Traveling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may sound like a miserable experience because of the many uncomfortable symptoms that are related to IBS. In fact, some irritable bowel syndrome sufferers are hesitant to leave far from home, because their digestive system is so upset that quick access to a bathroom is needed often.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Symptoms
Most sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome experience bloating, stomach cramping, and diarrhea. The symptoms of diarrhea may occur at any time, which means that a bathroom might be needed unexpectedly. These sudden bouts of diarrhea are the reason that traveling with irritable bowel syndrome can be difficult.
Traveling Tips For Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
- Choose a relaxing vacation destination. It is common for IBS symptoms to be triggered by higher levels of stress, so taking some time to relax and unwind may actually help to decrease your symptoms. Don’t plan anything that will cause higher levels or stress or anxiety.
- Investigate the available bathrooms. When you go to a new location, take a few moments in the beginning to identify where the nearest bathroom is. You may even consider requesting a seat near the bathroom on the airplane, or choosing a restaurant table that is near a bathroom.
- Be careful with your food choices. A healthy eating plan can be an effective way to prevent the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and you should proactively choose healthy meal options. Many restaurants will allow you to cater the meal to avoid foods that trigger your IBS. Choose to eat lots of fresh foods and lean meat, and avoid junk food or menu items that are high in fat.
- Pack the essential items. Be sure to have diarrhea medication easily available if needed; people with irritable bowel syndrome may want to keep a dose of anti-diarrheal medication in their pocket or bag. Pay attention to your symptoms, and if you begin to experience even mild discomfort you may consider taking the medication to avoid the diarrhea.
- Talk to your travel companions. It can be hard to hide your IBS symptoms from people that you are travelling with, and telling them about your health condition can relieve the stress of trying to mask your discomfort. Tell them about your medical condition, and don’t be shy to ask for help or accommodations if needed.
- Maintain consistency. A lack of sleep or irregular eating habits may trigger irritable bowel symptoms to get worse, to try to set a schedule and remain consistent as much as possible.
It can be tricky to travel with irritable bowel syndrome, but don’t let IBS prevent you from enjoying your life. A little bit of planning ahead will allow you to enjoy your travel and keep your IBS symptoms under control. Carefully planning your travel arrangements and destination can make it possible for you to enjoy the experience without the damper of IBS.