Digestive Problems: 10 Tips for Daily Life
6. Prepare for Digestive Emergencies
No matter how well you plan, accidents may happen. Be prepared by keeping
emergency supplies on hand at home, work or school, and on the road. Discrete,
portable packaging is available for many products. Here are some products to
- Fast-acting medication (for gas, bloating, or diarrhea)
- Pre-moistened travel wipes
- An extra pair of underwear
- Disposable pads or underwear for incontinence
- Plastic bags to dispose of soiled wipes and clothes
Stash these supplies in your purse, car, suitcase, and your desk at work,
then put your mind at ease. If accidents or fecal incontinence persists, talk
to your doctor.
7. Manage Stress for Digestive Tranquility
Does stress seem to cause or aggravate your digestive problems? (Having
frequent digestive flare-ups can be, in itself, a stress factor.) You may be
able to relieve stress with relaxing pursuits such as exercise, yoga,
meditation, or a favorite hobby.
Be realistic and flexible as you adapt stress management activities to your
individual needs. For example, attending a yoga class might make you feel
insecure on a day when your digestive problems flare up. In that case, work out
with a DVD in the privacy of your own home.
Not all stress can be avoided. To find ways to deal with tough situations
and relationships, consider asking a friend or therapist to help you.
8. Seek Support for Digestive Problems
Don’t try to hide your digestive problems from family, friends, and
caregivers. Help them understand how, when, and why digestive problems affect
you. Explain what they can do to support you emotionally and practically. Let
them know what your self-care plan is. Inform them that problems such as
diarrhea or gas pains may strike unexpectedly when you’re with them.
Sometimes it helps to connect with other people who suffer from similar
digestive problems. A support group (in person or online) may help end your
isolation and provide a forum for exchanging ideas and support. Ask your doctor
or local hospital to recommend a group that might be right for you.