Summer Travel and Gastrointestinal Problems

Summer Travel and Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems during Summer travel and are quite common  If you have plans to travel, you should be aware that it is common to experience digestive issues from a road trip or flight. From gas and bloating to diarrhea and constipation, travel can take a toll on your gut. Fortunately, the GI experts at Ocean Family Gastroenterology can help you with ways to minimize the effects summer travel can have on your digestion.

Here are helpful eight tips to improve your digestive health during and post travel.

Drink Lots of Fluids

When you stay hydrated you keep your digestive system functioning properly. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day (or according to your doctor’s recommendation) while traveling. Try to avoid sugary drinks like sodas and juices that are not just high in sugar but can also contribute to gastrointestinal problems.

Eat Light Meals

Do you tend to overeat when you travel? Telling yourself it is your time to splurge can take its toll on your digestive system. Try to stick with smaller meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones. Choose foods that are easy on the stomach, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid spicy or fatty foods that are triggers for heartburn or other digestive issues.

Avoid or Limit Alcohol

Do not let travel be your time to “throw caution to the wind.” Alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you and irritate your stomach lining, leading to indigestion. If you do drink alcohol while traveling, be sure to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages. Once you arrive home, it is best to cut back or limit alcohol altogether if you can.

Maintain a Routine

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, as well as eating, drinking and bathroom habits while traveling will help keep everything running smoothly. While traveling use the new “We Can’t Wait” APP – a simple way to locate publicly accessible bathrooms. You will be amazed at how good you feel when you slip right back into your normal schedule of eating, sleeping and bathroom habits.

Get or Keep Moving

Exercise really helps to keep things moving through your GI tract. Try to incorporate a simple walk around the block after eating. This will help to get things going. Just be sure not to overdo it – too much exercise right after eating could lead to cramps or nausea.

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. Many people take a probiotic supplement. These good bacteria help promote gut health and crowd out bad bacteria. They will help you stay regular and symptom-free.

Wash Your Hands Often

Hand hygiene is important when trying to reduce exposure to harmful germs. Good hand hygiene also helps prevent gastrointestinal infections. Wash your hands often, especially after going to the bathroom and before every meal. Good hand hygiene is particularly important when you are traveling.

Try to Manage Stress

Have you ever heard the term “I need a vacation from my vacation?” Travel can be stressful. Remember that anxiety and stress do not just take a toll on your mind – they also affect your digestive health. Try to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Since you cannot always avoid the anxiety and stress of travel, try deep breathing exercises or meditation. Follow the previous tips for better digestion. And, if you know you will have unmanageable gut health issues while you travel schedule an appointment with a digestive health expert before you go.

GI Health Doctors in Toms River, NJ

If you have GI issues before or after you travel this summer, the gastrointestinal team at Ocean Family Gastroenterology is here for you. We will take the time to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and create an individualized treatment plan that will help you feel better. To schedule a consultation, call us at 732-281-1590 or visit us online HERE.