Super Bowl Sunday is rapidly approaching, and nothing has been more historically associated with this beloved national event than alcohol and greasy food. Regardless of where you are on the big day, beers, chili dogs, assorted chips, and countless other treats are sure to be in spectators’ near future. This being said, numerous people will eat and drink too much.
Whether you are rooting for the Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos let it be known that it is perfectly okay to indulge yourself. Be wary, however, for this can often lead to severe stomach pain and/or sickness. This stomach pain, medically referred to as gastritis, is caused by inflammation of your stomach lining, which results in short-term abdominal pain, cramps, gas, bloating, and even mild nausea and fever. There are several precautions you can take to avoid this pain, however, but what can you do when you know it’s coming?
Dr. Shawn Khodadadian, a gastroenterologist in Manhattan, New York, has five tips to stay safe on game day:
- Avoid taking painkillers – Before, during, or after the game, be sure to stay away from aspirin, ibuprofen (similar to Advil), or naproxen (like Aleve), even if you use pain relievers on a regular basis. These medications stress the stomach and add to the gastritis symptoms.
- Eat lots of fiber – Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast on Sunday. Grain or oats, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables (non-acidic), and a little dairy should prove the best choices for you.
- Temper alcohol consumption – One of the major causes of gastritis is DRINKING TOO MUCH. If you plan on imbibing alcohol, be sure to never drink on an empty stomach. After every drink, consume a tall glass of water, it will quench your thirst, keep you hydrated, and aid in your digestion. Also, if you are going to drink, please be sure to designate a driver to not drink alcohol.
- Avoid spicy foods – Sure spicy buffalo wings taste great going down, but they can wreak havoc on your stomach lining. When mixed with hard alcohol or bubbly beer, these salty snack foods can really put one out of commission. Ideally, you should limit yourself to vegetable or hummus dip, but if you must eat spicy food or imbibe a lot of alcohol, one thing is important – MODERATION.
- Consider medication – Antacids work fast, temporarily neutralizing the acid in your stomach. If you are beginning to experience heartburn, but do not continue this for more than two days. You can try famotidine (like Pepcid), cimetidine (like Tagamet), ranitidine (like Axid), one hour before you start eating or drinking to mitigate symptoms.
Perhaps the most important thing on the list, if you do plan to drink during the Super Bowl festivities, be sure to have a designated driver, take public transportation, or simply do not drive at all. If you follow these guidelines, you will not only avoid some major stomach issues, but will protect the safety of others as well.