Learn How the Summer Heat Can Affect Gastrointestinal Concerns


Blue skies, summery temps, outdoor parties, and time spent out by the pool are all proof that the summer is here. But, the weather may not be the one and only thing that's getting hotter. If you are dealing with tummy symptoms during these warmer months, you’re not the only one. We encourage you to request a consultation with a gastrointestinal provider at GI Alliance as soon as you’re able to learn how you can boost your gut health.

Give yourself the break you deserve in the hotter months with a few tips on how to manage your GI symptoms. Keep reading for info from our GI specialists.

How might hot temps impact GI issues?

Rising temperatures often impact our body's resilience and digestive capabilities. This may include loss of appetite on hotter days, dehydration, or a heat-related illness (such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke).

Heat waves alter the bacterial composition of the GI tract, according to a study performed by researchers in Zurich, Switzerland. This could explain why some stomach pain and other issues increase as temps rise.

The increase in temperatures causes our blood flow to divert in order to help regulate body temps. Our GI system is impacted the most when this happens. Thus, we may endure gastrointestinal flare-ups that cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

While you may take proactive steps to reduce dehydration and other common heat-related illness, it’s not always possible to fully prevent it. Prolonged symptoms need to be evaluated by our GI team at GI Alliance. Schedule a consultation with one of our GI doctors to get the proper medical attention for your GI symptoms.

Tips to improve your gut health

Taking charge when temps rise is instrumental in helping you enjoy summer activities with your friends and family. A few key things to focus on when you’re planning on being in the sun can include:

  • Avoid consuming milk products: While milk can offer some temporary relief once it’s ingested, it may heat the body. This includes foods that contain dairy, such as cheese, ice cream, and butter.
  • Incorporate probiotics into your diet: Drinking kombucha, eating yogurt, and even taking a probiotic may help encourage good gut bacteria.
  • Make physical activity a routine: Walking, a running routine, and yoga can help with digestion. Incorporating movement into your routine will help with abdominal pain and even reduce stress.
  • Consider your hydration needs: Drink enough water to account for the loss due to your sweat. This may include drinking 8 ­­– 10 glasses of water each day.

Keep food poisoning from ruining your summer fun

During the hot summer months, the chance of food poisoning is greater. Preparing food outside in the heat may make safe food handling challenging, as bacteria can multiply faster during the summertime heat.

Being aware of the symptoms of food poisoning can help you take the proper steps for treatment. Common symptoms are:

Avoid letting the rising temps impact your health. When you know hot weather is ahead, take time to safeguard your health by listening to your body. Drink a lot of water, eat hydrating foods like peaches, strawberries, watermelon, and oranges, and get help from our GI doctors when necessary.

Improve your GI health in warm weather

Your digestive health shouldn’t hinder your ability to enjoy the summer months with your loved ones. Help your stomach stay healthy this summer with help from a digestive health specialist at GI Alliance. Our awareness and education can help educate you. Don’t delay your summer routine and request an appointment at a location near you.