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Senior Health Week: Acid Reflux - Ulcers
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Acid Reflux - Ulcer News:

Guide Helps Patients Choose Foods That Will Not Trigger Heartburn

The National Heartburn Alliance (NHBA) has developed a new guide to help patients choose foods to eat that will not trigger their heartburn symptoms.

A recent survey by the NHBA, a group of healthcare professionals dedicated to providing heartburn education, showed that 92 percent of frequent heartburn sufferers report that food is the primary cause of their digestive discomfort.

To help heartburn sufferers stay away from troublesome foods and beverages, the NHBA has developed the Stop and Select Guide to help prevent heartburn before it starts.

"Good digestive health is largely related to what we eat," said Pat Baird, NHA board member and nutritionist. "The NHBA's "Stop and Select Guide" offers sufferers one option that can help prevent frequent heartburn by providing quick visual cues of a food's potential to trigger outbreaks."

The guide assigns a color code to a variety of foods and beverages based on their acidic value, fat content, ability to decrease the lower esophageal sphincter tone and/or increase acid secretion. Patients can then determine the likelihood of a heartburn episode based on the color code of foods consumed.

Using the familiar symbol of a traffic light, foods are coded red to "stop and reconsider the choice," yellow to "consume with discretion" and green for foods that are safe to eat without worry of causing heartburn symptoms.

Also, the guide has foods listed by the standard USDA Food Pyramid food groupings, giving patients an easy point of reference when grocery shopping, cooking at home or eating out.

"Heartburn sufferers need not eliminate all of their favorite foods to avoid digestive discomfort, just those that make them 'see red,'" said Baird. "So you may want to skip the french fries and opt for fat-free potato chips instead."

To obtain a free copy of the NHBA "Stop and Select Guide," call (toll-free) (877) 471-2081.

Source: Medical Week staff, week of June 16, 2002



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