Hi, I'm new to the board. I have been dxd with Lupus and/or Sjogrens Syndrome and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience traveling outside the U.S. (to Mexico or other countries)and what special precautions should be taken? We will be going to Tuxpan, (VeraCruz) which is not one of the usual tourists destinations. I'm concerned about possible diseases and health hazards considering my diagnosis.
Is the trip a bad idea?
Should I consult with my Dr?
Thanks for any help.
As long as you feel o.k. to travel you should be fine. The only precaution I can think of is to stay out of the sun! That is a no, no if you have lupus. It can definitely trigger a flare.
Remember, with lupus your immune system in hyperactive--not suppressed so you are not at any extra risk for catching anything. However, if you are taking any immunosuppressants as a lot of lupus patients do--you may want to be careful.
Thank you for your reply Renae. :-)
I'm not taking immunosuppressants at this time. Only the NSAIDS and Prilosec, although the Dr *has previously suggested Plaquenil.
Again, thanks for your fast reply and I look forward to talking with you more on the message board.
I have several autoimmune diseases and traveled to Equador & Peru last fall........... a lot more exposure to health hazards than Mexico. No problems!! I did get a few shots first, but those were suggested for anyone going to South America. As mentioned, get some gear to avoid exposure to the sun and, more obvious, don't drink the water. Aside from that, I agree with the Dr. and suggest that you seriously consider taking the plaquenil.
Enjoy the trip!!!! Ann
Thank you Ann. So you think that I really need to be on the Plaquenil? Maybe I should reconsider my decision not to take it. My ANA has been testing negative (or very low) for almost a year now but the Dr did some type of test where they placed gel on my nail bed, looking at the capillaries. From this, the dr told me that there was definitely some sort of autoimmune problem going on. I've also ocassionlly had traces of blood in my urine. I have a lot of joint pain for which I take NSAIDS. The pain tends to be worst in my toe joints, where my toes meet my foot.
A lot of times, it feels as if someone has dropped bowling balls on my toe joints. I also have a lot of joint pain in my fingers. Not to mention, the numerous body aches.
My symptoms started very suddenly, the day after riding a rollercoaster, but I had also been under a lot of stress at the time. (They at first thought that I had Guillean Barre Syndrome) <sp>
My Mom, and several other close family members, has Thalassemia, a rare blood disorder, mostly found in the mediterranean, but we have no Meditteranean bloodlines as far as we know. We are from east TN! She also has Fibromyalgia, but she hasn't been checked for autoimmune diseases. Do these tend to run in the family?
I think that I probably have Sjogrens because I've tested positive on almost every ocassion for SS-B.
I constantly have dry mouth. Anywhere I go, I have to have a drink with me at all times. I also know that sometimes several autoimmune diseases group together and it's diffiult to pin-point which one(s) you have.
So..you're probably right to suggest taking the Plaquenil. It's just that I'm afraid to take such a strange medicine. =(
>>> I agree with the Dr. and suggest that you >>>seriously consider taking the plaquenil.
>>>Enjoy the trip!!!! Ann[/B][/QUOTE]
I have SLE, Sjogren's, Raynaud's, RA... And I travel the Carribbean/Mexico all the time as I am an avid scuba diver.(Just back from a couple weeks in the Bahamas). I haven't had many problems, but I always carry an "emergency pack" of meds for any medical problems I may encounter. I've known more about medicine than some of the doctors that I've dealt with abroad. Talk to your doctor about checking health advisories from the CDC about traveling.
I always bring my own bottled water, because I've found that sometimes the locals will "rebottle" the water with regular tap water - causing some problems with my "plumbing". At least, make sure the bottles are sealed. If any question, stick to canned sodas... Montezuma's Revenge is much much worse for us Lupies.
Plaquenil is not a strange drug - I'm much more apprehensive about the steroids. A good long chat with your doctor might help illuminate the situation.