Travelling – and running – with IBD, Crohn’s and Colitis.
The customer service team here at World First talk to lots of people every day who need to be screened for their medical conditions. Many of them screen for conditions associated with Inflammatory Bowel Diease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. If you’ve never heard of them, let us tell you that over 260,000 people in the UK are now affected by these conditions of the bowel, intestines, stomach and, in the case of Crohn’s, the entire digestive tract.
What are Crohn’s and colitis?
Both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) cause inflammation in the digestive tract, with UC focussing more on the large intestine and bowel. The inflammation can be mild in many cases but can sometimes be severe, requiring strong medication or an operation to remove an affected part of the intestine. The disease affects mainly young adults but can affect teenagers or younger children and can sometimes start in later life. The most common age of diagnosis is between ages 15-25 years.
The diseases are ‘chronic’ conditions, which means they are ongoing and lifelong, often managed by drugs during periods of remission. Both can affect the way people live, causing pain, fatigue and long periods of discomfort. For UC, surgery can sometime provide a complete cure but will almost certainly require an ileostomy or reconstructive surgery.
Travelling with an inflammatory bowel disease
As travel insurance specialists we like to see as many people as possible enjoy life and travel as much as we do, so we are happy that we are able to offer policies to people who suffer from Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. It doesn’t make the practical aspects of travel any easier but it does help to bring a little more peace of mind when you are away. Simple things like knowing your medication is insured, or that you’ll be able to get the very best care if you need it, can make it a lot easier to relax. In many cases our policies also enable people to travel insured in the first place as they may have been turned down cover elsewhere or offered a policy for a price that is hard to justify.
Running for Crohn’s and Colitis
So, knowing what we do about Crohn’s, we were especially proud of our friend, Lizzie, when she was invited by Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the UK’s leading IBD charity, to join their team to run the London Marathon on the 13th April. Lizzie is the best friend and running partner of our MD’s PA, Jemma Marsh and was diagnosed in September 2012 with Crohn’s. Since then she’s battled on regardless and has worked really hard to stay fit. We think it’s marvellous that by running the London marathon, she’s even found the time and space in her life to support the charity that supports so many others with information, research, support, awareness raising and practical help.
We wish her the very best of luck on the 13th April.
If you’d like to support Lizzie and Jemma in their quest to finish the London marathon in good time – and raise £5000 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK at the same time - you can donate on their Just Giving page HERE.
If you have Crohn’s or UC and would like a quote for your travel insurance, see our Crohn's and Ulcrative Colitis page HERE.