Here are some tips that may help make the festive season a little easier…
Avoid drinking too much alcohol if it’s a trigger
We all like to enjoy a sparkling drink or two over the festive period, however too much alcohol can trigger symptoms of your bladder or bowel condition. Excessive alcohol can cause diarrhoea, leave you feeling dehydrated and irritate the bladder, intensifying urgency and frequency symptoms. Caffeine also produces similar effects. It’s important to remain suitably hydrated by drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep your bladder clear and avoid constipation.
Consider your food choices
Christmas is usually a time that we associate with indulging in lots of rich food but certain foods can aggravate some bladder or bowel conditions. If you have a stoma, some foods are known to cause excess wind or output or cause blockages within the bowel. Foods that are high in fibre such as green veggies (e.g. sprouts!) can produce excess wind, whilst nuts, dried fruits and foods with a tough skin (such as peppers, sweetcorn and jacket potatoes) are more likely to cause a blockage in the bowel.
Of course everyone is different and not everyone will experience issues with food. You can always try a small amount of food to see if you react. Foods like chocolate and artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect.
There are certain foods that can irritate the bladder too, these include citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners. As always it’s about eating these foods in moderation as it’s just as important not to have a restrictive diet. If you know a certain food can trigger your condition then limit it as much as possible but don’t deny yourself the enjoyment.
Make sure you have enough supplies
Order any supplies such as ostomy bags, catheters and continence supplies that you may need in plenty of time before the Christmas shutdown period. Consider that you may need additional to your usual order to cover you in case of any upset bellies or bladders. Check with your delivery company what their final deadline is for delivery before the Christmas season. If you are a customer with the Bladder and Bowel Home Delivery service, our advisors will be available over the phone every day of the festive period except Bank Holidays and weekends and are happy to help with any advice needed or urgent deliveries.Find out more
Be Prepared and Feel Confident Out and About
A little planning and preparation can help you enjoy and feel less daunted by being out and about during the festive season. Pack a small emergency change kit to keep on your at all times. This may include a spare ostomy bags, catheters, incontinence pads, spare pair of underwear and clothing, and make sure you carry yourJust Can’t Wait Card– just in case! There are discreet continence pads options now available that can help you feel more confident in your best Christmas outfit and high waisted underwear can help to smooth out the outline of an ostomy bag under your favourite dress or shirt.
Protect Yourself and Others from Covid
通过接种疫苗和戴口罩这一简单的行为，我们可以更好地保护彼此。With a new Coronavirus variant emerging and cases now on the rise, it is important to keep yourself and others as safe as possible over the festive season.
This time of year, we may come into contact with elderly relatives or other family members who are vulnerable with health issues, so it is important to wear face masks. If you can, and when instructed be sure to get vaccinated and have your booster when you become eligible. To find out if you are eligible visit this page onthe NHS website.
Most Importantly… Just Enjoy Yourself!
What was the number one tip given by those with a bladder or bowel condition – relax and enjoy yourself! You deserve to enjoy this time of year as much as anyone else so have those lovely, tasty foods that you like and sample a tipple or two and have lots of fun with your family and friends.
– Bladder & Bowel Community Team