Oesophageal Patients Association

Christmas Celebrations

Sometimes the season of the year makes us extra mindful of advice about eating! It’s that time of year where we eat, drink and be merry, but we all know that if we over indulge or even just indulge a bit we could face severe digestive problems which could ruin our festive season.

Remember that with the exception of things that you know don't agree with you, you can eat and drink almost anything you fancy. You can join in with your family and friends during the celebrations, but you just can’t go over the top. Just remember to eat small amounts, and do not get tempted to agree to well-meant suggestions that you have extra helpings.

Try not to eat and drink at the same time, this really does confuse your new plumbing and also bear in mind that any alcohol will hit your system much more quickly than before.

The only 'no, no' food tends to be brussel sprouts and if you don’t normally eat them, give them a miss. Nobody will force you to eat them, just leave them on the side of the plate.

It can be difficult at any time to settle down at night time and more so if you have eaten rich food so make sure that you have an antacid or Gaviscon on hand, either tablets or liquid. If you use a PPI such as omeprazole, make sure you take it at the right time. Some people take part of their daily dose at least one hour before they go to bed, but you will possibly have your own regime. PPIs work by stopping the stomach producing acid so you need to let the drug get to work. As you settle down for sleep take the Gaviscon / antacid, this forms a float on top of any stomach contents and neutralises any acid in the back of the throat and in what is left of the oesophagus.

But most of all enjoy the holiday season, celebrate the progress you have made, and a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year to you all.

9 Replies

Why are sprouts a no no food?! I love sprouts!!

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Merry Christmas Alan and a big thank you for your good help and may it all continue and we all get stronger and wiser as time goes by.

Tina xxx


We are all different.

I have been to a number of meetings this year and there are survivors able to eat and drink at the same time , drink beer , eat sprouts and manage medium - large meals. I can eat medium sized meals , drink with the meal and have no dietary restrictions. Bread , if I eat too much causes problems. My advice is to persevere, it can only get better.

Alcohol intake , having lost around two stone , is reduced , making me a cheap date! But I will drink a half pint of beer with a whisky chaser rather than a pint these days or perhaps a gin and tonic.

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Very good advise Alan but I personally have no problem eating sprouts

All the best to you.


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Thank you for that, and I rejoice with all for whom brussel sprouts are not a problem. It is not compulsory!


We still have trouble trying to discover exactly what causes the “dumping syndrome “ Tony now knows that he cannot drink and eat at the same time ....particularly anything with coffee. He has no problem with chocolate at all or biscuits but very rich cakes like Christmas cake ,mince pies or pud cause it. Then we thought maybe it was bread ...as the odd piece of toast has upset the system? And then another day it’s fine ? Is it generally very sweet things ? Similarly to diabetes ?

Grateful for any tips again please as it’s such a mind field and nightmare keeping calories in !!

Deb xx


There are a couple of factsheets on dumping syndrome on the OPA website; opa.org.uk/edit/files/facts...

If you are suffering from clamminess, dizziness and so on an hour or more after eating, it may well be late dumping syndrome. It varies from person to person, but by and large it is caused by the way that undigested or semi-digested food rushes through the digestive tract faster than nature intended. As it reaches the intestines below the stomach, the body then gets tricked into releasing more insulin to balance the glucose:insulin levels and you get an insulin spike, which can be counteracted by an immediate sugary drink / sweet to restore the balance.

Different foods trigger release of insulin at different rates. So if you have sugary cornflakes the body will react more quickly than if you have food recommended for diabetics. In general these low glycemic index foods will be less likely to trigger off insulin spikes than high glycemic index foods.

Some bread can be very sweet; and some cakes, pastry and other food can be high on sugar. Having a look at the ingredient label small print can be helpful - and surprising at times.

So you are right that eating a diet recommended for diabetics is likely to cause less problems, because they also have trouble with the glucose:insulin balance.

If it seems complicated, it is because it is; it is not just you having trouble with it all. There may be intolerances to other types of food that develop (eg there is quite a lot of sugar in milk; but some have trouble with dairy generally). Some people measure their insulin levels with a meter and are shocked by how much the levels yo-yo during the day. And it is also true, frustratingly, that what causes trouble one day may not cause trouble the day afterwards.


Your advice proved very helpful to me as last Christmas I was not able to eat too much. This Christmas I can eat better and with so much food to choose from it was tempting to get a bigger plate. I resisted. The other advice i found really helpful was Bruce in not eating after 7pm. Occasionally i do but in the main this is excellent advice. This board is so helpful and very supportive.



Thanks. Glad you are getting on well, and all best wishes for 2018.


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