6 Tips for Going to the Beach With IBS
As a Floridian, I absolutely love my days at the beach. I am quite spoiled as I live in Miami and I have access to some of the best beaches in the world. The sand is soft, the ocean is gorgeous turquoise, the sky is a beaming blue and the sun is always ready to give you a tan.
But what happens when you have IBS? Well, I’ll tell you: it tends to complicate what should be an uncomplicated outing. However, as we all should, I don’t let IBS get in my way. No beach ever again? I don’t think so. I am determined to make this work if it’s the last thing I do. So here are some tips that I personally use whenever I have a beach day:
Locate a spot with bathroom access
At least in Miami, all public beaches have areas where there are public restrooms. Therefore, whenever you plan to head to the beach, pick an area in which you are near the restroom.
Pack the essentials
In a large beach bag, make sure you pack the essentials for IBS. For everyone, it can be a bit different, but for me, that looks like the following: pads, liners, wipes, extra bathing suits, extra clothes, and underwear.
You may find this strange, but I wear a pad in my bathing suit up until I get to the public restroom. I then take it off when I reach the restroom, use the restroom, then head out to find my spot on the beach.
Staying hydrated is so important, as being dehydrated can trigger symptoms. So make sure you pack plenty of water to sip on throughout your day.
Pack safe foods
In my beach bag, I always have safe foods. Chips, fruit, veggies. Things that I absolutely know will not trigger any symptoms. I also keep snacking to a healthy minimum. I snack just enough so I’m not starving, but I don’t overdo it either.
The ocean is always an option
You might find this controversial, but I’m an open book so I’ll share. I’ve never had a full-blown accident at the beach and the closest I did come to one, I made it to the public restroom in time so it was no problem.
However, there is something reassuring, knowing that if the urgency hits and it is next level, meaning you can’t make it to the public restroom — well, there is always the ocean. Swim out far and away from people and you know what, let the fish take care of the remains. I mean fish and all other sea-life get to go in the ocean, why not us?
But in all seriousness, at least in the event of a horrible spell, you know that that is an option. If you can, try and head for the restrooms though.
Don’t get caught up thinking about your symptoms. Lay in the sand. Listen to the waves. Take a swim. Let the ocean offer a healing escape. If you are constantly anxious about something happening it will ruin the experience, and often times spring up symptoms.
How about you? Do you go to the beach often? If so, what are some tips you have?
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?