travel and constipation

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The Situation: Travel has thrown your normal schedule out the window.

Why it's causing a backup: "The bowels like regularity," Maser says. "So when you change time zones, adjust your mealtimes and skip your normal workouts, you can get backed up." A small study in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that 9 percent of subjects who were traveling abroad dealt with constipation during their trip. Air travel is a common trigger because plane cabins are very dry. And traveling for work may be especially problematic, Maser notes, because stress can also slow down bowel movement.

How to fix it: Drink enough water in-flight to keep your urine a very pale yellow. Working out can also help, Shah says, as physical activity can improve bowel motility. Vigorous exercise was associated with more-frequent bowel movements in women, according to a study in Public Health Nutrition.