Skip to main content

Mansfield Magazine

Tips for Reducing Summertime Digestive Disorders from a Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Doctor

May 31, 2017 11:05AM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

Tame the Flame 

By Angel Biasatti

 

Summer camp, swim practice, sports leagues and vacations can fill up a summer schedule, but these welcomed changes in routine and diet can also trigger all sorts of gastrointestinal ailments — from occasional heartburn to traveler’s diarrhea.

“Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid the discomfort of these common problems,” says gastroenterologist Muhammad Memon, MD, on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are fairly common complaints, but fortunately they can be avoided by eating the right foods. “In general, eating foods that are high in fiber and easily digestible can reduce or help you avoid heartburn and GERD,” says Memon.

 

Here are some of the doctor’s favorites.

Bananas are a great source of potassium, low in acid, and easy to digest. Take some with you for an on-the-go snack and incorporate them into recipes and desserts.

For being so low in fat and calories, lettuce packs a powerful punch loaded with fiber and vitamins and minerals.

Another high-fiber powerhouse is rice. Pair it with your favorite entrée or mix in any combination of vegetables, beans, and lean meat for the main course. It is easy to digest and will tame the flame of frequent heartburn.

Beans are a good source of fiber and protein, and they’re a cost-effective staple that won’t ignite heartburn. Pair them with vegetables and rice for a well-rounded, filling meal.

Feeling sluggish? Granola and oatmeal’s high fiber content will get your digestive system moving. Start your morning with a serving of oatmeal and fresh fruit, or snack on granola and dried fruit for an afternoon pick-me-up.

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, pasta offers a hardy option — just stay away from the acidic toppings like tomatoes and garlic, which are harder to digest. Instead toss your pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs like basil, then add your choice of veggies and lean meats.

Poultry and fish are easy on the stomach — just remember to remove the fatty skin and avoid pairing with citrus, which can aggravate heartburn. These versatile proteins can be baked, broiled, sautéed or grilled with fresh herbs and spices for a healthy, delicious meal.

While there’s no magic bullet to preventing GERD and heartburn all of the time, Memon suggests eating until you are just barely satisfied — not stuffed. He also suggests limiting caffeine, fatty and fried foods, chocolate and peppermint, which can be hard to digest, as well as avoiding snacks before bedtime. He cautions adventurous eaters: “Eating exotic foods can be a prime trigger for aggravating your GERD and heartburn symptoms.” 

If you think your bellyaches are due to gas, limiting foods that can cause bloating and belching can help. These include carbonated sodas, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, beans and dairy products, as you may be lactose intolerant, as well as gum and hard candy. “Always take your time when eating, and drink slowly so that you don’t swallow air,” says Memon.

If constipation is a problem, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and eat more fiber. “Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day and men about 38 grams,” he says. “It can also help to get more exercise.”

By far, one of the most uncomfortable stomach ailments to avoid this summer is what is commonly called traveler’s diarrhea, an ailment caused by E Coli.

“Traveler’s diarrhea occurs when a person consumes infected food or water. While it’s rarely dangerous, it can make for a very unpleasant vacation,” says Memon. To avoid this malady while you’re traveling abroad:

Stick to fruits and vegetables that you peel yourself, and refrain from eating those that are raw.

Don’t consume raw, rare or undercooked meat or fish. If meat or shellfish isn’t hot when it’s served, don’t eat it.

Drink bottled water instead of tap water. Avoid ice made with tap water and don’t brush your teeth with tap water.

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the restroom.

From adventurous outings to lazy afternoons, summer is a time to break from your routine. Following these tips for maintaining a healthy digestive system can help to ensure you enjoy it all. 

 

Angel Biasatti is director of community and public relations for Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Mansfield Magazine's free newsletter to get regular updates



Embed this content on your website

Embed
Wellness, In Print, Today health and wellness
  • CEDAR HILL LIONS & LEO ALPHA CLUB Invites you to the Cedar Hill Lions Charities, Inc. Annual Sh...


  • Barks & Rec Running Club - February

    02/24/2018
    08:00AM — 09:00AM

    Get in shape and make a difference to a four-legged friend! Our new running program consists of s...


  • Teen VideoFest 2018

    02/24/2018
    08:00AM

    ATTENTION TEENS - Teen VideoFest 2018 is here! Teen VideoFest, a project of Tarrant County Public...


  • Rot in Time for Spring

    02/24/2018
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Spring is approaching, and it’s time to get our gardens in shape. Backyard composting is a gr...


  • Giddens Gallery of Fine Art in Grapevine FEATURED ARTIST Linda Smith - "Let Nature Sing" Linda...


