How Does Summer Affect Your Digestive System?

 Summer Digestive Problems

With the scorching days in full swing, the digestive system is prone to become weaker and slower. The changes in the weather not only cause heat exhaustion and stroke but also variations in the functioning of the stomach and intestine. That leads to several digestion problems in summer like loss of appetite, food poisoning and dehydration.

Other stomach problems in summer include

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting
  • Acidity and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Loose stools

Extreme temperatures can also increase the probability of inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Chron’s disease. People suffering from such conditions will have symptoms of stomach ache, diarrhoea and rectal bleeding. Summers also aggravate gastrointestinal problems and foster a greater risk of infectious gastroenteritis.

Let us explore some ways through which these problems can be overcome.

Tips for Avoiding Digestive Problems

  • In order to avoid indigestion problems, it is necessary to eat smaller quantities of food frequently. Doing this helps in maintaining satiety without overloading the stomach.
  • The intake of food must be done slowly by savouring it and practicing mindful eating. Gulping the food quickly can overwhelm the stomach leading to gas formation, bloating and discomfort.
  • The mealtimes must be planned carefully. It is essential to wait for an hour after physical activities or exercises before eating food. That is because the blood circulation must be diverted back from the muscles to the stomach to aid proper digestion.
  • The sizzling sun of summer can promote the growth of bacteria on food resulting in food-borne illnesses. So it is important to store all edibles properly and maintain the right temperatures for both hot and cold food items. Additionally, caution must be taken to ensure that perishable foods are not retained at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • It is advisable to avoid certain foods that can disrupt the digestion process or cause discomfort like bloating and gas. Some examples include
    • Fat-laden foods like fried items and cheese which take longer time to digest and cause heartburns
    • Fibrous foods like beans and carbonated drinks like sodas
    • Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus foods, tea and coffee which can invoke burning sensation in the chest
  • Keep the body well-hydrated by ensuring that there is sufficient fluid intake. Many people are likely to get dehydrated in summer and can suffer from constipation and diarrhoea. Hence, it is recommended that water and other healthy drinks must be taken periodically even if one is not thirsty.

Simple Treatment Approaches for Stomach Problems

  • Choose foods like fruits and herbs that are easily digestible and soothe the stomach to prevent indigestion and discomfort. Some good options are pineapple, papaya, ginger tea, fennel seeds and chamomile.
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids like fresh juices and soups to remain well-hydrated. This is especially important where there are episodes of vomiting and frequent stools. It is better to Avoid heavy solid foods at such times.
  • Strong odours like thick smokes, perfumes, colognes and cooking smells can cause nausea and upset the stomach. Avoid inhaling such substances.
  • Avoid frequent consumption of beverages like coffee, alcohol and soft drinks as it can irritate and damage the stomach lining. Likewise the side-effects of certain medications and over-the- counter pain killers can hamper digestion. It is better to use herbal remedies or consult the doctor in these situations.
  • When there is occasional indigestion, antacids and acid blockers may be taken to relieve the symptoms. Likewise anti-spasmodic drugs may be taken during diarrhoea.

It is to be noted that all the above dietary changes and remedies are beneficial for managing simple symptoms and conditions. Patients who have severe abdominal pain, continuous loose motions and vomiting with high fever or blood in stools are advised to seek medical help immediately rather than making self-diagnosis.

Patients with persistent symptoms may avail affordable Gastro care consultation services by seeking appointments with renowned gastroenterology surgeons in Chennai.

Ask doctor