going holiday

Constipation on holiday

going holiday
When you have been looking forward to your holiday, you don’t want constipation to spoil your time away. But some people find that’s just what can happen with the sudden change in routine. Apart from feeling less comfortable going to toilet in unfamiliar bathrooms, there may be limited access to toilets which can disrupt your regular bowel habits. A change in sleeping patterns and usual activities may also contribute to becoming constipated while you are away.

Constipation associated with travelling is usually due to:

  • A change in your diet
  • Not drinking enough water or becoming dehydrated on the journey
  • Long periods of inactivity
  • Putting off going to the toilet in unfamiliar surroundings


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If you are someone who is already susceptible to constipation, take proactive measures on your next trip:

  1. Consider your diet
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Keep moving

If lifestyle measures are not giving you the constipation relief that you need to allow you to get on with your holiday, then you may need extra help with a gentle laxative. Coloxyl offers a range of stool softeners that can be selected based on whether you are looking for gradual, or faster overnight relief.

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Which Coloxyl is right for you?


Is it common to not poop on holiday?

It’s well known that changes to a normal routine (like travelling or going on holiday) often contribute to changes in bowel movements.

Your usual bowel movements are controlled by your body’s “internal clock”, which drives the rhythmic and regular squeezing of your bowels. Changes in your daily routine can sometimes mess up your internal clock, and you may poop less often.

Holidays can also mess up other things that we know contribute to constipation. This can include:

• Eating schedules and changes in dietary intake
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Lower activity levels

None of us want constipation to spoil our hard-earned holidays, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. You may want to take Coloxyl with you on your holiday, as a backup in
case you get backed-up.

How long can traveller’s constipation last?

Traveller’s constipation, or travel constipation, is when your bowel movements change when you’re away from home. It’s very common and can happen for a variety of
reasons, including:

• changes in your daily routine
• lower activity levels
• not enough sleep
• difficulty with accessing a toilet

While travel-related constipation is not usually serious, it can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

How long your travel-related constipation lasts depends on recognising the symptoms, and then on if and how you manage it.

You may be able to manage it by adjusting your diet to include more fibre and fluids and making sure you have good bowel habits.

You might also find that taking a stool softener (like Coloxyl 50mg or 120mg) or bowel stimulant (like Coloxyl with Senna) for a short time may be helpful. It might even be worth packing some Coloxyl in your suitcase just in case you get constipated.

Bear in mind the not all treatments for constipation work straight away. You may need to persist for a short time, depending on the treatment.

What is shy bowel syndrome and how can I overcome it on holiday?

Shy bowel syndrome (parcopresis) is a condition that causes people to fear using public toilets to poop. Shy bowel syndrome is not yet well-understood, and we don’t yet know how many people it affects. But experts currently think it may be related to other anxiety conditions, such as phobias.

People with shy bowel syndrome may experience:

• Stress and worry around the prospect of using an unfamiliar toilet
• An overwhelming desire to avoid public toilets
• Physical signs of stress such as sweating, rapid breathing or heart beat, muscle
tension, nausea and trembling.

If you think you may have shy bowel syndrome, have a chat with your doctor. They  may be able to help you with diagnosis and treatment to improve your quality of life (and the quality of your holiday).