Exploring new places means coming in contact with new germs and surroundings. No one plans to get sick and visit a doctor while traveling, but sometimes it can be unavoidable.
Traveling to Barcelona? Here are the top five most common ailments in the Catalan region. Our doctors in Barcelona have made some recommendations and preventative actions if you find yourself in one of these situations. Some conditions may be mild and will pass quickly with minimum treatment, whereas others may be more serious and need a doctor’s attention. Luckily, Barcelona is full of English speaking doctors that come right to wherever you are.
With new surroundings and changes in temperature, it is common to suffer from a cold, nasal congestion and coughing. It is advised to keep hydrated, rest and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with the discomfort. Usually this may only last for a few days while your body is adjusting to its new environment. However, if you begin to notice you have ran a fever, coughing has become worse, white spots appear on the tongue or tonsils, or sinus pain gets worse, it is time to contact a doctor.
Food poisoning can happen anytime, especially when we are away from our daily environment. Common symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, feelings of weakness, vomiting, stomach cramps, exhaustion, and running a temperature. Usually symptoms appear anywhere between a couple hours and a couple of days after exposure. This should clear up after a few days. If symptoms do not reside, it is recommended to contact a doctor for further instruction.
Although it’s hard to predict what foods can make you sick, food and drink that are generally safe include:
- -sealed bottled water that is produced by a recognized manufacturer
- -fully cooked food
- -canned food or food in sealed packs
- -fresh bread
- -unpeeled fruit
- -tea and coffee
To learn more, read our article on how to avoid food poisoning.
Heat exhaustion due to weather change
Barcelona experiences heat waves quite often during its summer months of June, July, and August. One of the most important things to do during this time is to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion is the first and most common effect of a heat wave on the body. This includes symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness, pale skin, and a sudden rise in body temperature. If these symptoms appear during your stay in Barcelona, you should move somewhere cool and drink plenty of water.
Refill of a medical prescription
Forgot your prescription back home or need a refill? Not a problem. This is a very common thing to happen while traveling abroad. One solution is to see a doctor and explain your medical condition to get a new prescription that can be filled locally. If you have a letter from your doctor back home explaining your condition and the medication used to treat it, that will help the local doctor. As long as the medication is available in Spain, it should be no problem after a simple consultation with a doctor in as little as one hour and a trip to the local pharmacy. Here is the best list of 24 hour pharmacies in Barcelona.
Cuts and scrapes commonly happen just about anywhere. When travelling abroad, it is advisable to carry a small emergency first aid kit with you. The kit should contain:
- adhesive dressings
- insect repellent
- antiseptic cream
- water-purification tablets
Keep in mind that pink or red skin and slight swelling around a wound is normal. This is part of a healthy healing process. Some amount of pain is normal as well, but it should start to let up after the second day. Monitor your wound daily. If you see pus, fluid, or crust, this is the time to call a doctor.
Tips for staying healthy in Barcelona
–Keep hydrated: you should be drinking about 4-6 glasses of water per day to maintain hydration.
–Get plenty of rest: make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night and taking a 30 minute nap during the day if you are feeling run down.
–Carry hand sanitizer: Barcelona is an international city with people from all over. Keeping sanitizer with you and using it before eating or touching your face is extremely important.
–Avoid a lot of sun exposure: especially in summer, Barcelona sun is extremely hot and can cause a number of problems including sunburn and heat stroke.
–Walk everywhere: even if you are on vacation, it is important to get your exercise in to promote healthy energy! What better way to see the whole city and its hidden treasures than by foot.