“I haven’t had a bowel movement for 7 days…” 8 tips for constipation after a holiday

▎WuXi AppTec Content Team Editor

I don’t know if you have noticed that every time you go on vacation, especially when you go out, you often encounter an embarrassing problem – constipation.

Some people even say that they eat more than usual and feel that their belly is gaining weight, but they have no bowel movements for a week in a row.

What’s going on behind all this? Today, the health press will tell you the truth↓↓

A bowel movement every few days counts as constipation?

Everyone’s bowel habits are different. Some people line up once every 3 days, some people line up several times a day, as long as there is no major change, it is regular.

However, if no bowel movement for more than three days, it is constipation; if it has been like this for more than 6 months, it is chronic constipation.

Image source: 123RF

Symptoms of constipation include:

Stool hard;

Less than 3 bowel movements per week;

Pain or strain during bowel movements;

I still feel bloated after a bowel movement.

Why is it more likely to be constipated during the holidays?

We know that in order for the stool to pass smoothly from the intestines, it must be in a soft state, and this process depends on the peristalsis of the intestines. Once it stays for too long, the water in it will become dry and hard and harder to excrete after being absorbed by the large intestine.

In life, there are many factors that affect defecation. The two most critical ones are:

Does the body develop a bowel habit and “rhythm”;

Adequate intake of water and dietary fiber.

Secondly, sedentary (little exercise), constipation (the urge to go to the toilet but delayed), etc. are also important factors.

Constipation can also be caused by pregnancy, medications (such as antacids and opioids), and conditions such as bowel obstruction and Parkinson’s disease.

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The reason why constipation is more likely to occur during holidays and travel is most related to the factors mentioned above.

1. A diet deficient in water and dietary fiber

When traveling, we can easily run out of water, and fruits and vegetables are inconvenient to carry.

In order to save time and convenience, I will eat some “junk food” on the road – whether it is instant noodles with milk tea and ham, or eight-treasure porridge with melon seeds and peanuts, or go to a roadside restaurant to eat big fish and big meat, all Yes low dietary fiber, high fat foods are mostly.

2. Sedentary, prolonged bowel movements

We usually sit in the office, but we also get up from time to time to go to the toilet and go to the cafeteria.

And during long-distance public transportation, one sitting is often three or four hours.

Especially for those who are seated inside, it is inconvenient to go out, and even less want to go to the toilet, just like being “tied” to the seat. Even if you want to go to the toilet a little, you will hold for a long time, which will make it worse.

In addition, if you travel by plane, the pressurization process in the cabin may also easily lead to bloating and constipation.

Other possible causes of holiday constipation include:

Busy to taste local special food rarely eaten, eating habits change;

Change in routine;

Anxiety and stress;

I am not used to sleeping in a different place, and the quality of sleep is poor;

Changed places to go to the toilet and can’t find the “feel” of defecation.

Image source: 123RF

If we actively adjust and make ourselves feel better, perhaps the symptoms of constipation will be relieved.

How to improve holiday constipation?

1. Properly increase dietary fiber

When we’re on vacation, we’re faced with all kinds of temptations, such as snacks and desserts. But I still advise everyone to stay away from them, eat a little occasionally, but not too much.

When shopping at roadside fast food restaurants and convenience stores, We recommend that you give priority to foods with high dietary fiber, such as fresh fruits, vegetable salads, beans, etc. >. If you are not worried enough, you can also bring your own whole grain cereal and eat it with milk for breakfast.

For more sophisticated friends, you can also bring dietary fiber supplements, such as konjac flour and guar fiber.

“Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2022)” recommends 300-500 grams of vegetables and 200-350 grams of fruits per day. In layman’s terms, it is almost a pound of vegetables and half a pound of fruit.

But be careful, don’t eat too much high-fiber food. If you eat too much and you are dehydrated, it will aggravate bloating and constipation.

2. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Although drinking plenty of water may not relieve constipation, it can help soften stools and promote excretion.

It is recommended to keep a bottle of water with you, replenish water at any time, and then add water or buy water after drinking.

