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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,I really need help. Im going to India in March for 10 weeks with a charity and I suffer from IBS-A but at the mo Im getting more D. The more Im stressing the more D I have. I will be in a remote area of India and drinking water that has been purified by tablets ( not bottled water). I will be eating food and drinks given to me. I really don't want to get traveller's diahorrea to add to my IBS or even worse get an intestinal infection (?) and have even more trouble with my IBS when I get back. Can anyone help me im desperate?
Can I take anything with me to prevent getting diahorrea e.g some kind of probiotic to protect me? How does anyone survive a 15 hour flight?? or 10 WEEKS in India? How do I cope with the food or do I just live on Imodium? I really want to protect myself as much as possible? Has anyone else done anything like this?
Its like I don't want IBS to hold me back from living my life but at the moment I really think I lost my mind when I agreed to go.I would be grateful for any help and advice
Thanks
 

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I admire your bravery.... I'm too scared to go to places so far away! I guess the only thing is to bring along whatever remedies help you ie Immodium etc. I think it would be wise to have proof of doctor's orders for every drug, even OTC especially the ingredients+dose amts ie mg, in case the drug names are different than ours. In fact, have as much medical info as possible with you, in case you require help (I hope you don't!). I think the doctors are very competent, often trained at elite schools elsewhere, so that's a good thing. Maybe you can research India's drug names and availability, as well as medical care near where you will be. Hopefully, somebody here knows how to handle the food and water there. Wash your hands a whole lot... bring Purell. Except for remembering to do the things that help you avoid IBS attacks, try to not get stressed over it; ...focus on the reason you are there.Good for you for being willing to give this a try... it could open up your whole future to opportunities.
 

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b_veggie,I have both IBD and IBS and I travel extensively for pleasure and work. That said, when writing a book 2 years ago about Tibet I was faced with the question of whether or not to travel to New Delhi and Dharamsala, India. I went back and forth for months - I didn't want to give into my diseases but I also didn't want to end up with worse illness and an Indian hospital. Yes, they have well educated doctors, but their facilities are not those of the U.S. or other better developed countries. After looking into all the information I could and talking to my doctors I had to come to the very hard decision that India was not a country I could safely travel to. I didn't go. And I've not regretted that decision for one day. I cannot tell you not to go, nor to go and you'll be fine. I will tell you, though, that if you do go, go as prepared as possible. Talk to your doctors, tell them where you'll be traveling and ask them to write you a presciption for Metronidazol and Cipro and any other antibiotics you may need quickly to deal with infections you may get. Get these prescriptions filled before you go. And take Imodium and Pepto Bismol with you. I can't say for certain if they will have this available where you'll be but if you need them you don't want to have to go out and find them. As for water and food - this is going to be your biggest trial. Water in India is NOT to be drunk by foreigners. Your safest bet is to get only bottled water with carbonation. This is the only safe water to drink as the carbonation tells you it has been treated. Flat water (without bubbles), even bottled flat water almost assuredly has come from a tap. Even if the bottle is sealed you can bet the bottle was filled from a tap. The same goes for other non-carbonated drinks like water, juice, tea etc. My husband, who did go on the trip to India, was told by the locals that milk is augmented with water to make it go farther, same with juice, etc. The ONLY SAFE THINGS TO DRINK IN INDIA ARE THOSE THAT ARE CARBONATED - water with gas, soda, beer, etc.You should go to the internet or to REI - an outdoors store - and get yourself a water filter. There are filters that work on a glass-by-glass basis, and those that allow you to filter a liter or gallon at a time. Get one, learn how to use it, and use it. As for the food, much of it will be spicy, so if that's not good on your gut you're going to have to eat things like rice, yogurt, dahl, etc. Take with you what you can. I hope it all works out for you and you have a magnificent time. But, at the first sign of trouble talk to someone, make them aware of your situation, and do not let yourself get into a crisis before you ask for help. Even the healthies of people who have not gut problems in the America get them in places like India and it can be difficult to get under control. Be very prepared before you depart.Peace,Elizabeth
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank-you both very much. I will defintely be making an appointment with my doc for some prescriptions - good idea!
I will be taking as much info and OTC drugs as I possibly can. Crossing my fingers I will be able to cope...
 

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Hi b_veg, I sympathize with your dilemma. I've been dreaming for ages of taking a long trip through Southeast Asia, but I'm really worried about what a bout of traveller's D might do to exacerbate my IBS situation. Thoughts of long plane flights, trying to find a bathroom in a foreign country, etc. add to the concern.Part of me thinks I should be conservative and resign myself to only travelling in the developed world. The other part of me thinks maybe I'm being paranoid and that even if I were to get little traveller's D it may not have any long-lasting effects on my IBS. I mean, I didn't get IBS from some kind of infection, it just sort of came on me gradually, while I was living right here in the food-safety-obsessed USA.So I recommend you do some research on practical tips for avoiding food/water-borne illnesses (e.g. the CDC website's section on Travel Health), do your best to take reasonable precautions, then make your peace with the risks involved and go have a good time. Now, if I can just be brave enough to take my own advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Onyx,I just figured one life, why not. And your right being in the 'developed world' doesn't protect you from all the nasties out there. Im trying to be as prepared as poss. Plus if my ibs is bad out there I have a good cover story - food, water e.t.c. I just feel sorry for the 'normal' people going who may get ibs as a result of this trip. I already have it. But hoping if it gets bad out there it may ease off when I get back. And i will have plenty of otc drugs to help me along.
Can't live a life dictated by your fears- depends how you want to look back at your life i guess. (like this
or this
. lol)Take care
 

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Going to India has been my lifelong dream and I am going to do it-just haven't figured out how yet! I would love to do the northern triangle but of course the long journeys would be difficult. Have been thinking of taking a train trip but notice the trains always stop early in the morning to allow you to take trips. Think I might be better to travel by car but would have to start later in the day. I love curries and Indian food-in fact everything about India is magical. Please let us know how you get on-I'm sure you will have a fantastic time-just be brave and prepared. Good luck!
 

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My work involves quite alot of travel and China and India are frequent destinations.Now if you'd listen to my advice it could save you some trouble:Get a prescription and buy several blisters Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Metronidazole (Flagyl), Loperamide (Imodium), Diosmectite (Smecta) and don't forget antimalarial drugs and mosquito repellents with 30% DEET or more!! If you can't get prescription for all this you can buy it in Delhi or Mumbai (that's why I'm giving also INN names).Don't go just like that, buy the MEDICINES! I'd also suggest immediate immunization with Twinrix - Hepatitis A and B combined vaccine (if you haven't got already) and Typhoid fever (Salmonella Typhi) vaccine. Do this if you want to be on the safe side!P.S. I didn't notice that most of what I wrote is already in Elizabeth's post. She's given real good advices that you should take!
 

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I am doing the same with the added bonus of having a hiatus hernia, which means I have really bad stomach acid and have awful heartburn the whole time. My only saviour I use that I use milk which seems to be the only thing that works. Is there anywhere in India that I could get milk that is not mixed with water?
 
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