Have you ever noticed that you become constipated when you travel? If you have, you're far from along. It’s an extremely common complaint. It can be incredibly uncomfortable, and is often worse than the constipation that we all get from time to time when at home.
Below, we’re going to explore the causes of “traveller’s constipation” (and yes, it is well known enough to have a name). By understanding the causes, you can take steps to prevent it from happening.
First, though, why is it important? Well, constipation every now and again is rarely problematic, but even a short burst of constipation can wreak havoc. It often hurts. It frequently leads to discomfort caused by gas and bloating. When serious, though, it can be dangerous for people with IBS, diverticulitis, and Crohn's disease.
OK, so we know it’s problematic, let’s now learn about its causes so we can learn to avoid it:
The leading reason for constipation when traveling is simply due to the change in diet. There are several issues here. First, if you're used to eating plenty or healthy food, but you let go of this because you’re on holiday, choosing instead to eat junk, then that will lead to changes in your bowel movement.
In particular, junk food will lead to constipation rather than diarrhoea. Before travelling, you can try to minimise the amount of fibre you’re eating at home, so that your body becomes use to lower volumes. This should help somewhat.
Some of us have a much regimented routine. We know exactly when our bowel movements are going to happen, we know when we’re going to go to bed, we know when we eat, and we know when we exercise. If you’re like this, then even a small change to your routine can make a huge difference.
If you have to hold your bowels because there are no toilets, it can send the body into a tizzy. The intestines then start to squeeze excess water out of your food, and you become constipated. Wherever possible, try to stick to your routine. Try to plan toilet breaks. On the days when you know you can’t make these plans, use a supplement like Colosan to keep things well hydrated.
Anxiety about using foreign toilets also falls into this category. If you think this might happen to you while abroad, then pack those things that might help you, such as toilet seat covers, antibacterial wipes and hand gels, and a spare pair of underwear.
There are two reasons why you might not be moving around a lot. One, you might have a long period of travel. For instance some of you will be on 12-hour flights. Two, you're probably too relaxed to bother with exercise.
Unfortunately, lack of movement will lead you to becoming bunged up. The body needs a certain metabolic rate and it gets this from energy expenditure. If you want to keep your bowels moving, you need to remain moving too. If you have no option and you simply can’t move, then take a supplement like Colosan to help keep stools soft.