The consequences of the Christmas blues

Besides Christmas carols, Christmas trees or nativity scenes, holidays are also part of tradition. An excessive mixture of salt, fat, refined sugar, and alcohol can cause stomach upset, Although in most cases they do not progress further and disappear within a few hours, they can lead to more serious complications.. Embarrassment is the main culprit during these holidays and we must escape it.

Joy, family togetherness, gifts, lights, emotions… Christmas is synonymous with many things, all of which are lovely and can be celebrated with a hearty meal. In many families, this is a time of excess love, but it is also a time of excess calories. Enjoy a business meal with friends or family. These great contributions can provide us with more than 30% to 50% of our body’s daily caloric needs.

In many cases, this excess comes from low-quality fats, sweets and alcoholic beverages, an explosive mixture that can have an impact on body weight – among which Spanish people are most likely to suffer, according to the European Institute for Medicine in Obesity (IMEO). Days gain 3 to 5 kilograms of weight – and digestive system.

3,000 calories in one meal

An analysis conducted by the Spanish Food Science Society (SEDCA) shows that The average Christmas meal provides us with at least 1,100 calories, not including those provided by alcoholic beverages. With the night. In some cases, a single intake reaches 3,000 calories, which is extremely high when you consider that the body requires 1,600 to 2,500 calories per day.

But the abuse doesn’t stop there. Many times, this heat level is not specific and continues the next day.Let’s take the example of Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch, where the menu We consumed three days’ worth of recommended energy in 24 hours. This overeating can have health consequences.

Proving this is During this period, the number of emergencies and hospitalizations typically increases by 25%. According to the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO), the reasons are usually Hypertensive crisis, decompensated diabetes, and various digestive disorders Related to overeating.

As well as causing a host of unpleasant intestinal upsets, a typical Christmas hangover can ruin a party – its symptoms include: Reflux, bloating, abdominal discomfort, and gas—, They can also exacerbate existing digestive problems Problems in people such as reflux, colon allergies, gastritis, or intolerances.

Therefore, digestive experts recommend eating in moderation and avoiding the well-known bloating. If you can’t avoid so many temptations and overindulge in food, there are some tips that can help relieve symptoms.

The consequences of Christmas food glut
image: Getty Images

Pain, swelling, burning, nausea…

“Although emptiness is not a medical term, we generally understand it as the discomfort that occurs after a large meal (a dietary violation in medical terms), e.g. Nausea, abdominal discomfort, and pain in the upper and middle abdomen“said Susana Jiménez, spokesperson of the Spanish Digestive System Foundation (FEAD). These symptoms are somewhat common after a large high-calorie meal and are therefore typical of these dates, whose origin has many factors.

The main cause of discomfort is the stomach over-expanding to accommodate all the extra food we eat. To achieve this distending effect, we must add the irritation and regurgitation (or burning) sensation produced by alcoholic beverages on the stomach wall. This occurs because the stomach needs to produce more acid for digestion, causing the stomach acid to eventually overflow and flow into the esophagus.

most difficult to digest food

“meal Fat, sauce or spicy, contributes to the increase of acid.On the other hand, intake Carbonated drinks It also promotes relaxation of the cardia (entrance to the stomach) and promotes the rise of stomach acid into the esophagus. Additionally, fatty foods can cause delayed gastric emptying, leading to feelings of bloating, discomfort, early satiety, and upper abdominal pain. ” explains digestive system expert Blanca Sampedro.

undoubtedly, In addition to being a complex process, digestion takes time. Generally speaking, it takes 15 to 72 hours to complete, although it depends on each person and whether they have a medical condition.This range is considered normal digestive transit, but sometimes May be hindered or delayed.

Taking toxins, drugs, eating too fast, stress or some psychological disorders can cause it to slow down, but also Very fatty foods or excessive intake of processed foods and sugar.

Hunger feels different than indigestion.

Headache does not affect digestion. “When we eat a heavy meal, digestion does not stop at any time but slows down,” explains Blanca Sampedro. It’s different than when we eat food that’s in poor condition. Gastroenterologist María del Mar Calvo explains: “This causes vomiting of the ingested food, which interferes with digestion and occurs due to an infectious process called gastroenteritis.”

Another distinction that must be noted is that between empty and heavy digestion. Sometimes these terms are confused, but the latter is not necessarily related to eating too much food. Regardless of healthy lifestyle and eating habits, digestive difficulties can be chronic. This is something called indigestion It affects 25% of the total population.

Slow digestion due to emptiness
image: Getty Images

👉Other causes of indigestion

“The same symptoms of discomfort as in Empacho can also occur over a long period of time, even after very light meals. Most cases are due to infection Helicobacter pylori, A bacteria that colonizes the stomach and is involved in its development Chronic gastritis and ulcers”, explained a spokesperson for the Spanish Digestive System Foundation (FEAD).

“Some people may experience chronic delayed gastric emptying due to: diabetes, which affects the nervous system of the stomach, making it difficult to function.There may be another hiatal hernia (Just like the door to the stomach is always open), frequent meals can promote gastroesophageal reflux.At other times, there may be a hypersensitivity reaction This can lead to digestive discomfort from healthy foods. But when these symptoms keep recurring after eating, the most convenient thing to do is to consult a doctor to evaluate and rule out the presence of pathological causes. ” says digestive system expert Blanca Sampedro.

Signs that things are serious

Overeating, as the name suggests, is eating more than your body needs for its own nutrition., it depends on each person. One meal requires definitely three times as many calories. When an occasional violation occurs instead of being repeated, within a day or two, the stomach will regain its function and return it to its previous state, without serious consequences for health, and the symptoms will completely disappear.

“As always, in medicine, What matters is the periodicity Things are done with it. Occasional large intakes generally do not pose health risks, unless large amounts of drugs (including alcohol) are consumed,” recalls digestive system expert María del Mar Calvo.

it is also considered Risk factors for cardiovascular problems —especially due to the excessive salt intake in these meals— or diabetesbecause these foods raise blood sugar levels, decompensation may occur if the disease is not well controlled or unknown.

It must also be considered that in the human stomach people of the third age And in you drink They can hold much less food, so overstuffing them during the holidays can cause severe discomfort, including disturbed sleep. Additionally, the stomach pain and vomiting that can follow hunger pangs are always more dangerous if they occur in older adults or young children, as they are at greater risk of dehydration or other complications.

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