15 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Fly

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11. Less oxygen

Cabin air pressure in jets is relatively low, and the amount of oxygen normally carried in the bloodstream is reduced compared with oxygen amounts at sea level. The change in air pressure is well tolerated by most passengers. However, those with medical conditions such as lung diseases and blood disorders may experience reduced oxygen levels, or hypoxia. Travelers with this condition are advised to tell the airline they are traveling on to arrange for an additional oxygen supply while flying.

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12. Lack of appetite

Because travel disrupts your daily routine, it can affect your appetite as well. These changes cause your body to activate its fight response, releasing chemicals called catecholamines. The body reacts by temporarily closing appetite areas in the brain. Physicians suggest people do activities that are relaxing before they fly and avoid so-called trigger foods such as caffeine, alcohol, and exotic foods before traveling.

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13. Change in bowel movements

A change in bowel movements, sometimes called vacation constipation, is a common occurrence when people go on holiday. It can start while traveling because of limited bathroom access, and can continue because of a change in diet. To address this, before traveling, people should eat foods with probiotics (kimchi, tempeh and yogurt) because they contain good bacteria that helps digestion. During travel time, exercise and avoid snacks like chocolate and chips and instead eat high-fiber options like nuts and fruit. And drink lots of water.

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14. Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein. Should the clot detach from the vein, it can travel to the lungs and block arteries to the lungs, causing what is called a pulmonary embolism. Travelers are at risk for this if they are sitting for a long time. People who are at increased risk are those who have had a previous blood clot, have a family history of blood clots, are obese, and are older. To prevent DVT, travelers are advised to wear medical compression stockings and take medication before traveling. They should pick an aisle seat and walk around every two to three hours while in flight. Travelers should also exercise calf muscles while seated.

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15. Bloating

Bloating is a common and uncomfortable effect from flying. There are several reasons why this happens. A change in air pressure in the cabin may cause gases within your body to expand, so experts advise travelers to avoid carbonated beverages and fatty foods. Remaining seated for hours at a time contributes to discomfort and passengers are advised to move around to reduce bloating. Drinking plenty of water keeps you from being dehydrated and will help with jet bloat.