Tips for travelling?: Hi all, I'm new; don't... - IBS Network

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Tips for travelling?


Hi all,

I'm new; don't know anyone else with IBS so thought I might get some advice here!

I've had IBS-D diagnosed for about a decade, and recently I've started to really struggle with travelling. I used to love long drives and flights, but now I panic in the lead-up to any journey.

I missed a wedding earlier this year because I can't cope with the stress of flying - it's just that hour or so when you're queuing up and then strapped into your seat and don't have access to a toilet that really makes me anxious - and it's getting worse.

Tomorrow I've got a long drive, because I'm going on holiday with my family. As I've said, I used to love long-distance driving, but I've been panicking about this for days. The most frustrating part is that I've recently changed my diet and am eating much healthier, which seems to be having a positive impact on my IBS, but even though I've been getting fewer IBS issues because I'm physically better than I've been for a while, psychologically I'm really struggling, which obviously then has an impact on my stomach.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Any bright ideas?

Thanks in advance!

12 Replies

I’ve just received my passport, going to book Hoilday tomorrow !! Just going to Spain , so not a long flight, but I’m panicking already, going to try and keep calm, also going to go on a late flight, and take two Imodium a couple hours before!!! I will be still bag of nerves, but you get one life, and I want to start living it😬xx

My gastroenterologist tells me to take one Immodium if I will not have access to a bathroom for a period of time. I do this when I have to fly and it does work for me.

I know how you feel , took me over ten years, to find medication that works I have changed my diet several times, , colesvalam , I found my liver was causing me my issues , cut down on my fat content in foods,

Thanks all. Not a great start but I made it to the first services! I don’t usually take Imodium but have just done so and hopefully it will help. Fortunately my wife’s understanding but my kids are getting to the age where they’re realising there’s something odd about Dad!!

I have a fairly long drive today as well. I always pack an emergency kit of a change of underwear, wipes, sick bag etc... rarely ever have to use it but it does help psychologically.

I sympathise completely. My IBS-D seems to be controlled by the Fodmap diet, probiotics and endep to some extent. However I have frequency and urgency issues each morning where I have to use the toilet at least 3 or 4 times, sometimes more. It is not diarrhoea but quite well formed stools now. So I don’t take Imodium anymore. I think I have finished but within 10, 20 or 30 minutes I have to go again. So I don’t like going too far from home until this process has completed, which can take up to 2 hours. Therefore, I have restricted long distance travel. My wife wants to travel further, including overseas. But I just say I don’t want to go. Because I have had treatment for cancer ( which has not helped my IBS) and recently a hip replacement I have been able to put her off. I would love to travel but am anxious about going. Any suggestions would help.


I can empathise with your feelings about travelling - I have similar concerns, but have slowly reduced them by trial and error over the years. I hope the following helps.

I try to have an increasing raft of possible approaches, starting with my routine regimen of :

Having regard to the FODMAP diet, but not being ruled by it - know your worst trigger foods and don’t eat them if you’re about to travel.

Taking probiotics daily - I use Holland & Barrett Acidophilus (3 billion) - two a day first thing in the morning.

I take one peppermint oil capsule (Colpermin) every other day - again, first thing in the morning before food.

I eat oat-based cereal (low sugar Alpen) and sprinkle oat bran (very cheap from Tesco) on it - my reasoning is that it will absorb some of the fluid that causes loose motions.

I try to take reasonable exercise every day - not an hour in the gym(!), just a reasonable walk, or swimming once or twice a week.

I think you always need to feel that there’s something left that you could use, if these measures don’t work, so I keep Imodium (or an own-brand of the same) in reserve, but very rarely use it.

It would almost certainly guarantee you a trouble-free flight to anywhere in the World, but I find that there’s usually a penalty to pay in terms of constipation afterwards and a constipation- diarrhoea - constipation cycle as things gradually settle down.

Hope some of that helps!

jillyb47 in reply to one-n-den

Hi. you have just described my daily routine, its exhausting isnt it !! can i ask when you have the alpen with bran do you put milk or yoghurt on it ? I have just been put on antibiotics this week and told to introduce yoghurts and fibre (which I have been avoiding for last 18 months) i had never thought about the fiber soaking up the excess fluid I only focused on not wanting to go to the loo more than I already do . thank you for your good advice

one-n-den in reply to jillyb47


Well, I have another wrinkle as regards the muesli - I stayed with my son recently and he was using oat milk (Oatly - but I guess other brands are available) on his cereal - just because it’s lower fat, I think.

We now prefer it to ‘dairy’ milk (which we still have in tea and coffee) and use it all the time for cereal.

If you do decide to use it, just be aware that the organic version doesn’t have any calcium added back in to compensate for what you lose by not having ‘dairy’ milk - so we use the original version.

Oatly is available from Tesco and Sainsbury’s at least - you may have to look in the ‘free from’ aisle though...

We do sometimes add yogurts - always ‘live’ yogurts though, for the probiotic cultures in them.

Happy eating!

jillyb47 in reply to one-n-den

Thank you for your reply I'll give that a go.

Jillyb :)

IBS-sufferer-123: Here's an article that will help you. I take these bile acid sequestrants and they are wonder drugs, in my humble opinion. I no longer have chronic diarrhea:

Imodium is a must,i was able to fly long haul with the help of these.Also i always go on the Seat Guru website where you can see which seats are near to the toilets on you aircraft and pre book them.Yes it costs a small fee, but having peace of mind leads to less stress and fewer toilet trips.Hope this is of help and you go on a great holiday,stress free.

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