For those of you who travel cross country or overseas, you know exactly what I am referring to. A long drive or a long flight does seem to stop up many of our bodily functions. Perhaps, a closer look at the cause, and maybe a few remedies? Just don’t get too close!
First, the tummy itself, most likely bloated, gassy, maybe even painful. On an airplane, this is quite stressful. Less so in your own car, or rental. The change in routine, and the stress of travel both contribute to your problems.
For some people, limited access to a regular bathroom is a factor. Also, a convenient and clean toilet. Many of us cannot wait to get to our hotel room. The culprit: I believe it is dietary change. Time zones also work against us. Sleep disruption is closely associated with bowel symptoms.
So, what can you or any of us do about this?
The first recommendation, which I agree with for many reasons: take probiotics. Even yogurt, and fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi. It is best to start a few days before leaving, continue while on your trip, and for a few days upon your return home. I use probiotics for all of my overseas travel.
Move! Don’t just sit there. On a plane, walk up and down the aisles periodically, particularly on longer flights. In your car, stop often and stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and take a short walk. Most experts say that exercise promotes healthy daily bowel movements.
Avoid junk food at all costs. If you must munch, go high fiber, like trail mix and fresh fruit. Stay hydrated as well, even if it means frequent trips to the toilet.
A couple of drugs I highly recommend: simethicone tablets for flatulence, and famotidine for excess acid.
Once at your destination, continue the routine: move, eat healthy and get a good night’s rest.
I do have one secret ingredient. Go to Trader’s Joe’s and get their dried white peaches. Take two every morning! If all else fails, try a mild laxative like Benefiber or Miralax.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, just go lightly!