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Managing bladder and bowel conditions when travelling at Christmas

family helping to serve Christmas dinner at the table

It can be difficult spending longer periods of time with friends and family when living with a bladder or bowel problem. Most people do not discuss their bladder and bowel condition with their families and friends whether this involves constipation and taking a long time in the bathroom, urinary or faecal incontinence or urinary urgency and frequency including getting up during the night.

All of these symptoms may cause embarrassment to the individual who is experiencing them and they may decide because of this not to invite family members to spend time at their home or may turn down an invitation to stay with relatives. However, Christmas is a special time and a time for families and friends to be together. We aim to support people to enjoy the holiday period regardless of their condition.

Some practical preparation and, if possible, some open communication will help you as individuals to spend time together and not allow your bladder and bowel condition to cause you to miss out or feel isolated.

Practical tips for preparing to travel with a bladder or bowel condition

  • Ask for a bedroom that is closest to the toilet for convenience.
  • If you have a bladder problem especially at night buy a urinal that you feel comfortable to use in the bedroom to save lots of trips to the bathroom to aid discretion.
  • Ensure you have adequate protection in the form of continence pads, underwear and bed protection. It may be advisable to buy a more absorbent pad to aid your confidence when other people are around.
  • Ensure you have plenty of skin wipes and disposable bags to aid your hygiene regime and discreet disposal of incontinence products.
  • Speak to your GP prior to the Christmas period if you have any concerns regarding your bladder and bowel condition as medication may aid management of the issue.
  • Do not reduce your fluid or dietary intake as this may make the problem worse. If you suffer with bladder urgency reduce the amount of caffeinated drinks you drink. Try decaffeinated tea or coffee, diluted cordials and fruit teas as this may help to alleviate some of the urgency.

Get in touch with us

If you do need help with the bladder and bowel symptoms you are experiencing please do not hesitate to contact the Bladder & Bowel UK Helpline. We are closed from Friday 24th December at 4.30pm and reopen Monday 3rd January 2021 at 9.00am.

 

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