Preventing Delayed Heartburn
Many of us cannot actually enjoy some of the foods we love due to the pain and burning in our chest following the indulgence. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly referred to as heartburn, can strike us quickly after a meal causing our day to be horrible or our nights to be sleepless.
Others may be spared the immediate discomfort only to suffer delayed heartburn hours or even a couple of days later. This type of delayed reflux is a result of what doctor’s call delayed gastric emptying where the stomach takes longer to process the food and pass it through the gastrointestinal system. Just as sufferers of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease must adhere to a streamlined diet plan, those who suffer from delayed reflux and heartburn can benefit greatly by following similar plans.
To combat the symptoms of reflux patients should choose to eat smaller meals and refrain from eating later in the evening. This allows the stomach to process a smaller amount of food as well as process the food more thoroughly before we go to sleep for the night. We should also maintain a diary of the food we eat, including the way we feel following the meal. This helps to identify which foods that cause heartburn and which foods cause the episodes to occur more frequently.
Some foods to avoid are those with a higher acid content such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. It is also recommended that those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease avoid coffee, alcohol products and fatty foods.
Another contributing factor to gastroesophageal reflux disease is stress. Identifying the stressors in our daily lives and then finding ways to cope with or eliminate the stress can reduce episodes of heartburn. Additionally, before reaching for the medicine cabinet, some physicians recommend trying a slice of bread or a glass of milk to reduce the effects of heartburn.
Finally, if you find you are unable to adequately manage your chronic or delayed gastroesophageal reflux disease episodes there are several medications that can be taken under the supervision of a physician to help gain the control you need.