December 23, 2015
There’s a certain aisle in the drugstore that gets a little more action during the holidays than others, and it’s not the one with the gift wrap. Americans spend $700 million a year on laxative products. But these over-the-counter meds can actually make bathroom problems worse.
If your digestion goes kind of rogue during the holiday season you’re not alone. Travel-induced constipation, traveler’s diarrhea, and even bloating and heartburn are all common ailments this time of year for a plethora of reasons.
Getting off your regular bathroom schedule is annoying and uncomfortable. There are a few sneaky culprits that you should be aware of if you’ve got potty problems during the holidays:
Couldn’t avoid the above for whatever reason and now you’re… stuck? There are a few natural ways you can soothe your tummy, regulate your digestion, and get your system back on track.
Can’t make it happen at go time? Try magnesium supplements. This essential nutrient is responsible for over 200 enzymatic processes in the body, but nearly 80 percent of people are deficient in it. Taking too much magnesium can result in loose stools, but supplementing appropriately with about 300 milligrams for women and 400 milligrams for men should help get things moving.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food components that feed the good bacteria in the stomach and intestines and help with overall gut health. Bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, potato starch, and whole-wheat are among the prebiotic foods that can help you go. Try adding them into your diet before the holidays to keep digestion from going haywire.
To avoid spending the holidays glued to the porcelain throne, at the first sign of diarrhea, decide if it’s a serious issue. If it comes with serious abdominal pain, dehydration, blood, a fever, or persists for more than three days, it’s time to call a doctor.
Just a temporary annoyance? Try slippery elm, an herbal remedy used in North America for centuries. When ingested, this plant creates mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. Sounds a little nasty, but mucilage actually coats internal organs to soothe any inflammation and also helps absorb excess liquid in the bowels, eliminating diarrhea symptoms.
Taking a probiotic regularly is a proactive step anyone can take to keep bowels working optimally. Creating a healthy gut microbiome is the key to fighting any sort of digestive irregularity.
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