WE’VE all experienced it at some point or another – vacation constipation is a real thing.
You know how it starts, you get to your destination then the all too familiar feeling of bloating, stomach pain and gas kicks in.
Getty – Contributor Vacation constipation is a real thing but there are ways to prevent it
So why do we get vacation constipation, and how can be get rid of it?
Mostly, it comes down to the change in routine and diet, gastroenterologist Vijaya Rao explained.
Your body gets used to the foods you regularly eat at home, so when that changes your digestive system reacts differently.
“A lot of times it’s just the change in routine, coupled with the extra stress of travelling,” Dr Rao, a professor of medicine at The University of Chicago School of Medicine, told Health.
Getty – Contributor The changes to your bowel movements start from the minute you take off
The constipation can start when you’re on your way – whether it’s on the plane or a long road trip.
Having limited access to toilets can disrupt your digestive system and you probably feel less comfortable pooping in a hotel toilet, so you hold on a little longer than normal.
Sleep also plays a role in the digestive process.
Normally when we travel our sleep is disrupted a bit, meaning our bodies don’t process food as well as they usually do.
Getty – Contributor Constipation can also cause tummy pain and bloating, which can ruin a holiday
Studies have linked sleep disruption to bowel problems.
All of this, coupled with the different foods you are eating, can wreak havoc with your bowel.
But, luckily, there are ways you can beat the bloat and get back to enjoying your holiday.
Just like when you get constipation at home, making the right choices can stop it from happening in the first place.
1. Protect your gut
Before your trip, take some probiotics to keep your guy happy and healthy.
Some research suggests probiotics can soften stools and ease constipation.
Dr Rao said more research is needed into how probiotics work, but it can’t hurt to take them.
2. Keep it moving
Getty – Contributor Make sure you eat plenty of fibre-rich foods like fruit and vegetables to keep your bowel moving
You might not know it, but moving around can actually help your bowels keep going.
When you’re on the plane try to get up and move as much as you can.
This will get your blood flowing to keep your digestive system working.
And try to avoid all the temptations of crisps, chocolate and other snacks because that won’t help you poo.
3. Eat right
Keeping your bowel healthy starts with what you are putting in it.
If you are eating lots of high-fat, unhealthy junk foods coupled with too much booze – hey, it’s a holiday – then you’re going to have toilet trouble.