New Study Demonstrates a Rise in the Incidence of Gastroenteritis and IBD Flares during Heat Waves

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Gastroenterologists at La Peer Health Systems’ IBD Center of Excellence comment on a new study linking heat waves and the exacerbation of symptoms in individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease or gastroenteritis.

Peyton Berookim MD
Individuals experiencing any severe and sudden bouts of abdominal pain or diarrhea should consult a physician immediately to avoid any worsening of symptoms, regardless of weather.

A recent article published on recounts a groundbreaking study revealing evidence for an increased risk of IBD relapse and gastroenteritis during heat waves.

“IBD is a serious and debilitating condition for many of our patients. This new study could help gastroenterologists like myself better predict and manage symptoms of IBD,” commented Mark Davidson, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist at La Peer.

According to an initial study by Swiss researchers, evidence suggests that hospitalization for IBD-related symptoms increases an average of 4-6 percent for each consecutive day in a heat wave. A followup study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology corroborated these findings with additional evidence revealing that the presence of a heat wave raised the risk of gastroenteritis by roughly 4-7 percent each consecutive day. The longitudal study, conducted by researchers from Zurich, Switzerland, is the first to demonstrate such a strong correlation between climate conditions and IBD symptoms.

Board-certified gastroenterologist Dr. Peyton Berookim, MD advises patients to be aware of the fact that their symptoms may worsen during heat waves. Still, he warns that “Individuals experiencing any severe and sudden bouts of abdominal pain or diarrhea should consult a physician immediately to avoid any worsening of symptoms, regardless of weather.”

At La Peer’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center of Excellence, a team of highly trained gastroenterologists helps hundreds of patients each year to treat and manage their gastrointestinal symptoms. They offer the most cutting-edge IBD treatments available at a unique, specialized outpatient surgical center in Los Angeles. Some of the state-of-the-art surgical treatments for IBD performed at La Peer include small bowel resection, colectomy, strictureplasty, and laparoscopic procedures.

La Peer Health Systems is an outpatient surgery center in Beverly Hills, founded by doctors and focused on providing excellent patient care alongside the most cutting-edge medical treatments available. With 40 world-renowned physicians in 13 specialties, we offer comprehensive medical treatment that takes patients from consultation to diagnosis, treatment, surgery, and ultimately aftercare. Our 13 medical departments include orthopedics & sports medicine, gastroenterology, head & neck surgery, colorectal & general surgery, podiatry, ophthalmology, pain management, plastics & reconstructive surgery, gynecology, spine surgery, interventional cardiology, bariatric surgery, and anesthesiology. Unlike large hospitals, La Peer's unique structure offers extremely personal care in a safe and controlled environment.

To learn more about the IBD Disease Center of Excellence, visit us online at

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Risa Luksa

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