Make smart choices to speed up digestion, prevent acidity and stay hydrated this Eid
2 June 2019| Last updated on 2 June 2019
After the routine of fasting during daylight hours, many people fall victim to overeating at Eid and suffering from stomach problems such as gastritis, acid reflux, stomach ache, inability to sleep due to heartburn and even vomiting.
During Ramadan, the digestive system adjusts to the change in eating hours and patterns. Likewise, the digestive system takes some time to readjust after Ramadan. Moreover, lots of people are celebrating with family and friends and may overindulge in the variety of dishes available. Eating in moderation and avoiding sugary, fried and fatty food is key to avoiding the adverse effects of breaking the fasting routine.
Overindulging in calorie-dense delicacies that upset your digestive system can have serious long-term implications, especially if it becomes a habit.
The jolt in metabolism can be too much for your body to process when people overeat sugary foods, causing the body to overproduce insulin to process the increased sugar.
Excess carbohydrates will be converted into fat and stored in the body, and if this isn’t used as energy it can lead to weight gain. Carbohydrate overload can include fruit juices, desserts, sweets and cakes. For diabetics, eating sugary foods can lead to serious health complications and gastric disturbances, meaning they have to rush to the doctor.
The excess release of insulin can also result in reactive hypoglycemia, because the body is suddenly facing a high carb-load, so the excess insulin results in a subsequent blood sugar drop. The drop in blood sugar can result in mood swings, irritability and increased hunger and the urge to eat to carbohydrates, resulting in a vicious cycle.
It is thought that the body takes 21 days to acclimatise to lifestyle patterns.
So after around 30 days of fasting during Ramadan, the body will be used to fasting from sunrise to sunset. After Eid, your body now needs to disturb that pattern adjust to your new eating pattern. This can lead to indigestion, acidity and gastroesophageal reflux, as well as hormonal and metabolic changes.
To avoid a trip to the doctor with stomach upset, make sure you:
- Set a sensible eating plan for the week after Ramadan – eat 5 to 6 light meals a day
- Drink warm water with lemon juice to alkalize your body and cleanse your digestive system
- Have a light breakfast and avoid sugary drinks in the morning
- Consume healthy probiotics to replenish your gut flora
- Avoid spicy, fried or fatty foods
- Stay hydrated and help the body flush out toxins – have 2.5L water a day. Stay clear of sugary drinks
- Try and stay away from buffets to avoid overeating
- After the first week, gradually increase portion sizes
DR. ZAINEB SABRI
Specialist Internal Medicine
Medcare Hospital Sharjah