Over the four-week Christmas period, on average people gain 5 lbs (2 kg). Bearing in mind that for overall average weight gain just an extra 500 calories a day is required, it is easy to see how munching on mince pies, or drinking a few extra glasses of wine can take its toll.
Indeed the average person in the UK will consume around 6,000 calories on Christmas day alone (versus the guideline daily amount of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories for men).
Christmas and New Year parties are also notorious for consuming hidden calories, with Britons reportedly consuming an extra 43 teaspoons of sugar during the boozy festive season. With social festive engagements filling the calendar, keeping trim to fit into your party outfit for the New Year or getting back into shape can be a challenge.
This indulgent eating doesn’t just affect potential weight gain however, it can cause millions of Britons to suffer painful, disruptive or embarrassing digestion problems as well. A new report, by the Henry Potter Advisory Committee reveals the struggle many of us have with our digestive health, as well as the solutions available.
To evaluate how people really feel, Potter’s studied the digestive health habits of 2,000 men and women aged 25 to 60 from across the UK.
A healthy digestive system is fundamental to general good health with problems in the digestive tract potentially leading to a host of distressing symptoms that can make daily life difficult. Common complaints include indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and heartburn, often with sufferers feeling they have few treatment options.
The research found that nearly a third of respondents said they had suffered from digestion problems and nearly one in five described their digestive health as temperamental and troublesome, whilst one in 10 respondents described their digestive health as poor. More than a third of women rated their digestive health in a negative way, compared to the far smaller number of 19.2% of men. Age also seems to make a difference to how we feel about our digestive fitness. Some 41% thought it had declined with age, with four out of 10 noting the problem started in their teens.
Bloating was highlighted as a significant digestive health concern as nearly nine out 10 had suffered with it.
While conventional medicine is a vital part of healthcare, herbal medicine can play a hugely useful role as well. Natural ingredients work with the body in a gentle but effective manner – and without the side effects or addiction potential of conventional drugs. Senna is one of the better known herbal remedies for poor digestive health, with others including peppermint, dandelion and fennel. These natural herbal ingredients are combined to good effect in Potter’s Herbals stomach and digestion remedies, all of which are traditional herbal medicines:
Dr Chris Etheridge from the Henry Potter Advisory Committee said: “All too often we take our digestive health for granted particularly over the Christmas period, but when things go wrong it can be quite traumatic for the sufferer. This new study shows just how many people are affected by digestion problems, ranging from the inconvenient and embarrassing, to painful and unpleasant. The results reveal just how common – and traumatic – bloating can be, with women seeming to suffer particularly badly, both physically and in terms of self confidence. Painful or embarrassing wind is also a problem for many people – and while it can seem amusing, for sufferers it can be extremely distressing.”
“Anyone worried about their digestive health should see their GP, but for many symptoms natural ingredients can play a powerful role in tackling symptoms gently but effectively. Potter’s Herbals have a range of preparations which can help, each combining proven ingredients aimed at specific problem areas.”