- Ileostomy: A Guide
- What is an Ileostomy?
- The normal digestive system
- Types of ileostomies
- Ileostomy management
- Choosing a pouching system
- Changing the pouching system
- Ordering and storing supplies
- Helpful hints
- Ileostomy problems
- Living with an ileostomy
- Telling others
- Clothing and appearance
- Eating and digestion
- Returning to work
- Intimacy and sexuality
- Exercise, play, and sports
- For parents of children with ileostomies
- Getting help, information, and support
- To learn more
All methods of travel are open to you. Many people with ileostomies travel just like everyone else, this includes camping trips, cruises, and air travel. Here are some travel tips:
- Take along enough supplies to last the entire trip plus some extras. Double what you think you may need, because supplies may not be easy to get where you are going. Even if you don’t expect to change your pouch take along everything you need to do so. Plastic bags with sealable tops may be used for pouch disposal. Leave home fully prepared. Find out if and where you can get supplies before a long trip. A local ostomy support group may be able to help you find ostomy supplies and local medical professionals.
- Seat belts will not harm the stoma when adjusted comfortably.
- When traveling by car, keep your supplies in the coolest part of the car. Avoid the trunk or back window ledge.
- When traveling by plane, remember that checked-in luggage sometimes gets lost. Carry an extra pouching system and other supplies on the plane with you. Small cosmetic bags with plastic linings or shaving kits work well. These should be kept in your carry-on luggage. Air travel security will generally let you take on all medical supplies. You may want to review the Transportation Security Administration's information at: www.tsa.dhs.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm
- To avoid problems with customs or luggage inspection, have a note from your doctor stating that you need to carry ostomy supplies and medicine by hand. Further problems might be avoided by having this information translated into the languages of the countries you are visiting.
- Before traveling abroad, get a current list of English-speaking doctors in the areas you will be visiting. The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) at 716-754-4883 or www.iamat.org publishes lists of English speaking doctors who were trained in North America or Europe and are available in over 90 countries around the world.
- Traveler’s diarrhea is a common problem for tourists in foreign countries, whether you have an ostomy or not. The most common cause of diarrhea is impure water and/or food. It may also be caused by changes in water, food, or climate. It is best to avoid unpeeled fruits and raw vegetables. Be sure drinking water is safe. If the water is not safe, do not use the ice either. Bottled water or boiled water is recommended, even for brushing your teeth. People with ileostomies lose water and minerals quickly when they have diarrhea. (See "Electrolyte balance" in the section "Ileostomy problems.") For this reason you may need medicine to stop the fluid and electrolyte loss. Your doctor can give you a prescription to control diarrhea. Get it filled before you leave so that you can take the medicine with you just in case you need it.
Last Medical Review: 03/17/2011
Last Revised: 03/17/2011