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

  • OSCAR Legends Presents Marlon Brando

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brando, the film tribute that showcased the life and legacy of one of the greatest acting talents to have ever existed, his life on-screen and his demons off, was a chronicle of greatness.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Ukraine/Russia; Copenhagen Shootings; Ebola Czar Exits; Media Industry Suffers Loss

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama acknowledging the U.S. Ebola crisis did not materialize to the extent originally thought has phased out the Ebola Czar Position created at the onset to manage the potential catastrophe and is focusing eradication efforts on West Africa.

     
  • LA/NYC Arts: Morrison Hotel Gallery Hosts 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Celebrating with Michael Lang, John Sebastian & Henry Diltz

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    It was three days that lasted 50 years, and last night the Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, held an exclusive VIP event that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock Music Festival from 1969.

     
  • President Donald Trump’s Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit (Transcript/Prepared For Delivery)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump delivered the keynote speech focusing on destroying terrorism, and rewarding friendships, at the recent Arab Islamic American Summit held in Radiyah, Saudi Arabia to fifty-five Heads of State from the leading Arab and Muslim nations. 

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Ben Fong-Torres, Rock Journalist and Moonalice DJ, Talks on Days, Times, Seasons and Events

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ben Fong-Torres, DJ and program director with Moonalice Radio, the indie band from the Bay area comprised of Roger McNamee, Pete Sears, Barry Sless and John Molo, has spent the majority of his life living the music scene.

     
  • Child Escapes House of Horrors; Parents Arrested, Charged

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Starved, imprisoned, forced to live in squalor and mentally and emotionally deprived and are only the beginning of the abuse and torture twelve children faced in Perris, California at the hands of their parents, according to authorities.

     
  • Beltway Insider: US-Russia Broker Syrian Deal;Obama Addresses Nation; NYT Prints Putin Op-Ed; Nation Remembers 9/11

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The United States and Russia have brokered a deal, in principal, with the government of Basher al-Assad forcing the authoritarian leader to relinquish control of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal or face swift, severe, and effective retaliation.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Counter Terror Tactics; Bridgegate Indictments; Nepal; Baltimore; Sanders

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Obama Administration under increasing pressure from the disclosure of a botched counter terror strike that resulted in the death of two citizens has released additional information on blood money ransoms demanded by terror organizations.

     
  • Money News: North American Markets, London, Hong Kong Close Down; Nikkei, Shanghai, France, Rally

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, the S&P 500, unable to shake the Bear possibilities, announced by industry analysts, coupled with the continuing concern over an ever growing ISIS threat has marked a down turn in investment confidence.

     
  • iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia now shipping

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    August 5, 2014 - IK Multimedia, the global technology leader in mobile apps and accessories, today announced it's shipping iRig® Mic HD, the first mobile digital microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. The sequel to IK's popular iRig Mic, iRig Mic HD is the perfect tool for singers, podcasters, online radio broadcasters, journalists, videographers, home studio enthusiasts and anyone else who needs to record high-definition digital audio on the go.

     
  • Tainted Heroin Kills Seven in London Suburb; Eight U.S. Deaths Reported

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Heroin, tainted with elephant tranquilizer, has hit the streets in the South Yorkshire, a densely-populated city nearly 150 miles from the London's metropolitan center, killing seven as the United Kingdom faces a rise in opioid usage and addiction.

     
  • Don’t Let Go Review – Mind Bending Psychological Thriller Delivers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Don’t Let Go, from Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures, brings to the screen a psychological drama, set in contemporary Los Angeles, as a detective receives the chance to stop the murder of his niece.

     
  • Bring Your Appetite and Head to Oxnard For Restaurant Week 2019 "Tacos, Treats & Tastings"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Put the diet aside and treat yourself to a culinary feast during Oxnard Restaurant Week 2019, "Tacos, Treats & Tastings".  The week-long celebration spotlights Oxnard's culinary culture taking place Friday, January 18, 2019 through Sunday, January 27, 2019. 

     
  • Japanese Death Toll Rises; Ecuador Hit With 7.8 Temblor; Burma Recovering

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Japanese people are still reeling from aftershocks following Tuesday’s massive 6.2 earthquake that struck almost exactly five years after the deadly 9.0 2011 quake that triggered a Tsunami and massive meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor.

     
  • Morrison Hotel Gallery Announces New Springsteen Exhibit: From Nebraska to Tom Joad: Visions of the Heartland

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Morrison Hotel Gallery is once more celebrating the music of Bruce Springsteen with an exhibition titled From Nebraska to Tom Joad: Visions of the Heartland, the show will feature the extraordinary photography of David Michael Kennedy and Pamela Springsteen.