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

  • Argentinian Psych/Indie Rock Band Iguana Lovers Set to Release Surfing Caos

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Iguana Lovers, the extremely popular Argentina rock band which has been rocking audiences with their electric sound for nearly two decades, is set to release their 13th Album, "Surfing Caos," and with global radio play the tune is set to go viral.  

  • Best at CES 2012

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CES, the largest consumer electronic tradeshow in the country, spent the past week previewing the newest technologies the tech world has to offer.

     
  • Breathe Review – Beautiful, Shocking, A Breathless Love Story

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Breathe, from Bleecker Street Films and Participant Media, brings to the screen the true story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, their remarkable commitment, love and desire to be together against all odds and to dare to change the world.

     
  • Deadpool 2 - A Wild, Over The Top, Ride Through A Mad Man’s Mind

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Deadpool 2, from Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox, picks up the sequel as Wade Wilson, Deadpool, combining his crime fighting, heroic and super mutant powers with a little slice of normal, set out to rid the world of really bad guys.

     
  • Chef Matteo Metullio and La Siriola Restaurant Hotel Ciasa Salares, Dolomites, Italy Awarded 2 Michelin Stars

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chef Matteo Metullio of La Siriola restaurant at Hotel Ciasa Salares in San Cassiano, Alta Badia region of the Dolomites, Italy, has recently been awarded 2 Michelin stars, the youngest Chef in Italy to have achieved such honors.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Shifts on Putin; ISIS/Boko Haram Update; Oklahoma City Bombing; NH Politics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has maintained a strong conviction to hold Russian President Putin responsible for violating the territorial sovereignty of neighboring Ukraine more than a year ago as sectorial sanctions have driven the Russian economy downward the beleaguered soviet leader wants equality and unity restored.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Fails Florida; Hurricane Michael Devastation; Turkey Releases Pastor; Saudi/Khashoggi; Nikki Haley

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump failed devastated Floridians stricken by the full force of Hurricane Michael as shell shocked residents still wait for the officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, food, water and make-shift shelters to arrive.

     
  • Phoenix Demon Dad Murders Infant Son

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robert Anthony Resendiz, 30, has been charged in the murder of his six month old infant son on December 19, 2017 after he admitted to authorities of using approximately 65% of his strength to silence the baby.

     
  • A Place At The Table Review - Finally A Wake Up Call

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    “A Place At The Table,” from Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media, presents a shocking wake up call into the alarming statistics of Hunger in America through the eyes of those who understand it most.

     
  • The 25 Most-Loved Holiday Movies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Christmas movies are a mixed bag, offering everything from heartwarming tales to stories about cantankerous characters that aim to spoil the holidays with their plans. This results in a fun set of offerings that is perfect for every taste and any age.  

  • Shooting Erupts at LAX Airport; TSA Officer Killed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Transportation Security Agency agent was shot and killed when a single suspect opened fire at the Los Angeles International Airport, firing as many as 20 rounds with a high powered assault weapon.

     
  • The Countries with the Most (and Least) Income Equality

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     
  • Jiaflix Partners with China Movie Channel Web Affiliate M1905; Will Stream PARAMOUNT Library

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jiaflix Enterprises principals Sid Ganis, Marc Ganis and Kenneth Huang, and M1905, the official internet subsidiary of China Movie Channel/CCTV6 jointly announced recently an exclusive venture to stream both Chinese and international feature films throughout China.

     
  • Hotel Domestique Review - Homespun Hospitality for Active Travelers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nestled within South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains sits Hotel Domestique, a charming boutique hotel owned by legendary 17-time Tour de France cyclist George Hincapie, an intimate, culturally-styled property guaranteed with each stay to invigorate mind, body and soul.

     
  • Danny Kaye Sandwich To Join Carnegie Deli Menu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Iconic entertainer and humanitarian Danny Kaye will be honored, Monday, April 29, as his namesake sandwich joins the menu of the famed NYC staple in his Centennial year. Media are welcome and encouraged to attend.