Traveling with Tummy Troubles

Traveling can wreak havoc on the digestive system, especially if you’re an anxious or nervous adventurer. Here are a few tips to help soothe your sensitive stomach on a long-haul flight.

Diet Starts Now

To maximize your digestive comfort during flights, it’s important to avoid carbonated beverages for as long as possible leading up to your airport arrival. Avoid sodas and sparkling waters to prevent excess bloating and gas during the flight. When in doubt, an herbal tea or water is the optimal choice to maximize hydration and minimally impact your bowels in a negative way. Increasing your water intake throughout the flight is actually the best option for your skin as well, as planes are notorious for leaving passengers with dry, cracked skin. When it comes to food, sticking to a relatively bland diet plan is a safe bet, as consuming overly greasy or fatty foods ahead of and during the flight can cause unwanted intestinal side effects.

Aisle Seat, Please

If you’re nervous about mid-air emergencies, it is imperative to book your plane ticket in advance in order to select an aisle seat. Unless you enjoy making an enemy out of your seat-mate for hours, no one wants to repeatedly climb over another passenger each time they need to run to the restroom. Prioritize convenience and comfort over window views to relieve yourself (no pun intended) of the stress of any unexpected urges.

It’s All in Your Head

If your nerves are notorious for impacting your digestive system, it’s best to regulate your nervous system and emotions as much as possible before arriving at a stressful, busy airport. Now is not the time to skip that SSRI or take on any extra stress. Get plenty of rest ahead of your flight, maintain your exercise routine until the day you leave, and utilize healthy coping skills and distractions to keep a cool head.

Dress the Part

While some travelers enjoy dressing up for the airport, as airports are prime people-watching locations, uncomfortable jeans and tight clothing are counterproductive when it comes to tummy troubles. Sacrifice fashion for comfort in the short-term by wearing loose-fitting, cozy clothes to sit in for hours on end. Feeling comfortable in your clothes will also help trick your mind into a less stressed mental state, which can only have a positive impact on your digestion. Steer clear of any complicated zippers, buttons or contraptions that can cause last minute interruptions in the event of a bathroom-related emergency.

Plan Ahead

Some stomach issues are unavoidable, which is why it’s best to come prepared. Keep a supply of antacid, anti-diarrheal and motion-sickness medications handy for when worst comes to worst. Packing these medications at home is a much safer bet than hoping to find them at an airport or in a different country, and simply knowing they’re available to you will help ease your mind.

Consult a Physician

If you’ve taken the above steps in the past to no avail, perhaps it’s time to consider talking to your doctor about treatments available or any undiagnosed conditions impacting your quality of life. Life is too short to feel limited by bodily functions.


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