Chew a stick of gum. Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, conducted a study of 36 subjects, some who suffered from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and some who didn’t. Chewing gum for a period of one hour after a meal reduced stomach acid in both groups but had a greater effect in GERD sufferers. It works by causing your mouth to produce more saliva, which in turn neutralizes stomach acid. Sucking on a hard candy can also do the trick, but make sure it’s not mint flavoured peppermint can stimulate GERD symptoms.

Researchers also discovered that walking for a period of hour after a meal mildly reduced chest-burning symptoms but only for a short time. Avoiding certain foods while enjoying holiday meals can keep GERD symptoms at bay in the first place. Don’t over indulge in fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol but do sip a cup of ginger tea made with grated ginger root or eat a banana if you’re looking for natural remedies. Try not to fall asleep in your recliner after dinner because lying down after a big meal can cause GERD symptoms to flare.

Loosening your belt buckle will also make you feel more comfortable, but doctors say the biggest cause of GERD today is obesity. Losing even 10 percent of your body weight can make a difference in how you feel, says Dr. Alan Thomson, professor of medicine, at the University of Alberta .

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