Traveling with IBS

Traveling with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is possible. If you’re making travel plans for spring break or summer travel, don’t let IBS stop you. IBS is a common disorder of the intestines that leads to cramping, abdominal pain, gassiness, bloating and changes in bowel pattern. For people with IBS, traveling can be challenging, especially air travel. Changes in barometric pressure when flying can exacerbate bloating. To make traveling easier, consider these travel tips.

Avoid Alcohol and Soft Drinks

Alcohol is a trigger for many IBS patients, so while it often offered during a flight, it’s best to pass. Carbonated drinks can increase bloating, and caffeine is a laxative. it’s best to stick with water.  In fact, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to help make your flight more comfortable.

Get Up and Walk Around

Staying cramped in your seat can make any symptoms you are experiencing even worse. When the seatbelt light goes off, get up and walk around. Not only is stretching your legs smart for avoiding DVTs but it can help alleviate gas, bloating, and abdominal cramping, too.

Stick to Your Low FODMAP Diet

It’s easy to feel like you can’t manage your low FODMAP diet while traveling, but there are so many great choices available that you can even find suitable choices in the airport. Be sure to pack snacks for the plane, since the standard peanut or pretzel choice probably won’t do. Need ideas for what to eat? Start with our low FODMAP guide.

Find Another Way to Pop Your Ears

Chewing gum during a flight can help keep the pressure in your ears from being uncomfortable. However, chewing gum causes you to swallow more air, which can increase bloating and discomfort. Most gums contain some form of sugar alcohol as well, which is not recommended for a low FODMAP diet. Traveling with IBS does not have to be painful.  If you’d like further information about food habits, digestive issues, or suspect gastrointestinal problems that need further testing, contact Gotham Gastroenterology. We specialize in gastroenterology, GI health, and nutritional services. Our doctors provide top-notch quality medical care and services in a professional, compassionate, and personalized setting. Call us today at 212-794-0240 or fill out the request form on this page.

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