Hello -

Lots of folks stay home for Thanksgiving, but if you have to travel take extra care, and follow the IBS travel tips.

  • As usual with IBS, the best defense is a good offense.

    • For traveling this means taking time to think things through in advance. It will be worth your while to make careful but flexible plans, take some simple precautions, and prepare to ask questions or make special requests on your trip to get your dietary and stress management needs met.

  • Feeling guilty about somehow being "difficult" in this regard is not allowed.

    • Taking care of your health is a legitimate priority, holidays or not, and that's all there is to it.

  • For travel itself, whether car, plane or train rides, bring your own food and travel packets of your soluble fiber supplement to add to your travel meals or bottled water.

  • Do not assume that meals offered along your route will have any safe choices whatsoever. Odds are they won't.

    • If you rely on fennel or peppermint tea to keep your symptoms in check, bring a supply of high volatile oil teabags with you as well, and just ask for hot water so you can brew your own.

  • It's important that you're extra careful to follow the IBS dietary guidelines.

    • Travel is always upsetting to your body even if you're not immediately aware of the effects.

    • This physical stress can quickly rear its head in the form of an IBS attack, so focus on prevention at all costs. Precautionary efforts will let you enjoy the holidays, not suffer through them.

  • Maintain your stress management program while traveling, at least to the best of your ability.

    • Try to find a peaceful time and place each day to be alone and relax.

    • Taking a long hot bath before bed is one option.

    • Ask in advance for a quiet room if you have to stay in a hotel.

  • If exercise is key to your IBS management, make it a priority of your trip.

    • Take your work out clothes and shoes with you and unpack them first so you're ready to go.

    • If you don't have the option of exercising as planned once you're actually on holiday, change tactics and adapt - find any variation that works and go with it.

  • Disruptions to your sleep cycle are almost inevitable when traveling, particularly if you change time zones.

    • Make an extra effort to overcome this potential trigger as quickly as possible.

    • If you can, bring your own pillow with you. This is one of my favorite tricks for ensuring that I get good sleep even if I'm not in my own familiar bed.

    • As a daily rule, try to go to bed earlier than you think necessary and get a little extra rest - this will definitely minimize your risk of attacks. Even scheduling a few naps here and there can make a world of difference.

    If you need a full-on plan of attack for staying stable while traveling, get comprehensive information here in the First Year: IBS. Remember, the whole point of taking a holiday is to end up happy and well-rested.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving!

    You are not alone.

    P.S. If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them - just reply to this email to reach me directly. I am overwhelmed with emails but I try to answer everyone.

    To taming your tummy,
    Heather

    Heather Van Vorous
    Heather Van Vorous
    Over 40 years dealing with IBS



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