How the Summer Heat Can Affect Gastrointestinal Issues


Beautiful blue skies, sunny temps, barbecues, and laughter by the pool are all signs that summer is here. But, the summer weather may not be the one and only thing getting hotter. If you or a loved one are dealing with tummy issues during the warmer months, you don’t have to suffer alone. We encourage you to request a consultation with a GI specialist at GastroArkansas soon as you’re able to get more info on how to boost your gut health.

Give yourself a break this summer with a few tricks and tips on how you can reduce GI symptoms. Keep reading for info from our Little Rock, AR gastroenterology team.

Understanding summer GI issues

Rising temps can influence GI immunity and digestive capabilities. This might include loss of appetite during very warm days, dehydration symptoms, or a heat-related illness (including heat stroke and heat exhaustion).

Heat waves alter the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract, based on a study conducted by researchers in Zurich, Switzerland. This may help us understand why some stomach pain and annoyance become in warmer months.

The higher temps cause our blood flow to pivot to help control body temperature. Our GI system is affected to a greater deal when this happens. Consequently, we may experience gastrointestinal flare-ups that may cause increased stomach pain and diarrhea.

While we can take proactive steps to avoid dehydration and additional heat-related symptoms, it’s not guaranteed to completely prevent illness. Persistent symptoms need to be assessed by our gastroenterologists at GastroArkansas. Schedule a consultation with our team to obtain the relevant medical attention for your heat-related GI issues.

Tips to improve gut health

Taking charge as temps rise is vital to help you enjoy your time with your friends and family. A few key things to keep in mind when you’re planning on being in the sun can include:

  • Avoid consuming milk products: While milk can deliver some temporary relief once it’s ingested, it can actually heat the body. This can even include foods that contain dairy such as butter, ice cream, and cheese.
  • Make exercise a routine: Walking, a quick run, and yoga can help with digestion. Incorporating movement into your routine will assist with stomach pains and even reduce stress.
  • Incorporate probiotics into your diet: Drinking kombucha, eating yogurt, and even taking a probiotic may help boost good gut bacteria.
  • Consider your hydration needs: Get enough water to offset your loss because of excess sweat. This may include getting 8 ­­– 10 cups of water each day.

Don’t let food poisoning ruin your fun

With summer, the probability of food poisoning increases. Prepping food outside in the heat can make safely handling food cumbersome because bacteria might multiply faster during the summertime heat.

Being aware of food poisoning symptoms is important in order to make the right decisions for treatment. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Queasy stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever

Don’t let the higher temperatures get you down. When you’re expecting a heat wave, take time to safeguard healthy habits by paying attention to the needs of your body. Drink a lot of water, eat hydrating foods like peaches, strawberries, watermelon, and oranges, and seek out help from our GI providers in Little Rock, AR as necessary.

Cool down and improve your GI health

Your gut health shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the summertime with friends and family. Help your GI tract cool off this summer with help from a digestive health specialist at GastroArkansas. Our understanding and education are used to point you in the right direction. Don’t delay your festive plans and request a consultation at your preferred location in Little Rock, AR.