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Food Foes

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Brits can’t resist eating their favourite foods, despite knowing they may bring them painful side effects.

Six in ten Brits take a gamble on foods like Curry, Chinese takeaways and pizza – which topped the list of foods causing the nation abdominal cramps, pain and discomfort. Millions of Brits also place their bets at the table each time they chow down on chilli peppers, cabbage and fizzy drinks knowing they will likely pay for it later. Just over half of the population suffers from abdominal cramps as a result of something they have eaten with 44 per cent of people experiencing pain after eating at least once a fortnight.

Indeed, the average Brit endures a painful 44 minutes of discomfort every week from foods they have eaten according to new research by abdominal pain remedy Buscopan Cramps. The study of 2,000 people found Brits are most wary of spicy cuisine, followed by fatty foods, dairy products and alcohol, but over a third are willing to endure discomfort rather than completely avoid the foods they love. In fact, half of Brits knowingly treat their taste buds only to endure stomach cramps, bloating, bad breath or wind soon after.

Hazel Richards, Buscopan Cramps Brand Manager comments, “According to the survey, it seems it’s common for us to eat foods that cause unwanted complaints even when we know they may cause us pain and discomfort.

“However it can be difficult to identify the foods that trigger abdominal cramps as it varies from person to person, but sufferers may find keeping a diary of foods that trigger discomfort helpful.

“If you do suffer from abdominal pain after eating something that doesn’t agree with you, there are antispasmodic treatments available to help relieve the pain.”

More than half of people surveyed find it hard to pinpoint the exact foods that cause them repeated problems.

But no-one does politeness like the British, the study reveals three in ten have felt forced to eat something they knew would likely cause them discomfort, but persevered so as not to seem awkward or cause a fuss. And it would seem certain social situations require more manners than others when it comes to ‘eating through it’ – a visit to the in laws was the most common place to take a food gamble, rather than cause a stir. A wedding or dinner party also gives little room for menu manoeuvre, while one in ten Brits admit to risking unwanted side effects by indulging in risky food on a date.

Even without social pressure, it appears there are particular foods Brits can’t live without; half the study said they would continue to eat chocolate, bread and cheese, even if it carried painful repercussions for them. The nation’s love of takeaways definitely goes beyond the pain barrier, with just a third saying they would be willing to give up a Chinese takeaway if they found it caused unwanted side effects, and only a quarter willing to avoid pizza for good. In fact, eight in ten Brits would risk side effects such as wind, stomach cramps and abdominal pain in order to carry on enjoying Indian or Chinese take away should they discover it disagrees with them.

Professor Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology at Wythenshawe Hospital comments, “Abdominal cramps are characterised by spasms that occur in the bowel and it is often difficult to identify the specific cause of them.

“People are usually surprised to find everyday foods including fruits and juices high in fructose such as apples and pears can sometimes trigger abdominal discomfort.

“In addition those that eat diet foods, chewing gum and fizzy drinks which contain the sweetener sorbitol may suffer from abdominal complaints.”

Professor Whorwell continues, “A common misconception is that spice causes discomfort however usually it is the fat in popular spicy foods such as curry that can trigger bowel health issues like abdominal cramps.

“Those that are likely to suffer should also be aware of foods with a hidden fat content, eg butter in mashed potato or mayonnaise on a salad.

“Other dietary triggers people are often unaware of include the skin on a baked potato, wholemeal bread and cereals with a high fibre content. However it’s not advisable to remove certain foods from your diet completely without talking to a healthcare professional first.”

The most common time for Brits to experience stomach cramps is just after dinner, while regular sufferers have their symptoms enhanced by certain situations, including stressing at work, money worries and with those awaiting a job interview or important meeting suffering the most.

Buscopan Cramps, containing hyoscine butylbromide, is specifically designed to treat the cause of abdominal cramps to relieve pain and discomfort. Unlike some painkillers, Buscopan Cramps is an antispasmodic which works directly on the cause of pain, the spasm in the stomach, to provide effective and targeted relief. Always read the label.

Those wishing more information visit:

Top 10 worst food culprits that cause Brits stomach cramps, pain or discomfort:[PP1]

1. Curry

2. Chinese takeaway

3. Fizzy drinks

4. Pizza

5. Chilli peppers

6. Cabbage

7. White bread

8. Milk

9. Onions

10. Red meat

If you do suffer from abdominal pain after eating something that doesn’t agree with you, there are antispasmodic treatments available to help relieve the pain.

Hazel Richards, Buscopan Cramps Brand Manager

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