Here are five reasons why you can’t poop while you’re traveling.
My immediate family makes a tradition of traveling to the house of my oldest sister around the holidays. This is because my sister is a mother of two children and works as an emergency room physician, so she is frequently required to work on or near the holidays.
While there, we share a meal, reflect on how fortunate we are, and celebrate the season. When anything like this takes place, my stomach has been all out of whack for the last three years and counting.
After about 12 hours, I start to feel nauseous and lightheaded. Within the first twenty-four hours, I am able to recognize that something is not right.
I had always believed that it was just me, but when I brought it up in conversation with my mother, she revealed that she had identical sensations. Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., a gastroenterologist located in Charleston, South Carolina, and the author of Fiber Fueled, which was a bestseller on The New York Times, says that this is not at all an uncommon occurrence.
Our stomach doesn’t always have as much fun when we’re away from home as the rest of us do, and this is true whether we’re just staying with relatives a few hours away or traveling halfway across the world for our vacation.
“At this point, the Christmas season has officially begun. It’s likely that you’ll do some traveling at some time, “This week, Bulsiewicz posted a message on his Instagram account, which is known by its handle @theguthealthmd. “Is it just me, or does being on vacation screw up your intestines to the point that you can’t have a good bowel movement? Have no worry, because your helpful poop doctor is here to break it down for you.”
Here Are the Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Poo While Traveling, According to the assessment of a Gastroenterologist
Once you’ve determined the cause of your sluggishness or disorientation, you’ll be able to make changes to your routine that will lower your likelihood of experiencing gastrointestinal distress or constipation, allowing you to take full use of your vacation time.
You have no sense of rhythm.
According to the findings of several studies, the vast majority of people defecate most often in the morning and far less frequently in the evening. It is possible for your normal schedule to be shifted ahead or backward by several hours as a result of traveling to a different time zone or suffering jet lag.
This might cause a disruption in the normal pattern of when you use the toilet. After resetting your watch to the time zone in which you are now located, it is often much simpler to get back on schedule. (Shh… a dietician has revealed the most effective and expedient method for relieving constipation.)
You have altered your eating habits.
Whether you are partaking in a festive feast, the cuisine served on a flight, or a multicourse tasting menu, it is probable that you are not consuming a meal plan that is comparable to what your digestive system is accustomed to eating at home.
We are not suggesting that you pack your meals or skip any special dishes; however, you should take a cue from what Bulsiewicz tells us he eats in a gut-friendly day and try to include more fiber, a wide variety of plants, and a probiotic food or two per day, if at all possible. We are not suggesting that you pack your meals or skip any special dishes.
You have a higher alcohol consumption (and not enough water).
According to what Bulsiewicz shared with us, drinking enough of water is a top priority for him throughout the day since it facilitates digestion and helps him avoid constipation. If you’d like, you may have a glass of wine you had at Thanksgiving or a tropical drink when you’re on vacation at the beach.
Drinking alcohol should only be done so in moderation, and you should make it a point to always have a refillable water bottle on you so that you can keep up with your hydration requirements throughout the day.
Your level of movement has decreased.
When you travel, you spend a lot of time sitting, whether it be on an airplane, train, or car. When you get to your location, you could find yourself relaxing more (for example, sitting around a table, watching football on the sofa, or laying in a lounge chair on the beach…).
It has been shown via research that inactivity raises the likelihood of developing constipation; thus, if you are able to add some steps into your day, your digestive system will be grateful. Put on some shoes that can handle the terrain, and if at all feasible, go walking about your temporary residence. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day is highly recommended, but even 10 minutes per day is better than doing nothing.
You’re feeling extra stress.
Even trips that are intended to be “pleasant” might result in increased levels of stress due to a variety of factors. Some of these factors include family relationships, the possibility of travel delays, and the process of becoming comfortable with the area.
We are aware of a number of scientifically proven ways in which stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system. In preparation for your trip, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with three low-cost and simple methods for reducing stress; these methods are applicable regardless of where you place your pin on the map.