolyn Dean, MD, a wellness consultant and author of The Miracle of Magnesium. It will coat the lining of your esophagus, making it less sensitive to the acid.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November 2006.

 

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