Traveling can be one of the most enjoyable activities to do, especially when you’re feeling overworked or tired or simply just want to create lasting memories. Many people enjoy traveling because it can be a time to disconnect and experience new things which you don’t in your normal life. But one part of your body which doesn’t take a break is your gastrointestinal tract. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be distracting while traveling because the symptoms detract from the experiences.
In order to avoid having your holiday ruined, it’s quite important to plan properly and take extra precautions to reduce the incidence of the symptoms of IBS.
Optimize your mode of travel
When traveling with IBS it’s quite important that you allow yourself the maximum freedom of movement. That is why it is generally suggested that you sit in the aisle seat. Although the window seat grants access to wonderful picturesque scenes it can be very embarrassing to bring attention to the fact that you are getting up very often if you need to go to the bathroom. Having to wait for people to get up can also slow you down on your trips to the bathroom, which can greatly increase the discomfort you experience.
Be in control of what you eat
It is well known that certain foods will aggravate the onset of IBS, but it can be quite difficult to avoid these foods while you’re traveling, especially if you are buying food made by someone else. Many commercial snacks have preservatives and additives that can irritate the bowel and many catered accommodations may be unaware of your fairly long list of foods which you should avoid. It is therefore recommended to stay in an accommodation with its own kitchen where you can prepare your own food or if you have to eat out, you know how to explain which foods will induce the onset of your symptoms. This can be especially tricky if you are traveling to a place that does not speak English as the main language.
Some other useful tips
It’s quite important to stay well hydrated throughout your travels because dehydration can definitely worsen the condition.
It is also highly recommended that you are always aware of a bathroom nearby should you need to rush to it. If you are in a foreign country, you should definitely learn how to ask where the bathroom is in the local language.
There may be times that you are subjected to great stress during your traveling because of rushing to catch certain transport or hurrying to planned activities or because you are lost. It is important to remember in these times that large amounts of stress can most certainly trigger the effects of IBS so reducing stress is essential. Slow down your breathing and try to think as clearly as possible.
Although traveling is sometimes used as a means to escape from a mundane routine it’s important to maintain a particular schedule for your gut. Make sure to eat at your usual times and maintain the pattern that your gastrointestinal tract is used to. There may be extra considerations when having to travel with IBS but if you consider that doing these small things can largely reduce the amount of time spent suffering from the symptoms, it really is worth it to look after your body.