To many Minnesotans, the summer months are filled with picnics, barbeques and ice cold drinks, and while that all may sound delicious, this new dietary pattern can be extremely hard on your stomach if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. With that said, if you keep some helpful tips in mind, you can enjoy all the summertime has to offer and keep your GERD symptoms at bay. In today’s blog, we share some ways to help minimize the effects of GERD and acid reflux during the summertime.
Controlling GERD And Acid Reflux In The Summer
Summer presents us with more opportunities to eat on the go or to gather with friends around a picnic or barbeque. Oftentimes the foods available at these events are a little less healthy, which is typically a trigger for GERD symptoms. If you’re going to be attending backyard barbecues or hitting up a food truck while you’re listening to music at the park, keep these tips in mind if you want to stay out in front of your GERD symptoms.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Water helps to calm acid reflux and GERD, while alcohol and carbonated drinks can exacerbate it. That’s not to say you can never indulge with another beverage, just make sure you’re drinking plenty of water alongside your other food and beverage choices. If you’re going to have a soda, beer or wine, make sure your next drink is water.
- Go For Leaner Meats – If you’re headed to a barbeque or you’re going to be grilling out for your family, consider going with some leaner meats. Look for meats with less fat, like lean ground beef, chicken and turkey. Fatty meats can irritate the stomach and compound symptoms of GERD.
- Go Plant-Based – If you want to eat healthy and help to control your GERD symptoms, consider a plant- or vegetable-based burger. There are plenty of delicious alternatives to red meat if you just take the time to look the next time you’re at the grocery store. These options are much less greasy and won’t be as likely to cause digestive issues.
- Watch Out For Acids – Acidic foods and drinks can trigger GERD symptoms, so be smart about your food choices this summer. You might be thinking “nothing I eat is overly acidic,” but condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce are highly acidic, as is a drink option like lemonade. Be mindful of acidic add-ons and drinks.
- Don’t Eat Late At Night – There are more hours of daylight in the summer months, so it’s easy to stay out later in the night. That said, make sure you stick to your normal eating habits, even if you’re not home at your normal hour. Try to stop eating at least three hours before you lie down for bed, otherwise your body will be trying to digest the stomach contents without the natural assistance of gravity. This can make it easier for food and acid to make its way back into your esophagus.
- Skip The Spices – Spicy foods are a common trigger for individuals with GERD and acid reflux, so go easy on the spice. You don’t need to douse your burgers in seasoning salt or your macaroni salad with black pepper. Skip the spicy chicken wings and the add-on spices, and your stomach will thank you for it.
We hope that you can enjoy summer and keep your symptoms of acid reflux at bay, but if you’re finding it difficult or you’re noticing more recurrent instances of heartburn, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants. We can help you calm your irritating GERD symptoms. For more information, give our office a call today.