Constipation while traveling

CONSTIPATION, AN ANNOYING TRAVEL ISSUE…

Traveling inevitably includes stressful events, like delayed or canceled flights, long stopovers, lost luggage, jet lag and radical environment and diet changes… All these events are affecting the organism and can lead to constipation, which is a frequent problem among travelers. However, if you carefully plan your trip and foresee everything, it is possible to avoid, or at least to minimize, this problem.

The main causes of constipation among travelers are the modification of the daily habits and the disruption of the body’s inner clock caused by jet lag, which have bad effects on the digestive track, especially on the intestines. The lack of food, of water and of exercise are other factors involved in constipation. If you experience abdominal pain, a sudden loss of weight, hard, dry or bloody feces and painful bowel movements while traveling, you should see a doctor immediately. Note that the symptoms of constipation may vary, depending on the individual.

HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT CONSTIPATION ?

If you are affected by constipation while traveling, it may totally ruin your holidays… To prevent and treat this annoying pathology, follow some simple tips :

  • Move your body and exercise regularly, it will help your intestines to function properly. While traveling, walk along the aisle in the plane and in the train at least every hour. If traveling by car, take regular breaks to get off the vehicle and walk. During your stay, walk whenever possible and exercise every day.
  • Eat food rich in fibers, like fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals. It is also possible to take fiber supplements, like psyllium and methylcellulose.
  • Drink a lot of water, as dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation. Always carry a bottle of water and drink sufficiently during your meals. You can drink non-carbonated soft drinks like iced tea, but avoid coffee.
  • If you need to defecate, go to toilets immediately and don’t put it off.

ARE THERE NATURAL METHODS TO TREAT CONSTIPATION ?

Some natural methods can be used to treat constipation :

  • Fish oil : whether it is contained in your food or taken as supplements, fish oil is an excellent source of fatty acids and is very useful to treat constipation. Salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna and herring are among the fish to favor. But take fish oil supplements with caution, as at high dose, they may increase bleeding risks and cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Castor oil : castor oil has laxative properties and can be used to rapidly relieve constipation. It may be hard to swallow, because of its bad taste. It is possible to mix it with fruit juice for a better administration. Don’t take it in the evening.
  • Herbs : herbal therapy can help to treat constipation. You can take herbal laxatives, like flax seed, fenugreek and barley, or stimulant herbs, like senna, Cascara segrada and aloe. However, you should use herbal therapy with caution, as it can have bad side-effects.

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