Here's How the Summer Heat Can Affect Digestive Health Issues


Beautiful blue skies, warm temps, BBQs, and laughter by the pool are tell-take signs that summertime is upon us. However, the summer weather isn’t the only thing getting hotter. If you or a loved one are noticing GI symptoms during the summer months, you aren’t alone. Request a consultation with a GI doctor at Arizona Digestive Health as soon as you’re able to learn how to optimize your gut health.

Give yourself the break you deserve this summer with a few tips and tricks on how you can manage your GI symptoms. Find out more from the info below from our Phoenix, AZ gastroenterology team.

Understanding GI issues related to warmer weather

Rising temperatures often take a toll on the GI tract's resilience and digestive capabilities. This can include loss of appetite during very warm days, dehydration symptoms, or other heat-related illnesses (such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion).

Higher temps impact the bacterial composition of the GI tract, as found in a study conducted by researchers in Zurich, Switzerland. This might help us understand why some stomach pain and other issues become once the temperature rises.

The increase in temperatures causes our blood flow to divert to help regulate body temperature. Our GI system is influenced to a greater deal when this happens. Consequently, you may experience gastrointestinal flare-ups that may cause more stomach pain and diarrhea than normal.

You may take preemptive steps to beat dehydration symptoms and other common heat-related symptoms, you may not entirely prevent symptoms. Prolonged symptoms will need to be evaluated by our GI team at Arizona Digestive Health. Schedule an appointment with one of our GI doctors to obtain the proper medical attention for your GI symptoms.

Tips to improve gut health

Taking control when temps increase is a great way to help you soak in time with your friends and family. A few easy things to keep in mind when you’re planning on being in the sun can include:

  • Be mindful of your hydration needs: Make sure you get enough water to offset the loss through excess sweat. This may include getting 8 ­­– 10 glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid consuming milk products: Milk might deliver some temporary relief after it’s ingested, but it can heat the body up. This includes dairy products such as butter, ice cream, and cheese.
  • Incorporate probiotics into your diet: Drinking kombucha, eating yogurt, and taking a probiotic may be ways to increase good gut bacteria.
  • Make exercise a routine: Brisk walking, running, and yoga can help with digestion. Adding movement to your routine will help with stomach pains and reduce stress.

Don’t let food poisoning ruin your fun

In the summertime, the probability of food poisoning increases. Preparing food outdoors can make handling food safely difficult because bacteria can multiply faster than normal during warmer temperatures.

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

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

Don’t let the temperature increases affect your lifestyle. When you’re expecting warmer temps, take time to safeguard your health by paying attention to the needs of your body. Give your body water, eat hydrating foods such as strawberries, peaches, oranges, and watermelon, and seek out help from our GI doctors in Phoenix, AZ when necessary.

Maintain your digestive health over the summer months

Gut health shouldn’t get in the way of enjoying the summer months with friends and family. Help your stomach cool off this season with assistance from a certified GI specialist at Arizona Digestive Health. Our understanding and education will show you the way. Don’t put off your summer plans and request an appointment at your nearest location in Phoenix, AZ.