Don’t make IBD a travel buddy

Travel for work often? It can have a huge toll on anyone’s body. With transit times, strange climates, jetlag and cramped seats, it isn’t surprising that you might feel horrible when you start your meeting.

If you have a digestive health condition, travelling for work can be even harder – strange food, disrupted sleep and added stress can affect your immune system and trigger uncomfortable symptoms. By taking a few precautions, and being mindful of your condition, business trips can still be enjoyable.

Pack wisely

It seems obvious, but having the things you need readily available in your luggage can put your mind at ease when you feel out of your comfort zone. Make sure you pack additional sets of essentials, such as clean underwear, medication, pain killers and prescriptions in your hand luggage – you don’t want to be caught out if your checked bags are lost or delayed.

Eat wisely

Airport food, plane food, exotic food in exotic countries – they can make any tummy grumble. When your body is already disrupted by travelling, time differences and long hours, the least you can do is nourish it well and steer clear of unkind foods. Try packing your own food to take with you on the plane, on the train or in the car. If your trip takes you overseas, it is worth doing a bit of online research about the local food and restaurant options. If you are caught out, check with your hotel or a friendly local about where to eat if you have a sensitive stomach.

Sleep well

Adequate rest is vital to keep operating at the top of your game. Pushing yourself beyond the limits, especially if your health is already compromised due to stress or jetlag, is never advisable. Not only will it make you feel run down or more susceptible to flare ups, you’ll find it hard to concentrate on work. It is far better to get to bed early than stay up with work colleagues.

Communicate

Having a life-long health condition neither your fault, nor is it anything to be embarrassed about. If you have concerns, speak to your travel consultant, hotel, restaurant or tour guide. If you’re doing business in an exotic country, it is advisable to be cautious of street vendors, which may not be held to the same hygiene standards as restaurants.