Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Taking the Family on a Holiday? Here are some tips that may help

Taking the Family on a Holiday?
Here are some tips that may help

Russell Setright


Travel Sickness
Travel sickness affect all of us at one time or another, however, very young children are usually not affected. Travel sickness among older children is often the result of where the child is placed during travel. Have you ever tried sitting in the back seat of the car during a trip on a long and winding road? The results, even for the seasoned front seat traveller, are all to often disastrous. The reason for this is the brain's inability to understand just what is going on. The eyes and the middle ear are constantly sending conflicting messages to the brain, an example being, when reading or not looking out the window while travelling. To the eye all appears still, the seat in front is not moving and the message to the brain confirms that there is no motion. This is in direct conflict with the middle ear, which senses the centrifugal force as the car negotiates the winding road. The message to the brain here is, "I am moving". These differing and confusing messages cause nausea, vomiting and a general feeling of malaise.
 Prevention of the condition is definitely the best way of experiencing a successful trip. Good eating is a must, avoid fatty greasy foods, even the thought of these can cause problems if you are tottering on the edge of nausea. Alcohol and spicy foods can also cause problems and should be avoided by those prone to travel sickness. It is important not to travel on an empty stomach. A wholesome meal the night before travel with a light breakfast on the day of travel will help prevent problems. Remember to keep the fluids up. Five litres per adult per day is needed in hot climates. This also includes the fluid obtained from solid foods such as fruit.
One of the herbs that has been found helpful in preventing travel sickness is ginger. Ginger is often used as flavouring in cooking, but by taking the root or a tablet made from the root (Travel Calm Ginger) before and during travel can really make a difference in the prevention of motion sickness. Ginger does not have the harsh side-effects of some antihistamines and other travel-sickness medications and ginger helps reduce flatulence, and assists the digestive system.

Delhi Belly And The Dreaded Montezuma's Revenge
(Traveller’s diarrhoea)
This fear of many travellers’, having their trip spoilt by diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps. Unfortunately, this is a common problem that awaits many intrepid travellers. Bacteria called Escherichia coli usually cause this complaint, and it is possible to fall victim to this bacteria by drinking or eating contaminated food or water. It is safer when travelling not to drink the local water if not certain that it is safe to do so. If in doubt, boil and cool the water before drinking. Be careful not to use ice blocks from the hotel fridge if the water in the area is not suitable for drinking. Empty these out and re-freeze them with boiled water.
If you fall victim to traveller’s diarrhoea then go onto a fluid only diet for 24 hours. Also, fresh garlic may help kill the invading bacteria in the intestine. When the diarrhoea stops, the gut flora will need balancing. This is best done by eating fresh natural yogurt or by taking an acidophilus and bifidus tablet.(diarrhoea in babies can be dangerous seek professional advice)

Jet Lag
This is a problem that the modern traveller suffers more from than in the past. Longer non-stop flights and the availability of rich foods and alcohol to all travellers are contributing factors. The symptoms of jet lag include irritability, tiredness and the inability to adjust to the new time zones and sleeping hours. These symptoms can have a devastating effect on the first few days of your holiday or business trip. Again, prevention is the best cure; during the flight refrain from drinking alcohol, only eat if you are hungry, and then only eat light meals. It is easy on a long trip to just eat the food as the result of boredom. Drink 6-8 glasses of water every 24 hours and try to change your sleep pattern on the plane. That means instead of watching that movie, try to rest and sleep at the times you will be sleeping when you reach the new time zone. On waking, or every hour when awake take a walk in the isle of the aircraft, and when sitting in your seat stretch all your muscles from time to time. One important exercise is to move the head slowly from side to side four times, then move your head forward and back four times. Stretch your arms over your head once and then rotate your shoulders a few times. This will relax your whole body and help maintain good circulation. Remember that the amount of oxygen in the cabin of the aircraft is less than at sea level and only around the same as on the top of Mt. Kosciusko. This increases fatigue, rest is a must.

Cautions During Long Air Flights
Flying in a plane is safer than driving on the roads, however, because of the lower oxygen level, confined space and reduced air pressure, some people should take extra care when flying. If you suffer from any of the following, it is advisable to have your practitioner assess your condition before flying; angina pectoris, heart failure, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or any chronic lung disease should all be assessed before flying.
People who have a predisposition to circulation disorders, cramps and deep vein thrombosis should take special care. The exercises mentioned in "jet lag" will be beneficial. Supplementing with ginkgo, vitamin E and garlic may help improve the blood supply to the extremities. Taking a magnesium supplement in combination with ginkgo and vitamin E may help to prevent cramps. During long flights the reduced pressure will cause the feet and extremities to swell slightly. This is normal; however, it could propose problems for someone wearing a plaster cast. The swelling under the cast can cause pain and discomfort. Discuss this with your practitioner before flying.
Deep vein thrombosis
A thrombosis is a blood clot. The clot may block a blood vessel, causing potentially serious health effects. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the leg. A deep vein thrombosis in the thigh carries a risk of pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the clot, or thrombus, loses its attachment to the inside of the vein, leaves the leg and lodges in the pulmonary artery, the main blood vessel to the lungs. If the clot is large enough, it can completely block that artery and cause death.

The symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may include:
  • Pain and tenderness in the leg
  • Pain on extending the foot
  • Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot
  • The skin is red and warm.
If you experience any of the above symptoms see your doctor.
How to help reduce the incidence of DVT
  1. Move around and have regular short walks even on an aircraft.
  2. don’t smoke
  3. reduce alcohol intake
  4. Don’t use sleeping tablets on long flights as these can cause poor sleeping posture and reduce circulation to the legs.
  5. Drink water.
  6. Use support stocking if available.
  7. Aspirin and fish oil can help reduce platelet aggregation (blood stickiness) thus reducing the risk of DVT. Talk to your health care professional about these before
  8. taking a long flight
Popping Ears
 Flying with a head cold can not only be uncomfortable but can cause damage to the eardrum. If the eustachian tube is blocked with mucus the difference in the pressure between the air in the middle ear and the cabin pressure will be difficult to equalise, causing pain, discomfort and, in some cases, damage to the eardrum. It is important to keep our body's resistance up, vitamin C and the herb echinacea may help. Vitamin C helps reduce the symptoms of the cold and the herb echinacea helps stimulate the immune system and also helps relieve the symptoms. To help clear the ears suck a eucalyptus and menthol lozenge during the flight and take a horseradish and garlic tablet after meals three times daily.

The information given by Naturopath Russell Setright in this article is for general educational purposes only and not for the treatment of any disease or condition. Always see your Healthcare Practitioner for any suspected disease accident or condition and follow there expert advice. 

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