Does your digestive system go on holidays when you travel?

If you want to lessen the impact then there are simple things you can do with a basic digestive first aid travellers kit.

I love travelling but my body and my gut in particular does not necessarily agree. I can suffer anything from discomfort after eating, to lots of bathroom problems to feeling very lethargic and unwell. I put it down to varying degrees of dehydration – from pressurised airconditioned cabins sucking my body dry to failing to keep up drinking because I have run out of water.

However I have just come back from a very long trip of 3 months on 2 continents with no problems. This seems a little like a miracle as on a previous trip I had ended up in hospital!

I put it down to my magic travel kit that I now travel with all the time. I keep it with me in cabin luggage just in case my luggage is lost or delayed as it was the last disastrous time for 2 and a half weeks.

To keep it light I keep all tablets in ziplock bags and powders and liquids in small plastic containers ie less than 100ml. These are then placed in a colourful wet bag so that I can find them easily at a moments notice.

My essential travellers kit to deal with most situations:

1. Bloating after rich or different meals. Bicarbonate of soda changes the pH of the gut from acidic to alkaline and stops that terrible bloated feeling. I do not recommend it for every night but just when needed. It will most likely cause a big burp and you should start feeling better after that. An alternative is Swedish Bitters, a combination of bitter herbs which also stops bloating and aids in digestion. The bitters are my preferred choice despite their bitter taste but it is not always easy to find.

2. Constipation especially after flying or processed meals. When this happens not only are you uncomfortable but you can’t think. Aloe vera tablets work very well but be warned that they can work too well. I use only a quarter of tablet at night. However the amount to take might depend on weight and I recommend starting at the smallest dosage of 1/4 tablet and working up.

3. Diarrhoea especially in places where it is recommended to drink only bottled water. Bali Belly or Rangoon Runs or Montezuma’s revenge are just some common names for something that can ruin your trip. You can take a drug such as Lomatil but my preference is always to go natural. Crunch a teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds or add that to water and drink. The seeds are mucilaginous and mop up the excess liquid.

Alternatively just a DROP of oregano oil in water will kill any parasites that may be causing the diarrhoea.

4. For stiffness and achiness, I always travel with Krill oil. I call it my antirust guarantee and as it helps with elimination, I regard it as one of the essentials.

Magnesium tablets also make a big difference to sore feet and tight backs. Plus it will help to get you to sleep and allow you to stay asleep.

5. Finally to keep the stomach calm and the immune system strong, I include Probiotics. The best ones are those that do not need refrigeration but always choose a brand with the highest number of bacteria that you can find.

6. If you feel that you are coming down with a cold or flu, then at the first sign take some Zinc tablets. You can take up to 3 at a time but not on an empty stomach as you could feel slightly nauseous. Repeat with a lesser dose if you still feel the symptoms but remember these tablets are best taken as an ’emergency’ response only.

If you are unable to stem the tide of infection, then Andrographis tablets will lessen the severity of the cold or flu.

While there are always other possibilities to consider, these essentials for a healthy gut kit made my recent travelling a breeze.

Finally don’t forget it is all about keeping up your levels of hydration because that is the major cause of digestive problems. Remember to hydrate up especially if constipation is a problem.