Your Travel Checklist
12th March 2019
So you’re going on holiday and your hotel is booked, your sun tan lotion has been purchased and your sunglasses are packed. But what about medication? If you’re not someone who has to take tablets every day due to a chronic condition, then it can be an easy thing to slip your mind but there are a number of ailments that can get you while you’re travelling and it’s always better to be prepared than to be caught off guard (especially in a foreign country). So before you travel, make sure you’ve considered all of the following.
Is the place that you’re going to known for being rife with malaria? Malaria is a deadly disease that attacks and destroys your red blood cells once the parasite enters your body. The harmful parasite is carried by mosquitoes that live in sub-tropical climates and pass it onto humans through a bite.
To protect against malaria, your first step is to protect against mosquito bites. This is good practice whether malaria is a danger or not because deadly or not, mosquito bites are itchy and unpleasant. You can get a number of effective insect repellents to limit your mosquito bites, and if you are in a malaria-ridden country then a mosquito net is also a good idea.
It’s not enough to simply repel the mosquitoes though, as one or two can still get through. Protect yourself from malaria from the inside out with one of a number of effective treatments. These prepare your body so that if you do come into contact with the malaria parasite, it’s not able to do its usual damage.
Jet lag is a temporary and non-serious condition that affects people who travel through multiple time zones. The forced adjustment to your body’s natural internal clock can lead to severe tiredness, headaches and irritability.
Because it’s easier to delay your body’s natural timings than it is to speed them up, people who travel east usually experience jet lag the worst, with symptoms worsening the more time zones you’ve travelled through.
You can, of course, simply wait for your body to adjust naturally but if you are travelling for work or have a jam-packed schedule once you arrive at your destination, there isn’t always time for this. Instead, you can counteract jet lag with medications that contain melatonin; a copy of your body’s natural chemical which it uses to regulate wakefulness.
Whether it be because of sweating in hot climates, doing exertive activities or being unable to drink plenty of water because of where in the world you are, it’s very easy to become dehydrated when travelling. This simply means that you are not taking in enough fluids, compared to those which you are losing through sweat and urine, and your body doesn’t like the deficit. So you usually start by feeling very thirsty, but can then also experience headaches, lack of energy and constipation as a result.
Another reason that you may become dehydrated while travelling is because many people fall ill in foreign countries, be it due to contaminated food or water, or poor hygiene levels. If you suffer from sickness and diarrhoea then your body is again losing more water than it’s retaining and you will need to replace this.
The quickest solution to dehydration is to drink plenty of water but to feel better even faster, you should try rehydration solutions. When you lose water, you also lose electrolytes, salt and sugar so replacing these (as well as the water) ensures you start to feel as good as possible.