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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Dominika Wilk

Whether we like it or not, overeating during the holidays gets us every year. That is why it is worth learning now how you can relieve an overcrowded stomach and how to reduce the feeling of heaviness that occurs after a meal.

It's not difficult to overeat during the holidays. Food variety and celebrating meals with the family can contribute to digestive problems. No wonder, because each of us would like to try a little bit of each dish. What to do if you overeat? Can it be avoided on holidays?

Heavy stomach

The stomach is the first organ to feel the effects of overeating. Heaviness, the pain of having too much food pushing up the walls of your stomach, and the feeling of overfilling making your food slide back down your throat - these are just some of the highlights of the festive gluttony. When this type of situation occurs, there is no way out: we need to starve ourselves a bit.

Our stomach needs time to digest the food we have provided it abundantly. If we try to force it to empty it, there is no chance. We will only make ourselves suffer. A soothing effect can be achieved by drinking an infusion of mint (provided that you do not suffer from heartburn) or chamomile, which has soothing properties.

In addition, it will be useful to support the work of the stomach with digestive enzymes - but it only makes sense if we eat them with a meal.


We all experience gas, at least once in a while, in our intestines.

However, during the holidays this phenomenon is significantly multiplied. This is because we eat too much food and take too little breaks between meals, and this results in over-fermentation of the food and gas formation.

In addition, we eat more greedily when we eat - we talk in company, laugh, which makes us swallow more air than usual. It also contributes to the intensification of the intestinal gas phenomenon.

In order to avoid flatulence during the holidays, we should take care of our digestive tract by eating carefully and carefully chewing every bite. If we are the one who prepares the food, make sure you have enough spices to facilitate digestion, e.g.Add marjoram, coriander or cinnamon to the food.

Before eating, let's drink mint drops to help digestion, and during the meal, let's take digestive enzymes to help break down the food. If we know that we have problems with the pancreas, we can take pancreatin, drinking St. John's wort right after a meal will be good for liver problems, chamomile infusion will help with problems with the intestines or stomach.

If we already have gas and feel uncomfortable with a large belly, and additionally experience an unpleasant stinging in our side, let's go for a walk. Movement will stimulate the intestinal peristalsis and at the same time relax it, allowing the food to "settle" in the intestines.

If that doesn't help, we can put a hot water bottle on the sore stomach. The heat flowing from it will relax our stomach and bring us relief. Pharmacy products that absorb excess gases from the intestines, e.g. simethicone, and drotaverine relaxants will also be useful.


Constipation is a difficulty in defecation, which causes the bowel movements to be less frequent, e.g. once every 3 days or are regular, but the bowel movement is compact, "mushy", which means that the stool has stayed in the large intestine for too long and excessive water absorption from the stool.

Constipation can also be functional, which means that with proper bowel passage, you may have a problem with defecation. This is because of a sedentary lifestyle, little physical activity, or eating foods that are low in fiber. Also, drinking too little fluid will contribute to constipation.

Very often, especially on public holidays, when we move little and eat a lot, we may have temporary constipation problems.

This is due, on the one hand, to eating low-fiber foods, e.g. a lot of meat, cakes, and drinking dehydrating drinks, e.g. coffee. This type of food tends to stay in the intestines, especially if it is accompanied by many hours of sitting at the table, lying on the couch in front of the TV.

We don't move, so automatically the bowel motility slows down. On top of that, there are also matters of the psyche: we visit family and friends, so we do not allow ourselves to freely use the toilet. We subconsciously stop our natural defecation reflexes, and this translates into the problem of constipation.

In order to improve the intestinal passage during the holidays, we need to move a little. So let's plan a walk after Christmas dinner, or at least a series of exercises in the evening or in the morning, which will allow our body to relax the muscles and internal organs that are pressed while sitting. Besides, let's remember aboutdrinking enough fluids.

In the case of digestive problems, warm, boiled water will be perfect, as it will soothe the digestive system. When we feel that we have a belly like a balloon and we have not visited the toilet for 3 days, we can use pharmaceutical agents with a gentle laxative effect, e.g. lactulose.

Lactulose is a sugar that is not absorbed in the digestive tract, and in the large intestine it decomposes into lactic and acetic acid, which acidifies the intestinal environment and stimulates its peristalsis.

Lactulose, however, does not have an immediate purging effect, as for example senna. You have to wait a day for it to work, but it is a safe measure that is given even to infants. A faster-acting agent is bisacodyl, which acts directly on the nerve plexuses of the colon mucosa.

After taking it, you can expect a bowel movement within 6-12 hours. For one-time treatment of constipation, sodium picosulfate or senna are also recommended.

Discomfort or pain felt in the liver

Although the liver does not hurt, we can feel the effects of overeating through the feeling of discomfort in the right hypochondrium. Liver problems can also be indicated by nausea after a fatty and sweet meal.

If that's the case, let's put aside the fifth piece of cheesecake and try to relieve the liver a little. Relief will be provided by drinking an infusion of St. John's wort, as well as a mixture of herbs from:

  • artichoke,
  • mint,
  • milk thistle,
  • dandelion.

They will support the secretion of bile, which will facilitate digestion and make us breathe a sigh of relief after a heavy meal.

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