Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS can make traveling stressful, especially when you don’t know what to expect or how to prepare. Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, managing IBS symptoms in a new place can feel overwhelming. In this article, we will share some of our favorite tips for traveling with IBS.
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by chronic symptoms that affect the gut and bowel. IBS is characterized by discomfort in the stomach and issues with normal bowel movements by causing diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. Here are some helpful tips for managing IBS symptoms while you’re on the go.
Tip #1: Prepare Beforehand
Take active steps to ensure that you feel prepared going into your trip, whether it is a work event or a vacation. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to minimize your symptoms and discomfort while traveling.
Tip #2: Bring Along IBS medications
Whether it’s an over-the-counter stool softener remedy like Miralax or Dulcolax to relieve constipation or a mild anti-diarrheal to keep diarrhea at bay, make sure you have whatever medications you might need to manage your IBS symptoms on the off chance that they flare up.
Tip #3: Manage Stress
High-stress situations such as flying or being in a car for extended periods of time can cause people with IBS to become anxious without easy access to a bathroom. Create a calming playlist or try sleeping on the flight with natural sleep aids. Also be sure to choose an aisle seat should you need access to the restroom while on the flight.
Tip #4: Avoid Adventures with Cuisine
As disappointing as this may sound, food is one of the biggest triggers of IBS symptoms. Rather than allowing IBS to ruin your trip after an adventurous meal, stick to foods you know won’t cause a stir. This is especially important if you are traveling out of the country or to a foreign place. Bring your own IBS-friendly snacks to have with you while exploring throughout the day and, if possible, research restaurant options beforehand so you don’t get caught in a bind.
Tip #5: Don’t Forget Your Probiotics
Probiotics are essential to regulating gut function, but they also work to help reduce the chances of mild food poisoning, which can cause IBS flare ups especially for those with IBS-D. Make sure to always have these on-hand, even if you’re travelling!
Tip #6: Maintain Your Routine
One of the easiest ways to exacerbate symptoms of IBS while traveling is to change up your routine. Maintain your healthy eating habits and other important routines like sleep and exercise to ensure that your IBS symptoms stay at bay while traveling.
If you are planning to take a long vacation or work trip soon, you may want to discuss your upcoming trip with an IBS specialist. The experienced IBS doctors at Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay can help you better prepare for your trip, wherever you plan to roam.