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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 try:

  • 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, 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.

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What triggers your digestive distress?