High Altitude & IBD

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keylime
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 5/15/2008 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
My 16 year old son wants to go to camping for a week the end of July at a camp in Colorado that is at an altitude of over 10,000. Of course the overprotective mother in me doesn't think this is a very good idea - long drive to get there (15ish hours, not sure), sleeping outdoors (bathrooms????), rafting (giardia in the water???).

I always feel kind of yucky at high altitudes and my husband has nearly died. He got altitude poisoning and ended up being studied by at a university hospital in Denver. He had fluid on the brain, his heart and his lungs. He has to take medicine whenever he goes back (which in not often in part because of this).

Aack! Why can't he want to go to camp in a "civilized" area? He has never had a summer without a flare, so if he flares by then, it won't matter (he won't go), but I'd sure hate for him to get there and flare or have a flare caused by the stress of being there. I'm really hoping this can be his first flare free summer since the late 1990's!!

What do you all know about IBD and high altitude? Any experience.

Thanks
Julie

Mom of Son 16 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5409
   Posted 5/15/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Julie,

I think it's important to let your son live as normal of a life as he can. I assume he will be with a group of people that understand altitude sickness and can take preventative measures if needed? I backpacked in altitudes over 10,000 ft. 3 weeks after being hospitalized for a severe flare. The trip did not make my UC worse nor did it make it better but I sure felt better engaging in an antivity that I love. Your son will have this disease for his entire life and I think it's important that he not let the disease manage his life. He should just go prepared to manage his disease if it acts up. BTW- As a life long camper and an avid backpacker, I would never camp in a civilized area!!

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


keylime
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 5/15/2008 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL, by civilized camp I meant one at a lower altitude with dorms, not camping per se. There are two camps this summer - one in Missouri and the one in Colorado, I was hoping he would choose Missouri...

Thanks for your feedback. I do want him to have as normal a life a possible but after the last flare (13 months of flaring then another few months of dealing with the prednisone/prednisone withdrawl) I just don't want to have anything upset the delicate balance. I almost think that his flares are as hard (or harder, if that is possible) on me than on him. He bounced back emotionally and physically much quicker than I did from this last flare. I still wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night with nightmares about last year...

Anyone know is Altitude Sickness runs in familiies?
Julie

Mom of Son 16 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5409
   Posted 5/15/2008 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not sure be in my family only one out of 5 gets altitude sickness.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 5/15/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I visited Colorado with UC and while I did suffer from severe headaches from the altitude, my UC was just fine. I maintained my remission.
Proud new mom of a beautiful baby boy!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 5/15/2008 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I can totally understand your concerns, but, on the other hand, I think the Colorado camp sure sounds like a lot of fun. =) And how often do you get a chance to go on a camping trip like that? (I'm in the Midwest, so for me not very often). If he would go and happen to get really sick, would there be someone there with him who could take him home? It's nice of you to be so caring for him and worry, but I personally think you should let him decide if he feels up for it healthwise. I haven't been in any high altitudes since I've gotten UC so I can't answer your question.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


love4cats
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 5/16/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I think the Colorado trip sounds like my kinda thing to do. Please support him in his decision even though you will worry sick, all us moms do. He really needs to lead a normal teenage life as much as he can with this dreaded disease.
 
 
Dx:  UC Proctitis 2006 
Meds:  None so far. Garlic works to ease flares. My GI laughed when I told him and said it was just coincidence. 
Started Meds:  Apr 9 08 500mg 5ASA (salofalk) to ease flare, tapering, stopped. 
Diet:  Regular fresh garlic, Biobest yogurt daily, Omega 3 supplements, very limited junk food, carbs and processed food, low fat diet.  Lots of fresh fruit and veggies (limited potatoes). 
 Added: tumeric and probiotics.
 
 

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