IBS, or irritable bowel disorder, is a condition that causes symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, stomach cramps, or bloating. There is no definitive cause for the condition and it is usually a combination of factors that lead to it. When you are traveling and suffer from a condition like IBS, one of the main concerns is food because so much can go wrong.
Most people believe the only solution to this is not traveling at all or traveling only when absolutely necessary. The truth is, it is entirely possible to enjoy a trip even if you are suffering from IBS if you follow some simple dietary tips.
1. Stay hydrated
The first and foremost tip to keep in mind is to be hydrated at all times. Be smart and take a bottle of water with you when you are traveling. Avoid having caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages to keep IBS symptoms at bay. Always buy water from established shops rather than vendors who have small stands. You don’t want to take the risk of getting infected when you are traveling, which is why sticking to bottled water is key.
2. Choose foods according to symptoms
Do you suffer from constipation or diarrhea? This will help you determine the types of food and drinks you should opt for. If you have constipation then you should opt for fiber supplements and if you have diarrhea you should choose things like oatmeal. If you suffer from cramps then chamomile tea is recommended to soothe your muscles.
You should bring healthy snacks with you. This is one of the easy IBS dietary tips but many people ignore it. You can take snacks such as crackers and nuts with you when you travel so you don’t have to be fearful about not having anything to eat.
4. Start small
If you are in a foreign land and you want to try something new, then there is a way to do that. Instead of just gorging on food, try a small amount first. You don’t want your IBS to flare up, which is why eating too much too soon can have consequences. Instead, have some and see how your body reacts. Your body will tell you what is ok and what is not.
5. Eat at the same time daily
One of the best IBS dietary tips and the most crucial tip is to be consistent. Consistency is key in managing the condition and you will reap rewards when you put in some effort. Try your best to have meals at the same time so that your body can function properly. Try to have similar-sized servings too.
6. Research ahead
It is a good idea to learn the local language especially when the locals speak little or no English. It can help you communicate and ask for foods that you know suit you. You should research nearby restaurants, whether there is a kitchen in the room, nearby grocery stores, etc. so you have a plan beforehand to manage your dietary requirements.
There may be several reasons why you are stressing about traveling when you are suffering from IBS. But that should not stop you from having a good time and managing the condition when you hit the road. With the help of the IBS dietary tips above, a little preparation, and consultation with your doctor, you can have a truly fantastic time when you are traveling.