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Diet and Lifestyle

Crohns Disease and Toiletries

Crohns Ostomy Essentials Cool Pack

Toiletry Advice for Crohns

People living with Crohn’s disease may use colostomy bags on a daily basis. A colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall to create a stoma and to which a pouch is attached to collect your faeces (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colostomy). Following this procedure, great care is needed to make sure that you have the right toiletries with you whether you are travelling on holidays or carrying out your normal day-to-day activities.

crohns toilet card

Crohns Emergency Toilet Card

  • Always have your Urgent Can’t Wait card with you for use at any toilet. Issued by your stoma nurse, this is a card designed to help you gain access to a toilet without embarrassment or confusion. The card is small enough to fit discreetly into your purse or wallet, and it is available in a number of different languages.
  • Having the correct toiletry items with you is key to living with Crohn’s disease.
  • Identify locations where you can change.
  • Be familiar with the correct signs for toilets when you are travelling abroad (e.g. WC, toilet, lavatory, lav, washrooms, restrooms, loo).
  • Make sure to have the following items with you: wipes for cleaning; small bags (nappy bags) for discarding your stoma colostomy pouch; sanitary gel to clean your hands; and your medication blister pack(s).
  • If you are a colostomy user, you should have whatever products you use to hand. Many people use a small leather purse to carry these items, while some of the major colostomy companies supply carrier bags. Ideally you should be able to fit the full range of toiletries you need into these bags. Therefore, it is important to try to source a bag that will store exactly what you need, with enough space to hold a few stoma bags, nappy bags, some wipes and some air freshener.

Your Crohns Disease Emergency Kit

People living with Crohn’s disease can have a toilet emergency at any time. If this happens, it is really important not to be caught off guard. By having your toiletries on hand to respond immediately can mean the difference between experiencing a minor inconvenience as opposed to your day turning into a complete disaster. These are some key items that you should store in your emergency kit:

  • A change of clothes
  • A bag to store your clothes in case they are soiled
  • Water to make sure you self-hydrate
  • Ostomy essentials
  • Someone you know that you can rely on to collect you, in the case of an emergency
Crohns Odour Eliminators

Crohns Odour Eliminators

Crohns Ostomy Essentials Cool Pack

Crohns Ostomy Essentials Cool Pack

Water for hydration

Water for hydration

Crohns Change of Clothes

Crohns change of clothes to keep hydrated

Chrones phone

Always have a phone to cal a trusted friend


How To Avoid Travellers’ Diarrohea

These are some tips to try to prevent an unpleasant bout of diarrohea occurring when you are travelling:

  • Avoid non-carbonated drinks e.g. fresh juices
  • Avoid ice-cream, raw vegetables and salads, uncooked meats and shellfish
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know for certain that they have been pasteurised
  • Stay away from food vendor counters
  • Never eat prepared foods, such as potato salad or canapes


Remedies for Travellers’ Diarrohea

Anyone with Crohn’s disease who is thinking of travelling should:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to make sure to keep your body hydrated, preferably lukewarm, weak tea, making sure to boil all water first
  • Avoid ice-cold beverages, sodas or citrus drinks, which could aggravate diarrohea
  • Take extra salt to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid foods that you know will cause you to have loose bowels or diarrohea – remember you know the way Crohn’s affects you better than anyone else
  • Consider taking anti-diarrohea medication, such as Imodium® – they are travellers with Crohn’s best friend for dealing with diarrohea – or large amounts of Pepto Bismol® may also be effective. However, always consult your doctor first before taking them: https://www.imodium.com/

imodium for crohns

Location of Bathrooms

(WC, toilets, lavatory, lav, washrooms, restroom, loos)

Having the best toiletry kit is no good if you do not know where the toilets are located. People living with Crohn’s disease tend to be good at memorising maps of toilets and building this knowledge into their daily routines. The same should apply when you are travelling to a place you have never visited before. Always consult your local planning guides and rest stops to find where toilets are located on the route that you are taking. Always have toilet paper in you toiletry kit, as many toilets or restrooms are not always well supplied with these items.

Travelling Without Fear with Crohn’s Disease

In addition to your Urgent Can’t Wait card, your toiletry bag  should contain a letter from your doctor to alert security personnel at airports. If you have a colostomy bag, it is important to alert the airport staff, as they are trained to respond to medical needs, screen people living with Crohn’s who are travelling and to make sure that you pass through checkpoints without any inconvenience, while also safeguarding your privacy. If for any reason you are asked to step aside to show your ostomy, you should ask that medical personnel carry out this screening process in a private room.

Most airports provide bracelets which are available at the airport reception desk. Wearing them helps airport staff to identify that you have additional needs. If you feel worried or anxious about going through an airport checkpoint, you can ask for assistance 48 hours in advance of your flight. This will help to ensure that your request to be searched in the presence of a medical professional can be met, as they are not always on standby and you could miss your flight if arrangements have not been put in place in advance.

crohns toilet kicks

Always sit down and plan your day in advance, whether it is a trip to the shops or going out with friends. Make out a list of all the toiletries that you could need in a Crohn’s disease emergency and include these items in your travel bag.

Remember, including simple toiletry products in a SMALL bag can a BIG difference to your life. It can help you to build the confidence you need to be able to do more things in life, travel more and take part in sports. By doing so, you will become a role model for others to follow your example. You will feel the benefits of taking these simple steps, as they will help you to avoid any mishaps that could potentially happen on your travels when living with Crohn’s disease.

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