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Video:Diet Tips for Reducing Heartburn

with Dr. Matt Foster

Changing your diet can control your heartburn. Watch this About.com health video to learn eating and diet tips to get relief from heartburn.See Transcript

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Transcript:Diet Tips for Reducing Heartburn

Hi, I'm Doctor Matt Foster and I'm here today to talk about diet tips for reducing heartburn for About.com.

Reduce Heartburn by Avoiding Certain Food

If you suffer from heartburn then you may find that  what you eat can directly affect your symptoms.

Some foods can cause heartburn, often by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, and allowing stomach acid and food to enter back into the esophagus.  Some foods also cause the stomach to become too acidic allowing acid to seep back up into the esophagus.

Tomatoes, and tomato based foods such as spaghetti sauce or chili, peppermint,  chocolate, garlic, peppers, onions, foods high in fat, butter and fried foods all contribute to heartburn.  Caffeinated beverages like coffee( both decaf and regular), tea, citrus juices like orange or grapefruit juice, carbonated drinks, acidic drinks like tomato juice, alcohol, and high fat beverages such as whole milk can all make heartburn worse.

Tailoring Meals to Reduce Heartburn

Even eating a large heavy meal can contribute to heartburn, eating smaller meals with a greater frequency can help prevent heartburn.  Drink plenty of water as this aids in digestion.  Finally, try not to eat less than three hours before going to bed.

Some foods actually aid in the digestion process and can help prevent heartburn from occurring.  This includes foods that are high in fiber, and those that contain whole grains.

Bland Diet to Control Heartburn

 If you have been experiencing severe heartburn it would be wise to eat a bland diet for a couple of weeks until your symptoms are under control.  This can include foods like bananas, toast, rice, egg whites, skinless chicken breast and pees.  Then introduce new foods again slowly, eliminating anything that causes discomfort.  I also suggest keeping a heartburn record for a few weeks in order to keep track of the kinds of foods you have trouble with. Everybody is different and not everyone will be affected by foods in the same way.   Keeping track of what affects you will help you and your doctor come up with an individualized plan.

Good luck with your heartburn and for more information, check us out on the web at health.about.com.

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