Overcoming Holiday Challenges Particularly Difficult For People With Digestive Diseases | Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Overcoming Holiday Challenges Particularly Difficult For People With Digestive Diseases

November 13, 2012

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Lenora E. Houseworth
(646) 943-7415; communications@ccfa.org

November 7, 2012-New York, NY- Holiday eating and air travel can be challenging for the 1.4 million Americans suffering with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). People who suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other bowel diseases — painful chronic conditions that cause inflammation of the gastro-intestinal track, which cause severe abdominal pain and diarrhea-should take special precautions in order to avoid exacerbating symptoms and insure easy traveling amidst the busiest time of the year. 

“It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season. Many patients have a sense of what foods worsen their symptoms. A safe approach to holiday parties and travel is to try to follow your usual routine as closely as possible and plan ahead,” says Dr. Jim Lewis, chairman of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s National Scientific Advisory Committee. Experts at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) have compiled a list of diet and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tips for IBD patients to have a healthy, happy holiday.

When flying, remember:

• Pack medications in a separate, clear, sealable bag.
• Pack your own toilet paper, soothing wipes, ointments, changes of underwear and extra clothes. Keep hand sanitizer in small bottles that can go through airport security.
• Make sure you bring more medications and if applicable, ostomy supplies than you think you need.
• TSA CANNOT ask you to show your ostomy bag, nor can they ask you to remove it any time. You can ask for a disposable drape at any time during a body pat down.
• Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight.
• Contact CCFA several weeks in advance to become a member and receive the CCFA I Can’t Wait card to help you explain Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to TSA workers. Call 646-943-7521 to speak to the CCFA Membership Department.
• Download the free CCFA Air Travel Talking Points Card at www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org to keep in your wallet for you to refer to as you travel.

When eating during the holidays, remember:

• Eat a light, nutritious meal of foods you know you can tolerate before going out to a party. This will help prevent you from overindulging or being tempted by foods that you don’t tolerate well or are uncertain about.
• Eat smaller portions. Appetizer and half-size portions are a good option.
• Plan your diet around foods that you know nourish your body well.
• Try to stay away from “super-size” portions that may make you flare.
• Don’t be afraid to make special request-whether dining out or going to your next holiday party. Most restaurants are willing to make changes to their menu to accommodate special diet needs. If you are at a party, call the host ahead of time to see if you can bring your own dish.
To find out more TSA and diet tips, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org.

About CCFA
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. 



Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (give.org) and the American Institute of Philanthropy (charitywatch.org).

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