Worried about travelling

I'm flying to the USA on Saturday to attend two weddings and I am so worried about being ill on the plane (plus I am terrified of flying-once the seatbelt signs are off my body goes into 'fight or flight' response and I feel like I'm having a 7 hour panic attack and about to die at any second which I know is irrational). The last few flights I've taken I've had worse pain and despite diazepam (did nothing at all) it's awful being stuck in a loo or worse, not being able to use the loo during turbulence, take off, or landing. I've had every single test, diet, treatment etc out there, including FODMAP (made me a lot worse) and Symprove (huge waste of money and gave me worst diarrhoea ever). I just take Fentanyl tablets for the pain now which is virtually constant and incapacitating. I've been having nightmares about flying for months and have got 2 Zopiclone 7.5mg tablets from my GP but I have no idea what effect they will have on me, if they will make me sleep or drowsy for hours that's fab,but if not it's too late to do anything about it once I'm in the air! Any advice welcome please. I've also tried hypnotherapy which again was a waste of money and didn't help at all.

8 Replies

  • I think a lot of us have been there and feel nothing helps. It goes to show just how varied this illness is. Personally I used hypnotherapy for a wedding and it was a big help but I think you have to believe in it. Likewise Symprove has been a godsend to me and has reduced all my other medication drastically. We just holidayed in Canada and 2 Imodium prior to traveling and 1 the day before was enough. I hope you relax and enjoy it.

  • Take practical control of things

    Wear adult nappy

    Change of clothes in hand luggage

    Skirt easier than trews in an emergency

    Yoga breathing

  • Wow you have to look on all the positives that you are achieving. IBS ruined my life for more years than I care to remember now. If you have time look at YouTube for the mindfulness act. It is all about how to accept things in your life that you cannot change. We all try to put in distractions rather than dealing with things head on and then they takeover. I hope you have the most wonderful time and just remember the amazing things you are going to see along the way because you are not letting it stop you. Big kudos to you.

  • Thanks for your replies-it's good to hear from fellow sufferers once in a while to remind you you're not alone. Chances are there is someone else on my plane with IBS feeling crap as well! Will definitely take 1 Immodium before boarding-that will stop me going for about 3 days but it's worth it for the peace of mind whilst in the air. I feel a little calmer in the daytime after some sleep, things always seem worse at night I think. I will look up yoga breathing since it's been a while. I am counting the hours until we land in Washington DC and can get on with trying to enjoy our trip which we've been saving for for 19 months and looking forward to.

  • I am in California, and have the same problem with severe panic attacks. My GP gave me Xanax and it helps, I feel like Im going to have a heart attack and shake inside its terrible. My sister gets them but not as severe and her dr. Gave her Ativan, for me that puts me to sleep where as the Xanax calms me. For my IBS, I am on Bentyl for the cramping and that works well, you might reasearch or talkto your dr. about them.Happy travelling.

  • 2 Immodium plus tablets before travelling will stop you needing the toilet whilst flying to USA and start taking 2 Probio7 tablets daily from Holland and Barrett. I take the Probio's all the time and have done for the past 6 months or so, they have changed my life so much, no more dashing to the loo all the time, no more embarrassing episodes in the toilet - try them you won't be disappointed.

  • Please let the fight crew know you have "particular I.B.S. health issues" that may cause frequent bathroom trips.............no matter when. You never know one or more of them may be able to associate. I'm sure more people are in the same situation. Let them know at the ticket counter so they can forewarn/alert flight crew and do not be embarrassed at all seriously!!

  • I really feel for you in this situation, having just had a holiday recently myself, although a much shorter flight of just 3 hours. I suffer terribly from IBS or stomach issues due to anxiety and of course the more you worry the worse it gets! I would say a couple of days before start taking immodium or something similar to get a build up in your system. I use loperamide and find that 1 tablet a day most of the time really helps. This is a relatively low dose seeing you can take upto 8 a day! Occasionally needing to take 3 or 4 on flare ups. Alongside this I find that Medicinal Charcoal tablets purchased from Boots or health food stores have been a real god send. I take 6 a day and they seem to have settled my symptoms more than anything, I recommend giving them a try. Other than that try to relax, hold onto your wrist as if taking your pulse as it is linked to your tummy, breath deeply and you may find this quite comforting too. Have a great holiday.

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