Why Traveling Makes It Hard To Poop, According To A Gut Doctor

Sometimes when we travel, we might find it difficult to poop for a few common reasons. Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, a gastroenterologist from Charleston, South Carolina, and bestselling author, explains why this happens. Whether we’re on a long flight, a never-ending car ride, or a quick overnight trip, our bowels tend to react negatively to travel.

There are four common reasons why you might have difficulty having a bowel movement while traveling:

  1. Stress: Traveling can be stressful, and stress can affect your bowels. Finding ways to reduce stress during your trip can help alleviate this issue.
  2. Disrupted Routine: Your body is accustomed to a certain rhythm for bowel movements, often in the mornings. When you travel across time zones or spend the morning traveling, this rhythm gets disrupted. Once you adjust to the new routine, your bowels will likely adjust as well, but returning home may cause another disruption.
  3. Lack of Movement: Being inactive increases the risk of constipation. If you spend a lot of time sitting during your travels, whether in a car, on a plane, or lounging on a beach chair, you’re not moving around as much as you should. It’s important to walk around for at least thirty minutes each day to promote regular bowel movements and make your trip more comfortable.
  4. Dietary Changes: Different foods and drinks can directly impact your gut health and the frequency of bowel movements. When you’re away from home, you’re exposed to new and unfamiliar foods that may affect your digestion. To help maintain regularity, consume plenty of fiber-rich foods and include probiotic foods in your diet. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol intake can also support healthy digestion.

By following these tips, you can improve your bowel movements and make your travel experiences more enjoyable in the future.


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