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Travel insurance for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a long-term liver condition. It is also known as primary biliary cholangitis, or PBC for short. The term ‘cirrhosis’ means scarring, and ‘biliary’ relates to bile or the bile ducts, which are small tubes that connect the liver to the intestines.

The condition occurs when the bile ducts become damaged and can no longer carry bile efficiently to the intestines. Instead, bile accumulates in the liver and causes damage – cirrhosis of the liver – which over time can seriously impair its functioning.

Having said that, primary biliary cirrhosis does not always result in symptoms; some people with the condition will never experience any significant effects. Others may find they feel tired a lot of the time, have achy joints or itchy skin. If liver cirrhosis is quite advanced, PBC can cause jaundice – yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.

While it’s possible to slow the progression of the condition and control the symptoms with medication, some people who have primary biliary cirrhosis may eventually develop liver failure and eventually require a liver transplant.

Having primary biliary cirrhosis does not mean you cannot travel abroad for a holiday though. You may find you don’t have any symptoms at all, so simply looking after your health, as you normally would, can be all you need to think about while you are away. However, even having symptoms of PBC should not stop you enjoying a well-deserved break, as long as you take a few precautions and ensure you have travel insurance that covers primary biliary cirrhosis.

Why do I need medical travel insurance for primary biliary cirrhosis?

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic condition, which means that it becomes worse over time. The rate at which PBC progresses can vary greatly from person to person, but even if you have never had symptoms due to your condition, it is always possible for these to develop.

Medical travel insurance specifically designed to cover liver conditions like primary biliary cirrhosis is therefore essential. You need to be certain that you will be able to access the healthcare you might need wherever your travels take you, and that you won’t be left to pay any costs. In many parts of the world, healthcare isn’t free of charge like it is in the UK, so it often does not take much to run up a large medical bill. Unlike many standard insurance providers who may exclude those with existing health issues, our travel insurance has been created especially for people of any age or who have medical conditions.

Having primary biliary cirrhosis travel insurance in place also protects you financially should you need to cancel your trip due to your health. For example, if you take out a Free Spirit medical travel insurance policy for this liver condition as soon as you book your holiday, you will be covered for any money you have already spent on flights and/or accommodation* if you cannot travel as planned.

There are many other benefits of our specialist travel insurance too, including repatriation cover, cover for delayed or cancelled flights, and cover in the event that your important travel documents are lost or stolen.

*Cover is subject to the terms, conditions and limits of the Insurance Policy

How can I get travel insurance for primary biliary cirrhosis?

It is simple to get a no-obligation quote for primary biliary cirrhosis travel insurance from Free Spirit. Our friendly, UK-based team is available over the phone from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. Please call them on 02392 419 080.

Or, if you’d rather receive a quote online, you can use our  online quote system. However you choose to contact us, we will need to know a bit about your liver condition and how it affects you, although we aim to make this as quick and straightforward as possible. What we ask will depend on your own unique health needs, but it is likely we will ask you questions such as:

  • Have you had a liver transplant?
  • Are you on a waiting list for a liver transplant?
  • Are you jaundiced?
  • How many unplanned hospital admissions for this condition have you had in the last twelve months?
  • Have you had oesophageal varices (swollen blood vessels) diagnosed?

Can I fly if I have cirrhosis of the liver?

In many cases, there will be no reason why having primary biliary cirrhosis should affect your ability to travel by air. But, if you have severe liver cirrhosis, or jaundice as a result of your condition, you may need a Fitness to fly certificate.

Speak to your doctor before you make any flight bookings, they will be able to tell you if you will need any extra precautions, and can arrange a Fitness to fly test if you need one.

Other tips for travelling with primary biliary cirrhosis

As is the case with any pre-existing medical condition, the first thing you should do when you have primary biliary cirrhosis and you are planning a holiday is to share your travel plans with your doctor. They will be able to explain anything you might need to be aware of, recommend any vaccinations you might need, prescribe extra medication to cover your time away or to supply you with a letter detailing your prescriptions should you need it. Some countries are subject to strict laws that govern which medications can be brought in by visitors, and in what quantities; your doctor will be able to advise you.

If your liver condition means you need to watch what you eat, it’s important to remember that this still applies when you’re on holiday. Of course, you’ll want to try the local food, but do so sensibly.  Avoid eating too much at one time, and steer clear of the same type of foods as you would at home, such as anything very fatty or spicy. Like anyone with a condition that affects the liver, you should avoid alcohol altogether too.

  • Testimonials

    I am so happy we contacted Free Spirit for travel insurance, I could not find cover for my medical conditions anywhere else.
    R. CableSuffolk
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  • Ask Mary

    Free Spirit Manager, Mary Holt is a recognised expert in medical screening and in underwriting travel insurance for people with medical conditions. You can read Mary’s Q&As or ask Mary a question directly.
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