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Thursday, May 24, 2018

How can you keep Number Two's Regular when you go on Vacation

When you’re traveling, it’s easy to fall into bad habits that can lead to digestive system problems such as constipation or diarrhea.  

Constipation is a temporary condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements, passing hard stools or straining when you do have a bowel movement

There are a lot of habits related to comfortable bowel movements. Simple things like a change in your eating habits or what you drink can affect your digestive system. Even a change in the bathroom that you use that is not your own or is public can cause anxiety for some people because it takes them out of their regular routine.

If you’re concerned about using public bathrooms, try to give yourself time to relax and make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Maintaining your regular eating and drinking habits as much as possible while traveling or staying in a new place is the best way to maintain regularity and avoid or treat constipation and diarrhea.

A few key tips to help you stay regular

1. Drink plenty of water and clear fluids. 

This may not completely relieve constipation if you have it, but it can at least soften stools so they are easier to pass.

One of the causes of constipation is dehydration, so drinking water, fruit juice or clear liquids will keep you hydrated. Avoid drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, since these will dehydrate you more.

2. Eat enough fiber. 

Make sure you eat high-fiber foods such as dried or fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and whole grain crackers, cereals, beans and bread. Remember that the recommended amounts are 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit every day.  Bring fiber items with you to eat on the go: most dried fruit or fiber bars, especially in sealed packages, should be ok in most countries as it is considered processed food. You can carry things for breakfast such as flax seeds or high-fiber cereals, so that you have a healthy breakfast and get plenty of fiber.

3. Avoid low-fiber foods. 

Vacations are meant to be fun, but if you can, avoid excessive amounts of low-fiber snack foods and desserts such as candy, cheese, pizza, processed foods, chips and ice cream. They can make your constipation worse.

4. Exercise and stay physically active. 

Keep your body moving so that your digestive system keeps moving. Schedule stretching breaks, especially if you’re in a car, plane, bus or train for long periods of travel. Hike, bike or swim when you can.

5. Get plenty of rest. 

Sometimes people don’t sleep as much on vacation, and that can throw off your system.

6. Don’t ignore your body’s signals. 

If your body is telling you to go to the bathroom, don’t put it off because you’re only near a public restroom or don’t want to interrupt your sightseeing. If you ignore the urge, it can lead to or worsen your constipation.

7. Plan for bathroom breaks that match your routine. 

Try to maintain your schedule, if you always use the bathroom at a certain time of day.

If you’re concerned about using public bathrooms, try to give yourself time to relax and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Read a newspaper or magazine to relax or listen to music from your phone or other device with ear buds. If you don’t have a bowel movement for ten minutes, move on and try again when you feel the urge.

8. Use laxatives wisely. 

If diet and exercise don’t help your constipation on the trip, take a laxative. However, use them wisely and only for a short time. You want to avoid making your body dependent on them.

If you’ve had a problem with constipation while traveling in the past, you may want to prepare ahead of time by taking a stool softener or bulk-forming laxative before you travel and bringing some in a travel medical kit.

Probiotics can be useful for travel.  The change in diet and sleep patterns can be problematic to the natural flora of your intestines.  Align Probiotics are the #1 brand recommended by medical providers!  Click the photo below to learn more and support our blog.

Diarrhea can also be a problem

Diarrhea is loose, watery stools.  Eating something that has bacteria in it or drinking contaminated water can give you diarrhea when you travel. But sometimes, changes in your regular diet, exercise and bathroom routines (the same things that can cause constipation) are to blame.  Whether you want to travel abroad to a tropical paradise and enjoy lounging on the beach or plan to traverse the dense rainforest of the Amazon, you need a supplement that you can trust will help prevent and combat gastrointestinal issues.  Travelan is highly rated for international travel.  Click the photo below to learn more and support our blog.

For diarrhea, you should always pack an over-the-counter or prescription medicine to help you treat it.

Medicine packs are convenient to carry and are labeled for luggage inspections. Click the photo below to learn more and support our blog.

But the best advice is to eat and exercise like you always do. Traveling is a time to watch your diet and other routines more, not less.  Really try to maintain your dietary routine on vacation and prioritize healthy habits!! You may not eat the healthiest foods and eat on the run more when you’re traveling, resulting in constipation.

Who is most at risk for constipation?

Constipation affects nearly everyone at some point, though certain factors do place you at a higher risk. For example,

  1. Women, especially during and right after pregnancy, and adults aged 65 and older report symptoms the most.  Children suffer from constipation more often than adults. 
  2. Other risk factors include a diet lacking in fiber, poor fluid intake, and a sedentary schedule. 
  3. Certain medications, such as opioids, blood pressure medications, heart disease medications, depression medications and diuretics, can also be constipating.  Ask your medical provider if you think your medications may be making you constipated before you go!
  4. Constipation is common in postmenopausal women. It may be the result of declining hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone. It may worsen because of weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Always remember!!!

Constipation is a temporary condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements (BM), passing hard stools or straining when you do have a bowel movement. Diarrhea is loose, watery stools. In some cases constipation or diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious condition, especially if you experience symptoms such as bloody stool or rectal pain.  If you continue to have constipation or diarrhea, bloody stool, rectal pain or anything that doesn't seem normal for you after your trip, speak to your medical provider immediately!  LTD recommends using the CDC Survival guide for healthy travel before and during any vacation!

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional.  The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice. 

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