How to ease travel sickness

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Q: My 13-year-old granddaughter suffers badly from travel sickness when flying. What can be done to prevent it?

A: About two thirds of us suffer nausea, vomiting and dizziness, even cold sweats, at some point when travelling. The symptoms are probably caused by conflicting messages to your brain from your inner ear, which senses movement, while your eyes report you are sitting still.

There are several practical things you can do:

Choose a window seat near the front of the plane or beside a wing. There is less motion in these areas and she can focus on the horizon when there is light.

She should not read but listen to music or an audiobook with her eyes closed (a thick mask helps, eg, Bucky Sleep Mask, £16.95, from amazon.co.uk).

Focus the fan above the seat on her face to increase the airflow around her.

Avoid fatty, rich, salty, spicy or acidic foods. Choose plain yoghurt, cereal, crackers and bread. Eat a few hours before takeoff and have frequent snacks in flight. Sip lots of water or
herbal tea, eg, camomile or peppermint.

Nasa astronauts used to take ginger into space. Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends Lamberts Ginger Capsules (£9.14 for 60, from victoriahealth.com): take one on the day of the flight. She can also suck ginger sweets or sip ginger ale. Read More…

Safe solutions for morning sickness

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Q: I am just over two months pregnant and suffering bad morning sickness. My doctor says it’s wiser not to take drugs. Can you suggest anything that will help?

A: Around 70 to 80 per cent of pregnant women suffer nausea and vomiting, which can occur day or night, according to GP Dr Roger Gadsby MBE , associate clinical professor at Warwick Medical School. ‘Symptoms often start at around six weeks from your first missed period and usually get better by 12 weeks,’ he says. The cause is not known.

The majority of women suffer mildly, and the symptoms disappear by the third month. But up to 30 per cent get severe nausea and vomiting, which may last until week 20. It’s very unpleasant but does not put the baby at risk.
However, about one per cent of women get very severe symptoms. If you can’t keep food or drink down, contact your GP or midwife immediately. You risk becoming dehydrated and may need to go to hospital for intravenous fluids. Plenty of rest is vital. Read More…