How To Manage Stomach Issues When You're On-The-Go
Life doesn't stop just because you have tummy trouble. Doctors may recommend rest, but sometimes, certain life responsibilities are just more important and rest would just have to wait. If such is the case, the only thing you can really do is manage your illness the best way you can.
Stomach ache and diarrhea are perhaps the worst common illnesses to have when you're on the move, like when you're traveling for work. You have the pain and other types of discomfort to worry about. However, with adequate preparation, getting through travel when you have tummy trouble is not impossible.
Here are some helpful tips you can use:
1. Stock up your hygiene kit
Viruses often cause diarrhea, so it can be contagious. Therefore, cleanliness is a must to prevent reinfection. However, you cannot always count on rest stops, airport restrooms, and transport vehicles to have enough hygiene supplies, so bring your own. Make sure you have the following:
- Disposable toilet seat cover
- Soap (paper soap is good enough)
- Hand sanitizer (in case there's no water)
- Antibacterial wet wipes
- Disposable underwear
2. Bring water or any electrolyte drink with you at all times
When you have diarrhea, it's important to rehydrate after every trip to the bathroom. This will help keep your energy up so you can go about the different tasks you have to accomplish.
Water is good enough (you can even use it for washing up), but drinks with electrolytes such as Pocari Sweat or even coconut water are often better, especially if you tend to get the jitters when slightly dehydrated.
Most airports have a restriction for liquid products, though, so either bring a water bottle that you can easily fill up or just purchase drinks straight after checking in.
3. Bring all of your meds
Do not forget to bring your medicine for traveler's diarrhea and all the other meds that you usually take, such as prescription drugs and OTC pain relievers.
For your diarrhea, it's crucial to take your medicine consistently — this one way of ensuring a quicker recovery. Also, pack more of such meds than necessary. You want to have more than is necessary when you're traveling because the specific medicine you need may not be available where you're going. Make sure to bring documentation for your medicine for when you get asked to present these at the airport.
4. Research the places where you can eat
Go online to check out the different dining establishments available wherever you're headed. Check their menu to see which of their offerings you can eat. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese restaurants are always good options because they usually have rice, porridge, and clear soups. Also, some of them have probiotic food such as miso, kimchi, natto, and yogurt, which are excellent in promoting a healthy gut and can help in resolving diarrhea.
If you chance upon a Southeast Asian restaurant, see if they offer fresh coconut water. This beverage is a fantastic source of electrolytes, which you need when you have frequent bowel movements. If there are no Asian restaurants, look for convenience stores where you can get saltines, bananas and apples, and plain white bread.
5. Pack your snacks
It will serve you well to pack your own snacks, too. This way, you can eat when you need to and just stay put once you get to rest stops.
Several packs of saltines, white bread, cereals, boiled potatoes, and potassium-rich food are just some of the treats that you can put in a lunch bag for travel. If you want something healthier, roast potatoes and make yourself an applesauce sandwich, both of which you can place in a bento box.
6. Wear warm clothing
Extreme temperatures can aggravate the stomach discomfort caused by diarrhea. So, wear warm clothing or bring a little blanket for covering your body with.
It can get really cold in airplanes, buses, and trains, and you may not get provided with a blanket. Therefore, wear warm clothing and pack a little warm blanket, too.
7. Bring heating balm and packs
Again, extreme cold can make the stomach churn and your muscles contract. You can relax them by using a heating balm (preferably one with orange oil, which does not only smell nice but is also good for an upset stomach) to spread on your stomach or a heating pack (the kind that you squeeze to activate).
These two are compact products that you can just put in your pocket. You may not necessarily use them while you're on the go, but it's better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them.
Stress less even with an upset stomach
With all of the tips shared above, you can easily stay clean, properly nourished, and adequately hydrated when traveling while suffering from diarrhea. The preparation may seem like a lot of work, but you'll have fewer worries and feel more comfortable during the trip.