If you are prone to heartburn you may dread the thought of dining out. Heartburn is a real problem for a lot of people and dining out can cause flare-ups. Sometimes you know what will cause it, other times you don’t. Eating out may cause your heartburn to act up worse.
Heartburn can cause or be associated with panic attacks. (Consult with your physician every person is different). Heartburn can also feel like a heart attack so if you are unsure call 911 immediately.
To have a stress free dining experience is near to impossible. Even if you dine out you may feel stress from outside factors. We make our own stress and sometimes there is no way to shut it off such as you are thinking about your job, the cost of dinner, what if they don’t make your meal right, what if your dining partner doesn’t like the restaurant and the list goes on and on.
Stress plays an important role in heartburn. If you choose to eat out either try controlling your stress or take antacids with you. If you think you might be eating acidic foods take antacids at least half an hour before your meal.
Suggestions for Dining with heart burn include:
1. Know your triggers – Recurring heartburn seems to happen in individuals after eating a particular food or spice, after a certain activity or any activity, or when the body is tired. If you have recurring heart burn it is good to keep a log so you know what might be causing it and you can discuss it with your doctor.
2. Work with your heart burn – Plan your meal and evening activities around the food and causes of your heartburn. You will enjoy yourself more if you know what causes the heartburn and what gets rid of it. Eat foods that aren’t on your list of “causes heart burn” and do activities that aren’t related to activities that will cause your heartburn.
3. Know your limit – It’s true most of us overindulge ourselves. Sometimes eating too much can cause heartburn. If you are going out to eat and are planning on enjoying the rest of your evening you may want to order a small meal or ask for a take-home container and put half of your meal into the container. If you don’t see the food you will be less likely to eat it.
4. Stay away from spice, alcohol, citric acids, and caffeine – If you are dining out and don’t want to worry about causing heart burn you may want to stay away from known triggers. Heartburn has been caused by spicy foods. Garlic can even set heartburn blazing. Stay away from tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Don’t drink caffeine while dining out. You might want an onion while dining out but don’t do it. Stay away from fat, fried food.
5. What to order when dining out – When dining out try to order bland pastas, chicken or shrimp without a lot of spices. Bread is also good when dining out. Just try not to eat breaded or fried items. These are high in fat content and the body takes longer to digest them. Stay away from soups, especially vegetable soups when dining out. Soups usually have some sort of tomato in them. Drink water or milk as your beverage of choice while dining out.
6. Take antacids – If antacids work for your heartburn you should take them with you when dining out. Take them as soon as you eat if not half an hour before. Keep antacids on hand and use them as directed. Antacids may prevent or relieve your heartburn while dining out. If you are dining out don’t you want to enjoy yourself?
7. Limit activities after eating – If you are dining out you may want to limit your activities after eating. Dining out usually means you are going out afterwards. You may want to space your dining out and “activity place” at least a half hour to an hour apart. This will give your stomach time to think about digesting your food. After eating it is best to limit activities. Know what you can and can’t do in advance when dining out.
8. After Dining Out – After dining out and a night out you still want to be cautious. If you suffer from heartburn at night don’t lay down after eating. If you can raise the head of your bed it may help. Laying flat after eating usually makes heartburn worse. Try to prop yourself up.
9. Don’t Squeeze your stomach – Try not to squish your stomach after dining out. Don’t wear tight clothing to dine out and then eat to make your clothes tighter. This will only cause heartburn if you are prone to it. Don’t sit down in a manner that will squeeze your stomach area. Go karts rides may be fun after dining out but getting into something that small will squish your body. Don’t squeeze your stomach if you are trying to avoid heartburn after dining out.
Dining out with heartburn can seem like a tedious task. If you have heartburn you know it’s a lifestyle change that needs to occur to limit suffering. Dining out with heartburn is just another daily routine. So learn to live with your heartburn so you can enjoy life.