The recent diagnosis of acid reflux in President Obama has prompted worldwide awareness of an ailment that is especially prevalent during holiday season, but its complications can be avoided.
Mukund Venu, gastroenterologist at Loyola University Medical Center said that signs of acid reflux disease include a burning sensation or pressure in the chest and/or throat, a persistent cough, burping and bloating.
The disease could be triggered from holiday favorites such as high-fat foods, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and citric acid.
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when acid located in the stomach enters the esophagus.
Venu suggested that lifestyle changes are the first line of defense, so he advised to not to lie down until at least three hours after eating and people should sleep at 45-degree angle to keep acid in the stomach.
Other suggestions to maintain good digestive health included avoiding caffeine and fatty foods, maintaining a regular eating and sleeping cycle as well as preventing extreme weight fluctuation.
Venu further mentioned that if people suffer from persistent heartburn that should see a board certified gastroenterologist and have an upper endoscopic exam performed.
A proton pump inhibitor, liquid or pill, also helps in reducing the production of acid in the stomach.