In what ways does climate impact our digestion?
In what ways does climate impact our digestion?(Photo: iStockphoto)
  • 1. Summer Diarrhea: Is There Such a Thing?
  • 2. But What Happens During a Heat Stroke?
  • 3. Winter-Weight: How, Why and Ways to Avoid
  • 4. 'Hot Foods', 'Cold Foods' and Ayurveda
  • 5. How Do You Avoid Food-Related Seasonal Sickness?
Climate and Digestion: Summer Diarrhea, Winter-Weight and More

Picture this. The sun is glaring outside and drops of sweat are sliding down the back of your neck one after the other. You can’t wait to rush into an air-conditioned room and have a glass of chilled water. But what you would not want, perhaps, is a plate of heavy food (freshly fried bhature with choley, maybe?) or a hot cup of tea.

There is this connection between the temperature outside and our food choices that comes almost naturally to us. But what explains our instinct? In what ways does climate impact our digestion- or does it at all?

  • 1. Summer Diarrhea: Is There Such a Thing?

     In what ways does climate impact our digestion?
    “The relationship between digestion and heat is indirect.”
    (Photo: iStockphoto)

    Base this purely on observation- and then I’ll present to you some facts.

    Isn’t it common for our washroom visits to increase during times of extreme heat- thanks to the constant churning and aches in the stomach?

    An article in JAMA Network discusses the reason why mortality rate from diarrhea among infants and young children during summer may be higher than in other seasons. The explanation could be two-fold: unclean food and hot weather. “Bacteria of various sorts, whether introduced from the food, or already present in the intestine, are undoubtedly the exciting causes, but they seem unable to act deleteriously until the vital resistance of the child has first been decidedly weakened by protracted heat or humidity.”

    Speaking with FIT, Dr Ashwini Setya, a Gastroenterologist and Programme Director in Delhi’s Max Super Speciality Hospital, explains that the link between temperature and digestion is indirect.

    The heat does not impact the functioning of the digestive enzymes, but makes the food more prone to bacteria and infections.

    “Humans are warm blooded. The enzymes in their bodies are programmed to maintain the average body temperature at 37’C- no matter where they are,” he adds.

    Also Read : From Digestion to Pain Relief: Try These Home Remedies Using Clove

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