End the Christmas… and the gastronomic excesses. We talk about nougat, marzipan, roscones or roasts. In short, foods high in sugar and fat that can take a toll on our health.
Dr. Jorge Ángel, member of the Spanish Society of Health and Integrative Medicine (SESMI), warns that after Christmas, that is, at the beginning of the year, is when more diagnoses of food intolerances emerge.
The copious meals typical of these dates can cause abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or diarrhea, which can also be a sign of an unrecognized food intolerance.
“Patients come to consultation because they can not get rid of these digestive discomfort,” emphasizes the doctor.
How to distinguish between a food intolerance and a simple indigestion?
Food intolerances they often go unnoticed because their symptoms are very similar to those of simple indigestion, and that is why they are difficult to diagnose.
A high percentage of the population has mild intolerances to certain foods.
«There are scientific studies that indicate that the prevalence of food intolerances can reach a staggering 90 percent«, Says the doctor, who points out among the most frequent intolerance to lactose, fructose and gluten.
Give the digestive system a break
That’s why it’s important pay attention to digestive health after the holidays.
«Beyond the extra kilos that we have gained at this time, it is important return to a more balanced diet as soon as possible and distance the meals from each other, to give a rest to the digestive system, “says the doctor.
What are digestive enzymes and how do they help the gastrointestinal system?
Digestive enzymes are produced and secreted by the gastrointestinal system to break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates, to achieve digestion and, subsequently, the absorption of nutrients.
However, over the years the production of enzymes decreases, which makes proper nutrition difficult, especially if there are intolerances.
Therefore, in these cases, a digestive enzyme supplementation It can be helpful.
“For example, a lifelong gluten-free diet can bring difficulties, and avoiding it altogether is problematic, since supposedly ‘gluten-free’ foods can contain it. That’s when these types of supplements prove their usefulness, “he explains.
When should I be concerned?
In the case of Christmas banquets, when the feeling of heaviness and discomfort last beyond a couple of weeks It is time to go to a health professional and investigate if there may be a food intolerance.
“Too often you try to calm symptoms without further investigating the causes,” he adds. For example, it is common to resort to antacid medications.
“They are the most prescribed drugs in these cases, without even assessing whether we are dealing with a simple digestive discomfort or a more fundamental problem,” criticizes the doctor.
At the same time, he continues, «should be carried out additional tests, such as analytics to identify possible intolerances, or therapeutic tests avoiding the foods of which we suspect and assess if the symptoms remit ».