5 Tips for Traveling With Endometriosis
So you’re going on vacation…
But that pesky word, endometriosis, has you worried. It’s true, traveling with endometriosis can be painful, difficult and just downright annoying! Endometriosis is pretty unpredictable and, at times, draining. Add traveling to that equation and well, I think you get it! Endo likes to show up when and where endo pleases. Most of the time, it’s the worst time possible!
I can vouch for that!
My husband and I have been on vacation since last Monday. The week leading up to it I was pretty excited. I had been feeling great these last few weeks with my new workout program and nutrition. I have lost weight and bought so many cute outfits for the trip. Lets fast forward to Monday morning, the day of the trip. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. with excruciating cramps. Low and behold, my pesky period decided to show up.
I was so annoyed because I had felt good the whole week before and now I was bloated and crampy to the max. Endometriosis + period = disaster. “My trip is ruined,” I thought to myself. I was able to fall back to sleep but before I knew it the alarm was going off to get up and get going. I woke up with a different attitude this time. I wiped away my negativity, did my yoga and got into my outfit I had laid out the night before. I was not letting this period of mine ruin my trip!
Long story short, my period and endometriosis did not ruin my trip. I was pain-free (minus some sunburn) and was able to enjoy each and every day!
Here are five things that helped me tremendously while traveling!
I woke up every morning and started my day with yoga. I used to think yoga was a bit overrated and then I found my yoga program. It has been a blessing in disguise. Not only does it stretch out my many pains from endometriosis, it relaxes me and I find myself more aware and happier when I am done. The great thing about yoga is you can do it anywhere. The beach, the mountains, the hotel room. Just by doing this yoga program, I have been able to naturally relieve pains and feel more awake, without the need to be drugged up.
2. Rest but move around.
It is important to make sure your body is receiving the proper rest it needs. I know on vacation everyone’s first thought is to go go go. Hubby and I went back to the beach house every day in the afternoon and took an hour and a half nap. It helped me gain my energy back and refuel my body for the rest of the day! We also chose not to stay out super late at night so we could get a good night’s sleep and be able to wake up early and start the day.We also walked everywhere. I notice some days when I am hurting and just laying around, it actually hurts me more. Being up and walking around helps my pains. It also helps me remain my same weight! We didn’t gain an ounce while we were away!
3. Drink lots of water and drink alcohol wisely.
All day every day I drank water nonstop. It kept me hydrated, kept my headaches down and helped with my bloat. As far as alcohol, I was at the beach – of course I wanted beachy cocktails! However, alcohol really destroys my stomach, so I had to be careful with what I had. I found a system that worked great for me though. Not once did I feel bloated or sick! I stayed away from the extremely sugary, dairy, thick or heavy drinks. Instead, I was able to drink vodka and tonic water and skinny margaritas (just like normal margaritas except less calories and sugar). I had one with lunch, one in the later afternoon for fun and one for dinner. Sometimes I even opted out of the lunch and dinner one! So each day I only totaled one to three alcoholic drinks.This is also where the water came into play! I made sure while drinking my drink, I was drinking water also – a lot of water. I never once felt sick, hungover or bloated!
4. Pack some “comfort items.”
Endo is sneaky. One minute you feel skinny, the next you feel bloated. I made sure I packed essentials for all sorts of situations. Baggy clothes, proper underwear for my period, all sorts of shoes for my sore feet, a heating pad for if I had any pains (I make rice heating pads that also can be used as ice packs. They are fabulous and so easy to travel with). I also made sure I had all sorts of pads that went with how heavy my flow could be! Comfy bras, normal bras, comfy shorts for the beach since I could not wear my bathing suit bottoms. I know I packed more than I needed, but it is better to be safe and prepared than sorry!
5. Watch what you eat.
What I eat has a huge impact on my endometriosis. This is what I was the most nervous about while away. When I eat well, I feel well. Going out to eat while on vacation is my favorite thing to do, so I expected myself to not feel well for majority of the trip. However, I was able to manage what I ate and my pains and flare-ups the entire time. Was everything I ate gluten-free and dairy-free? Well, no, but I ate in moderation and chose the healthier of the latter.
We cooked breakfast at the beach house every morning. So we started the day off healthy, and saving money! I also had my delicious nutritional shake, which has all the nutrients I need in it, just in case I couldn’t get them anywhere else. I stayed away from fried foods (except I did get french fries one day, which did not bother me!). Instead of fried I got everything blackened or grilled, and it was just as yummy! If I got a bigger meal for lunch, I went with a smaller meal for dinner and vice versa. I stayed away (as much as possible) from anything dairy or creamy. Some things had mayo, a little cheese, dressings on them (like ranch), but in moderation and being sure I didn’t over indulge, I was able to keep a bloat-free belly. I tried to stick with healthy fishes and chicken which were light and easy on my belly.
Usually hubby and I get appetizers plus our meals, but we stayed away from appetizers and just got our meals, which honestly helped a lot. A lot of the restaurants had menus outside so we could take a peak at what they had before even going in. I recommend looking at a restaurant’s menu before going inside because it will save a lot of stress and concern about what to order! Most nights I stayed away from desserts, but a few nights I did have a small cup of ice cream (I was by the beach – how could I not eat ice cream?). Again, in moderation and not over-indulging, it did not bother me. So even with all my moderation and watching, I still was able to enjoy a lot of yummy food!
These five tips really helped me have a great, pain-free vacation! I know everyone is different on what works for them, but I hope these tips can be helpful to you so you too can have a pain-free, fun vacation! Now I am excited for our next trip, whenever that will be!
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