  • Country Line Dance (18Y+)

    02/24/2018
    10:00AM

    If you like the Nashville new country sound, come join us and move to the beat of some of the lat...


  • Badges and Books

    02/24/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Fun for all ages. Come meet the officers of your Grand Prairie Police Department. This is a great...


  • Brunch Time!

    02/24/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Zoologists of all ages are welcome to observe our resident critters tackling their Brunch every S...


  • Movie Matinee

    02/24/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Join us for a movie matinee at Mansfield Public Library. No registration required and program is ...


  • Pokemon League

    02/24/2018
    04:00PM — 08:00PM

    Pokémon League is a fun and accessible way for Pokémon fans to get together with other fans and h...


  • Winter Wildlife

    02/24/2018
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Where do the pests go in the winter time? Craig Cantrell of Proactive Pest Services gives us the ...


  • Tickets can be purchased at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, www.ticketma...


  • Night Hike

    02/24/2018
    06:30PM — 08:00PM

    Come enjoy Oliver Nature Park and learn about the wonders of nature on a guided hike with a Natur...


  • Eat Your Art Out

    02/24/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Pastry & dessert sculptures from some of DFW's most creative bakeries, restaurants and individual...


  • Go green this February in honor of everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek! Kids of all ages will love se...


  • SHOUT! The Mod Musical

    02/24/2018
    08:00PM — 09:00PM

    Grand Prairie Arts Council presents SHOUT! The Mod Musical In the intimate setting of the Up...


  • Teen VideoFest 2018

    02/25/2018
    08:00AM

    ATTENTION TEENS - Teen VideoFest 2018 is here! Teen VideoFest, a project of Tarrant County Public...


  • CAKE POP CLASS for kids!

    02/25/2018
    10:00AM

    We are excited to announce our CAKE POP CLASS for kids! This class is for kids ages 6 to 12 y...


  • Southern Harmony

    02/25/2018
    07:00PM

    Join the Mansfield Wind Symphony for an evening of music featuring songs from the South. Progra...


  • Go green this February in honor of everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek! Kids of all ages will love se...


  • SHOUT! The Mod Musical

    02/25/2018
    08:00PM — 09:00PM

    Grand Prairie Arts Council presents SHOUT! The Mod Musical In the intimate setting of the Up...


  • DFW Solar Awareness Day

    02/26/2018
    12:00AM

    Hello! We are putting together a day for solar awareness in the DFW area! Talk to your friends...


  • Teen VideoFest 2018

    02/26/2018
    08:00AM

    ATTENTION TEENS - Teen VideoFest 2018 is here! Teen VideoFest, a project of Tarrant County Public...


  • Teen VideoFest 2018

    02/27/2018
    08:00AM

    ATTENTION TEENS - Teen VideoFest 2018 is here! Teen VideoFest, a project of Tarrant County Public...


  • For teens in grades 6-12. Registration required. Learn the basics of 3D Design using TinkerCA...


  • Teen VideoFest 2018

    02/28/2018
    08:00AM

    ATTENTION TEENS - Teen VideoFest 2018 is here! Teen VideoFest, a project of Tarrant County Public...


  • Little Naturalist

    02/28/2018
    10:30AM — 11:15AM

    Animal Antics- Children ages 3‐5 will learn about nature through discovery. We will read, sing, c...


  • Please join us at III Forks in Dallas for our next dinner series, An Evening with Patriots on Feb...


  • Faces & Places Art Exhibition

    02/23/2018
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    Featuring the works of David L. Wright, Sr. Residency at The Center presents a new art exhibit...


  • Go green this February in honor of everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek! Kids of all ages will love se...


  • Country Line Dance (18Y+)

    02/24/2018
    10:00AM

    If you like the Nashville new country sound, come join us and move to the beat of some of the lat...


  • Eat Your Art Out

    02/24/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Pastry & dessert sculptures from some of DFW's most creative bakeries, restaurants and individual...


  • CAKE POP CLASS for kids!

    02/25/2018
    10:00AM

    We are excited to announce our CAKE POP CLASS for kids! This class is for kids ages 6 to 12 y...


  • Southern Harmony

    02/25/2018
    07:00PM

    Join the Mansfield Wind Symphony for an evening of music featuring songs from the South. Progra...


  • SHOUT! The Mod Musical

    02/25/2018
    08:00PM — 09:00PM

    Grand Prairie Arts Council presents SHOUT! The Mod Musical In the intimate setting of the Up...


  • Little Naturalist

    02/28/2018
    10:30AM — 11:15AM

    Animal Antics- Children ages 3‐5 will learn about nature through discovery. We will read, sing, c...


 

Image title
Mansfield Area High School Sports

Community Champions