Effects of International Air Travel on Colitis

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/16/2007 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I travel internationally quite frequently and after a 20 hour flight I'm in extreme pain.  I have severe abdominal cramping as soon as I arrive and find it necessary to lay down for about 8 hours before it goes away.  I'm just wondering if anyone else experiences that.  Currently, I have Remicade infusions but I'm not flaring.  It just seems like my colon starts spasming as soon as I get up and start moving around.  I've tried to eat very light and lots of fluids before and during the flights but it doesn't seem to make a difference. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 196
   Posted 10/16/2007 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't travel frequently, but on my way back from Panama to CA it was brutal, because I was in the midst of flare coming on. I think the stress of traveling often can worsen UC and not being able to control the your diet very well just adds to it. Sorry to hear you have such a demanding job with all the travel, it can't be easy. I am delaying my plans to travel to visit a customer for my work until things get under control.
Pancolitis '04
Yet to go into remission, Flare-up since Aug 12th and still atempting to work in the midst of it
On Lialda (2/dy), probiotics, Oriental Medical Tea & Prescribed Diet, Greens+, Fish Oil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/16/2007 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Atlucgirl, and welcome to HealingWell! I too am on Remicade, and travel quite a bit (the flights aren't as many hours) but I do find that I tend to get hard stools and a bit constipated. Even when I'm a bit stressed I get the hard stools, which are really painful and cause cramping. I usually can get to a hotel or whereever and sit on the toilet for awhile until I get a little bit out, and that starts the ball rolling. A waitress told me to to eat a banana one time, and that worked well and grapes work too. I also drink Danactive, and try to drink a lot of water, which I know is hard when flying. I've also thought about stool softeners; but I kind of worry that things will go back to diarrhea if I do. Do you have either diarrhea or hard stools?


Remicade - will have my 19th infusion on November 1.
Imuran - 100 mgs....taken before bedtime
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics

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schrek-chewbacca hunk
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2666
   Posted 10/16/2007 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   

I have only traveled  twice - and both times my doc prescribed xanax which helped me very much - hope this helps.


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/17/2007 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies everyone. I had my Remicade Infusion today and the nurse thought I should try taking GAS-X before my flights. She thought it mught be gas and with the pressure in the plane for such a long time, might cause cramping. I don't have diarrhea or anything during these episodes. It's severe stomach pain that doesn't subside until after I lay down for about 6-8 hours. Thanks for all of the ideas, I'll try all of your suggestions if the Gas-X doesn't pan out.

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5187
   Posted 10/17/2007 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
It's likely gas build-up from sitting long hrs in constricted position. Try to get out of your plane seat every hr for a few minutes & go to rest room every couple hrs. The stretch will also help your vascular system. / Old Hat (nearly 30 yrs with left-sided UC; currently taking 3 Colazal daily; seem to be back in remission)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 10/17/2007 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Excess gas, huh? That's really interesting - and I can totally understand how it could be that! I will keep gas-x in mind next time I fly - which I don't do very often :)
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Rowasa and Canasa as needed
Aciphex, Effexor XR, BCP, Rhinocort nasal spray
Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
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