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

  • Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger Review – Explosive, Stunning, Powerful

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger," from Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films, presents a haunting account of DOJ corruption that enabled the most notorious mobster in recent history to rule South Boston for more than three decades.

     
  • Misclassification of Homicide Case Aids Murderer in Escaping Justice; FBI Offers Reward

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brittanee Drexel, of Rochester, New York, was last seen in 2009 leaving a beachfront hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to hotel surveillance cameras, the FBI said in a recently released statement and simply vanished.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama's G20 Self-Assessment; Assad War Crimes; Hillary Faints; 9/11 Services; Alexis Arquette

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama remembered the fallen from September 11, 2001 as the day etched forever in our hearts, memories and minds, turned fifteen and a nation reflected on the recovery and hope birthed from one of the nation's darkest days.

     
  • San Diego’s Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant Review - Embodies ‘Craft America Cooking’

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    There's nothing more fun than finding tasty neighborhood eateries somewhat off the beaten path, that are making an impact on the local culinary scene nonetheless. One such San Diego locale is Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant.

     
  • Prestigious Louis Vuitton City Guide: Los Angeles Features Gladys Tamez Millinery

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hatmaker Gladys Tamez Millinery is proud to announce that Louis Vuitton City Guide will be featuring Gladys Tamez’ atelier in their authoritative 2019 luxury Los Angeles travel guide adding the exclusive millinery to an elite collection of retailers. 

     
  • HL Arts: Henk Pander, Dutch Painter, Classical Evolution

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "To reflect on my life and the world around me is thematically very compelling and at the same time gives me incredibly powerful subject matter," says Dutch artist Henk Pander in regards to his impressive oeuvre.

     
  • iPhone X Extras – A Review of Cases, Buds and Docking Stations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    With Streetinsider.com reporting Apple sold nearly 6 million iPhone X units over Black Friday weekend, as calculated by an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, and another 30million for Christmas, complimenting the new unit is the next gold rush.

     
  • 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.

     
  • Victor Frankenstein Review – Flawless Performances as McAvoy and Radcliffe Capture the Mind-Bending Macabre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Victor Frankenstein, from 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment, brings to the screen a ghoulish and morbid tale with the history of the mad scientific study behind the folklore piecemeal creation of the first monster behind the mythology of Frankenstein.

     
  • ALLIED, Robert Zemeckis’ Intense WWII Thriller Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, Comes to Home Media

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hailed as “gripping, powerful, and epic ” (Scott Mantz, “Access Hollywood”) Academy Award®-winning* director Robert Zemeckis’ (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) seductive thriller ALLIED makes its home entertainment debut on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand February 28, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  

  • Money News: Global Markets Tumble; Sensex Survives

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial, fighting the Bear market, managed to rally steadily throughout the week, with only minor setbacks the DOW wasn’t able to pull itself out of the firmly held grasp of the bear market and closed down.

     
  • London Technology Week 2016 Set To Showcase Best Of British Fashion Tech

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    This year’s launch event of London Technology Week, Europe’s largest festival of technology, is set to bring together some of the UK’s leading fashion technology designers for a first of its kind fashion technology showcase. 

     
  • Beltway Insider:Obama Failed Foreign Policy; Election 2016/Super Tuesday; Scalia Funeral; Ray Charles

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama has remained steadfast in his determination, despite continued opposition from Republican congressional leaders, to fulfill his constitutional duties and nominate and seat a Supreme Court Justice to fill the recently vacated seat held by Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

     
  • PA Mom, Lover Held In Torture Murder of Toddler

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Scott McMillan, 3, according to the Chester County Township District Attorney Tom Hogan, was the victim of sadistic torture and repeated beatings, of which killed him after a beating spree that began after he refused to eat breakfast.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump’s Troubled Presidency; Mid-Terms; Greece/CA Wild Fires; Julian Assange; Orca Whale

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump announced the recently released Bureau of Labor Statistics with gleeful jubilance as the stabilizing economy and low unemployment numbers appear to be the only bright spot in what is best defined as a troubled presidency.