It Can be More Difficult to Manage Chronic Health Conditions While RVing
Managing chronic health conditions while living and traveling in an RV can be challenging, but it’s possible with some preparation and planning. Health conditions may vary and it’s always best to talk to your doctor, but for us – we’ve used the tips on this page to help manage the symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) while traveling.
If you’re unfamiliar with MCAS, here’s a great video that explains it.
These are tips on managing MCAS when you live and travel in an RV, but they may help you make a list for your chronic health condition.
1. Manage Your Diet for any Chronic Health Conditions
Your diet can massively affect your quality of life and health condition symptoms. Because our symptoms can easily be (and often are) brought on by foods we eat, we try our best to follow a low-histamine diet to avoid trigger foods. If you’re not sure whether your diet affects your chronic health condition, consider keeping a food diary to track which foods tend to increase your symptoms.
2. Keep Your RV Clean
For many chronic health conditions, keeping your environment clean can lessen the burden on your body. With MCAS, symptoms can be triggered by both pollutants and the chemicals that clean. We regularly clean our RV to reduce exposure to allergens and irritants. W also try to use non-toxic cleaning products to avoid chemical triggers.
3. Use Air Filters
Part of reducing pollutants that can trigger your chronic health condition symptoms is keeping the air clean. We regularly clean our air conditioning vent filter and use a small dehumidifier with air filters to constantly circulate and filter the air. This helps reduce mold and allergens in our RV.
4. Research Your Travel Destinations Based on Chronic Health Conditions
Before you travel to a new location, research the local environment and potential triggers for your chronic health condition. For us, mold, pollen, or other high-histamine compounds can trigger our symptoms. Most weather apps now come with a feature that shows you the air quality for the region you’re traveling to.
5. Carry Medications and Supplies When Traveling
Your health condition may require daily medication and/or other supplies to manage your symptoms. No matter how far you think your adventure will take you on any given day, always keep a stock of necessary medications when you live your RV. For us, we take a daily preventative antihistamine and stomach acid blocker, but if we know we may be dining out, we also make sure to pack digestive enzymes, Dramamine, and Benadryl as well. It may sound like overkill, but if we eat the wrong trigger food (even by accident), it can turn into anaphylaxis quickly. For Court, her bad trigger food is tomatoes.
6. Plan for Health Emergencies
As mentioned above, our plan for health emergencies includes carrying medicine with us at all time that we know can calm our bodies’ responses. Additionally, we always locate the nearest Urgent Care and Emergency Room so we know where help is if our usual plan of action doesn’t work.
7. Rest and Manage Stress for Your Health Condition
Managing your stress levels and getting plenty of rest can generally help avoid exacerbating symptoms for any condition. Stress triggers inflammation, weakens your immune system, and can worsen symptoms brought on by chronic health conditions. It’s important that you identify effective stress management techniques that you can use anywhere. When you travel, it can be hard to keep routines, but if those routines reduce your stress and prevent a flare up, it’s important to maintain them.
8. Build a Support System
Having a chronic health condition can feel isolating if you don’t have a support network. Some days it may feel like nobody else understands what you’re going through. By joining online support groups or seeking local support while on the road, it can bring you comfort and even give you new ideas and ways of managing your chronic health condition. Community is important, especially when you have quality of life challenges due to a health condition.
Following these tips can help manage chronic health conditions while living and traveling in an RV. Remember to prioritize your health and take necessary precautions to minimize triggers and reduce symptoms.
While symptoms of a chronic health condition can be unpredictable on the road, your insurance doesn’t have to be. Find the right insurance plan for your health that travels with you as an RVer. The agents at RVer Insurance Exchange can help! You can call them directly at (800) 867-4330 or if you’d rather click than call, get a free online quote here.
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