Is travel constipation spoiling your quality time? And you usually activate “Do Not Disturb” on your phone and are on the way to your favorite destination for that much-needed break. But, there is something irking you. Something is off! Now that you are on your trip, you are feeling as if you have gas, your stomach is bloating and you are experiencing pain in the stomach.
And then, when you think about it, you realize that you haven’t relived yourself for the last couple of days.
So, what’s this happening? Well, it is pretty common and referred to as vacation constipation or ‘travel constipation.’ It can even hit you if you’ve never really had trouble pooping. So why does it occur when you travel? Vijaya Rao, a gastroenterologist, says that it could be because of the change in your daily routine accompanied by travel-related stress.
Vacation constipation may happen when you are traveling. Going on a long trip by road or plane means restricted access to bathrooms. Even if you have settled in your hotel, you are still not comfortable. It doesn’t feel like home. So, maybe your bowels are kind of shy. You are also experiencing changes in diet as you are eating food different from what you eat at home.
Your sleep may also be disturbed, particularly if you have changed time zones. Research has established a correlation between bowel issues and sleep disturbances.
Vacation constipation is not very serious, but it is definitely not an enjoyable experience. There are ways to cure it if it does hit you. Here is the plan
Before the Trip: Incorporate Probiotics
Although more studies are required, but it will help to eat yogurt with live cultures or take a probiotic supplement before moving for a trip. Get into the habit of consuming probiotics, a few days before you leave your home for the trip. Research suggests that good bacteria in probiotics helps soften the stool and relieve constipation.
While Traveling: Move Often
If you are in the plane, don’t just sit at a place for long. Get up and move to keep the blood moving through your gut as well as legs. Stretch your arms and legs after regular intervals in case you are in car.
Exercising regularly eases bowel movement. Also, do not nibble on airport snacks like chips and chocolate candies. Your colon will thank you opting for if have high-fiber foods like fruits and nuts during travel. Drink a lot of water will also be beneficial as it would be good for your gut.
At the Destination: Eat, Move and Consume Enough Water
Preserve your regular routine. Pay attention to your food choices. You may wish to enjoy local specialties but try to have more of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and lentils. Walk around and drink enough water. Also, do not exhaust your body much. Get a good night’s sleep.
If everything fails, Dr. Rao suggests going for mild laxatives that are gentle yet safer than stimulant laxatives. Mix the powder in a fluid which will draw water inside the colon; thereby, facilitating the process of pooping.