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The Halloween Hangover

By HERWriter
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Stomach pain, sugar crash, headache and fatigue are all symptoms of a Halloween Hangover.

Experts agree too much candy is not good for you or your kids. ʺPlaque bacteria eats sugar and turns it into acid, which can lead to cavities,ʺ explains Dr. Scott Hamilton, an orthodontist in Topeka, Kansas.

Also, too much candy also means too many calories. ʺExcess calories contribute to obesity. And, if your child is eating the candy instead of healthy foods, he’s missing out on essential nutrients,ʺ says Dr. Marilyn Swanson, national program leader for maternal and child health at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas.

According to the book, The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose Fallout That is Making You Fat and Sick, by Richard J. Johnson, MD, filling up on sweets often leads to an upset stomach. If you have been experiencing unexplained digestive problems, fructose might be the cause. Some people absorb fructose less efficiently than others.

People who have difficulty digesting the fructose in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, suffer from fructose malabsorption or dietary fructose intolerance. Fructose malabsorbtion causes a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, cramps and flatulence.

Dr. Johnson also states that bacteria can convert fructose to compounds called ketoacids. In rare cases, ketoacids could cause the blood to become dangerously acidic, a condition which can lead to rapid breathing, confusion and other symptoms.

Recent research suggests fructose may be one cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects up to one in five Americans. A recent University of Iowa study states more than one-third of people with IBS-like symptoms had dietary fructose intolerance.

Also, the Feingold Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and adults apply proven dietary techniques, says synthetic food dyes in candy are some of the most likely suspects when it comes to triggering behavior problems in children.

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EmpowHER Guest

I heard on the local news the other day that half of the candy that is brought home from trick-or-treating is eaten by the parents. That surprised me! My guess is the parents themselves may not be aware of how much they are eating. I know in my experience it's easy to dismiss a lot of extra calories by believing that since they are fun-sized candy bars, they aren't going to add up to much.

November 1, 2010 - 10:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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