Travel Health

Stomach Trouble On the Road

It’s easy to suffer from an upset stomach on the road and there are many possible causes; it might be that you’re feeling travel sick from all those bends in the road, maybe you ate something contaminated at that last street food stall, or maybe you’re just stressed after all the recent travel connections you had to make.

A quick remedy is to drink some ginger tea. Just grate up a bit of fresh ginger (the powder also works though it’s a bit spicier) and pour hot water onto it and maybe sweeten it with a bit of honey. Ginger can help remedy both diarrhea and constipation. It resolves stomach cramps and helps digest heavy, oily food. It’s really worth carrying a chunk of it at all times!

If you have persistent  stomach cramps you may be suffering from parasites. Eat a few cloves of raw garlic with some bread or rice a few times a day and often that will take care of it. Better to avoid sugar or dairy food in the meantime as many parasites feed on those.

If you’ve been eating too much then miss a couple of meals and give your system a chance to catch up. And when you do eat take light, warming dishes like soup and vegetable stews.

You can also massage your stomach. It’s the centre of all your energy from a Chinese perspective and you can achieve a good deal of relief by working the muscles with your fingers. It’s also an excellent way to distress.

Heartburn is actually a reflux of stomach acids working their way upwards but there’s an excellent stretch that can help resolve it if you’re flexible enough. Kneel down and very gently lean backwards away from your knees until your head is close to the ground. Breathe as deeply as you can and support yourself with your elbows.

Important Note: If you have sharp, persistent pain on the right side of your stomach it’s just possible that you have appendicitis and need to seek medical help urgently. It only happens to a small fraction of the population but it’s better to be safe than sorry!


Eating Well

A lot of stomach troubles on the road come just from eating badly. If you overeat, or eat too many times in a day, or mix foods that don’t really go well together (such as fruit and starchy food like bread or pasta), then that can leave your stomach feeling upset.

If you’re having trouble digesting your food try to eat more slowly. If you chew your food well then it will have a greater surface area and your stomach acids can break it down with less effort.

Drink plenty of water but not too much with your meals. If you drown your food with a litre of drink while you eat the you’ll dilute the whole digestive process so that your meal won’t get broken down properly.

If you’ve eaten too much spicy food then natural yoghurt can calm your stomach down again.