Weekly Health Tip: Digestive Health during the Holidays, Part I

This week's tip comes from the University of Maryland Medical Center, located just a few miles away from Moveable Feast headquarters in east Baltimore.

With the holidays looming, everyone looks forward to sumptious dinners, delicious desserts, and tasty drinks. But sometimes those great foods can lead to some uncomfortable digestive consequences. Follow these tips to avoid any holiday humbugs! 

Come back on Wednesday to see the other four tips!
  1. Don't delay health maintenance. The holidays can be very busy. Nonetheless, it is very important that you keep regularly scheduled appointments with your physician and for lab tests. If you must miss a visit, contact your provider's office to schedule another appointment as soon as possible.
  2. Mind your medications. It is very important that you maintain a regular schedule for your medications. Missing doses can increase symptoms or complications of digestive disorders.
  3. Battle the bulge. Many food eaten over the holidays can worsen digestive symptoms. Beverages or foods that contain alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, peppermint, spearmint, coffee, carbonation, and acidic fruits and vegetables can trigger heartburn or acid reflux.

    A large intake of fluid and/or salt can cause fluid retention in patients with liver disease.

    Caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, acidic fruits and vegetables, spicy foods, and foods high in fiber can worsen diarrhea in patients with Crohn's disease, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome. In patients with Crohn's disease, high fiber foods, such as uncooked vegetables, and dry over-cooked meat can trigger a bout of intestinal obstruction ("blockage"). Avoiding or limiting these foods and beverages can prevent symptoms.

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