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Know the dangers of overeating during Thanksgiving

Eating too much food or drinking too much alcohol could land you in the ER.

SAN ANTONIO — The holidays are all about friends, family, and food. Over the holiday season, people gain an average of six to eight pounds. 

Here are some ways to avoid this and avoid ending up sick from too much food or drink.

"If we approach the holidays with a what we like to say, sane mindset, we can simply choose the holiday foods that aren't going to make us feel terrible and also won't make us look any different or any more like Santa Claus," Jonathan Bailor, the CEO and founder of Sane Solution says. 

The more you eat and drink, the more acid you produce. That acid travels up the esophagus causing heartburn. Big meals slow digestion which causes that bloated gassy feeling you might get. 

The body needs more blood to process the food so it sends in to your gastrointestinal tract. Less blood means less oxygen to other parts of your body making you tired. And when you pig out on desserts your blood sugar rises, insulin is released, and you get an energy spike, which is usually followed by a crash.

"Consider your portion sizes. I think that's one of the big things. Take your time to enjoy it," Dr. Ralph Riviello, the Chairman of Emergency Medicine in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and head of the Emergency Department with University Health said. 

To help keep the pounds from piling on exercise. Go for a walk or a jog after eating the big meal. Forget fasting. That messes with your metabolism and actually stores more calories. Take small portions and try to fill up on meats. Skip seconds, and have a small piece of pie. Finally think before you pour too many drinks. 

"Holiday heart is a condition where you could get an irregular heartbeat, something called atrial fibrillation, and it's actually due to increased drinking," Dr. Riviello said.

"If you can eat so much turkey, and so much ham, and so many sweet potatoes, and so many of those green beans, maybe you have a sliver of pie simply because you're too full. There's no willpower involved, and you'll have a happy holiday," Bailor added.  

Recently Methodist Hospital launched a heartburn and reflux program. You can check it out here: https://sahealth.com/specialties/heartburn-and-reflux?location=methodist-hospital-metropolitan

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