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Travelling with High Cholesterol

AllClear Team
Last updated 10 October 2020
Travelling with high cholesterol: Father buried on the beach by kids

COVID-19 travel regulations for those with high cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol and wish to go on holiday, you may have a few travel related questions. In fact, charity Heart UK revealed that over half of the adults in the UK have raised levels. This guide provides you with information about travelling with high cholesterol. It will also provide you with resources to help answer any COVID-19 travel-related questions you may have.

According to Heart UK, you’re not more likely to catch coronavirus (COVID-19) just by having a high cholesterol level. However, having COVID-19 can make existing conditions worse.

If you’re still planning to travel this year, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

Travel regulations continue to change to adapt to the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. So, here are some useful guides to help you travel with confidence:

Travelling with high cholesterol

It is important to keep track of our cholesterol levels. Although many of us know this, we still fail to get it checked.

Why is this important? The World Health Organisation discovered that a third of all heart disease cases are caused by high cholesterol…

If levels are high it’s especially important to take care when travelling. But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying yourself on holiday! We’ve put together a guide for travelling with high cholesterol, so that with a bit of extra planning and a few tweaks to your lifestyle, you can holiday with peace of mind.

Before you travel

Consider visiting your doctor for a health check-up before you travel. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether your plans are suitable. If your cholesterol levels are high, they may be able to recommend a better time for you to travel or for you to change your holiday slightly.

If you’ve been advised to change your diet, here’s some added professional advice:

Get your cholesterol levels measured first, try a single dietary change for 4 or more weeks, and then get them tested again afterwards.
If one change works for you, then you could try adding a second and having them measured again – since the different foods work in different ways the results of combining more than one can give you an even bigger drop.

Dr Scott Harding, Trust Me I’m a Doctor TV series

With the okay from a doctor, there should be no reason why your cholesterol levels will stop you enjoying your time away.

Medication

Cholesterol-lowering medications work best if you take them on a schedule, as prescribed. Make sure you have enough medication to cover your trip, as well as a few days extra, in case you can’t get a top-up in the few days after you return.

If you’re flying, consider carrying medication in your hand luggage (subject to airline restrictions). Make sure it’s a legal medicine in the destination(s) you’re travelling to. It will need to be in the original packaging and clearly labelled with your name and prescription information. It’s often advised that you carry a copy of your prescription – plus a letter from your doctor explaining your condition.

COVID-19 travel essentials

COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our lives – including travel! In order to stay safe you must now comply with the new measures and restrictions. You can still enjoy your holiday but you’ll need to add a few additional items to your packing list. This includes the following:

A face covering

Facemasks have become a staple of our daily outfits as we embrace the ‘new’ normal. They can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and have therefore become mandatory in many countries. So you’ll need to make sure you pack a few when preparing for your next holiday. Click here for more information on COVID-19 and face masks.

Hand cleanser

It’s easy to pick up germs when travelling from place to place. However, following the outbreak of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to keep our hands’ bacteria-free.

For when it’s not possible to wash your hands, hand cleansing gel is a great on-the-go solution.

You’ll need a gel that’s at least 60% alcohol concentration. Click here for more information.

Travel insurance

Over a fifth of holidaymakers have to seek medical treatment when abroad. So regardless of which transport you choose, travel with peace of mind by having comprehensive medical travel insurance!

How to travel with confidence during the pandemic

Find the answers to the most common questions from AllClear policyholders about their travel insurance cover

 

During the flight

Sitting still for long periods – such as during long flights – can cause changes in blood circulation and can increase the risk of a clot. Particularly if you have a circulatory condition such as high cholesterol. You may want to consider buying an aisle seat and ‘flight socks’. Also known as compression stockings, they reduce the risk of clots in your legs (DVT’s).
Avoid eating too many on-board snacks, which are often high in salt and fat content. Staying well-hydrated is also important as dehydration can increase cholesterol levels.

While you’re there

Food

One of the highlights of any holiday is the local cuisine! With high cholesterol, the key to enjoying the food is to keep everything in moderation – as Mary Berry said “Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.”

  • Read menus carefully and look out for healthier choices.
  • Do a bit of research on your destination and find out what fruits, salads, vegetables, organic and whole-grain foods are available.
  • Consider taking a fibre supplement with you if you think that travelling will make it harder to eat enough of it. Ensuring you are eating enough fibre is one of the most effective way of reducing cholesterol, so this can be key if you want to keep to your plans

Depending on where you are, you may be able to tuck-in to completely new, healthy foods so a holiday can be a wonderful opportunity to experiment with different dishes.

Relaxing

Forgetting about food, relaxing is probably the most important part of your holiday plans, but while a stress-free week or two is definitely good for you, staying active will benefit your health just as much. Regular swims and walking as much as possible will help to keep your cholesterol levels under control.

Social distancing

Maintaining a distance of 2 metres is an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is now a measure used in most countries in public spaces. It’s important to be cautious and stick to such measures while on holiday and at the airport so that you can reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing medical condition, including high cholesterol.

Travel Insurance

You need to think about getting the right high cholesterol travel insurance. If you have raised cholesterol levels you’re at greater risk of developing heart disease, which kills 160,000 people in the UK every year. Most holidays go off without a hitch. However, it simply isn’t worth the risk of travelling uninsured. The costs of doing so can be incredible. Earlier this year, it cost £241,000 to treat a couple who both had heart problems while holidaying in Florida.

Having specialist cholesterol travel insurance means you can get 24/7 access to emergency medical assistance, wherever you are in the world, and without the worry of high medical bills.

How to travel with confidence during the pandemic

Find the answers to the most common questions that AllClear policyholders have asked about their travel insurance cover:

Article sources:

The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through our disclaimer for more information.
Cholesterol infographic




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