Travel Tips for People with Crohn's, IBS, IBD

Disability Travel Information

Ian C. Langtree - Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2010/07/01 - Updated: 2023/01/15
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Essential travel information for people with Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, or Inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's disease, also known as Crohn's syndrome and regional enteritis, is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. All travelers are at risk for GI and bowel problems when traveling to exotic or developing countries. Check your medication and doctor visit schedules when picking a date. Be sure to have not only enough pills for your trip but also for when you return. Try to travel between scheduled appointments.

Introduction

Well, I love international travel - and I have Crohn's disease. however, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and travel can sometimes be like ketchup and chocolate cake: they don't go well together.

Main Digest

Crohn's disease, also known as Crohn's syndrome and regional enteritis, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. Symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), fever, and weight loss. Other complications may occur outside the gastrointestinal tract and include anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, and tiredness.

In the ten years that I've lived with the joys of Crohn's disease, Crohn's has not stopped me from the following:

My Crohn's hasn't been exactly dormant either. I've always had flare-ups 1-3x per year, and I have even had one in Italy and Costa Rica. There is a lot I have learned in these experiences, some through doing it right, others from doing it wrong (8 hours bus ride with one stop and no onboard bathroom made me nervous). The most important thing I can say is that we should do everything we can not to let IBS impede us.

It is my theory that we are extra prone to becoming sick abroad because of a combination of subtle stresses we put on our body that can add up and may include:

Continued below image.
A woman wearing a skirt with her back to the camera studies the arrivals and departures board at an airport.
A woman wearing a skirt with her back to the camera studies the arrivals and departures board at an airport.
Continued...

Pre-departure

Example: In Costa Rica, the pharmacy is generally the first stop when people are sick. Pharmacists are trained to treat minor ailments and provide medications without prescriptions. Every town has one or two.

The bathroom situation:

Any guidebook for the country you're going to should give you this info; otherwise, ask the receptionist at your hotel.

Low Stress Itinerary

Contact Your Health Insurance Provider

Buy travel insurance. It should cover:

Check your medication and doctor visit schedules when picking a date. Be sure to have not only enough pills for your trip but also for when you return. Try to travel between scheduled appointments.

Contact Your Doctor

Visit a travel clinic:

What to Bring

Have a Strategy for Each Mode of Travel

During Your Trip

Communicate your concerns to the flight attendants. They may:

If traveling to exotic or developing countries, all travelers are at risk for GI/bowel problems. People with Crohn's disease need to be especially careful.

Be Extra Cautious with Food and Water

Consider:

Note: Local food is an important part of an international experience. Consider your health condition, recommendations from guidebooks, and, well, your gut feeling.

Eat and Drink Healthy Food

Becoming dehydrated stresses the body. When traveling to a new destination and new climate, it's easy to forget to drink water as we are out of our normal routine.

Danger Signals

Contact a physician immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

Be Extra Aware of Where Bathrooms Are Located

Although you're probably used to this at home, there may be much fewer bathrooms, and you may have to deal with language barriers.

It may seem like a lot, but any international trip requires extra planning, and most people need to do much of this for one ailment or another. International travel is a true joy and provides so many lifetime memories.

Related Publications

Share This Information To:
𝕏.com Facebook Reddit

Page Information, Citing and Disclaimer

Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and carers. We'd love for you to follow and connect with us on social media!

Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2010, July 1 - Last revised: 2023, January 15). Travel Tips for People with Crohn's, IBS, IBD. Disabled World. Retrieved July 17, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/travel/crohns-travel.php

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/travel/crohns-travel.php">Travel Tips for People with Crohn's, IBS, IBD</a>: Essential travel information for people with Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, or Inflammatory bowel disease.

Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified medical care. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.