So if like me you have severe IBS, then the thought of going on holiday to a foreign place which may have food that will trigger your stomach problems will make you super anxious when then obviously leads to a flare up before you’ve even gone anywhere. I used to struggle to fly because of my IBS, I remember once it was so bad a doctor abroad actually had to give me antibiotics to basically ‘back me up’ so I could actually get my flight home. Which wasn’t fun at all.
So now I’ve found a few ways of dealing with /avoiding a flare up and panic attack.
Fast before you leave
Now I don’t mean fast for the whole day, but if I have an early morning flight I try not to eat a heavy breakfast, I just have a hot drink and if must then some dry food like crackers. I then sleep on the coach to their airport so I’m not up thinking about food as theres nothing worse than having stomach problems which either lead to you missing your coach or being really uncomfortsble on the coach.
Make a mental note of where the toilets are in departures
I find this helps because then I’m not panicking about possibly needing to go and not knowing where the toilets are.
Arrive in plenty of time
I normally get to the airport hours before my flight (like 3-5) that might sound obcessive but I like to take my time and check in and go through to duty free. As I find that rushing will only disturb your belly and make you tense/anxious
Now you can eat a proper breakfast
And by proper breakfast I mean not a McDonalds breakfast, try get something you would normally eat at home even if its just tea and toast. I found that I can deal with eggs, bacon and maybe half a slice of toast. Avoid beans and sauces like the plague they have fructose-glucose in them and are very likely to do unpleasant things to your stomach.
Do a bit of retail therapy
Browse the shops in duty free, let the sales peoples spray the latest (and normally extorianately priced) perfume on you, go buy that posh crème from Elizebath Arden, go get that make over at MAC. Treat yourself, it makes you happy and takes your mind off your belly and the impending flight
If possible choose an aisle seat
Because you don’t want to have to keep disturbing people to move everytime you need to use the toilet and you also don’t wanna make it obvious and have them know.
Listen to music/Read a magazine
If take off is one of your triggers (its one of mine) keep yourself distracted. This is hard but if you can concentrate on your magazine until the cabin crew get up and start walking around.
Drink lots of hot drinks
Try drinking lots of tea while flying and if milks your trigger then have black tea, that's what I do and it doesn’t taste any different to milky tea. The hot drinks are good for two things, breaking the air and avoiding a stomach ache that would’ve resulted from simply being full of wind.
Go if you need to go
Don’t feel embarrassed if maybe your belly doesn’t feel right and you need some ‘toilet time’ It’s a toilet and some people (well a lot ofpeople on the plane) are gonna have a pooh at some point during the flight. The worst thing you can do is hold it in because that will make the problem 10 times worse. Just make sure you you use the toilets right at the back lol
Sleep if you can
I find that sleeping garuntees no stomach problems. But if you’re not sleepy then get into a really interesting movie, then once you’ve watched a few you’re basically at your destination.