Don’t overeat at holiday dinner

By: Dr. Duane Worley, Special to The News Messenger
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After seconds or even thirds of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, your stomach may begin to make some strange noises. When are those noises something to worry about? You may be surprised to learn that those gurgling noises coming from your mid-section don’t actually come from the stomach. They are generated by the intestines when food particles, gas and other substances move from one end to the other. A gentle rumble is usually considered normal functioning. But overindulging during the holidays can cause additional discomfort. When you are overfull, your stomach and intestines can have trouble digesting what you’ve eaten. Although too much of any food can cause pain, diarrhea and loud noises, these symptoms may be exacerbated during the holidays because it’s a time when we often indulge in a lot of rich foods that we don’t eat at other times of the year. Overeating during the holidays can also lead to heartburn or trigger the more serious gastroesophageal reflux disease. Heartburn is a feeling of burning, warmth, heat or pain that often starts in the upper abdomen just beneath the lower breastbone. This discomfort may spread in waves upward into the throat and may also cause a sour taste in the mouth. If you experience continued heartburn or heartburn with other symptoms, such as hoarseness, tightness in the throat, wheezing, asthma, or bad breath, make an appointment to see your physician. You may be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can only be diagnosed by a physician. Once diagnosed, gastroesophageal reflux disease may be treated with prescription medications. Duane Worley is a Sutter Medical Group doctor.