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Overindulging This Holiday Season Can Impact More Than Just Your Waistline

Heartburn can be a pretty ordinary thing, especially when overindulging by eating large meals during the Holiday season. But, what if your heartburn gets worse or is persisting beyond that?

Heartburn, the most common symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), can easily arise and put a damper on festivities like family Holiday meals and football parties. More than ever, there is a need for increased understanding of GERD, its causes and symptoms.

While 40% of the population experiences reflux in their lifetime, individuals with persistent GERD experience heartburn more regularly, which can be cause for concern. GERD is a condition where stomach contents flow back (reflux) into the esophagus (food tube) causing troublesome symptoms and/or possible damage to the esophagus. Some individuals with severe, longstanding GERD may be susceptible to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Left untreated, Barrett’s esophagus can increase one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer, which is the fastest growing cancer in the US.

Overindulging This Holiday Season

Some tips to help reduce GERD symptoms this holiday season:

  • Schedule a meal early in the day; best not to eat late at night
  • Nix the juice; citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange and tomato are acidic and can worsen GERD symptoms
  • Take note of personal trigger foods; identify and avoid specific items that cause you the most discomfort
  • Talk to your doctor; if your GERD symptoms occur on a regular basis you may be at risk for a more serious condition

Overindulging This Holiday Season

Dr. Brian Lacy, a nationally recognized gastroenterologist and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterologyjoined me to discuss GERD, Barrett’s esophagus and the risk for esophageal cancer.  He also shared tips to help everyone enjoy holiday fare without the concern of a more serious condition.

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Take a look at our chat below.

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For more information and additional tips for this Holiday season, visit: www.learnaboutgerd.com

 Overindulging This Holiday Season

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Meet Our Guest: 

uDr. Lacy is Professor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Chief, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He has served as a reviewer for all major gastroenterology journals and currently participates on the Editorial Boards of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Gastroenterology, and Hepatology. Most recently, in 2014, he became Editor-in-Chief of another ACG journal, Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology. There he has successfully focused on generating a series of impactful clinical reviews and expanding readership.

Dr. Lacy’s research interests include pathophysiology and management of functional bowel disorders, as well as diagnostic tests and therapy for Helicobacter pylori and peptic ulcer disease. He has been Director of the Motility Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center since 2003, and has served as Co-Chairman of the Rome Foundation Committee on Functional Bowel Disorders since 2012. In addition, he has served on a number of American College of Gastroenterology committees, including Publications, Research, Public Relations, and Educational Affairs. He has also currently serving as the ACG Governor for New Hampshire.

Overindulging This Holiday Season

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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