Dr. Niket Sonapal Offers Tips to Avoid Illness and Other Medical Consequences While Traveling

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. According to AAA, more than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend by car, plane, or train. Nothing ruins a long-awaited vacation faster than getting sick or medical distress.

We turned to Dr. Niket Sonpal, an NYC internist and gastroenterologist for some tips on how to avoid health consequences will traveling.

Avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling, but also can occur with no symptoms. For travelers, this can happen on long haul trips where you are not moving. Dr. Sonpal recommends if you are flying or on a train, to move around the cabin to get the blood flowing in your legs. If you are driving, take a break at a rest stop and walk around. Compression socks are also another option to prevent DVT.


Dr. Christopher Calapai Explains "Superfoods" - Ultra-Violet to Ultra Healthy


Don't Get Nauseous

People can experience motion sickness on virtually any mode of transportation. To combat this, Dr. Sonpal suggests Dramamine® Non-Drowsy Naturals, Dramamine®'s first non-drowsy formulation. It contains the clinically tested ginger dosage required for preventing and treating motion sickness. Other sources of ginger, including candies, gums, or ginger ale, may not contain a full clinical dose. For someone who is already experiencing nausea while traveling, it is a good idea to keep Emetrol on hand which is an over the counter nausea medication that does not cause drowsiness.

Avoid Bloating on a Plane

If you get gassy on a plane, you're not alone! Dr. Sonpal explains that, "As the pressure around you decreases, the gas in your belly isn't constrained as much and it expands. This can make you feel bloated or become distended." It is essential to avoid foods that cause gas or have salt. Skip the tomato juice in flight and stick with non-carbonated water. Avoid alcohol, cruciferous vegetables, dairy and high sodium snacks such as salted peanuts or pretzels. Foods that are protein packed, magnesium-rich and high in Vitamin C are good options.

Sanitize Your Surfaces

Planes and trains are a breeding ground for illness. The former is awful due to re-circulated air. Most travelers would be appalled if they really knew how germy their tray tables are! Dr. Sonpal suggests sanitizing wipes for your tray table, seat belt clip and hand rests of your seats on planes and trains. When you exit a restroom on a plane or train and touch the door handles, be sure to use hand sanitizer even if you already washed your hands.

Get Your Shots Before Traveling Abroad!

Before you even book your trip, make sure you're up to date on your shots. If you're traveling to an area where you're at risk for picking up an illness like malaria, you might be prescribed preventative medication. Dr. Sonpal suggests that, "People should use the CDC website for recommended vaccines for travel abroad or see a travel clinic. The health risks posed to Americans vary based on the country they are traveling to."

Don't Touch the Ice!

When traveling to a different country, most people are very cautious about only drinking bottled water. Many folks forget that ice is simply frozen water and put it into their soft drinks or alcoholic beverages. Contrary to what one might think, freezing water does not kill bacteria. The only way to be sure it is safe is if you boiled the water and then froze it.


Op/Ed: Adding My Voice and Story to the Many Who Were Once Silenced by Violence


Avoid Jet Lag

Even a relatively short time change from EST to PST (three hours) can cause jet lag. With some international travel from the United States, the time difference can be as much as twelve hours. If you're traveling east, try going to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure. Dr. Sonpal suggests that, "If you're traveling east, try going to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure. Go to bed one hour later for several nights if you're flying west. If possible, eat meals closer to the time you'll be eating them at your destination. Set your watch to the new time before you leave. Once you reach your destination, try not to sleep until the local nighttime, no matter how tired you are."

Essential Medicine/Supplies to Travel With

Dr. Sonpal stresses never to check your medication with your baggage, always keep it in your carry on. Have a fresh re-fill on prescription medication with extra doses in case you get stuck at your destination. In addition, here are some essential over the counter meds/supplies to travel with:

Benadryl- For allergic reactions such as insect or bee bites.

Pepto Bismol- For diarrhea

Laxative such as Dulcolax

Anti-biotic ointment such as Neosporin

Common cold/sinus remedies such as Mucinex or Claritin

Pain relievers such as Tylenol or Motrin

Anti- Nausea medication such as Emetrol

Motion Sickness medication such as Dramamine. If you are the driver, be sure to take the non-drowsy version.

Electrolyte tablets for dehydration

Hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching from rashes, bites, poison ivy etc.

Aloe to soothe sunburned skin

Band-Aids

Digital Thermometer

Nasal Spray to prevent clogged ears while flying

Tweezers

Eye Drops

Epi-Pen if you are prone to severe allergic reactions


Staying Healthy During Summer - and Year-Round


How to Find a Reliable Physician if you are Traveling Abroad

The US embassy in your destination country (http://www.usembassy.gov/) can help you locate medical services and will notify your family and friends in the event of an emergency. When selecting a doctor, make sure that he or she can speak your language. The following resources provide lists of doctors and clinics that can care of travelers:

The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (www.iamat.org; membership required, but it is free)

Joint Commission International (www.jointcommissioninternational.org)

The International Society of Travel Medicine (www.istm.org)

Travel Health Online (www.tripprep.com; gets information from various sources so quality is not guaranteed)

About Dr. Sonpal

Dr. Niket Sonpal is an internist and gastroenterologist. He is a native of Long Island NY and a graduate of Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System.

