Alcohol and Heartburn - how to cope during this festive season

Alcohol and Heartburn: how to cope during this festive season

Christmas and New Year ‘tis the season to be jolly – not the season for fighting off heartburn!

However, for many of us, the temptation to scoff the mice pies and eggnog is sometimes too much and the result can sometimes be that familiar burning feeling in our chest.

Rennie takes a look at the relationship between alcohol and heartburn and how you can help keep it under control this festive season…

How alcohol is linked to heartburn

Despite what many people believe, you don’t have to drink lots of alcohol to be affected by heartburn. Sometimes even one or two glasses can be enough to act as a trigger.

Here are a few of the ways that alcohol can be a trigger for heartburn:

  • Alcohol produces more stomach acid and makes the oesophagus more sensitive to this acid too – increasing the chances of getting heartburn
  • The lower oesophageal sphincter is relaxed by alcohol which allows acid from the stomach back up to the oesophagus
  • Swallowing can become erratic when the lower oesophageal sphincter relaxes, which can also cause heartburn

Tips and tricks on drinking this winter

These are a few ideas from Rennie for alternative ways to enjoy the festivities and how to help get rid of heartburn:

Drink alcohol in moderation

Although drinking alcohol in moderation is no guarantee you won’t get heartburn, it’s certainly gives you a better chance than if you overindulge!

Drinking moderately should apply all year around, but when nearing Christmas there tends to be more work socials and family gatherings than the rest of the year.

You can still enjoy that glass of prosecco at your New Year’s party, but it’s sensible to keep an eye on how much you’re drinking throughout the week.

Remember that there’s always an alternative, you can buy non-alcoholic beers and wines or you could always stick to soft drinks – especially if you know drinking contributes to you getting heartburn.

Be aware of your body

If you know alcohol is a trigger for your heartburn you should try to avoid it as much as possible.

However, you don’t need to feel as though you’re missing out.

You can always dilute your alcoholic drinks with a non-alcoholic mixer or shake up a mocktail. That way you don’t have to miss out the “cheers”!

You don’t need wine to have a good time!

Having a glass of wine when coming in from a busy day at work has become common routine for those trying to kick back and relax, and it can be more tempting when it’s cold, grizzly weather outside.

But there are other ways to relax after a hectic day!

Start your New Year’s resolution early and find new ways to unwind. You could try swimming or yoga as an alternative or you could try meditating in the evening. As we’ve mentioned in other posts, stress can lead to heartburn too and these basic activities could help reduce your aggravation.

As always, you should see your doctor for expert advice if you have concerns regarding heartburn or alcohol consumption.