Ready, Set, Go! (Travel Prep)

December 2017

By Fred Cheng, R.Ph. and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.

Wintery weather often makes us think of escapes to sunnier destinations. Even though making sure you are immunized against diseases that you may contract at your destination of choice does not seem as important as finding the best flight or hotel at the best price, it is worth it to take a pause and give it some thought. After all, holiday getaways are not as jolly when you have traveler’s diarrhea! Here are a few tips to get you started as you plan your Winter escape.

Traveling to exotic locales necessitates some consideration for whether you are at risk of diseases that could be prevented by immunization. For example, hepatitis A can be transmitted via the oral-fecal route whether it be direct contact with an infected person or ingesting fecally-contaminated food, especially raw or undercooked seafood. Hepatitis B is another common virus that can be contracted by coming into contact with contaminated bodily fluids. Vaccines are available for each virus and also in a combination vaccine called TWINRIX ®. Another vaccine that is useful to most travelers is the drinkable vaccine, DUKORAL ®. It can provide protection against enterotoxigenic E. coli diarrhea, which is contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water and is prevalent in developing countries around the world. Travel to areas where malaria may be endemic necessitates a chat with your doctor to see if anti-malarial medications are needed. Make sure to discuss your destination as well as the types of activities you will be engaging in with your healthcare provider to determine which vaccinations and/or medications would be appropriate for you.

If you are looking to update your first aid kit, it would be useful to include items such as LOPERAMIDE in case of diarrhea. PROBIOTICS can be beneficial to help speed up your recovery from diarrhea. Homeopathic NUX VOMICA COMPLEX help alleviate symptoms related to any gastrointestinal illness. BETAINE HCL can support the stomach’s natural ability to kill pathogenic microbes thereby decreasing the risk of food poisoning. DIMENHYDRINATE or MECLIZINE are great options for symptoms of travel sickness, with the latter causing less drowsiness. Homeopathic COCCULINE can be used for motion sickness and is an alternative for those who cannot take dimenhydrinate. Traveling through a few time zones? MELATONIN can be useful to help reset your internal clock so that you can adapt to the new time zone more quickly once you arrive or when you get back home. A course of homeopathic JET LAG COMPLEX can be taken starting before you travel and once you arrive in the new time zone to help with the symptoms of jet lag such as fatigue, insomnia, headache, irritability, nausea and dizziness. Your destination plays a major part in determining what to pack. For example, those traveling to areas where mosquito-borne illnesses are a concern should make sure to pack a mosquito repellant.

Preventing deep venous thrombosis (DVT) can be a concern for those traveling for long trips (generally over 6 hours) in a plane where there is limited mobility. Those with previous clots, cancer, recent surgery or trauma, advanced age, estrogen use, pregnancy or obesity are at higher risk. Moving around and exercising the legs at least every hour is important in prevention. COMPRESSION STOCKINGS can also be considered. Make sure to get the ones sold by calf and ankle measurements for the best fit and protection.

The best way to ensure a good trip is to make sure you are prepared. Talk to your healthcare provider to make sure your immunizations are up-to-date and that your first aid kit is tailored to your travel needs.

Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston Village, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Everything mentioned in their article is available In-Store.

***All information posted and shared by Cloverdale Pharmasave is offered to provide information and choices regarding nutritional support for various health concerns, none of which is intended to be a treatment protocol for any disease state. The information does not replace seeking professional advice from your physician. Consult your health care practitioner before taking dietary supplements.

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