Thanksgiving week is also GERD Awareness Week – and that’s no accident. The heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can make those who indulge in a big holiday feast less than thankful.
The nonprofit Esophageal Cancer Action Network and its board chairman – Dr. Bruce Greenwald, a gastroenterologist with the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center – advised the following to tamp down that heartburn on Thanksgiving Day (or any day, for that matter):
1. Start the day with a Turkey Trot: These morning charity walks and runs will burn calories and help a worthy cause. A full field of 14,000 folks will do so in Buffalo on Thursday. If you didn’t sign up, take a run or walk near your home or find out if a local gym offers morning hours for a guest fee.
2. Timing counts: Schedule your Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon.
3. Think small: Use smaller plates – it will make every portion seem larger and keep overeating to a minimum.
4. Avoid overeating: Start with smaller servings and you might not want seconds.
5. Drink in moderation: Alcohol worsens GERD symptoms.
6. Move after you eat: Don’t lie down right away; take a walk instead.
7. Dessert strategy: Eat dessert an hour or two after the meal – but not too close to bedtime!
Related stories, Pages 3, 8-10