Post-Thanksgiving Planning for Patients
It is almost that time of year again, when even your most diligent patients enjoy food and drink outside of their daily regimens. While it can be expected that this is a temporary deviation, you may find more patients requesting your expertise for digestive complaints from over-eating rich food and drink, as well as a detoxification protocol once the holidays are over. By preparing nutritional support recommendations now, based on common patient requests for this time of year, you can help them recover from Thanksgiving and beyond.
More Fat, More Dyspepsia
The increased consumption of dietary fats during the holidays--especially long-chain triglycerides--have been demonstrated to contribute to dyspeptic symptoms such as fullness, nausea, and suppression of hunger.1 Studies have indicated that lipids are a main trigger of these symptoms,1 with fatty foods increasing postprandial cholecystokinin (CCK), a major factor in the mediation of effects of lipids on gastrointestinal sensations.1
Addressing symptoms with a lower-fat diet may alleviate dyspeptic symptoms, but in the case of “holiday feasting,” your patients may require additional support of the gastrointestinal system and the onslaught of fatty, sugary foods and alcoholic beverages. Consider utilizing digestive enzymes supplied through ingredients such as barley grass to help relieve stomach and digestive discomforts; spearmint to calm digestive function; pomegranate to assist with elimination; and garden thyme to encourage balanced saliva production to aid digestion.
Recommending a detoxification program
Because the holiday season runs from Thanksgiving through the New Year (and a few weeks thereafter), patients who indulge may ask for a detoxification program to help them eliminate toxic burden from their bodies. An elimination diet that removes grains, gluten, and other ingredients that may trigger the immune response, can be a part of a program that includes nutritional support for detoxification pathways. Supplementation with trace minerals, dietary sulphur in the form of taurine and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and epsom salts may help increase bile production, as well as support phase II detoxification by promoting the liver’s natural ability to remove toxins.
Additional support for holiday stress
In addition to the overconsumption of rich foods and alcohol, the rush of the holiday season can place a great deal of stress on your patients and tax the adrenal glands. Adrenal hormones cortisol and adrenaline may reach elevated levels, leading to symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue, as well as cravings that perpetuate the cycle of holiday overindulgence. Adrenal support using bovine extract may be recommended as an adjuvant treatment to support patients through the holidays and into the new year.
Recommendations for nutritional support of the gastrointestinal and adrenal systems, as well as a detoxification program, should be based on individual patient needs. While some patients will adhere to good eating habits over the holidays, others may indulge and find themselves in need of your help and guidance--be prepared now with a holiday wellness and recovery strategy.
Khodarahmi M, Azadbakht L. Dietary fat intake and functional dyspepsia. Adv Biomed Res. 2016;5:76.