There are some absolute must-know travel tips for those with IBS that can make all the difference in either enjoying the traveling process or dealing with a complete digestive nightmare. Your digestive system is incredibly smart and it is called your second brain for a reason. It is directly connected to your brain through the nervous system and it knows when you change your routine and head out of town. As a result, it can cause extreme digestive upset quickly, especially for those with IBS. This can make traveling more of a literal pain than the enjoyable experience it should be, so be sure to keep these travel tips for those with IBS handy and enjoy heading off to somewhere fabulous!
The absolute most important of all travel tips for those with IBS is to keep a high-quality probiotic on hand. My favorite for traveling purposes is Phillip’s brand Colon Health and Renew Life Women’s Probiotic. Both contain high-potency strains that help improve regularity, fight gas and bloating, and reduce symptoms of a nervous stomach.
2. Digestive Enzymes
Taking digestive enzymes can help break down your food more efficiently, which is helpful for the entire digestive process. You can purchase digestive supplements anywhere and any basic brand should do. Just be sure to avoid those with allergens like milk, soy, and gluten when possible. Taking these with each meal will improve digestion and reduce gas, bloating, and constipation.
3. Eat Lighter Meals
While traveling, it can be so easy to indulge because you’re on vacation. I understand, trust me! You may be tempted to let loose and eat heavier meals but if you want to keep your IBS at bay, you should refrain from overdoing it and eat smart. Eat lighter meals and stop when you’re 80% full so you can feel great on your trip instead of sick and bloated.
4. Take Magnesium
I like to say that magnesium is the "wonder supplement" for digestion and reducing anxiety. Magnesium can help relax the body, which induces peristalsis to increase regularity and battle bloating associated with constipation. Magnesium will also help you sleep better since it aids in calming anxiety and inducing sleepiness. Taking magnesium oxide or a supplement like True Calm, made of ionic magnesium citrate, before you go to bed is a great place to start.
5. Avoid Sugar
Sugar feeds bad bacteria in the gut and destroys good bacteria (like those found in probiotics). As a result, IBS symptoms not only worsen, but get out of hand quickly. Opt for something healthier instead, like a piece of raw chocolate, or freeze some yummy plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it with stevia and cinnamon to enjoy it like a dessert.
6. Don’t Eat on the Plane
During flight the body becomes extremely dehydrated, which is the worst thing possible for constipation. Drink plenty of liquids or eat a water-rich snack, like a banana, plain yogurt, or a smoothie you make yourself that you take with you on the plane. You should also avoid most airport snacks and airline meals, which are usually high in sodium.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
Traveling is exciting, but you still need your rest! Rest can actually improve overall digestive function, reduce anxiety, and reduce IBS symptoms all in one. Try to get at least 7-8 hours no matter what.
Traveling with IBS isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. Try to keep up with your day-to-day meal routines as much as possible and eat foods you know will agree with your body. This will help you enjoy your trip much more and help you come home feeling well too! If you have IBS, do you have a travel tip to share?