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Health Tips for January 1

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:22pm
Health Tip: The Dangers of Excessive Drinking

While an occasional glass of wine has been shown to offer health benefits, drinking frequently or drinking too much can trigger serious health problems.

Here are facts about alcohol and your health, courtesy of the University of Michigan Health System:

* Alcohol can lead to production of more acid in the stomach, which may contribute to gastritis, pancreatitis or ulcers.
* Alcohol can cause the body to retain uric acid, which can lead to gout.
* Excessive alcohol consumption may increase your risk of cancers of the pancreas, liver, mouth, tongue and throat, as well as liver disease such as cirrhosis.
* Too much alcohol can make your body lose needed proteins, minerals and vitamins.
* Too much alcohol can also increase your risks of heart disease and stroke.

Health Tip: Belching and Bloating

Gas and bloating are normal human functions that could be exacerbated by factors including diet and lifestyle.

The American College of Gastroenterology offers these suggestions to help prevent or ease gas and bloating:

* Eat slowly. And if you frequently have gas and bloating, avoid chewing gum and drinking carbonated beverages.
* Treat constipation, if present.
* Avoid too many foods that may be difficult to digest, including brussels sprouts, cabbage, beans and lentils.
* Avoid fiber supplements if you don't need them, as well as foods with sorbitol and fructose.
* Medications designed to relieve gas may provide some relief.
* Frequent belching may be a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which should be treated without delay.
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