As soon as the calendar rolls over into October you can’t avoid Halloween celebrations, pumpkin flavored everything, candy, and treats. Although the thought of trick-or-treating and celebrating Halloween brings joy to many, it can also cause stress and discomfort for those who suffer from heartburn or other GI conditions. Not to worry, though. Dr Sameer Islam and our team want you to enjoy the month of October by approaching treats in the right way.
What Foods Can Trigger Heartburn?
One of the first things you need to know about when indulging in some treats is how your body reacts to certain foods. If you know you’re likely to be set off by particular candies or by eating a certain quantity, it’s important to pace yourself when you go for the treat bowl.
Primary offenders to the GI system include chocolate and high fat items, especially in larger portions like king-sized candy bars. It’s good to avoid those bars, especially the fattier options that contain nuts or caramel. If you simply can’t walk away from the chocolate, go for one fun sized bar or reach for the Hershey’s Kisses. If you can stop after one or two, the smaller portions will help you prevent that burning feeling of heartburn later.
What Are My Safer Options?
Whether you’re at a Halloween party or simply raiding your kids candy buckets on November 1st, your safer options will include gummy candy, Twizzlers, and candy corn. It can be tempting to go for hard candies or gum because they last longer, but sucking on peppermints or chewing gum can force your body to swallow more air, resulting in heartburn.
Halloween parties and trick-or-treating are the kick off for the holiday season that takes us through the end of the year, so it’s best for your body (and your waistline!) to remember to take it easy when you’re celebrating. If you watch your portion sizes and stick with sugar-based candies as opposed to chocolate and other products high in fat, you should be able to celebrate Halloween without all the tricks.
If you are experiencing heartburn 2-3 times every week, it’s time to be evaluated. Frequent heartburn is often diagnosed as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If Halloween and the upcoming holiday season start causing you pain, make an appointment to see Dr. Islam to discuss how we can help you gain control of your digestion.