Acid Reflux and Turkey

Thanksgiving is the annual day of gluttony. We gather ’round the table with family and friends and then proceed to gorge ourselves on a mix of delicious turkey, buttery breads, smothered potatoes laden with sour cream, chives, more butter and possibly gravy. Mix in cranberries, alcoholic drinks and sodas, plus a few helpings of pumpkin and apple pie and you have a recipe for a long afternoon nap.

And yes, if you’re an acid reflux sufferer, a long afternoon of heartburn.

Acid reflux is more common than you might expect. Estimates peg the number of acid reflux sufferers at approximately 60 million in the United States alone. In Utah, we see plenty of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease sufferers. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center diagnoses and treats acid reflux patients daily.

If you count yourself among the sufferers, chances are you view Thanksgiving and other large holiday meals with a mix of excitement and angst. You love the food; the food simply doesn’t love you back. A big meal often results in indigestion, heartburn, feelings of bloating and general discomfort.

Read: The Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
Fortunately, the hero of Thanksgiving day, your old friend turkey, is actually quite easy on most people’s stomachs and is a good substitute for beef in many dishes. That’s largely due to the lower fat content of turkey compared to beef.

But turkey tastes great, too, which is why we recommend acid reflux sufferers experiment with turkey recipes in order to find a few favorites. If you’re ready to adjust your diet, try a few of these turkey recipes including mushroom and cheese turkey burgers, turkey meatballs and spaghetti and turkey tetrazinni.

Many restaurants are starting to offer turkey as a substitute for beef. For instance, Carl’s Jr. is famous for their beef burgers. But look closely at their menu and you’ll find tasty concoctions like a Turkey Guacamole Burger or a Turkey Terriyaki Burger. We’ve sampled both and they’re tasty and lighter than the traditional burger. Add a low-fat cheese and you have a tasty concoction literally in your hands. But stay away from the fries since greasy french fries are a common trigger for heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

Read: 11 Foods that Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Enjoy the annual rite of turkey day and enjoy yourself. But think wisely about what you should and shouldn’t eat if you want to enjoy the afternoon’s football game in peace instead of heartburn pain. And stay away from the pizza. Your body will thank you later.

Of course, in Utah, our ear, nose and throat doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah can help you learn more about treatment options for acid reflux disease. Call us at 801-328-2522.

Man holding chest due to heartburn and acid reflux disease

Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

Do you suffer from heartburn? Do you regularly notice a burning feeling or tightness in your chest following eating?

You may suffer from acid reflux disease, which is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It’s a common problem in Utah and across the United States. In fact, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn each month.

According to Dr. John Bennett, an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City, Utah, “The most common symptom of acid reflux is actually a vague sensation of fullness in the throat, from the swelling around the voice box that the refluxed acid can cause. Reflux is often perceived as post-nasal drip.”

We’ve listed 6 symptoms of acid reflux disease below. These symptoms can be short-lived or last for several hours or even days. The good news is that you can quickly relieve and eliminate acid reflux symptoms by eating over-the counter antacid tablets like Tums, Rolaids, and generic store brands. Prescription medicines like Pepcid, Tagament and Zantac can also provide relief.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

  • Heartburn. A burning feeling in your chest that typically appears soon after eating. This is called heartburn or acid indigestion. Though heartburn may feel painful, it does not damage or affect your heart.
  • Regurgitation. That burning feeling in your chest is often accompanied by a burning sensation in the throat and/or a sour, acidic taste in your mouth. In some cases, you may vomit a small amount of stomach acid.
  • Difficulty swallowing. You may feel difficulty swallowing as you eat. You may have the sense that food is “sticking” in your throat or even a feeling of choking.
  • Hoarseness. Your voice may become hoarse and, in some cases, you may even lose your voice while you are symptomatic.
  • Dyspepsia. Some people who have acid reflux disease also suffer from a syndrome called dyspepsia, which is another term for indigestion. Dyspepsia symptoms include burping, stomach fullness and bloating.
  • Wheezing and/or asthma-like symptoms. Many people who suffer from asthma also suffer from acid reflux or GERD. The wheezing and coughing happens when stomach acid is aspirated from the esophagus to the lungs.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center to Treat Acid Reflux Disease

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center doctors regularly treat patients across Utah and the Wasatch Front who suffer from acid reflux disease, GERD, heartburn and indigestion. While acid reflux disease is a chronic condition, which means there is no cure, there are a number of dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your symptoms.

Click to learn how lifestyle changes and avoiding heartburn trigger foods can help you avoid reflux

Contact us today at 801-328-2522. And learn steps you can take to eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux disease from your life.

image of menue with heartburn, bloating, reflux

11 Foods That Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux disease or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common problem in Utah and the United States. In fact, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn and acid reflux monthly.

If you’re suffering, you’re not alone.

What is Acid Reflux Disease or GERD?

Reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. At the base of the esophagus is a ring of muscle that contracts to prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus. This muscle works well for most people. However, for people who suffer from acid reflux, the ring of muscle or the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly. As a result, acid enters the sensitive tissue within the esophagus and throat and creates a burning sensation. Most sufferers recognize this pain as heartburn.

In some cases, however, reflux can be silent. In other words, no symptoms appear until a problem arises.

“Only one-third of reflux sufferers have heartburn,” says Dr. John Bennett, an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City, Utah, “The other two-thirds have silent reflux, where throat fullness, throat clearing, coughing, and hoarseness are common.”

Learn about the symptoms of acid reflux disease

At the Ear, Nose and Throat Center, we see patients every day from Salt Lake City, Sandy and Draper, Utah who suffer from reflux, GERD or plain old heartburn. We’re here to help. But you can also help yourself avoid reflux and heartburn by becoming aware of foods that trigger or cause heartburn, reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Learn more about Gastroesphageal Reflux (GERD)

Foods That Trigger Reflux and Heartburn

Acid reflux is a chronic condition. That means there is no cure. Fortunately, reflux is fairly easy to manage through a mix of dietary changes and prescription medicines, if necessary.

“Modifying what you eat can be very helpful,” adds Dr. Bennett. “Watch out for spicy foods, but also acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus. Other culprits are greasy foods, milk-based foods, caffeine, chocolate, mint, as well as alcohol and tobacco.”

The following foods are known to trigger acid reflux:

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes)
  • Coffee
  • Fatty and fried food (french fries, fried chicken)
  • Fast food
  • Peppermint
  • Pizza
  • Spicy foods (tacos, curry)
  • Tomato sauces and juice

Lifestyle and Diet Changes to Help Avoid Reflux

  • Limit or avoid reflux trigger foods. A dietary diary can help you discover the foods that trigger reflux. Every patient is different and we can help you pinpoint problem foods.
  • Eat earlier in the evening. Eating early allows your stomach more time to digest food before you sleep. We also recommend you eat nothing at least three hours before sleeping.
  • Eat smaller portions. Eating too much can lead to indigestion and reflux. Eat less and feel better.
  • Lose weight. Even losing 5 pounds can improve reflux symptoms.
  • Raise the top of your mattress 4 to 6 inches. A flat mattress can trigger reflux while sleeping, so a small change in sleeping position can make a big difference.
  • Eliminate tobacco use. Smoking is bad for you in many ways. Stopping can help you avoid reflux as well as reduce your risk for many types of cancer. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center can help you stop smoking.

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment. Our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah will work with you to diagnose and treat your acid reflux and heartburn symptoms and provide guidance on lifestyle and diet changes that can help you reduce the impact of acid reflux disease on your life.