A relaxing vacation means rest and relaxation—everything seems to slow down. But wait, it seems your bowels have slowed as well.
You may not recall routing your trip through constipation station, but alas, you're there.
If you find that you can't go number two when you head out of town, you're not alone. According to The Atlantic, it's estimated that 40 per cent of people experience constipation when they travel.
Travel constipation can be attributed to a sudden change in routine, stress and the bad habits you're likely to fall into while taking a break from reality.
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Microbiologist Elizabeth Bik tells The Atlantic that one of the causes is stress and anxiety. Which makes sense if you factor in the fact that the digestive system is also known as "the second brain."
There are neurons embedded in the walls of our gut which allow our senses and emotions to manifest though our stomach, Scientific American explains.
Remembering what to pack, mix ups at the airport or seeing family you haven't seen in a while can all be stressful situations and can impact your bowel movements, Bik told The Atlantic.
Time change or disruptions to your schedule can also throw your digestive system out of whack, according to the video above by DNews. At times when you want to poop you could be sleeping due to a time change, or hold it in deliberately if you're on a road trip or on a plane, thus messing with your poop cycle.
DNews also mentions diet as a culprit. While on vacation you're less likely to cook and watch what you eat. Chances are you'll be eating less of the fibre-rich foods like vegetables, oatmeal and nuts, which help you poop, and more foods that can cause constipation, like greasy food, sugar and red meat.
Dehydration can also affect bowel movements. Fluids help soften stool, allowing it to pass more easily. So you may regret having fun in the sun and forgetting to drink water when you head to the washroom later on.
All this doesn't have to be a vacation buzzkill. Everyone is different so there's no single solution for everyone, but these tips may help.
Next time you're on a trip, make a point to pack healthier snacks to keep your digestive track in check. Carry a water bottle, so you can keep yourself hydrated, and try to avoid things that can dehydrate you like caffeine and alcohol.
Instead of landing in constipation station, you'll hopefully end up somewhere near Brown Material Road. Happy travels!
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