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

  • Taiwan Earthquake: 14 Confirmed Dead, Dozens Injured, Scores Missing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It has been 24 hours since the 6.4 magnitude killer earthquake struck Tainan, a southern city on the island of Taiwan in the South China Sea, leaving 14 confirmed dead, dozens injured, scores missing and massive structural damage.

     
  • Election 2020: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris To Speak at the 2019 HRC Los Angeles Dinner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, announced that U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), will speak at the 2019 HRC Los Angeles Dinner this Saturday, March 30, 2019.

     
  • Running For A Reason 2nd Annual Treadmill Marathon to Commence Sunday, November 17th

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The 2nd Annual Treadmill Marathon is set to take place Sunday, November 17th in Los Angeles, CA where participants are running for recovery, resiliency and hope for a better life for all those affected by mental illness.  All proceeds will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

     
  • Money News: DOW Closes Down; World Markets Follow; Asian Markets Split

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial fell in dramatic fashion over the past week after soaring to new heights and record closes and triggered similar tumbles in the three other major U.S. Markets furthering a wider spread fall with all European markets closing down and Asian Markets split.

     
  • Van Gogh Art Work Authenticated 120 Years After Death

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In a rare find for the art world, a previously unauthenticated and long considered fake painting, from Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh was unveiled after having been stored in the Norwegian attic of an art collector for over forty years.

     
  • 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 Gambler Review – A Fast Moving, Raw, Pulse Pounding Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Gambler," from Paramount Pictures and Winkler Films, brings to the screen a low, close to the ground, pulse pounding, fast moving ride through an addict's universe, with quick turns, sharp dialogue, moments of brilliance, and an unpredictable ending.

     
  • Photographer Henry Diltz Gets Onboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Mentoring Mission

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Yoko Ono has announced the return to New York City of The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (Lennon Bus) presented by Other World Computing (OWC), the premier non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile production facility.

     
  • NYPD Green Book Review - Page Turning Detective Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NYPD Green, a memoir from Luke Waters, details his life from undocumented Irish immigrant to ranking detective in one of the largest police departments in the world solving horrendous cases and the interactions and working with other judicial agencies.

     
  • Male Grooming Gift Guide: Manscaped Readies for Season Gift Giving

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Manscaped, the male grooming company that provides at home styling tools and toiletry's for below the waist care, is blowing up the market with its innovative and unique products geared toward hygiene, comfort, maintenance and appearance.

     
  • Boundaries Review - Strong Character Driven Performances Create Indie Gold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Boundaries from Sony Picture Classics, brings to the screen a story of redemption, of healing, of forgiveness and closure as a daughter and her pot-smoking, dealing father, her son and his collection of unique and slightly odd friends.

     
  • Money News: DOW, North American Markets Up; London, France and Asian Market All Up; Germany Closes Down

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, managing to keep the bear market at bay, rode the bull for another week and closed the trading week up with double digit gains as the upswing carried over into North American Markets, London and Asian which all closed up.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Climate; Clinton/Trump; Aleppo; OK/NC Police Shooting; Arnold Palmer/Jose Fernandez

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly in his final speech before the world's leaders maintaining his commitment to the significant climate change agreements he secured the cooperation of more than 100 nations to phase down potent greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

     
  • Lladró Presents Niagara Chandelier Gold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Lladró, the world renowned Spanish porcelain company, presents Niagara Chandelier-Gold, a new version of spectacular Niagara chandelier decorated with golden luster. Over 100 handmade porcelain fairies flutter around this lamp with a diameter of 1.1 meters (31 1/2").

     
  • Celebrity Interview: SKIN Co-Star Danielle Macdonald Talks on Jamie Bell, Making SKIN Real and What’s Next

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Danielle Macdonald, co-star of the upcoming neo-Nazi film, SKIN, from Oscar winning director Guy Nattiv, sat down with select media recently and spoke expressively on reprising her role as wife/mother in the white supremacist cult.