Nothing ruins a vacation faster than having to spend all of your time in the bathroom. Severe digestive issues keep you stuck indoors and miserable for days after it’s ended. Then you spend the rest of the time wondering if it’s really over.
Keeping your gut happy is key, and it actually starts way before you even pack your suitcase.
- A healthy diet with plenty of dietary fiber and water will clear your digestive system and keep things regular. A few weeks before your vacation, you want to add some extra fiber to your diet. Oatmeal, chia seeds and celery are easy ways to naturally increase fiber, and as a bonus, they help lower cholesterol. Vacation often means fast food that’s high in fat and sugar, so keep that fiber in check to keep things moving.
- Probiotics will help to increase the amount of good bacteria to maintain healthy intestinal flora. We need a lot of good bacteria in the intestines to break down food. This ensures we absorb all the good stuff we’re eating. When there is a disruption in this system, things like fungus (candida) can flourish, causing bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. You can also add fermented foods, like pickles, sauerkraut, and miso to your diet daily to get the naturally occurring probiotics present in these foods.
- Eliminating dairy helps to reduce the body’s production of mucous. Mucous forms in your respiratory system and can cause infections, but it also forms in the gut. When it does, it prevents food from absorbing properly and can speed up the digestive system. Food is then eliminated before it is completely broken down, causing gas and bloating, as well as irritating the bowels.
- Drink bottled water and avoid iced drinks if possible. Ice is directly handled frequently and by numerous people where the weather is warm, and the tourists plentiful. Utensils and/or hands that are not clean frequently and can transfer food borne diseases easily. In countries where the water is not potable, ice should be avoided as there is no guarantee that the water is purified.
- Reducing stress is vital to gut health. Stress can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing diarrhea and dreaded constipation. Balance getting enough sleep and being active to keep your digestive system moving.
If you end up getting sick, avoid over the counter anti-vomiting or anti-diarrhea medications. These only temporarily stop the symptoms, which is trying to physically purge the virus/bacteria out of your system. Resting and staying hydrated (even if it keeps coming up) will help your body fight off the illness.
Chronic digestive issues include frequent constipation, diarrhea, excess gas and bloating, acid reflux, and abdominal pain, especially after eating. There are many reasons for chronic digestive issues, like poor diet, frequent use of antibiotics and/or NSAIDS, inefficient waste removal or an imbalance in intestinal flora, just to name a few.
If you have chronic digestive or bowel issues, contact our Naturopath’s. They can help resolve these digestive issues.