Photo Credit: TN
Health and Travel
We all love to travel and if you’re like me you also hate for anything to interfere with you fully enjoying your trip. Here are just a few, not so fun but necessary, health tips you may want to consider on your next adventure.
- Staying hydrated is the number one most important habit you should develop on and off the plane. Your body depends on water for survival and drinking water provides a plethora of benefits. Staying hydrated while traveling can help combat fatigue, headache, and can also aid in detoxification.
- Travelers diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness. It can occur anywhere but the high risk places include: Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America. The two most effective ways to avoid travelers’ diarrhea is to eat and drink safely (eating only cooked and cleaned foods and drinking bottled and sealed beverages) and to wash your hands regularly. Antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs (Imodium or Pepto-Bismol) can help treat travelers diarrhea and it is also very important to re-hydrate because of the excess amount of fluid loss.
- When traveling to high risk places it is extremely important and highly recommend to get vaccinated. The type of vaccination you would need depends upon the risk level for disease in the country you are traveling to. The vaccinations you choose to get is left completely to your discretion unless you are traveling to a country where certain vaccinations are required for entry. To find out what vaccine you may need for your upcoming travel you can either call your health care provider or visit the CDC’s Destinations website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
- Pre-Travel: Before you travel, start going to bed an hour or two later than usual if traveling west or earlier than usual if traveling east to shift your body’s clock.
- During Travel: Sleep on the plane, drink plenty of water and try to avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Arrival: Eat meals at the appropriate local time, have fun in the sun, and take short naps (20-30 minutes).
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis is a growing problem for travelers, especially those traveling for extended periods of time. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein and can be fatal if part of the clot breaks off and makes its way to the lungs. Some people are more at risk than others for DVT but everyone should take precaution by walking around periodically on long flights and exercising/stretching your calf muscles and legs when sitting down.
For more information on travel related health education visit: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/traveler-information-center
This story was curated by Miriam Ejide.