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Spotlight: Traveling with IBS

  • By Chris Hall Keymaster

    Managing your IBS symptoms and flare ups can be difficult while on vacation, or just going to the store. What are some tips you have to manage your IBS when you’re away from home? Share with us below!

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  • By Emily

    Unfortunately I don’t travel much because of IBS-D. The worry of it is just not worth it to me. However, when I have to go anywhere whether it’s a road trip or to get my hair done I just don’t eat before. Even then if I have a road trip I’ll take Imodium just in case. Then I feel I can eat before the trip back. I hate living like this but idk what else to do.

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  • By LDZ92

    What are some tips you have to manage your IBS when you’re away from home?

    My family has been living abroad in Europe for the past 5 years, we moved the year after my issues began, and I have been on numerous trips since. Although my IBS-D is not as bad as it used to be, I have since discovered certain foods to avoid: (garlic, vinegar, potatoes, dairy, gluten, pork, alcohol, etc.), and those that help me feel semi-normal: (plain chicken, rice, carrots, gluten free crackers, fish, eggs, etc.). A big source of my anxiety regarding IBS is my daily morning routine: using the bathroom as much as possible. As soon as I wake up, earlier than the rest of my family so I have ample time to use the bathroom, I eat 2 small snack packages of gluten free crackers and then take a shower. Having food in my system helps me to use the bathroom after my shower. Once we are all ready we head downstairs to eat breakfast, usually a basic hotel buffet (I fill my plate with eggs). Afterwards we all head back upstairs which in the mean time has allowed my food to settle so I can begin to use the bathroom again. At this point the whole family uses the bathroom, me more than the others, and 20 minutes after that we go out to begin our day. Of course it is essential to bring anti-diarrhea medicine incase you have a bad flare up, but luckily being conscious about my food allows me to still sightsee while traveling. I always pre plan our route the day before so I know each location that we are going to which will have a bathroom. Due to having IBS I mostly stick to cities when traveling and enjoy visiting museums, shops, and markets, although I am sometimes whisked into situations without a bathroom: long boat rides. Being able to experience the most out of your holiday completely stems to knowing what foods you can and cannot eat. Despite being fortunate enough to experience different cultures I am still not always able to appreciate my environment due to anxiety regarding IBS. However, having a support system that travels alongside you truly helps reduce your nerves.

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  • By LDZ92

    Another important topic of travel that frequently brought me anxiety were airplanes. I make sure to take flights that are either in the afternoon or at night. This allows me to use the bathroom as much as possible in the morning, get most of it out of my system, and then only go once every hour when I am on the flight (most recently it’s just to pee thankfully). A recent travel example was my flight back from Hong Kong to Israel, a plane issue transformed the 12 hour flight into a whole 16 hour ordeal. Luckily, I took anti diarrhea medicine prior to getting on the plane so the frequent announcements of hourly delays on flight didn’t make me run to the toilet. An issue I have been having the past few years is choosing to use anti-diarrhea medicine. Through stigma in my family I have not felt that it was appropriate to use such medicines to get through the day, resulting in uncomfortable stomach days in school. However, I have recently began to use such substances and think that the occasional use during awful times truly works wonders.

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