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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Old 27 Dec 2006
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Will I make it with asthma?


I am planning to ride around the world or as close to it as possible in about a years time but I have very bad asthma! I have been riding every day for 6 years but only on uk roads. Although I am physically very fit I take constant medication and can get very out of breath some days. Will this be a major issue for a RTW trip?

Any information or personal opinions would be greatly appreciated,


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Old 27 Dec 2006
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I'm no doctor, but if you're ok to ride around the UK I see no reason why you can't ride around the world.

Be CAREFUL and aware of your condition and plan your route accordingly.

Perhaps don't go for the high altitude routes, stay off the difficult off-road stretches etc. There's a million routes around, you just have to pick the one that suits you. Talk to your doctor too. Come to the Meeting in June, learn all about it and go prepared.

Go for it!
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Old 28 Dec 2006
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I have Asthma but its no longer chronic
Patrick passed Dec 2018. RIP Patrick!

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 03:25.
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Old 28 Dec 2006
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Thumbs up

Any information or personal opinions would be greatly appreciated, Andy
As Grant and the Dog say, you can do it. Asthma’s never stopped me doing anything except playing football for England.

Patrick’s right about the steroids too. Avoid them if you can; but whatever your personal situation in terms of medication, you can get asthma drugs all around the world.

Carrying spares across borders has never been a problem for me either.

As mentioned, too, you might also find that in warmer climates your asthma improves.

Stay healthy. Stephan
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Old 28 Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by mollydog
Get the F#*# out of the UK and go live in the desert. Baja, Sahara, Coastal Peru', Arizona....all offer wonderful, dry desert environments which make life for an Asthmatic much easier.
Second that !! I have chronic asthema, but apparently only in England.

Three years n S.America & its not been a problem - guess I'm allergic to damp crappy weather & air pollution.

Joking apart, I brought enough inhalers to last a year & still have most of them.

You can get inhalers here (Ventolin) but some of the other meds are tougher to find. Carry spares for emergencies, stash them in several places so you cant loose all in one go and come breathe the *CLEAN* air over here.
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Old 28 Dec 2006
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Lightbulb Ventolin Inhalers

Originally Posted by Happy Hacker
You can get inhalers here (Ventolin). Carry spares for emergencies, stash them in several places so you cant lose all in one go.
Discard the boxes, the instructions and all the plastic bodies except the one you're using and one spare. Only carrying the small cylinders saves a lot of space.

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Old 1 Jan 2007
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Thanks for all your help its been invaluable and has also given me the confidence to get the ball rolling for my trip!

I am planning to ride to Hong Kong (on my F650 bought for £1300 W-reg!) and then maybe down to oz/nz if I still have money.

For any other serious asthma sufferers here is what I have also discovered…

You can now get ‘Turbohalers’ that are smaller stronger and easier than conventional disc inhalers. They are not refillable and have 120 doses inside (a months worth) and have a little counter on the side. All you do is take the lid off, twist the bottom until you hear a click and suck! The best part is if you take Flixotide and Serevent they now have a combination turbohaler so you don’t have to carry both its all in one! Also the activation time is 2-3 mins as opposed to 20/25 mins as before so you can use it as a reliever if times are hard! You can also get a Ventolin/salbutamol turbohaler! Ill try and get an image of one at the bottom…

Lastly I’ve discovered you can buy nebulisers! I’ve had one for about 10 years and had to have mine issued by the NHS on special request and pay quite a lot of money… now you can by them anywhere for very little money and they are tiny! Perfect for traveling! Maplin do a really good one for £45! Also all you regular asthma sufferers might also remember that nebules only have a shelf life of 1 month… well that’s only because those ones are cheap, perfect for hospitals who use loads everyday! but if you ask your doctor there are some that have a shelf life of a year!

Hope this info helps anyone with asthma or anyone traveling with an asthmatic.



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Old 1 Jan 2007
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Don't forget to bring a letter from your doctor. I got epilepsy after getting my head smashed in, and the note from my doctor explains why I travel with Keppra (levetiracetam). It helps with border crossings.
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
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Old 2 Jan 2007
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You'll be fine!

My wife has arthritus and we had no problems on our trip on that front. We carried a pharmacy on the back of the bike and had a letter from doctors explaining what the drugs were for. At each border we declared what we had and had no problems at all.

As for day to day management, you know yourself best. Ride within your limits, dont let yourself get too knackered and all will be well!

Enjoy the trip!!!
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Old 4 Jan 2007
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There is one thing you can do to help your asthma. Increase your Vitamin B complex to double the RDA. You should also consider taking whole apple cider vinegar at 1 tbsp every morning and evening with a glass of water after eating. One thing discovered about asthma sufferers is a shortage of the complex compounded by the normal deterioration of the nutrient bed in the lower instestine. The vinegar will help restore that so your body can better utilize the B. This in turn increases the immunio system so that most the things that set it off won't. also take a daily dosage of purple corn flower to build up the immune system. the other name is (spelling) echinecacea, but i grow my own and get the full benefit without paying for it at a health food store.

Last edited by Hindu1936; 4 Jan 2007 at 14:55.
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Old 4 Feb 2007
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In addition to carrying your regular meds I would advise taking the meds you will need in the event of a serious acute attack, because you will need them quickly. take nebulisers. you may not have the O2 or air cylinders to run them, but the ;local hospital might, but might not have the medications.speak to your doctor about taking an supply of steroids for emegency use.
As a severe asthma suffer you no doubt know how fast things can get very serious, but if you carry the right gear and use it early you can accurately replicate what we would do in the ED to treat you. if nothing else, being prepared will make you feel more relaxed, and that is a key component in avoiding an attack!! If you are caught out in the open with an attack and can do nothing you are more likely to panic, which will make it worse, if you can confidently treat yourself you will recover much quicker.
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