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HOLIDAYS AND TRAVEL

Another strain on digestion

Unfamiliar food, changing time zones and different climates are the most common causes of constipation when travelling. Exotic ingredients and spices, unusually large quantities and rich food, combined with a change in daily routine and perhaps higher temperatures than normal, also put a strain on the stomach and bowels. Depending on the type of changes and your body’s natural predisposition, needing a few days to acclimatise to the new conditions is completely normal. To make the adjustment easier, eat light, fibre-rich meals and, particularly in warmer climes, drink more than you normally would at home.

Digestion is often negatively affected by a lack of fluids in warm holiday regions: if you sweat more, you should also drink more in order to balance things out. Some people also drink too little when they’re out and about because they’re worried about not being able to get to a toilet if the worst comes to the worst. One rather unusual, yet practical, solution is a ‘pocket urinal’ – available for men and women from specialist sanitation product retailers.
In addition to external factors, taking on iron can further slow the digestion when travelling. If possible, talk to your doctor about going without iron supplements or medications containing iron when on holiday. Aluminium, which many supplements designed to prevent travel sickness contain, can also cause constipation. The best option is to avoid medications with a high quantity of aluminium in them and ask your doctor or chemist about alternatives.
Some people generally find it difficult to go to the toilet outside of their usual environment. If the main issue in that case is cleanliness, paper covers for the toilet seat or sanitary wipes are good solutions.