Whether you’ve suffered from IBS for years or are just getting used to managing the condition, I’m sure you’ll be aware that there a number of foods you need to avoid and others that can be deemed safe. If you’re out and about though, or are busy with tasks and activities, it can be hard to find these ‘safe’ foods and you may find yourself resorting to whatever is available. However, this has the potential to bring on issues like bloating and constipation so what’s the solution here?
Well, when you go out I’d recommend you pack some IBS-friendly snacks in your bag in case of emergencies. This could include rice cakes, mini oatcakes, cereal bars, as well as nuts and seeds which will stay fresh even in transit. Alternatively, you could make a healthy, homemade snack such as our Banana Oat Cookies.
Tissues and wipes
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the frustration that comes when you use a public toilet and then discover that the cubicle is out of paper however, for those with IBS this situation can be even more problematic. Instead of calling out in panic to the person next door though, I’d recommend you pack some tissues or wipes in your bag when you go out and, if possible, pick ones that can be flushed down the toilet after use. With these at hand you will no longer be caught out when the bathroom is lacking toilet paper!
Peppermint tea bags
As I mentioned in my blog on drinks to help IBS, peppermint tea can be beneficial for those with the condition. It soothes the digestive system and, in turn, helps to ease bloating and gas. However, it’s also a great alternative to caffeinated drinks like coffee and breakfast tea which are known to worsen symptoms. So, make sure your personal IBS survival kit includes a few of peppermint tea bags as these aren’t available in some coffee shops.
Most supermarkets and pharmacies will stock small bottles of hand sanitizer which are perfect for slotting into pockets and bags. This means that if you have any issues, wherever you are you’ll be able to stay clean and germ-free!
Small bottle of water
It’s always useful to have a bottle of water to hand in case you should get thirsty however if you experience IBS-related diarrhoea then it’s even more important you have water nearby. That’s because water helps to rehydrate you and can even soothe any stomach upsets. I’d recommend investing in a small, re-useable bottle that you can easily take with you.
Unfortunately with IBS there may be occasions when you experience slight accidents which, if you’re out, can be embarrassing and awkward. So, to deal with this issue remember to take some spare underwear with you whenever you head out the front door.
Perfume or body spray
To avoid embarrassment or awkwardness in public toilets, I’d also recommend having some perfume, deodorant or body spray in your bag. Most people carry these things around anyway so they might not be a new addition to your handbag or rucksack but it’s worth just reminding you to take them!
A ‘Just can’t wait’ card
Using the NHS website you can apply for a ‘just can’t wait’ card that costs just £5. This means that if there is a queue for any public toilet you can let people know that you need go promptly without having to explain why.
Finally, medication is key for managing IBS but what you take depends on symptoms and severity. Silicol gel is a good option for those suffering from stomach ache, diarrhoea, nausea and flatulence. For symptoms that are made worse by stress though, you could try our gentle Stress Relief Daytime remedy. This contains Valerian and Hops to ease mild stress and anxiety.