Most people will look forward to a holiday but for the IBS sufferer you will be thinking ‘how do avoid IBS flare ups on holiday.’
It really isn’t fair that you have to suffer with gut problems while everyone else just relaxes and eats what they want to!
You internalise your eye roll as your friends moan about putting on ‘holiday weight.’ Wouldn’t you love to scream ‘well at least you don’t have to worry that you may s**t yourself!!’
So how do you avoid an IBS flare up? In this article I am going to go through some key pointers that WILL work. They will let you enjoy your holiday – just like everyone else.
Table of Contents
1. Take low FODMAP Snacks
The times where you have an IBS flare up will often be because you were not organised. Now I am not having a go at you – we are all human. But, it happens.
You know the times where you end up eating ánything’ because you are so hungry. Or are tempted into a tasty snack. Only to pay for it later.
Instead, take some low FODMAP snacks with you to avoid these problems. The sort of snacks which could travel well in your handbag, ready for emergencies.
For example: banana chips, walnuts, chocolate coated rice-cakes or oatcakes.
2. Take lactase drops
Lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. If you react to lactose, you may find it difficult to get suitable products whilst on holiday.
Instead, take lactase which can be added to any normal milk in order to convert it to lactose free.
3. Go Self-Catering
Going on holiday usually means eating out 3 meals a day. With IBS, this means a high level of anxiety throughout the day. Thinking of where is safe to eat whilst not making a fuss in front of others.
You may even find a suitable venue, only to ruin it with the anxiety of having to make a rush decision on holiday.
Instead, go self-catering and have the freedom to choose safe foods. Then, spend time picking out just a few suitable venues and enjoy!
4. Take Golden-Linseed
Constipation can be a big problem for IBS sufferers on holiday. You may find that it takes a few days for your bowels to adjust or the simply remain stubborn for your whole trip.
Constipation will leave you fatigued and bloated. Unable to fully enjoy the holiday like everyone else.
Golden linseed is a versatile boost of fibre – simply add 1-2 tablespoons / day to your food (increasing slowly).
5. Meditate Daily
The anxiety of dealing with IBS on holiday can be enough to cause you symptoms. You may also find it rather suffocating spending 24 /7 with friends or family.
For this reason, daily meditation can be an easy way to grab 10 minutes to yourself and relax.
6. Purchase Water
You will likely always focus on water when you are at work or home. If you are really good, then you track your intake.
But, what about holiday? Past-security and you are without you usual reusable water bottle that you normally take everywhere.
You will also find that waiting for the air hostess to provide you with fluid will only leaving you dehydrate.
Instead, pop over to one of the shops and buy a 1L water bottle to keep you hydrated.
7. Take a Yoga Mat
Did you know that yoga twice a week has been shown to help with IBS symptoms?
A mat is 1 easy thing to pack in you case and these days you can access a yoga video online for free anywhere in the world.
8. Choose Alcohol Wise For IBS Relief on Holiday
Alcohol is a drug and one of its effects is to trigger digestive issues.
What type of alcohol you have may also mean that you are drinking FODMAPs. This may be portion related so get FODMAP savvy before you head to the bar!
Finally – what are you mixing your alcohol with? Most cocktails will be high FODMAP and most mixers are fizzy.
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.