Traveling with a Chronic Disease

Travel Clinics of America - Traveling with Chronic Disease

If you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes or emphysema, it may add challenges to your travel. Advance planning is the key to a successful trip.

Coordinate care with your primary doctor and specialists

  • See your primary physician and specialists well in advance of your trip to discuss how travel may affect your condition. Discuss how to handle emergencies and have written plans. Travel Clinics of America physicians can help coordinate your care for diseases such as Crohn’s, asthma, cancer, diabetes and COPD.
  • Ask your physicians to provide you with copies of recent EKG, laboratory and x-ray results to bring on your trip.
  • Bring the names and telephone and fax numbers of all of your treating physicians.

Prepare for travel

  • Schedule an appointment with a Travel Clinics of America physician as soon as you know your travel plans. You may need additional health and travel shots and some of the travel immunizations may be contraindicated, especially if you are immunocompromised.
  • Bring extra medication with you in case you are unexpectedly delayed on your trip. Medications purchased abroad may not meet U.S. standards.
  • Pack all medications and supplies in your carry-on luggage and bring copies of your prescriptions.
  • Consider wearing a Medical Alert bracelet.
  • Bring a first aid kit packed with over the counter medications approved by your physician.

Medical care abroad

  • Know how to get medical care abroad. Join IAMAT for a list of English speaking physicians and hospitals abroad. Membership is free.
  • Evaluate your US health insurance. Evacuation in case of a medical emergency costs tens of thousands of dollars. Consider buying additional medical and evacuation insurance.
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