Why You May Be Experiencing More Indigestion Issues In The Summer

As the months go by, our body responds to the changing seasons. Perhaps you've noticed that we tend to pee more in the wintertime or that our hair grows faster as spring makes an appearance (via British Journal of Dermatology). Similarly, some people may notice that their symptoms of indigestion rev up a notch during the summer. Is it merely coincidence — or is there a scientific explanation for this seasonal discomfort?

Medically referred to as dyspepsia, indigestion is essentially an all-encompassing term for upper abdominal discomfort (per Mayo Clinic). Symptoms can vary from one person to the next and may include burning sensations, fullness, bloating, nausea, and more. For some people, indigestion may be experienced sporadically or on a regular basis.

While not a condition in and of itself, indigestion can be indicative of an alternate health condition. In many cases, however, feelings of indigestion are instead set off by a trigger — but what does this have to do with sunshine, swimming, and summertime barbecues?

The role of food, dehydration, and stress on indigestion

If you find yourself dealing with indigestion more so during the summer months, it could very well be the weather itself. Medical Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre Dr. Manoj Kutteri told HealthShots that as temperatures climb, our blood flow gets rerouted to other areas of the body to help keep us cool. As a result, our digestion slows, making us more susceptible to indigestion. Along with hot temperatures also comes an increased risk for dehydration, which makes it more challenging for our body to digest what we eat. This may be further exacerbated if you're eating popular summertime foods (like burgers or french fries or drinking alcoholic beverages). These items require more time for the body to fully break down, thereby triggering indigestion symptoms.

Alternatively, although school may be out for the kids, this doesn't mean that our summer schedules are any less packed. Between get-togethers, weddings, vacations, and more, all these activities can place additional stress on the body and subsequently impact our gut health.

Don't let indigestion stop you this summer

Although the weather may be out of our control, there are other ways we can help relieve indigestion in order to make the most of our summers. For starters, experts at Mayo Clinic suggest avoiding known food triggers. This may include spicy or processed foods as well as caffeine or alcohol. While this may not always be feasible, sticking with smaller portions and spending more time chewing may help. Eating more regularly may also improve symptoms of indigestion. Rather than eating a sizable breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try splitting that up into five or six snack-sized meals throughout the day.

Alternatively, implement self-care to help keep stress levels low. This may include journaling, meditation, talking to a trusted friend, and getting plenty of rest. Exercise can also be beneficial. Not only does physical activity help reduce stress, but it also boosts digestion. Finally, speak with your doctor if you suspect any prescription medications may be causing your indigestion. This can also be true for over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relief medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium. Therefore, try and refrain from using these medications and substitute a non-prescription antacid instead.