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

  • Courtney Sixx, Rock Star Wife, Hollywood DIY Queen, Styles Up Valentine’s Day Flowers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Courtney Sixx, Hollywood's favorite DIY queen, the resident "How2Girl," and wife of MOTLEY CRÜE rocker Nikki Sixx,  proves every home can have the glamorous, alluring and beautiful craft and design projects seen in any luxury magazine.

     
  • Irma Muscles Harvey out of Headlines as Massive Devastation Reported in Wake; Jose Threatens Threepeat

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hurricane Irma has muscled Houston's devastating Hurricane Harvey out of the headlines as the killer storm leaves an unbelievable display of force, strength and devastation across some of the most pristine and populated Caribbean Islands.

     
  • World News: France, The New World and Covid-19

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The risks of the Covid-19 epidemic returning suggested by the scientific community reveal the inability of a population to show common sense while concealing the presence of a virus which has become a constituent element of everyday life.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Biden/Cuba, Pegasus Spyware, Paul/Fauci Clash, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Weinstein, Bezos, Olympics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Biden issued a strong condemnation of Cuban leaders' recent crackdown of its citizens "in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence" as they have taken to the streets to oppose communistic rule.

     
  • What is Worse: Going Viral or Verbal Quarantine

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the death toll and cases of 2019- nCoV (aka novel coronavirus) infection rises, our curiosity increases as to the epidemic’s when, why, where, and how. Is the new virus naturally occurring, animal to human transmission, a bio-weapon?

     
  • The Peace Collective Releases “All Together Now” Commemorating Century Mark of Christmas Truce

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Peace Collective, a group of well known British musicians, commemorating the century mark of the World War I Christmas Truce when not a shot was fired, have re-recorded The Farm's "All Together Now" for December 14, 2014 release.

     
  • Paris Fashion Week: Laskaris Couture Show Summer 2018 – Regal, Sensuous, Dazzling

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Muse of the Laskaris  House for the summer of 2018  is Olympias, the Princess of the Molossian of Epirus, the wife of Philip II, King of the Macedonians, and the mother of Alexander the Great. 

     
  • Oscar Contenders: “Amy" The Brief Existence of A Shining Star

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Amy celebrates the brief life of one of the greatest voices of Jazz and Soul ever heard, Amy Winehouse. Truthful to her rebel spirit, Amy is a colossal piece of filmmaking - genuinely good and a secure Oscar contender.

     
  • Celebrities and Socialites Raise Funds For Restoration At Eighth Annual Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation Benefit Weekend

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The pristine coast of San Simeon, California was the unparalleled setting for the eighth annual Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation Benefit Weekend hosted by William Randolph Hearst’s granddaughter, Anne Hearst McInerney and her husband, novelist Jay McInerney.

     
  • Medical Science: COVID-19 Non-Treatment Is Proven Not to Work

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Most Americans are aware of the predicted second wave of COVID-19 cases. It's the Grinch that is stealing Christmas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is predicting up to 282,000 deaths by Dec 5, 2020.

     
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review – Fun, Fast, A Four Star Thrill Ride

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, from Paramount Studios, Skydance and Bad Robot Productions, presents a fast action, roller coaster speed ride, full of fresh snappy dialogue, high tech gadgetry, thrills and chills, all in just over two, explosive packed, hours.

     
  • St. Regis Bora Bora Expands Romance Menu to Celebrate First Year Anniversary Of The Romance Concierge

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bora Bora - With the one year anniversary of The St. Regis Bora Bora’s Romance Menu, Romance Concierge, and on-site Bridal Boutique just weeks away, guests of the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort can reap the benefits of the expanded Romance Menu offerings which include special themed over-the-top holiday amenities and seductive curated items.

     
  • AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Diane Keaton Gathers American Film's Finest (Photos)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Actor, director, writer, and icon Diane Keaton was honored with the American Film Institute's 45th AFI Life Achievement Award on Thursday, June 8, in an evening filled with laughter, stories, song and surprises at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

     
  • Spa Vacation Salvation at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, a 65 acre sanctuary neighboring the Sonoran Desert with the McDowell Mountains in view, takes the integrative spa and fitness experience to the next level with the Well & Being Spa.

     
  • Business News: New York Post Set To Launch Page Six TV September 18

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Page Six TV, from the New York Post, hosted by John Fugelsang with contributors Bevy Smith, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Carlos Greer and will deliver in-the-know gossip and news from entertainment, culture, the media, finance, real estate and politics.