Going to live abroad ...any tips?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/16/2008 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   
  I am moving to Seoul, Korea to teach English for one year. I already did a lot of research on their health system and whether or not they study Crohns disease. Which they do and also offer the drugs I take. I will receive National Health Insurace which has a copay system.
I am doing okay right now, except just some stress related symptoms. (pain before bowl movement, gas).
I will be taking about a 2 month supply of drugs with me before I buy more in Korea.
Anyways I just wanted to see if anyone else here has gone travelling and have any tips for keeping yourself and your gut happy while abroad.
Joy :-)
Diagnosed with CD on January 26th 2007. Currently recovering.
Taking: Asacol, 6mp
- MultiV, calcium citrate,
~ Recovering and discovering.~

Melissa H
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 4/16/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, no tips for you (as I don't travel much...or at all) - but just a big "congratulations"!! That sounds like a great opportunity!
30 year old wifey and mom to 3 little girls, 2 dogs, and 2 ratties and working full-time outside of the home...nap anyone?
Suffered with symptoms for 12 years, dx Crohn's-Colitis 11/2007.  Taking Asacol, Omeprazol, Rowasa, Bentyl. Flaring off and on and trying to avoid steriods.  Visited a naturopath, got a vitamin B injection and have started taking NF Formula's "RF Plus" with every meal.

brit tuck
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 4/16/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't gone abroad since being diagnosed, but I will be studying abroad this summer. Something that has reassured me is contacting my local CCFA chapter. They were able to get in contact with a chapter in London, and looked up doctor's for me there that specialize in Crohn's. So now I will be able to have doctor's there that I can contact if need be. It's just one of those things that I find just seem to make me feel more comfortable and at ease. So I'm not worried if something does go wrong, because I will know I can get medical care there from someone who knows this disease.

Good luck! And have tons of fun!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1256
   Posted 4/16/2008 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Have fun and drink lots of green tea its good for you.
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/16/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm an Australian living in Hong Kong for a year doing something similar. It sounds like you've done your homework, so you should be fine. I actually brought all my medications with me as (a) there are so many, and (b) i wasn't quite sure if they'd be readily available and as inexpensive here as in oz.
One thing that my surgeon pointed out before I came was that if you get sick and need to have surgery, try not to have it done in asia. Not because there's bad healthcare, but because the rate of bowel-related illness and therefore surgery over here is far less than in Western countries, and so there is less choice of surgeons, and potentially they have less experience than in the West.
A good piece of info to have - but i have no intention of needing it, and i'm sure you won't either. :)

Have an awesome time. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 4/17/2008 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, GOOD FOR YOU! I haven't been abroad since being dx'd but want to say CONGRATS and have a GREAT time! Keep us updated on your status (especially if the food helps your symptoms)! Good Luck :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/17/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
One peice of advice, your favorite otc medications may not be availble so bring plenty. I spent a year in germany and even with the defence department health care system it was not the same as health care in the US so make sure you are as healthy as possible when you go. Eat as carefully as you can while you are there and have fun.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 4/17/2008 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Joybot,

Go and have a great time!!  :-) :-) :-)    My suggestion is to look into where you will be buying your meds.  I'm concerned about counterfeit drugs.  Maybe your current Dr. office can arrange for delivery to you??  Just a thought.

Don't forget about us. Let us know how you are doing and what it is like living there! 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 4/17/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with FallColors. I don't know about Korea, but I'm from India, and not all pharmacies provide legitimate medications there. There are some pharmacies that my parents in India avoid because they think they sell counterfeit medications. My husband and I went to visit my parents in India last year, and we took all the meds that he was on in copious amounts, including antibiotics in case of infections, etc. We also got our doctor's cell phone number, just in case, we needed to consult him while abroad. Also, we were very careful about what we ate in India.

It sounds fantastic that you're going to Korea. Have a great time, and I hope you are in remission the whole time.

Good Luck!

Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff
Currently in hospital for past month
Canasa, Lialda, Vancomycin, Colestipol, Elavil, IV Solumedrol 120mgs, Remicade (1st infusion April 10, 2008), FloraQ, FloraStor, Morphine Time release for pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/17/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey guys and gals,

 Thanks for your warm words! I am looking forward to this. But nervous as heck so need to just go with the flow. I hope to go as healthy as possible, but lately I have been having tummy pain as mentioned previously. It isn't debilitating and there hasn't been any D ...just gas ya know. So I think I am just worrying over it too much because I am making a big change soon. A part of me doesn't want to over do it and go to my GI's who tell me I need to hold off on going to Korea....aghh. But I will keep monitoring my health and if things are looking towards a bad flare I will get the aid I need.


Other than that I expect Koreas health system to be different from the West but Seoul actually has a lot of hospitals and University hospitals which are up to date. In fact i found a speciality hospital just for intestinal disorders right in the neighboorhood that I am moving too. My Korean friend sent them an email in Korean asking if they can treat a foreigner with Crohn's and if they have the medicine I can take...all the answers were yes. So we will see!


Alllright I will keep you all posted.


I have a blog:

www.foreignerjoy.blogspot.com if you care to take a peek.

Diagnosed with CD on January 26th 2007. Currently recovering.
Taking: Asacol, 6mp
- MultiV, calcium citrate,
~ Recovering and discovering.~

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