Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about traveler’s constipation?

When it comes to travel-related health issues, we hear more about jet lag and even diarrhea than we do about constipation. But I suspect constipation is just as common. And because it can make you feel uncomfortable throughout your trip, constipation is something that you really should be prepared to manage.

Why are you suddenly irregular?

You can become constipated any time you travel, even if it’s just a short trip. Your body is reacting to changes in your routine and diet. You may also become dehydrated on long flights or hiking trips. For some people, just being away from their own bathroom is enough to cause issues!

Constipation can really put a damper on a trip. It can cause headaches, bloating, stomach pains and embarrassing gas. Whether you’re traveling to close a big business deal, or to meet your future in-laws for the first time, I imagine you want to avoid any of these symptoms.

The key is to have a strategy in place before you travel.

• Drink lots of water. A good strategy is to have a water bottle, or a glass of water, with you at all times. Drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty. As a side benefit, this will also help to hydrate your skin.

• Consider a probiotic. This is especially important if you are traveling to a foreign country where you might be exposed to different microbes in the food and water that can upset the balance of your microflora.

• Complement your fiber-rich diet with a good supplement, such as Sunfiber. I love this product because it is tasteless, mixes well with any fluid (it doesn’t get thick and gritty) and it does not cause gas or bloating. Another benefit is that Sunfiber is a prebiotic, so it will help to nourish the beneficial microflora in your digestive system.

Also, build time into your travel schedule for exercise. This is important because exercise improves digestive health and laxation by increasing blood flow, improving the transit time of food through the intestines and stimulating contractions of intestinal muscles. Brisk walks, swimming and stretching are all great activities to keep you regular and improve overall fitness while you are on the road.