The summer is here. The kids are out of school, the weather is at its best and for many families across the world, the time has come to plan the family vacation. Excitement fills the house as everyone begins to look online and imagine the far off (or local) destinations that they will travel to.
And while travel certainly does have dozens of benefits, it still does come with potential peril. Among those is one that nobody wants to talk about, but everyone is worried about getting – travelers constipation.
According to research, it is believed that up to 48 percent of people will suffer from constipation while on vacation. In fact, according to gastroenterologist Dr. Edwin Levine, MD, it’s “really a very, very common problem.” And don’t think it only affects adults, for kids can get constipated too.
So why does it happen?
We’re off our routine: For many, life is all about routine, however, on vacation, for most, it is a break from the monotony of the day to day. According to Dr. Edwin Levine, “I think that the biggest issue is the change in schedule. Time differences occur when you’re traveling, or you don’t have time to go to the bathroom for three or four days—when your schedule is irregular, your body can become irregular.”
We’re in a strange bathroom: When it comes to going to the bathroom, being relaxed can have a huge impact on how well things go and move, so when we find ourselves in a strange and foreign bathroom (especially an unclean one) it can make doing one’s business difficult.
We don’t listen to our bodies: Most of us are creatures of habit and do more or less the same or similar things each day.
However, on vacation, you will likely be off exploring, swimming, on the beach, in the jungle, and in any number of places that could have you not being as in tune with your body as you normally are.
We’re stressed or anxious: Some people are scared of flying, while others are simply uncomfortable with traveling. Regardless of the cause, if you are feeling stressed and anxious, it can have a negative impact on your body and lead to constipation.
We’ve changed our drinking and eating habits: Vacation is all about let loose, relaxing and having fun. And for the vast majority of us, that involves lots of eating and some recreational drinking. However, changes in diet can easily cause constipation, especially when coupled with other causes on this list.