Fall Feast: Heartburn

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.   



This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about planning your Thanksgiving celebration. Even if you’ve planned your feast to focus on nutrition, you may still suffer from heartburn after a big meal.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal is high in fat, which is likely to lead to heartburn. Dr. Stuart Spechler, a digestive specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says fatty foods stop the stomach from emptying fully, which leaves material to wash back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. If you know you’re going to be eating a big, fatty meal, you can take an over-the-counter histamine receptor blocker before the meal, which slows the production of stomach acid. Antacids soak up excess stomach acid to help ease heartburn symptoms after a meal. If you have heartburn after a meal, it may help to take a two-pronged approach: Take an antacid to soak up excess stomach acid and a histamine receptor blocker to prevent the stomach from forming extra acid.

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November 2011

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