Some IBD Medications Increase Heat Related Problems

  • Summertime can be a lot of fun. Who doesn't love sitting out by the pool relaxing with a cold drink? Unfortunately when you have medical problems like Inflammatory Bowel Disease Summer's excessive heat can also prove dangerous.


    Certain medications can make you more likely to overheat or even get burned. For example, the medication Levsin, used for spasms in the GI tract, can make it harder to sweat and can keep the body from adequately cooling itself. Certain steroids can make you swell and even more so in the heat. Specific antibiotics can cause you to be more sun sensitive and burn easily.

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    It is important to make sure you know your own medications. Check the insert that comes with your prescription, call your pharmacist or look your medication up on a site like RxList or Look for any warnings regarding the heat, fluid retention or sun sensitivity.


    All of these things can prove to be big issues but with a little preparation and using the tips listed below you can avoid heat related complications.


    ~Protect your skin by wearing an SPF of at least 30 and covering up with light colored, loosely fitting clothing. Sun hats with wide brims and sun glasses are also stylish ways to protect your eyes and face from the sun.


    ~Drink plenty of the RIGHT fluids. Drinks with alcohol, sugar or caffeine can be counter productive by causing further fluid loss. Water is always a good choice and in some instances electrolyte replenishing drinks may be needed. Always double check with your physician for your own fluid needs if you have fluid or sodium restrictions. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink... the idea is to drink enough that you don't become thirsty. At least one glass of water each hour on these hot days can help keep you hydrated.


    ~Move it indoors. On the hottest days take it inside. Air-conditioning is the best way to keep cool when the temps get upwards of 90 degrees. If you normally exercise outdoors you may want to consider an indoor alternative or a gym membership for the summer. If you do not have air-conditioning check with your local health department or physician about cooling centers in your area. It's hottest mid-day so save your errands for morning or evening.


    ~Recognize the signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion and know what to do should either occur. When in doubt contact your physician or heat to urgent care or the ER.


    Be safe and smart out there and you can enjoy the summer no matter how heat sensitive you are!

Published On: July 25, 2011