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help on being regular while traveling

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hey cc community [:

this is my first post and i was wondering what are some tips and ideas that i can use to stay regular (concerning the bowels) while traveling. everytime i go on a vacation i usually have problems with constipation.

recently, i am recovering from an ed that was for 6 months and my bowel problems have been worse. the only way i will be regular is if i consume a lot of fiber throughout the day...which will probably complicate things when i go up to new york and boston next week.

is there any way i can be regular while traveling without having to use laxatives/stool softeners/or the like?

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Rather than consuming a lot of fibre in pill form, try to get as many fruit and vegetables as you can on your travels.  It's 'volume' of fibrous foods rather than the fibre on its own that helps... fruit contains water  Kiwifruit is especially effective as a natural laxative, for example, so try to get two of those each day.  And if you make sure you get several portions of other kinds of fruit and green leafy vegetables each day you should get plenty of fibre.  Fluids are important for good digestive function so take a bottle of water out with you and keep topping it up.  Gentle exercise (walking) also helps digestion so you'll probably do quite a bit of that.  Other measures.... maybe take with you a box of high-fibre breakfast cereals in case your accommodation (hotel) doesn't offer them.   If you can fit some cans of prunes in your suitcase, they'll also be good for breakfast. And, if you get the chance, eat more spicy foods.... bland foods tend to stick around more.

An eating disorder can mess up your GI system big time depending on your ED and behaviours. They can result in problems like gastroparesis, which is when your digestion slows - or in some serious cases, stops altogether, and leads to discomfort. If you have a history of abuse of them you could end up with a laxative dependency - where your bowel muscles have become so lax due to laxative overuse they cease to function. Other possible GI problems relating to ED include chronic constipation, ulcerations, the development of intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome, and "lazy bowel", where things just pass right on through without control over them. Aka, cacking yourself.

Have you spoken to your doctor about your symptoms? They could be serious.

In regards to your holiday, make sure you get the minimum RDA of fibre every day, which is 25g - though some bodies can tolerate up to 50g, but much higher than that causes complications in itself. In fact, don't just make this a holiday habit - make it a regular one. (Yes, that could be a pun.)

You need to make sure you're getting enough soluble and insoluble fibre - Insoluble (the fibre that forms bulk and regulates acidity and PH in the gut) and soluble (the fibre that helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol).

Insoluble fibre examples:
 -- Whole-wheat pastas, breads, etc
 -- Quinoa
 -- Brown rice
 -- Bran products
 -- Fruit and vegetable skins, such as potato skins, tomato skins, plum/prune skins, apple skins, pear skins
 -- Nuts and seeds, particularly flax, almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts

Soluble fibre examples:
 -- Oats
 -- Rye
 -- Barley
 -- Potatoes of all varieties
 -- Psyillium husks
 -- Legumes and pulses, especially lentils, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, pinto beans and soybeans

And pretty much all fruits and vegetables. Particularly raspberries, plums, bananas, sweetcorn, prunes, apples, pears, blackberries, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, asparagus, artichokes and dried fruit. Again, never introduce lots more fibre without drinking enough water to compensate. There is a more detailed list of fibre sources here for future reference.

And like Jane said aim for that through fruits, veggies, wholegrains and food sources in general. Not supplements. Personally, when I go on holiday - as I have IBS-C, it's common for me to end up constipated (especially if we fly) - I either pack or buy a bag of dried prunes. They help me immensely.

I hope this helps and again I would talk to your doctor about your GI system if you've been having complications as a result of your ED as well as about your eating disorder, period. Good luck, and have a nice time.

I went to the Caribbean last month and I had intestinal issues for 2 weeks when I got back. I normally eat pretty healthy and while on vacation, I thought I ate healthy then too, especially with the amount of fruits available.  When I got back, I was bloated, crampy and had diarrhea. I finally went to the dr. after 12 days and they did x-rays. I guess I was just backed up and had lots of gas.

The dr. told me to take Benefiber. I asked if I should just get fiber in food and she said no because the yuckiness made me lose my appetite. She also said not to take any gas relief tablets. I only took it for a day; I got back to normal on my own.

Make sure you drink lots of water and continue to get fiber in your diet. Sometimes, as travelers, you can do everything right in the world and it's the change of environment that has the biggest impact.

Stock up on Fiber One before you go. One bar has nine grams of fiber on it, and while that's not enough for a whole day it makes a big difference... I never get enough fiber when I'm travelling, so I take a box of fiber one cereal with me as well - that way when I'm having my breakfast I can add 1/4 cup Fiber one to it and get enough fiber without 'just' having to eat cereal. If you don't want to have cereal with milk, fiber one makes a yummy 'trail mix' if you mix it with some dried fruit and/or chocolate chips.

While not so applicable to places like NY and Boston (you could plausibly just stop by Whole Foods or similar) but when abroad in other countries, seek out markets that're local where you can.

My parents took a trip to Barcelona at the end of last year, and visited the Boqueria market there. Looking at photos of it, I was jealous! @_@~

And in Santorini, the owners of our hotel had their own little patch of land that they were growing grapes and melons and various other things on. They'd set out fruit for free for guests x:

But yes. Generally, if you do a little research, it's easy to locate fresh produce.

5 Replies