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How to deal with holiday constipation

It’s great to be on holiday, away from it all, exploring new countries and cultures and eating to your heart’s content. But if your bowels get blocked, the fun’s soon over. What to do if holiday constipation strikes?

The colon is a delicate organ, and the smallest change can throw it off balance. The most frequent causes of holiday constipation include eating unaccustomed foods and changing time zones or climate. These tips can help you prevent or deal with this kind of digestive problem.

Respond immediately if you feel you have to go to the toilet. This trains your bowels to empty regularly. Suppressing the urge increases the risk of constipation. Ideally you should concentrate on passing the stool without the distraction of a newspaper or your smartphone.

It’s a good idea to eat plenty of fibre, even when you’re on vacation. Not only is dietary fibre good and filling, but it also aids healthy digestion by keeping the stool soft. For this reason you should regularly eat wholegrain products, nuts and seeds, and plenty of fruit and vegetables that can be peeled. Kiwifruit, dried figs and prunes are ideal, as they also have a slight laxative effect.

Drink up to two litres a day. If you get dehydrated your body will remove as much water as possible from the stool to maintain the most important bodily functions. Tip: To stimulate the muscles in your intestine, before a meal drink a glass of still water, not too cold.

Go for a stroll after you eat. Exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles and gets your digestion going. In the case of cramp, a gentle belly massage can help relax the bowels. Starting with your hand on the right of your abdomen, rub your tummy in clockwise circles with your palm.

It’s okay to use a laxative for a short time if none of these tips have the desired effect. Ask your doctor for a suitable preparation or seek advice from a chemist.

Health advice around the clock
If you have any other questions related to your health, the doctors and medical staff at sante24 are there to provide expert advice around the clock. The SWICA health app also gives you access to expert health advice at any time plus other useful functions.