We all love traveling, but for those with irritable bowel syndrome, the physical impact of flying can be fear and anxiety-inducing because of the potential exacerbation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in flight. The bloating is real – it happens to all of us because of the change in air pressure. The air pressure in an airplane cabin is lower than at sea level. This allows for air and gas to expand in the intestines, causing the stomach to cramp.
Here are 8 travel tips to help you take better control of your bloating and enjoy a more comfortable flight without fear or anxiety:
1. Exercise before your flight
Low impact exercises, such as yoga and cycling, are a great way to relieve and prevent IBS symptoms. Be sure to repeat these exercises after you land. This will help mitigate any discomfort resulting from the flight. Stay tuned for some upcoming tips on the best exercises for managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
2. Start your morning with ginger tea or fresh lemon squeezed in hot water
These digestion-friendly, anti-inflammatory teas will help prevent IBS-related inflammation and mitigate the symptom of bloating during plane travel.
3. Avoid consuming:
-Carbonated beverages (club soda/ soft drinks/ beer/ sparkling wine) expand in the gut and will result in more bloating, gas, and a tendency to cramp the stomach.
-Caffeine is a bowel stimulant and can cause an increase in diarrhea during the flight.
-Dairy products, broccoli, beans, brussels sprouts, cucumbers, radishes, cabbage, peas, and salads. While these foods, in certain quantities, are acceptable on a low FODMAP diet, it is best to stay away from them before and during your flight, if you want to avoid IBS attacks.
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water will help maintain regular bowel movements and avoid constipation.
5. Avoid chewing gum
Avoid airport and airplane food to remain symptom-free – this is not the time to cheat! Epicured is not yet serving airlines, so in the interim, keep your gut happy and ensure you maintain a low FODMAP regime during this time by bringing a meal and some snacks with you.
-Bring your own herbal tea (e.g: lemon or ginger). The teas served on the airplane are often black teas, which have caffeine and are high in FODMAPs.
Chewing gum often increases the amount of air swallowed and bloating. Chewers beware: It is important to note that many sugar-free gums contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol and type of polyol, which is off limits for a low FODMAP diet. Sorbitol increases gut fermentation and produces an osmotic effect in the large intestines resulting in diuretic and laxative effects.
6. Pack low FODMAP meals & snacks
Avoid airport and airplane food – this is not the time to cheat! Epicured is not yet serving airlines, so in the interim, keep your gut happy and ensure you maintain a low FODMAP regime during this time by bringing a meal and some snacks with you.
-Bring your own herbal tea (e.g: lemon or ginger). The teas served on the airplane are often black tea, which has caffeine and is high in FODMAPs.
7. Eat slowly
We all swallow air when we eat. By eating at a slower pace, you can avoid drawing excessive amounts of air into your digestive tract and causing more gas.
8. Take a walk in the cabin
If your flight is greater than two hours, make sure to walk down the aisles every two hours for the remainder of your flight. This will help with gas movement and alleviating bloating, as well as increasing blood circulation.
No more need for the anxiety and fear surrounding plane travel… Follow these 8 travel tips and feel confident and comfortable on your next flight! Bon voyage!