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Summer cookouts and managing your acid reflux

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Sixty million people in the United States experience symptoms of acid reflux disease at least once a month, while fifteen million people in the U.S. experience symptoms every day. With summer in full swing, backyard cookouts are abundant and if you suffer from heartburn, indigestion and/or acid reflux disease, you may need to take extra precautions at these events to avoid flare-ups of symptoms. For starters, avoid the fried dishes and opt for entrees that are grilled, baked, boiled or broiled.

It is important to avoid or moderate your consumption of foods that are high in fat, greasy or especially spicy, as these choices can trigger acid reflux disease symptoms.  Other trigger foods that are commonly offered at summer cookouts include:

  • Tomato-based foods & condiments – ketchup, barbeque sauce, marinara sauce, etc.
  • Ranch dressing – opt for low fat/low-calorie dressings
  • Caffeinated beverages – sodas, sweet tea, etc.
  • Alcohol

Losing weight and/or maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is one of the most effective ways to reduce symptoms of acid reflux disease, and in some cases, cure it. The summer is a great time to start a new healthy diet plan and exercise routine to not only reduce acid reflux symptoms, but also promote overall well-being.

If you are experiencing heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux disease more than three times a week, you should discuss how to properly manage and treat the condition with your doctor.  Cone Health has an exceptional network of gastroenterologists, primary care physicians and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating and treating patients with acid reflux disease and other gastrointestinal conditions.


Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Sandi Fields is a gastroenterologist at Rockingham Gastroenterology Associates in Reidsville and a member of the Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Fields received a Doctor of Medicine from West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1994. She completed both her residency and gastroenterology fellowship at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She has been with Rockingham Gastroenterology Associates since 2007.