He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn. Dr. Sonpal has completed his Fellowship in gastroenterology & hepatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and will continue his work in the field of medical student and resident test preparation. He now serves as the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brookdale University medical center.


Beverly Hills Doc Offers Five Fast Tips For Summer Shape Up


He is the co‐author for the best-selling Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK, Master the Boards Step 3, And Master the Boards: Internal Medicine. He is also the Chief Operating Officer for Medquest Test Prep, Director of Medical Education for Picmonic Test Prep, and a recognized expert on medical test prep.

Haute Tease

  • Cannes Film Festival - Cannes Classics 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The program of Cannes Classics 2017 will be dedicated for its most part to the history of the Festival. Almost fifteen years ago, when the relationship between contemporary cinema and its own memory was about to be shaken by the emergent arrival of digital technology.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Asian Agenda;Texas Church Shooting; New York Terror Attack; Wall Street

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump began his ten day, five nation, Asian trip this week, stopping in Hawaii before embarking on the most comprehensive Pacific Rim journey undertaken by any Administration in nearly twenty-five years presenting a dedicated, focused agenda. 

     
  • Body at Brighton Rock Review - Heightened Suspense Drives This Survival Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Body at Brighton Rock, from Magnolia Pictures, presents a heightened suspense survival story of an unequipped Park Ranger who, after wondering off trail, stumbles onto a mauled body and must last the night in the wilderness alone.

     
  • The Meddler Review - Sweet Story of Transitions

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Meddler, from Sony Pictures Classics, brings to the screen a film filled with the sweet, salty and savory moments of colorful and at time awkward transitions as one season of life and love end and another begins.

     
  • Do You Have the Jitters? Top Six Surprising Causes For Anxiety

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ever have those nagging feelings that something terrible is about to happen, or terrible unwanted thoughts or unexplained nausea, headaches, nosebleeds?   Did you know that there are "external" factors/habits in our daily lives that can increase anxiety?

     
  • New York Culinary Experience: Cooking In The Presence of Greatness

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    New York Culinary Experience, the annual cooking love-fest held at the International Culinary Center located in the Soho    neighborhood of Manhattan gathers a Who's Who from the culinary world for the two-day food extravaganza.

     
  • Election 2020: Beto O’Rourke to Make First Visit to the Golden State

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Beto O’Rourke will arrive in California on Saturday for his first visit to the state since announcing his candidacy for President of the United States last month. His four-day trip will include events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

     
  • 50 Shades of Annabelle: Interview with Annabelle Gurwitch on her new book,

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    OMagazine once called actor and author Annabelle Gurwitch "slyly subversive," and she never ceases to live up to that description. One of America’s more clever and funny social critics, Gurwitch's witty insights on politics, art, and pop culture have made her an in-demand guest on The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Showbiz Tonight, CNN In the Money, Fox and Friends, Real Time with Bill Maher, and National Public Radio. 

     
  • Le Réseau du Plus Fort

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Des Gilets Jaunes à Bilal Hassani, les réseaux sociaux ont démontré toute leur puissance en relayant sans délai et dans l'anonymat le plus complet le message d'internautes soucieux de donner corps à leur voix.

     
  • Beltway Insider: President, G-7 Leaders Condemn Russia-Ukraine Agression; 2015 Budget Unveiled; February Jobs Report

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke this week as the United States and members of the G8 voiced strong opposition, condemnation and possible sanctions against the superpower for its aggressive military action against the Ukraine.  

     
  • Randy Fenoli, Designer, and Star of "Say Yes to the Dress" Launching Bridal Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Randy Fenoli, the most trusted source in the Bridal Industry, is proud to announce the launch of his namesake Bridal Collection, Randy Fenoli Bridal with unveiling's during New York’s Bridal Market and in Europe at Spain’s Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week.

     
  • Health: The Most Popular Holidays to Conceive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As absentminded as you may be, one holiday you’ll always remember is your birthday. On the other hand, the date of your conception is probably the one day you try desperately to forget.  

  • Money News: Bear, Bull Split World Markets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial and the NASDAQ successfully fought off the encroaching bear market while the S&P500 fell as the bear split the ten most watched global markets with no obvious pattern as usually aligned U.S. markets fell.

     
  • Chris Hemsworth Opts Out of LA; Puts Luxurious Malibu Property On The Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chris Hemsworth, who is best known for his roles in Thor, The Avengers, and Rush, has recently put his luxurious home nestled in the Malibu Hills, surrounded by natural privacy landscaping, on the real estate market.

     
  • From CANNES: Marin Karmitz Honored by the 71st Festival de Cannes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    On the occasion of the Dinner for Professionals of the world film industry organized by the Festival de Cannes on Friday, May 11th, a tribute will be paid to Marin Karmitz for all his work in favor of auteur cinema.