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December 23, 2016

Navigate the Holiday Season: 3 Tips to Avoid Common Stomach Issues

Can you believe it’s that time of year again?

The time of year kicks off a holiday season full of opportunities for parties that celebrate friends, family and yes, food. Even with all of the festive cheer and good will, the holidays are notorious for food-related illnesses that can appear in otherwise healthy individuals – issues like indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea and more.

A lot of these conditions can spring from over-indulging in food and alcohol because even though an upset stomach is unappealing, so is missing out on all of the festivities. Fortunately, the team behind San Francisco Gastroenterology is on your side.

We’ve prepared three essential tips you can use to avoid common stomach issues this holiday season.

Acknowledge Fullness.

We’re all familiar with that uncomfortably full feeling – you’ve eaten far too much food and now you’re bloated, maybe a little nauseous and definitely regretting that second helping of dessert. Luckily, you can avoid this unpleasant feeling easily by simply taking note of when you are truly full versus when you just can’t eat another bite. The former is your body’s natural limit for food consumption, and the latter is when you have eaten too much.

If you are unsure you are truly full or not while you still feel well, try waiting 15 minutes before eating anything else. If you are still hungry, then it’s okay to eat more. However, if you find you are no longer hungry, there’s no need to keep eating.

Practice Sampling.

Holiday parties are famous for huge spreads of heavy foods and desserts that are much higher in calories, fats and sugar than we normally consume. For those without existing health issues, it’s probably not an issue to indulge a little bit, but instead of piling your plate with large amounts of your favorites, try sampling instead. Sampling smaller quantities of a wider variety of foods can help keep your food intake under control, and breaking up the types of foods you’re eating can also keep you in check.

Have A Plan.

Sometimes even when you keep an eye on what and how much you eat, things can still take a turn and you can end up feeling unwell. Trying new foods prepared outside of your own kitchen can potentially lead to a bad reaction if something doesn’t agree with your digestive system. In situations like these, it’s best to have a plan already in place. If you know you’re prone to heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, etc., talk to your gastroenterologist beforehand about your symptoms or make sure that you have any medications needed on hand.