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Eat out with heartburn

Sixty million Americans suffer from some sort of heartburn. The problem is the valve between the stomach and the esophagus doesn't close correctly and acid backs up. Just because you have heartburn and have to adjust your diet doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying restaurant food. You just have to learn how to order.

So many restaurants. So many options. That is, unless you have heartburn. George Lobien has been living with heartburn for seventeen years. Despite being on medication, there are still foods he can't eat.

"Peppers or garlic or a lot of onions or even tomato," said George Lobien, heartburn sufferer, who, over the years, has learned to adjust his lifestyle.

Doctor David Peura says the key is knowing what to look for and how to order.

"Well, Italian food often times tends to be very spicy, especially tomato based sauces. Pasta is very good if it's in a simple sauce," said David Peura, M.D., gastroenterologist, University of Virginia.

"Here's a garlic cream sauce. I would probably ask to see if I could have a different sauce," said David Peura, M.D.

"The key is that your meat should be as lean as possible. It's really the fat content that delays the emptying."

"Salads are always good. If you're really concerned always get your dressing on the side," said Dr. Peura, M.D.

Mexican sounds risky but you have options.

"Avoid a lot of, for instance, extra cheeses. Even if you're going to order salsa, get the mild salsa," said David Peura, M.D.

"But remember that the Mexican rice, the black beans, may have some heartburn after effects," said Dr. Peura.

George has learned how to live with his condition and even enjoy it.

"And I feel as if I'm now much more sensitive to the taste of the food." And his wife, pat, helps him stick to it.

Doctor Peura also says to stay away from fried or sautéed food and stick to grilled or broiled. Also, people with heartburn should avoid citrus drinks and limit their alcohol intake.