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The holiday effect

Monday 27 th July 2015

A while ago, a person with celiac disease told me that while he was on holiday in a foreign country, he was forced to eat gluten and apparently it had not affected him. He asked me if he might have overcome his disease.
On another occasion, a celiac child’s mother told me that she was sure that while eating in restaurants during their holidays, her daughter had eaten traces of gluten, probably even in considerable amounts, however, she had suffered no effects. Meanwhile during the school period, any small contamination of gluten seriously affected her health.
In both cases my answer was that all this had happened due to the holiday effect!
Why do intolerances decrease while on holiday? Why several people feel like their disease has healed on holiday?

Simply because we feel better. During our holidays we sleep better, we are more relaxed, we get more rest, we do not suffer from stress or relationship problems with co-workers or schoolmates and their consequent negative emotions; we are exposed to more sunlight, we are more in touch with nature, we do more exercise, we often travel to places where the air is cleaner than in the cities where we usually live our daily lives; we enjoy a relaxed company of our families, we do leisure activities, etc. In short, most of the essentials for perfect health improve during the holidays. That is why intolerances also decrease.
Pay attention, though! This does not mean that people with celiac disease just stop suffering from it, or intolerances disappear, or diseases healed. When our lives get back to normal, the vital energy supplied during the holidays will gradually decrease and so intolerances will be present again. Unfortunately, we can not live our lives on endless holidays!
We can try to manage stress and emotions with several therapies, try to practice more sport, be more in touch with nature, but it’s clear that it won’t be possible to do it as much as during holidays. However, there’s an aspect that we can control fairly well and we can improve a lot during the working or academic year: ¡nutrition! Improving our food we can decrease our diseases and intolerances, and raise our stress tolerance. Obviously, changing the way we nourish supposes a higher sacrifice than going on holiday… but sometimes this is the only feasible option!

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