Many people suffer from heartburn and take a medication to manage the symptoms. Heartburn is one of the most misunderstood conditions; many attribute the painful burning sensation they feel to too much stomach acid. While this can be the problem for some, for most the problem is the sphincter (think of it like a swinging door) that separates the esophagus and the stomach is too floppy. This can happen for many reasons: some medications, smoking, pregnancy, poor food hygiene (not chewing enough, eating while rushed, drinking water during meals), and some foods, namely citrus, caffeine, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate, carbonated beverages, peppermint just to name a few.

In addition to reducing known food offenders in your diet, another effective dietary strategy to manage reflux is a low carbohydrate diet. For some, adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to water and drinking 20 minutes before meals can also be helpful. Contact your doctor for individualized recommendations based on your symptoms and health goals.

This health tip brought to you by Dr. Kristina Roberts, a board certified naturopathic doctor practicing integrative and individualized primary care medicine at Lokahi Health Center in Kona. For more information, call 808-329-2114 or email [email protected]