At this time of year, every week there seems to either be an event, a holiday or even a planned trip during which acid reflux really needs to stay in check. Just because we have a celebration or vacation of some sort doesn’t mean we can forget about our health. When we take care of our health, all the festivity is remembered with positive thoughts, rather than, “It was a great event, but I felt so sick afterward from my heartburn.”

August for many people is a time for vacation. It’s the end of summer and many couples, families and friends want to get their last bit of time off before schools start and the new fiscal year begins. Vacations should be about de-stressing. Stress is a significant factor in acid reflux.

While stress doesn’t necessarily cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it exacerbates it. Stress can affect gut functions, and people who suffer from a lot of anxiety find it to be a common trigger. So how can we make vacations less anxiety-ridden?

Try making a packing list in advance, which reduces worry about forgetting things on the trip. For instance, if you’ll be traveling by plane, do you have travel-size toiletries? Have you changed some currency if you are going out of the country? Do you have the right travel apps downloaded? Have you arranged for pet care in advance?

Vacations often mean changed eating patterns, including eating later so you can get a full day of activities in.  A good tip to keep in mind is not lie down for at least 2-3 hours after eating. To help reduce stress, learn how to meditate, even if it’s for just 5-10 minutes daily. Put on your headset and listen to your favorite songs. Get a book from your must-read pile and get lost in the adventure. These are just some suggestions to help you enjoy your vacation as stress-free as possible, and ease your GERD woes.

Susan Berman, Med, CHHC, works with health conscious individuals to help heal their acid reflux or GERD. Connect at 860-670-4152, or