Summertime and gastrointestinal issues

When you think of summer activities, you might think of baseball games, cookouts, amusement parks, and scoops of your favorite ice cream or sips of your favorite cocktail.

And while we’re ready to cheer on our favorite teams and enjoy the longer, warmer days too, many of these activities can be difficult for our patients and anyone suffering from gastrointestinal issues.

From throwing your diet out the window while on vacation to food intolerances or allergies, to finding time for regular screenings and follow-up appointments, summer can bring many challenges to maintain gastrointestinal gut health. Here are our tips to help make the most of these warmer months, some alternatives to consider, and what to avoid when it comes to summer food and activities!

Foods & Allergies

Cookouts can be challenging to navigate for anyone suffering from Celiac Disease. With staples like buns and pasta salad, finding gluten-free options can be difficult. And unless you know the menu in advance, showing up only to find out you can’t eat anything can be disappointing. We recommend looking for vegetable-based dishes like different types of summer salads, fruits, eating healthy fats, and reducing sugar levels for overall gut-health improvements, but this is especially true for our Celiac Disease patients. And if you’re worried about missing out on flavorful, satisfying meals, check out these gluten-free summer recipes!

Lactose intolerance is another big one when it comes to enjoying ice cream, milkshakes, or even chocolate and other types of desserts. While sometimes you might think that the benefits of enjoying a yummy treat outweigh the distress or discomfort you’ll feel later, that is not a long-term, sustainable solution. Instead, try the many dairy alternatives in your local grocery stores, with options ranging from lactose-free products to non-dairy items altogether. Almonds and other nuts, oats and soy products can be found in yogurts, milk, cheese, and even ice cream and can offer additional health benefits in addition to being dairy-free.

Many professional sports teams and venues have also incorporated allergy-friendly items into their experiences. From dedicated gluten-free or dairy-free menu options to special themed allergy nights and peanut-free seats, many of our patients are able to enjoy these activities and easily find foods and beverages that fit their digestive needs.

Exercise & Activity

When going on vacation includes rest and relaxation, your exercise routine might fall by the wayside. Exercise is an important part of gut health and keeping your gastrointestinal system moving. When lack of activity is combined with overindulgence and poor diets, you’ll feel the effects in your digestive system through constipation or diarrhea, gas, bloating, or other uncomfortable symptoms. We recommend including some kind of activity in your daily or weekly plans, even if that is going for a walk or one of these gentle exercises.

Convenience & Scheduling

As the weather becomes more enjoyable here in Northeast Ohio, the last thing on your mind is scheduling doctor’s appointments. Even if you live around the corner from one of our 6 locations, taking time out of your day to see a physician for a follow-up appointment, prescription refill, or minor diagnosis can be inconvenient, let alone finding time if you plan to be out of town. Fortunately, we’re continuing with our virtual visits and telemedicine options, which allows us to be available wherever you’re at! Take us to the beach, to the mountains, or even out on your walk. These visits are usually covered by insurance and can be done over the phone or through video conferencing. All you need is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to access this safe and confidential service!

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