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Last modified / updated Jan. 01, 2016

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Digestive and Urinary Tracts

Avoiding heartburn - Here are tips for prevention:
  • Eat smaller meals - Too much food expands your stomach and puts pressure on a band of muscle
  • Avoid alcohol, fatty foods, chocolate, spearmint and peppermint These foods promote upward flow of stomach contents.
  • Don't eat before sleeping
  • Wait two to three hours after eating before lying down. This allows enough time for increased stomach acid produced after a meal to taper off and for the stomach to empty from that meal.
  • Stop smoking - The nicotine from cigarettes can relax your lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to flow back into your esophagus.
  • Lose excess weight - Slimming down if you are overweight helps reduce the pressure your abdomen puts on your stomach when you are lying down.
  • Wear loose clothes - A tight belt or waist band can put pressure on your stomach.
  • Elevate the head of your bed - Raise the head of your bed four to six inches. This helps keep stomach acid in your stomach, where it belongs.
  • Limit gassy foods
  • Eat fewer fatty foods - Fatty meats, fried foods, cream sauces and gravies tend to increase gas and bloating, it can contribute to unwanted weight gain.

    Preventing constipation - Don't skip your meals, regularly scheduled meals promote regular bowel function.

  • Eat high-fiber foods - fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains at every meal.
  • Drink plenty of fluids - Drink eight or more glasses of liquid daily in the form of water, juice, milk, tea or soup.
  • Increase your physical activity - Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise such as walking.
  • Answer the urge - When you feel the urge to go, Don't delay. Holding a bowel movement can foster constipation.