Summer is a time for backyard barbecues, trips to the lake and spending time outside with friends and family, but unfortunately it’s also a time when heartburn is most prevalent. According to a recent survey of individuals with frequent heartburn, summer is the worst season for their condition. Nearly half of the survey respondents said summer is the time when they experience their worst symptoms.
If you think symptoms can’t be all that bad, think again. In the same survey, 48 percent of respondents said their heartburn causes stress or psychological pain, and nearly three-quarters of people said they would avoid certain activities or get-togethers in order to avoid heartburn pain. Moreover, respondents said they would be willing to give up social media, vacation days or even their air conditioning if it would allow them to be heartburn-free.
So why is heartburn most prevalent in the summer, and what can you do about it? Take a look below.
Summer Heartburn Causes and Prevention
While the survey didn’t go into detail about why summer was often the most problematic for heartburn sufferers, it’s easy to suggest some reasons why. Summer is often a time when we’re outside more often, which means we’re less likely to be home for meals. If you stop at a fast food restaurant, grab a burger at the concession stand of your daughter’s soccer tournament or head over to the neighborhood barbeque, you’re more likely to be eating fatty foods that can contribute to the onset of heartburn.
The longer daylight hours also mean that we may be snacking or eating later in the day. Eating meals within an hour or two of going to bed can make it easier for stomach acid to come back up the esophageal canal when you lie down. More daylight hours also means we might be out with friends and consuming more adult beverages. Alcoholic beverages with carbonation can lead to increased burping and symptoms of heartburn.
So how can you prevent heartburn symptoms this summer? Depending on what you have planned for the day, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- If you’re drinking alcohol, mix in some water to help prevent bloating, burping and regurgitating.
- Plan meals a day in advance or before you leave the house so you’re not eating high fat foods.
- Avoid overeating.
- Bring a dish to pass that you know won’t upset your stomach and cause symptoms.
- Limit your eating and snacking within two hours of going to bed.
- Consult with an esophageal specialist like Dr. Koeplin about how to get your heartburn symptoms under control.
If you’d like to set up that appointment to talk to Dr. Koeplin, give us a call today at (651) 224-1347.