When you’re planning for a major trip, chances are that there are a lot of things going through your mind: what you can afford, what activities you have planned, the transportation and accommodations. One thing that is often overlooked, though, is keeping healthy on vacation, and for many people, problems can start with digestive issues. There are a variety of different ways these problems manifest, and all of them can be uncomfortable and embarrassing:
- Traveler’s Diarrhea
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re “safe,” have a “strong stomach,” or that this “can’t happen” to you, especially depending on where you travel. One study showed that as many 60% of individuals traveling from industrialized to developing countries get some sort of traveler’s diarrhea.1 As it turns out, if you’re looking for some added assistance for comfort in this regard, the answer may lie in your microbiome.
The Microbiome and Travel
While we’re still studying all the different organisms that inhabit our body, one thing that we do know is that the microbiome is subject to changes and influences.2 The catalysts can vary, but the two things that make the largest degree of difference on a daily basis are our environment and our diet. Both things are likely to change when people travel, especially to exotic locales. Not only are you likely to be eating different foods prepared in different ways in different settings, even the time and way that you eat may change. Note that none of these are guaranteed to be for the better.
One study on those dealing with traveler’s diarrhea showed that, unsurprisingly, sufferers ended up seeing a pronounced shift in their microbiomes’ composition. What is also interesting, though, is that even healthy travelers showed a change in their gut microbiomes. So, even if you don’t have digestive issues, your microbiome will be affected by traveling, which means that you will want to make sure you are taking proper care of your digestive tract.3
Taking Care of Your Gut on Vacation
Part of the issue with microbiome management is that you may not have full control over what you will be eating. For example, maybe you use something like yogurt or kefir to help your microbiota balance at home but can’t find any abroad. This is a good reason to invest in supplements when you are getting ready to travel, especially probiotics.4
In general, you want to play it safe with the probiotic strains you use while traveling, and one great example is Bacillus subtilis, which can be found in Enzymedica’s Pro-Bio . Bacillus subtilis is one of the most studied strains around, having been shown to normalize intestinal microflora balance. In addition, Pro-Bio is well-tolerated by infants, adults and the elderly.
The key to any supplement while traveling is making sure that it’s as easy to incorporate into your vacation schedule as easily as possible. Let’s use Enzymedica’s Pro-Bio as an example once again. Taking this product is easy. Simply consume one capsule with water, ideally on an empty stomach, one or two hours before a meal. While traveling, you generally budget time for lunch or dinner on your itinerary, right? So, it may actually be easier to take your supplement at the appropriate time. At home, you may end up pushing meals back or eating early if something comes up, especially if you have an erratic work schedule.
Probiotic management has a lot to deal with digestive discomfort while we travel, but it’s not a bad idea to get extra help in case your issues stem from another source. One example is an enzyme deficiency, which can be caused by age, diet or lifestyle. One way to make sure you get the enzyme support you need is with Enzymedica’s Digest Gold™ +PROBIOTICS . This product helps fortify your digestive system’s natural balance and helps break down all the major components of food, like fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
The last thing you want to do is let your dream vacation be disrupted by digestive issues, or even to let the fear of them spoil what should be a wonderful experience. While keeping other classic travel tips in mind, taking care of your microbiome while you’re away is great for your peace of mind wherever you are.
2. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651.
3. Youmans BP, Ajami NJ, Jiang ZD, et al. Characterization of the human gut microbiome during travelers' diarrhea. Gut Microbes. 2015;6(2):110-9.
4. Kechagia M, Basoulis D, Konstantopoulou S, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651.