- Travel insurance More info
Before insurers agree to provide cover, you may have to complete a medical questionnaire or speak to a medical advisor. You must disclose any medical history, surgery and any pre-existing conditions. Shop around for cover - the Ileostomy Association may know of reputable travel insurance companies. If travelling to Europe, make sure you have a new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to free or reduced cost medical treatment. You can pick one up at the Post Office or by calling 0845 606 2030.
- Flying tips More info
- Pack scissors in your hold luggage
- Book an aisle seat for easy toilet access
- Avoid spicy/fatty foods or fizzy drinks, which can make you windy
- Obtain travel cards from Salts Medilink® to explain your condition. Call Freephone 0800 626388
- Food and drinkMore info
- - Be wary of the water supply in some countries
- Use bottled/boiled water, including when cleaning your teeth/stoma
- Avoid food that has been standing for long periods
- Don't have ice cubes in drinks
- Wash salads and fruit before eating them
- Tummy upsets More info
A change in climate, water or food can upset your bowels, so be prepared. If you suffer with diarrhoea, Imodium capsules will not be absorbed adequately as they are designed to be absorbed in the large bowel. ‘Imodium Melts’, which you place on your tongue, or ‘Imodium Elixir’, which is obtainable on prescription from your GP, are better.
- Fluids More info
Drink plenty of fluids. In hot, humid countries, we perspire much more and need to replace lost body fluids. Make sure you have plenty of fluid stops and always carry a bottle of water. Isotonic sports drinks such as Lucozade Sport or equivalent are excellent for combating dehydration. Allow them to go flat first, to reduce wind.
If you notice any of the symptoms of dehydration, such as thirst, headache, weakness, small amounts of concentrated urine or light-headedness, you can make up a simple oral rehydration solution as follows:
- 6 level teaspoons of sugar
- 1 level teaspoon of salt
- Half teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate
- Mix with 1 litre of tap water (bottled water, if abroad)
- Improve palatability with a small amount of fruit juice or squash
This solution should be drunk over 24 hours. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist. Remember, also, that too much alcohol will accelerate dehydration - so don't overdo it!
- Storage of equipment More info
If you are holidaying in a hot climate, your stoma pouches should not be allowed to get too warm. It is advisable to store your appliances in a cool bag and choose the coolest part of your accommodation.
- SwimmingMore info
- Swimming won’t affect the adhesion of your pouch; it can actually make the adhesive more tacky, which leaves more residue when you come to remove it. Leave it to dry properly first and the adhesive should return to normal. You may want to choose a smaller size pouch for swimming and sunbathing. Remember to cover your pouch in the sun as the plastic intensifies the heat
- Ileostomy swimwear More info
- How brief swimming trunks or bikinis can be depends on the position of your stoma.
Female swimwear tips
- A good swimsuit lining or double layer fabric will support your abdomen and help hide the pouch
- Choose a boldly patterned costume which will camouflage any bulges
- If you wear bikinis, a high-waist style may cover your stoma. Alternatively, choose a tankini top (long, vest-style top) to wear with bikini bottoms
- Wear a sarong on the beach and at the side of the pool. It can be easily removed when you fancy a dip
Male swimwear tips
- If you are happy wearing your Speedos – great!
- Swimming shorts are a good choice as they can be worn above the stoma and are generally loose fitting.
- Choose swim shorts with a mesh lining which will support your pouch
- Going places booklet More info