Our bodies are built to be able to endure changes in our lifestyles. But sometimes, they have trouble adjusting at first and react oddly to these lifestyle changes. Such lifestyle changes often happen when we’re relocating or travelling. The trouble that our bodies experience in adjusting may manifest as allergies, nausea, constipation, and so on. In some cases, we may also have underlying health conditions that make these manifestations more severe. To minimize and prepare for these bodily reactions, here’s a list of health checks to make before going on your journey.
Travelling to new soil involves adjusting to foreign weather, climate, and cuisine. All of these factors can trigger allergic reactions. A new climate means different amounts of mould spores in the environment, which can set off allergies. Moving to a colder climate can mean more exposure to mould spores — warm interiors and cold outdoors can lead to condensation, which produces the moisture that breeds mould. Another allergen you need to watch out for in a new area is pollen.
Make sure to pack allergy medications such as Claritin or Zyrtec or talk to your physician about an allergic conjunctivitis treatment. To keep mould spores from multiplying, make sure to keep surrounding surfaces clean and dry. Crack open a window after showering and avoid or eliminate carpeted flooring.
If the place you’re going to is one of a drastically different culture, the chances are that you’ll have to watch out for allergens in your meals. Make sure to research the area’s common foods, what ingredients are in them, and where you can buy foods that won’t cause your allergies to flare up.
Consult your doctor before the trip
Make sure to inform your doctor about any health concerns you have about your trip. A pre-travel check-up can also prepare you by administering necessary vaccinations and prescriptions of maintenance medication.
If you’ve had your fair share of travelling via aeroplane or even long drives, then you’re familiar with the popping sensation in your ears. This is known as aeroplane ear or barotrauma, and it happens because the air pressure in the environment differs from the air pressure within your ears. It’s a common side effect of travelling, but pre-existing health conditions can make symptoms and intensity vary from person to person. For example, those who already have swelling in their ears and noses may suffer more intense symptoms of aeroplane ear. Children are also more prone to experiencing aeroplane ears due to their underdeveloped ear canals.
If you have any such health conditions, packing nasal decongestants or nasal spray will help you. Chewing on gum or candy during the journey promotes swallowing, helping alleviate the popping in your ears.
This is a common side effect of travelling and is also one of the more inconvenient ones. Motion sickness occurs when the movement your eyes see contradicts what your inner ears feel. For instance, motion sickness is more likely to happen when you’re on a train and not facing the direction in which it is going.
One way to lessen the feeling of motion sickness is to focus your attention on something still. Keeping your eyes on the moving scenery outside will make things worse. Snack on something light such as crackers to ease nausea or take Dramamine or Benadryl.
It’s common for people to experience difficulty moving their bowels while they’re travelling. This may be due to several factors such as a change in one’s diet or hydration levels or even psychological explanations such as difficulty adjusting to change. Your body will get used to it in time, especially if your vacation is longer or if you’re relocating.
To alleviate vacation constipation, remember to hydrate regularly. Eat foods that are rich in fibre or make use of fibre supplements. It will also help you if you pack some form of laxatives. Fast-acting laxatives take effect shortly after intake but can cause you major inconvenience if you’re busy or have to go out. Bulk-forming laxatives take a few days before taking effect, so the effects are easier to control.
Make an appointment after the trip
When you come back home, schedule an appointment to see that everything is still in good condition. If you’re relocating, it’s good to find a doctor in the new area right away. You can even have your medical documents transferred to the new physician.
Travelling and relocating involve making certain changes to our lifestyle that our bodies cannot ignore. Many of the bodily reactions we experience are unpleasant, and some also have to do with pre-existing health conditions. Make sure to consult with your doctor and prepare the necessary medications before going on your trip.