R. Morgan Griffin
Louise Chang, MD
The holidays are cruel to our stomachs. Between October and January, our stomachs endure a lot -- Halloween candy, ladle after ladle of gravy, one-too-many flutes of champagne. We pay for that overeating, ending many holiday nights -- bloated, stomach roiling -- with a nightcap of antacid.
This year, break that holiday tradition. Enjoy the holidays, and the food, without the heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea or constipation. This article explains why we suffer digestive problems during the holidays, and then offers six tips to help you avoid tummy trouble.
"The key is to be self-aware," says Tappenden. "You need to plan ahead and stay conscious of how you're eating."
If you didn't follow all that sensible advice above -- and now find yourself bloated and miserable -- these over-the-counter (OTC) medicines might offer some relief.
For most people, the occasional stomachache, a bout of diarrhea, or some holiday heartburn is nothing to worry about. However, if you're having ongoing symptoms, you need to see a doctor.
The worst thing you could do is ignore chronic symptoms, hoping they'll resolve in the new year on their own. That could ruin your holidays with months of pointless and preventable suffering.
SOURCES:John Clarke, MD, assistant professor of medicine, division of gastroenterology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; director of esophageal motility, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.Joel Rosh, MD,director, pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Atlantic Health, Morristown, N.J.; associate professor of pediatrics, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, N.J.Kelly A. Tappenden, PhD, RD,professor of nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; co-chair, nutrition and obesity section, American Gastroenterological Association.American College of Gastroenterology.National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House.
The Health News section does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.