If you struggle with tummy troubles, you probably notice that they flare up during certain times, but have they ever flared up during a heat wave? New research has found that as temperatures begin to go up, your old familiar stomach issues might begin to become worse, as well. The study, done in Switzerland, found that there was both a rise in inflammatory bowel disease and infectious gastroenteritis during hotter months of the year. Not only that, but as the temperatures continued to climb, many people’s symptoms became worse.
The study examined over 1,500 patients that were admitted to University Hospital in Zurich over a period of five years, during which time there were 17 heat waves. During the times when the mercury was at it’s highest, there was a notable increase in cases of both IG and IBD flare ups. So, the researchers wanted to know what it was that caused the heat to be linked to these belly problems.
According to Christine N. Manser, MD and co-author of the study, which was put on by The American Journal of Gastroenterology, the findings will likely require more research to determine the exact link, but it might help to explain that IG cases showed the biggest effect when a seven day lag time was added.
For the case of IBD, the reasoning is a bit less obvious. Dr. Manser says that it’s most likely that the increase in the flares during hotter spells had to do with many different factors, and bacteria in the gut may change, and that might play a part in the way that it works in the body. It could possible challenge the natural immunity and could be a possible cause of flare ups. Not only that, but hot weather means stress to the body and the mind, which both have a link to causing IBD flare ups.
It is also essential to remember that the study, which was done in Switzerland, dealt with people that have less access to central air conditioning than people in other countries such as the US. Despite the excellent hygienic conditions, the continuous heat may play a part. It is possible that having access to more air conditioning can help to reduce the stress to the body and mind from hot weather.
If you’re having any type of gut problems, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor because both of these conditions can be very serious and result in hospitalization.