I don't know if it's just me and my family, but changes of season affect our guts, and not for the better. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my dad has UC, my mom has IBS, and a sibling has undetermined IBD issues. While I find that changing my diet helps my UC symptoms, my dad can eat everything and anything. My mom steers clear of certain foods and not others, and my sister finds she has trouble with dairy products,
But the one thing we can all agree on is that when summer turns to fall our guts get rumbly and relatively grumpy. Why? We've asked this question for years and while nobody can give me an answer I've come to a few theories of my own.
1. Fall takes us from a relaxed, summer frame-of-mind, to a more structured "school time" mind-set which can bring back feelings of stress and tension. Even though my step-son is now fully grown I can't help but keep track of when school starts and for some reason that brings home the fact that summer playtime is over and I need to put my nose to the grindstone and get back into full work mode.
2.The "school-time" mode or feeling can also mean we make less time for ourselves to relax, exercise, or meditate - all of which are important for keeping our minds centered and our bodies filled with good, positive energy. Even if you can only find 5-10 minutes in your busy fall schedule, use it to take a short walk, or sit and breathe from your belly.
3. Vitamin D deficiency. In the summer we're outside in dress, shorts, and short sleeved shirts allowing us to soak up natural vitamin D through our skin. Vitamin D is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are very important for people with IBD or IBS. As fall and cooler temperatures arrive we cover up our skin and tend to spend less time in the sunlight, thus diminishing the amount of vitamin D we absorb into our body.
4. Fresh summer fruits and veggies are becoming less abundant and this can mean we tend to get less fiber in our diet, which can also change how effectively our digestive tract works.
So, don't let the end-of-summer blues get you. Go into fall prepared and ready to eat well, breathe easy, and roll-up your sleeves to catch a few real rays of natural, healthy sunshine (just 15 minutes will give you your needed daily vitamin D).