If you have acid reflux disease, the summer" with its barbecues and lemonade stands" may look less like a time to enjoy and more like a minefield you need to negotiate. Many people with concerns over their GI pain choose to avoid a lot of summer activities instead of risking more pain.
But you don’t have to shut yourself off from the fun of the season. You can enjoy summer "burn-free" by following three simple rules.
First, plan ahead. If you are going to a food function and know you won’t be able to eat much, have a snack before you leave. This way you will not be starving at the party and more likely to grab something that isn’t good for your acid reflux. You can also keep “safe” treats for yourself or child with you so you have a quick option should the need arise. If you know the party’s host, you might ask if it’s okay to bring a dish of your own to share.
Second, don’t overindulge in food or alcohol Too much of anything, even healthy foods, can mean pain for someone with acid reflux disease. Sticking to smaller more frequent meals can be key in keeping the pain at bay. And remember that alcohol is often a trigger for acid reflux. Also, too much alcohol can lower inhibitions and make you more likely to grab the food that’s not good for you.
Third, keep up with your acid reflux medications. Staying on top of your medication dosing is very important in controlling acid reflux. You also need to keep track of how much medication you have left, when it needs to be refilled and whether you have enough to last during any upcoming vacation. It can help to set a reminder for yourself on your phone or calendar.
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.