14 Dec 2018

Gastro Problems - Christmas

It’s coming up to Christmas and party season can start to take its toll. Overindulgence can put a lot of strain on the digestive system. This can lead to the usual Christmas side effects of bloating, indigestion and constipation. Remember the flash-backs to the entire selection box you put away in one sitting? These side effects are particularly prominent at this time of year because most of the foods that are eaten are all high fat and high sugar.

Foods which are high in fat are harder to digest. Fats generally slow gut motility, meaning that the more fat that you eat, the slower your body can pass them through. The sugar that is then eaten ferments in the gut causing lots of gas, sort of like how that Christmas Prosecco gets its fizz! This combination can make us feel extremely bloated and can have knock-on effects - Indigestion and Heartburn

How can we avoid the Christmas bloat?

The best way to avoid the Christmas bloat is to avoid eating a lot of food at one sitting. Eating little and often is the best way to keep it at bay.

Solgar’s Digestive Enzymes tablets are a blend of natural enzymes, herbs and plant extracts to help support the body’s natural digestive processes. They help break down proteins, carbohydrates, starches and fats and can help reduce bloating and indigestion after eating.

Taking a daily probiotic will help your stomach prepare for the destruction of the good bacteria that is likely to follow by eating a high fat and sugar diet over Christmas. A healthy gut flora is vital for good digestion - the Christmas “diet” and little sleep that comes with the territory of the party season reduces the diversity and the total amount of bacteria in the gut at this time of year. Alflorex precision probiotic is an excellent choice. It has been shown in clinical trials to reduce bloating, gas, abdominal pain and unpredictable bowel movements.

Trapped gas contributes to bloating and cardiovascular exercise helps move this gas. Go out for a walk after dinner or even dig out the Wii-Fit that Santa brought a few years earlier!

Colpermin peppermint oil capsules can help improve digestive health and relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. Peppermint oil is also considered a carminative agent, which means that it is used to eliminate excess gas in the intestines.

Indigestion and Heartburn

Avoid spicy, acidic and fatty food. These foods are most commonly reported to cause Heartburn and Indigestion. If you can’t over Christmas there are a few remedies that you can buy from the Pharmacy which can help.

Nexium Control works by limiting the amount of acid your stomach produces, helping prevent heartburn. It does this without affecting your ability to digest food and drink. It provides 24-hour protection from heartburn and acid reflux. This will allow you to feel confident in going out for food and drink over the festive period.

Gaviscon Liquid Relief brings fast, soothing and long lasting relief from the pain and discomfort of heartburn and acid indigestion. Gaviscon works by forming a protective barrier on top of the stomach contents soon after it has made contact with the stomach acid. The raft acts as a strong physical barrier and helps to keep stomach contents in the stomach where they belong and not in the food pipe where they hurt.

Don’t hesitate to visit your local Hickey’s Pharmacy for further advice.