The arrival of summer often brings to mind visions of sunny days, outdoor fun and a break from the routine. It is time to dive into the pool, drink delicious summer drinks and relish every bit of it. However, alongside the joys of the season, you may find yourself grappling with a common health woe: indigestion. The summer months seem to exacerbate digestive discomfort.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Manoj Kutteri, Medical Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre, to understand why indigestion issues in summers are more common than usual.
Here’s why indigestion issues aggravate in summers
It could be the summer heat, dietary modifications or lifestyle changes that aggravate digestive issues in summer. Here are a few reasons given by the expert why indigestion impacts us most harshly during summer.
1. Dietary changes
One of the primary reasons for increased indigestion during the summer season is the shift in dietary habits. As the weather gets warmer, people often indulge in social gatherings where the consumption of greasy, fried and spicy foods becomes more prevalent. These types of foods are known to trigger indigestion symptoms as they take longer to digest and can irritate the digestive system. Additionally, the consumption of alcoholic and carbonated beverages, which are commonly enjoyed during summer, can contribute to indigestion.
“Staying hydrated is crucial during the summer months, but dehydration can also lead to indigestion. When you don’t consume enough water, the digestive system may struggle to break down food properly, causing discomfort and indigestion. Moreover, dehydration can result in slower movement of food through the digestive tract, leading to a feeling of fullness and bloating,” says the expert.
3. Heat and humidity
The expert says, “High temperatures and humidity levels can impact digestion directly. The body naturally diverts blood flow away from the digestive system to cool down other vital organs when exposed to excessive heat. This diversion of blood flow can slow down digestion and lead to indigestion. Furthermore, the hot weather may cause people to eat quickly or overeat, both of which can contribute to indigestion symptoms”.
Also read: Spices for summer: What to eat and what not?
4. Stress and anxiety
Summer vacations, travel plans and social commitments can bring about a level of stress and anxiety for some individuals. Stress has been closely linked to indigestion and can disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system. When stress hormones are released, they can interfere with the digestive process and lead to symptoms of indigestion.
Tips to manage indigestion in summer
Fret not as your summer indigestion is manageable by implementing these various tips.
1. Watch your diet
The expert suggests, “Be mindful of your food choices and avoid greasy, fried, and spicy foods. Opt for lighter meals rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Refrain from consuming alcohol or carbonated drinks”.
2. Stay hydrated
Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration levels. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary or caffeinated beverages, as they can worsen indigestion.
3. Eat slowly and in moderation
The expert tells, “Take your time to chew your food properly and avoid overeating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent indigestion”.
4. Manage stress
Engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or regular exercise to minimize the impact of stress on your digestive system.
5. Seek medical advice
If indigestion symptoms persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance on treatment options.
While indigestion can occur throughout the year, it tends to be more prevalent during the summer season due to dietary changes, dehydration, heat and humidity, and increased stress levels. By being mindful of your food choices, staying hydrated, managing stress, and seeking medical advice when necessary, you can effectively manage and reduce the occurrence of indigestion during the summer months. Prioritizing your digestive health will allow you to fully enjoy the pleasures of the season while maintaining overall well-being.