Monsoon is pleasing. But it also brings along a host of diseases, infections, and allergies. The digestive system is especially vulnerable during the rainy season and gastric problems such as acidity, bloating, indigestion, gastroenteritis, ulcers, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) become common. Hence, it is the need of the hour to stick to a well-balanced diet, exercise daily, avoid junk, spicy and oily food, and drink boiled water, say doctors.
“We have always seen a surge of patients with stomach, intestine, and liver infections during the rainy season. Patients have suddenly increased due to infections through food and water,” said Dr Keyur Sheth, gastroenterologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai.
Dr Sheth mentioned that globally, infectious GI (gastrointestinal) disease and dehydration remain leading causes of mortality, responsible for an estimated 4,50,000 annual deaths. More than 1,000 patients come to the hospital every month for treatment of gastric problems. Eating heavy foods can slow down the digestion process inviting problems like bloating, gas, acidity, and indigestion. Having chaat or juice from the streets can lead to a stomach infection as the water used to prepare it may contain bacteria. Drinking water from other sources apart from the sealed bottles and water purifiers can also make you fall sick and you may suffer from diarrhea, said Dr Sheth.
The humid weather during the rainy season makes the entire digestive system sluggish. Consumption of contaminated food with bacteria, toxins, and parasites is unpalatable for the digestive system. “This may lead to gastroenteritis, that is an infection of the bowel also known as food poisoning or the tummy bug. Many patients complain of vomiting, nausea, gases, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, and gut sensitivity issues. GI issues are considerably high. Almost, we are seeing around 15 patients every day with irregular sleep and diet,” said Dr Roy Patankar, director and gastroenterologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital.
What to do?
“Avoid fizzy drinks as they reduce enzyme activity and lead to mineral loss by weakening the digestive system. Say no to dairy products like milk as they take time to digest and are heavy on the gut,” said Dr Sheth.
Here are some vital tips to ensure the smooth working of the digestive system during monsoon.
*Avoid eating seafood as the water gets contaminated during monsoon and eating fish can cause cholera or diarrhea.
*Do not eat cut fruits from the roadside as they can be contaminated with bacteria.
*Avoid green leafy vegetables as they will be loaded with germs, eat in moderation, opt for lighter foods that are gut-friendly and can be easily digested.
*”Include ginger and lemon in the diet to enhance digestion and immunity,” said Dr Sheth.
*Eat a lot of probiotics like yogurt or buttermilk as they contain good bacteria that act on our digestive system and support the immune system.
*Drink enough water to flush out toxins from the body and improve digestion.
*Eat steamed or boiled vegetables instead of the raw ones as the latter ones will be jam-packed with bacteria and viruses making it worse for your gut.
*Do not eat refined sugar as it may cause inflammation and upset the gut flora balance.
*Say no to fried and oily foods that cause acidity and bloating.
*Do not lie down immediately after eating food as you may suffer from acidity.
*”Too much stress is bad for your digestive system, so stay stress-free, and exercise at home on a daily basis,” mentioned Dr Patankar.