Spring break should be a time of fun, laughter, and relaxation. However, travel for most with IBS can cause a flare due to increased stress, new foods or trigger foods, and a lack of sleep.
But you can take the stress out of travelling by being prepared. Here are some practical tips so that you can relax and enjoy your vacation.
If flying, reserve the aisle seat or a seat close to the restroom so you can get up freely to use it when needed without climbing over other passengers.
Wear loose fitting clothing that does not have a tight band around your waist that would apply pressure to your abdomen.
Pack snacks that you know are safe foods. Some of my personal favorites are: sunflower seeds, grapes, oranges, Go Macro Bar or Fody Foods bars, tuna packets, turkey and mozzarella cheese.
When Eating at Restaurants:
Often high FODMAPS can make their way into meals at restaurants, especially garlic and onion. A good way to reduce the bloat besides keeping FODMAPS low is to bring along supplements such as:
Peppermint Enteric Coated Capsules: These capsules are to be taken at meal time, and they are digested in the intestines to ease bloating. Please note that peppermint may not be tolerated for those with acid-reflux.
Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes are proteins in our saliva, small intestines, and stomach that help to break down food. They are to be taken for a food item that you know your body can not digest on it's own. They must be taken in enough time to help you break and digest the food, typically at the START of meal time so they are in your stomach as food enters.
Stay Hydrated: To keep your bowels regular, it is important to stay hydrated with water. Try avoiding or limiting stimulants to your gut such as coffee, juices, and limit alcohol to one drink per day or avoid if causes discomfort.
Maintain Exercise: if you exercise at home, it is helpful to keep this routine going. Find a gym where you are staying, walk on the beach, go for a hike, or a swim.
Keep in mind, every trip experience will vary. Go with a plan, but be prepared to have flexibility to keep the stress low to reduce your risk of a flare. Relax and enjoy your trip!