Drinking milk, fruit juice, or other decaffeinated beverages is fine, but be careful to avoid ones with too much added sugar, which may make you thirstier.

However, it’s best to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (including tea), which can cause dehydration and may worsen constipation.

Of course, sometimes these drinks are “social needs”, and if you have to drink it, it is recommended to drink plenty of plain water to keep your body hydrated.

3. Multiple Activities

Our guts have a mischievous motto – “The owner doesn’t move and I don’t move.”

We recommend that you sit for an hour or two during your trip, get up and move around if you have the chance, go to the toilet, and get some water.

After moving to a place to live, it is also best to exercise consciously, such as shopping, walking, cycling, skipping rope, fitness, swimming, etc. .

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4. Don’t hold back when you want to go to the toilet

Go to the toilet as soon as your body signals the urge to poop.

Don’t go because you are in a hurry, busy looking at the scenery, don’t want to spoil the interest of your fellow travelers, or don’t think it’s too troublesome to find the bathroom. Always hold back and drag, constipation will be more serious.

5. Regular bowel movements every day

If you are in the habit of having a bowel movement at a certain time, you might as well stick to this habit during the holidays.

If you are not used to public toilets, you can listen to music, read newspapers, and relax.

But don’t “fight”! Squatting for a long time can increase the risk of hemorrhoids.

If it doesn’t come out after 10 minutes, just wait until later.

6. Regulate gut flora

Every time we leave a familiar environment and go to an unfamiliar place, the balance of our intestinal flora is disturbed.

Might as well prepare some probiotic supplements in advance, or buy some yogurt containing a variety of probiotics to drink on the road (there are also probiotics in kimchi, you can eat them in moderation), although it may not be possible Promotes bowel movements, but may make the intestinal flora more “obedient”.

7. Regulate emotions and release stress

While traveling can be relaxing, there are many things on the road that can create stress and anxiety for us.

Such as itinerary planning, bookkeeping, carrying various luggage documents, flight delays, train delays, traffic jams on the road, etc., families with children and the elderly will face various unexpected situations. …

Don’t hold back when you have emotions and pressures, express them in time, and communicate wellSolving problems and enjoying the happy moments in the journey at the same time, this is the meaning of travel.

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8. Take laxatives

If you have frequent constipation during the holidays, and your body and vacation experience are disrupted, you may need to take laxatives.

Usually start the premedication a few days to a week before the holiday, and continue to use it during the holiday.

Over-the-counter laxatives generally fall into two categories:

(1) osmotic laxatives

Such aslactulose, magnesium sulfate, polyethylene glycol.

In the beginning, it is best to try osmotic laxatives, which have fewer side effects. Although the onset of action is a little longer (within 12 to 24 hours after the first dose), at least the reaction is less “sharp”.

(2) Stimulant laxatives

Such as bisacodyl, anthraquinones, etc.

The effect of these drugs is relatively strong (onset in 6-12 hours), but drug dependence and electrolyte disturbance are prone to occur, and anthraquinone drugs can cause colon melanosis.

It is not recommended to use it casually unless the symptoms are severe or the osmotic laxatives are ineffective.

All laxatives are recommended for short-term, intermittent use. If symptoms persist for more than seven days, see a doctor promptly.

Reminder: Remember to bring more wet tissues, or soft tissues for babies, and do a good job of “cleaning up”, otherwise it will be really “irritating”.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone that long-term constipation can lead to hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, and in more serious cases, it can lead to incarceration (stool stuck in the rectum). If you find that you have blood in your stool, or if your constipation is so severe that you cannot pass it at all, you must go to the hospital.

I wish you all a happy and smooth Golden Week holiday and “smooth all the way.”

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[1]Slideshow: EasingConstipation on Vacation . Retrieved Sep 30, 2022 from


[2]8 Tips to Keep You RegularWhile Traveling. Retrieved Sep 30, 2022 from https:https://health.clevelandclinic.org/8-tips-to-keep-you-regular -while-traveling/

When Travel Stops YouUp. Retrieved Sep 30, 2022 from https:https://www.needhamgastro.com/articles/when-travel-stops-you-up

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