Gap year travellers, digital nomads and seasoned holiday makers will be all too aware of the pitfalls of travelling.
Yes, most know to keep possessions safe, not to ride on scooters, invest in travel insurance and keep their wits about them, but sometimes the change in life style, food and being exposed to strains of bacteria and viruses the body haven’t been in contact with before can be far from most travelers control Leaving them feeling worse for wear.
Plus, not forgetting the issues many people suffer when attempting to get to their destination. This can often be problematic, especially long- haul flights as the change in air pressure can cause bloating and gas – not the best way to start off your travels!
Then once you arrive you leave your healthy eating regime at home and are drawn into eating all that tempting food at the all-inclusive resorts, or the stall upon stall of interesting street food. Leading to travelers experiencing the infamous Delhi belly in no time.
Thankfully there are many ways to help your stomach cope with the stresses and strains you could be putting it through once off on your holiday.
Natural methods to calm an upset stomach
You can drink half a teaspoon of baking soda stirred well in half a glass of water; this will relieve the signs of discomfort. This will provide instant relief from heartburn and indigestion. This remedy is safe enough to be repeated every two hours, safely 7 times in 24 hours.
This may sound a strange option but eating a banana will also help, as the properties of the banana act to sooth the stomach whilst relieving the discomfort, as they are easily digested and ease the symptoms of diarrhoea. Obviously if your stomach can not digest bananas comfortably when you are well and in the UK, they will not be an option for you when you are ill abroad.
Drinking drinks which have strong ginger properties like ginger ale and ginger tea, or chewing pieces of ginger, or sweets with ginger as an ingredient in larger quantities also helps. This remedy has actually been around for over two thousand years.
A tea bag that would be a good idea to take along with you while you are travelling is peppermint tea. It aids in digestion and also tackles bloating easing the stomach pains. Many suffers of irritable bowel syndrome swear by it. If you can’t stand peppermint tea, try chamomile tea. This helps to relieve acid reflux, and helps when you’ve overeaten, by relaxation in the lining of the stomach. Remember peppermint if taken too strong can also be an irritant to the stomach, so like everything that can help our health don’t overdo it. It’s also wise to take the tea bags sealed in their original container on the flight so that customs can clearly see what it is.
If you are travelling in a car it is a good idea to pull over relax as often as possible as it gives you time just to lie down and listen to calming music, focus on other things, read a good book and even walk about if need be.
When you are about to begin your travel eat mindfully, this includes eating at a slow pace and in small portions. Paying attention to precisely what you are eating allows individuals to enjoy their foods more and helps the stomach process the food. Eating slow also diminishes the number of air bubbles swallowed with each meal; the air ingested is the main culprit for bloating. Some of the trapped wind is belched out, but some get trapped in the digestive tract causing bloating. Remember sucking a sweet, smoking a cigarette and chewing a pack of gum are some of the classic ways air gets trapped within the stomach and intestines.
Avoid any foods that may cause an upset stomach or gas in the body. Some of these are coffee, cauliflower and fried foods. Basically anything heavy on dairy, oils and hard to digest, and ones which are highly processed, as this causes stress on the stomach forcing it to work twice as hard.
An upset stomach can be because of many other factors, including IBS (known as irritable bowel syndrome), constipation; the pain of which is often relieved when you go to the toilet. It could also be acid reflux or gastritis. All of which causes the outer layer of the stomach to become inflamed. Stomach pains for women can also be linked to the menstruated cycle. All in all, stomach cramps are dreadful. Especially when you aren’t in the comfort of your home.
If it is a stomach virus (this term covers lots of different infections), and covers the entire intestine tract. This can be caused due to a fever, something you’ve eaten, or it links to abdominal pain. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, and immense discomfort.
And to realise the importance of keeping hydrated, especially when you are losing fluids from diarrhoea or vomiting. Replacing the fluids that are lost is the best way to address this, as dehydration can lead to far more serious health issues. To replenish the body of fluids you can even find over the counter fluids that have been created with a balance of salt and sugar especially for dehydration, or purchase Dioralyte sachets or electrolyte tablets at a pharmacy which you add to water.
A gentle stomach massage can help too, especially for trapped wind, as it allows the foods to move lower and relieve tightness and bloating.
Lastly many countries have qualified pharmacist that would be willing to help and answer any questions you may have. Make sure you bring any medication you use regularly for example for IBS relief with you. Read here to find out which medications you can take abroad and make sure to store them in the original container with clear details for customs to check easily. And most importantly go to a Doctor, especially if your symptoms are getting worse. This article may help but we are not experts and no way intend to replace the advice from an expert.