Later bedtime after meal may ease heartburn
If you suffer from acid reflux disease, you may be going to bed too soon after your evening meal.
A shorter dinner-to-bed interval is significantly associated with an increased risk of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, according to researchers in Japan.
“It is generally recommended that patients with GERD refrain from eating within three hours of going to sleep,” Dr. Yasuhiro Fujiwara and colleagues from Osaka City University note in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
However, they point out, “In addition to a remarkable lack of supporting clinical evidence, whether GERD patients have shorter dinner-to-bed time is unknown.”
To investigate, the researchers used a questionnaire to assess the time between finishing dinner and going to bed among 147 GERD patients and 294 matched “controls” without GERD symptoms during the previous year.
A significant association was seen between shorter dinner-to-bed time and an increased risk of GERD. Participants who went to be bed within three hours after eating were 7.45 times more likely to suffer from heartburn as those whose dinner-to-bed time was four hours or longer.
Based on these findings, Fujiwara’s team says the next step will be to see if going to bed more than three hours after eating can reduce or improve symptoms in people who have GERD.
SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, December 2005.
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