With Americans set to consume an average of 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday according to the Calorie Control Council, at least a few of us might be left worrying — could our overly-full stomachs actually explode?
Yes and no, experts say.
“For the vast majority gathering around the Thanksgiving table, a much more realistic concern is overeating and the uncomfortable feelings that go along with it: Abdominal discomfort, bloating, heartburn and indigestion are common symptoms,” NYU Langone gastroenterologist Dr. Balzora wrote in the Washington Post.
The phenomena of a stomach bursting is extremely rare, the doctor assured readers — and overeating would be an unlikely culprit for the gut to go Oppenheimer.
“Your stomach is a tough organ, with thick muscle walls and a rich blood supply that can easily withstand even a hearty Thanksgiving meal,” she wrote.
The medical term for a person’s stomach turning into a digestive IED is called a gastrointestinal perforation. This can impact the stomach, large, or small intestine, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Likely causes include ingesting harmful substances like corrosive chemicals or sharp objects, a clogged colon, a gunshot wound or a complication during a medical procedure. Symptoms might include severe abdominal cramping and bloating.
For overeaters, there are a few natural safeguards in place to prevent the worst from happening. Nausea, for example, acts as an organic cutoff to stop a person from eating — hurling up your stuffing should then take pressure off the stomach.
“If the pressure in your stomach significantly increases, you’ll feel nauseous. If the pressure becomes severe, vomiting may occur. Both protect from gastric rupture,” Balzora wrote.