Do Gut Issues Get Worse in Specific Seasons?
Many members at Five Journeys have asked the team if gut issues get worse in specific seasons. Over long periods of time, it can be tough figuring out if a certain condition is a cause or just a correlation of how you feel.
The gut, especially, is a highly complex system of the body. It influences digestion, mood, immune support, and many other functions. Visa versa, other systems of the body can impact gut health.
So, do gut issues get worse in specific seasons? The short answer is yes.
How Gut Health Changes Depending on the Season
Changing seasons can expose the body to new allergens, stressors, and conditions that negatively impact the gut. It’s totally not just in your head. However, each person’s gut is different. Put two people side by side and they won’t respond to changing seasons in the same way.
In this post, the Five Journeys team is going to unpack the three most common reasons the gut gets worse in specific seasons. Hopefully, the information we share here can start you on a journey toward excellent gut health. See if you can make a few lifestyle changes to keep your gut health in peak condition all year round.
The best course of action is to visit Five Journeys for our top-notch functional medicine treatment. Our doctors can give you personalized wellness tips to improve the gut. If you suffer from indigestion, brain fog, constant sickness, and fatigue, then we highly recommend you take advantage of our free discovery call.
Why Gut Health Gets Worse in Certain Seasons
1. Change in Diet
Our diets change over the course of a year. With access to world-wide produce at grocery stores, we might not think this is true, but it is. Spring, summer, fall, and winter – each season brings its own unique dishes and eating habits. Here are a few reasons why your diet might change according to the seasons.
- Holidays and traditions make certain foods more prevalent. Think Christmas and Thanksgiving meals.
- Foods come in and out of season. Your local grocery store might put in-season foods on sale, which means you’re more likely to buy them.
- Activities change depending on the climate. Some people might eat out more during the summer to soak up warm patio weather. If that’s not a routine during the winter, then diet is going to change.
As your diet changes over the course of seasons, so does your gut health. If you add more processed foods or high-sugar snacks, you might notice your gut protesting. No matter the time of year, you should prioritize fresh, natural, and nutritionally complete meals. For more information, learn more about our nutrition services.
2. Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can have a noticeable impact on gut health. Allergies don’t just result in hives and itchy eyes; they can also cause issues with your digestive lining. For example, oral allergy syndrome results in a cluster of allergic reactions in the mouth and throat in response to eating certain fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The allergic reactions can vary depending on other pollen in the air. Certain tree pollen can make food-based allergies more severe.
Did you know that the largest density of immune cells in the body is in the small intestine? Allergies are fundamentally immune system reactions. Therefore, if seasonal allergies are triggering your immune response, you’ll likely experience problems in the gut.
To see if seasonal allergies are causing your gut issues to get worse, learn more about our allergy testing.
3. Stress Levels
In previous posts, we’ve discussed the gut-brain axis. Research has shown that the brain and the gut are closely linked. An issue with one will almost always impact the other. This means that seasons of high stress can cause gut inflammation and discomfort. Depending on your lifestyle, you might experience periods of high stress during specific seasons of the year.
A few examples of seasonal stress include:
- College final exams
- Seeing family around the holidays
- Anniversaries of tragic events
- Work-related annual deadlines
Pay attention to how your body responds during these periods. You may want to consider therapy or significant life changes if your stress levels are negatively impacting your gut health. Over time, these gut issues can cause serious health issues.
Manage Your Gut Issues in Specific Seasons with Five Journeys
Five Journeys can help you heal your gut no matter the time of year–and the specific seasons when gut health worsens. Our unique functional medicine approach takes a holistic view of gut health. As we mentioned, the gut isn’t just a “body part.” Its proper function is rooted in relationships, mental health, and genetics.
We need to figure out what’s causing your gut issues in specific seasons, limit your exposure to those factors, and promote overall healthy lifestyle habits. Once we do that, you’ll be feeling more vibrant than you’ve ever felt in your life!