Monsoon health woes: Understanding stomach problems, their prevention, and treatment

The rainy season brings with it several health problems, the most common being stomach problems. Here’s a breakdown of gut-related issues

Dr Rakesh PatelUpdated: Thursday, July 28, 2022, 05:51 PM IST
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Many people look forward to the monsoon season because it promises cooler temperatures and a chance to enjoy the seasonal showers. However, more often than not, this season can bring with it a whole lot of diseases, infections, and allergies. While other viral infections like fever and cold are pretty standard, digestive and gastric problems also affect many people. Diseases and conditions like acidity, bloating, ulcers, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD and gastroenteritis can impact the overall well-being of an individual. While a good diet and regular exercise should be followed all year round, during the monsoon season, it is imperative that people refrain from overeating outside food and always follow precautions to keep themselves and their families healthy and fit. 

The link between monsoon and gut-related issues

One of the significant reasons why outside food should not be consumed, especially during the monsoon season, is that the water used to prepare these items can be unhygienic and filled with harmful bacteria and viruses. When a person consumes street food like chaat and pani puri, it can cause a lot of water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, amebiasis, hepatitis, and gastroenteritis. The risk of all these conditions increases substantially during the monsoon season, which is essential to restrict the consumption of outside food during the monsoon season. 

Tips to prevent stomach problems

While everyone enjoys the rain as it signals prosperity and good luck, it is equally essential to maintain certain precautions so you do not end up compromising your health and wellness. Eat meals in moderation by consuming lighter foods that the stomach can easily digest. While cooking meals at home, choose oils like olive oil or sunflower oil to help your food to digest properly. Eat steamed or boiled veggies rather than raw ones as the latter may contain bacteria and viruses that can lead to stomach infections.

The monsoon season can be challenging for anyone if precautions are not followed, especially if you have a weak immune system. It can also affect children as they do not have a robust immune system and consume a lot of junk food. Refrain from consumption of outside food, especially if you are unaware of the hygiene practices followed by the restaurant/takeaway. Do not drink too many concentrated drinks as they can mess up your internal digestive system. Refrain from consuming too much seafood as fish and marine life may contain contaminated water leading to cholera and diarrhoea.

Treatment for gastrointestinal problems

The treatment for gastrointestinal problems varies from patient to patient, depending on the diagnosis and progression of the disease. However, most of these conditions are treatable at home, especially if the person suffering from them gets sufficient rest and stays hydrated. If you have gastrointestinal problems, you should follow a simple diet where your body can easily digest food. However, if your symptoms last longer than a day or two or if those symptoms become more severe, you should consult a specialist at the earliest.

(Dr Rakesh Patel, Senior Consultant-Gastroenterologist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan)

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