Resources for traveling with IBD
The risk for an emergency admission and other travel difficulties related to IBD led Ms. Greveson and her team to develop IBD Passport.
Traveling with inflammatory bowel disease can be a challenge. An obvious issue: the need to know where the nearest toilet is at all times. But for some travelers with bowel ailments, flare-ups can prove a far more serious problem.
In a study presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation, Kay Greveson, RGN, MSc, the lead IBD nurse specialist at the Royal Free Hospital Centre for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in London, and her colleagues found that 5% of nearly 2,500 patients surveyed in four countries said they had been admitted to the hospital while traveling abroad.
www.ibdpassport.com, is a “one-stop, evidence-based IBD and travel information website for clinicians and patients. Even though travel barriers are common, less than half of patients with IBD seek out advice before traveling,” Greveson says
The website—which, so far, has been translated to Hebrew and Chinese and is in the process of translation to German, Spanish and French—includes lists of IBD centers and practitioners in countries that have joined the site, as well as country-specific travel advice: Always pack sunscreen to protect from ultraviolet rays; some medications for IBD, such as azathioprine or mercaptopurine, can make skin more sensitive to the sun.
IBD Passport is a “well-organized website that contains evidence-based recommendations,” but some topics are best discussed with a primary care provider or gastroenterologist, cautioned Jami Kinnucan, MD.
Read Resources for traveling with IBD by David Wild.