Constipation while traveling can be an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. Whether it is a common occurrence for you or your first time dealing with it on the road, understanding the causes and finding relief is important. Gastroenterologist Dr. Leyla Maric explains that travel constipation can be a result of changes to your routine, environment, stress levels, and diet.
Dehydration is a major contributor to constipation. Changes in climate, altitude, and activity levels can cause dehydration and slow down the movement of waste through your intestines. Trying new or different foods, especially those low in fiber and high in processed foods, can also contribute to constipation. Changes to your routine, such as disrupted meal times, sleep patterns, and bathroom patterns, can affect your body’s internal clock and lead to constipation.
Lack of movement during prolonged periods of sitting, whether on road trips or long flights, can slow down the digestive process and promote constipation. Stress and anxiety have a negative impact on your digestive system, as they can suppress bowel movements and worsen constipation. Certain medications, like antacids or opioids, can also cause dehydration and constipation.
Those with gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are more susceptible to constipation. IBS can cause alternating patterns of constipation and diarrhea, while IBD is a chronic inflammatory issue that can lead to irregular bowel movements.
Most cases of constipation while traveling will resolve on their own within a couple of days. However, if it lasts longer than a few days to a couple of weeks, it is recommended to seek medical advice to determine the cause and possible solutions.
Dr. Maric provides ten tips for finding relief from constipation while traveling, including staying hydrated, increasing fiber intake, exercising, and considering over-the-counter medications. With proper management, constipation can be alleviated, restoring comfort and regular bowel habits during your travels.
– Cleveland Clinic