Whether travelling by road, or jetting off to a luxurious resort, there are precautions you can take to ensure a fun filled summer holiday with family or friends.
Cystitis is the medical term for inflammation of the bladder; it denotes the onset of a bladder or urinary tract infection, whereas Interstitial Cystitis refers to chronic or recurring episodes of inflammation of the bladder, which may or may not be caused by infection.
Interstitial Cystitis, also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome affects both men and women. Often the lining of bladders have sore patches susceptible to irritation from food, causing severe burning pains similar to those of a urinary tract infection. These patches, called Hunner's Ulcers or Hunner's Lesions, are present in 5-10% of patients.
Foods most likely to cause pain are coffee, tea, soda (including all diet drinks), most alcoholic beverages, citrus fruits and juices, cranberry juice, tomato products, hot peppers, and spicy foods. Lemon will not cause problems for most people.
Travelling by air, especially on international flights, can often involve lengthy delays in queues, as well as on-board the aircraft while waiting for departure or to disembark the aircraft. Contact the airline(s) you are travelling with, at least 48 hours before your departure time and inform them of your circumstances and any special needs you may require, such as a seat in close proximity to the rest rooms.
If departing from the EU, or travelling on a European Airline, you are legally entitled to special assistance. Please visit the Civil Aviation Authority of the UK for more detailed information.
If travelling to or from the USA, or on a U.S. Airline, you are protected by the Air Carrier Access Act. Please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation for more detailed information.
Consider or enquire about:
Venturing out by road presents similar challenges to air travel for patients with IC. Journey times are typically longer; however, the frequency of rest stops is within your control if travelling in a private vehicle.
Consider the following:
Holiday makers often over-indulge in alcohol, spend a lot of time under the sun causing dehydration, eat exotic foods, partake in outdoor sporting activities, and increase sexual activity. All of these are known triggers for Interstitial Cystitis. While you're on holiday to enjoy yourself, be careful not to over indulge.
Travel throws many unexpected surprises at us. Planning ahead is paramount, especially for patients with interstitial cystitis. Carefully chart your journey into a barrel-rolling, fun filled get-away. Bon voyage, Buon viaggio, Boa viagem, Buen viaje. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!
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