Traveling can be exciting and fun, but not so fun when you get traveler’s diarrhea. Surprisingly it is very common among travelers. There are two major reasons for traveler’s diarrhea. One is travelers not getting necessary vaccinations from their doctor before the trip. Second is consuming foreign water and food, especially street food that may not be healthy. This is not something one would chit chat over coffee so I thought I’d share some tips to avoid traveler’s diarrhea when you are on the go.
Traveler’s Diarrhea Symptoms
Before giving you diarrhea symptoms, if you don’t feel quite well, you should consult a doctor first. I say this not as someone in the medical field but it is common knowledge and information. Moving on, travelers diarrhea is defined by having three or more unformed stool passing within 24 hours. Other traveler’s diarrhea symptoms usually include abdominal cramps, nausea and bloating.
Always be sure to check with a medical professional before making any assumptions as these symptoms can also attributed to other illnesses apart from traveler’s diarrhea.
Traveler’s Diarrhea Treatment
There are two traveler’s diarrhea treatments you can do yourself. One is drinking lots of bottled water. This is to replace the lost fluids from your body. Second diarrhea treatment is some bed rest over a few days. However, if it becomes severe (start passing blood, fever, shaking chills, severe abdominal pains and diarrhea persists for more than 72 hours) you must seek medical attention. In this case the medical professional may give you an antibiotic to kill the bacteria that is causing diarrhea.
Traveler’s Diarrhea Prevention
To prevent catching traveler’s diarrhea, make sure you take these simple precautions. Especially when you go to foreign countries.
- Don’t drink tap water, even to brush your teeth
- Always drink bottled water or properly boiled water
- Avoid putting ice cubes in your drinks
- Stay away from street food
- Don’t eat salads and cold buffets, unless from a star class hotel
- Don’t eat ice cream at outdoor stands
- Avoid consuming raw vegetables and fruits, unless they can be peeled
Tap water play a major part in getting diarrhea. So always drink bottled or boiled water to reduce the risk of getting traveler’s diarrhea greatly. Make sure to check the water bottle seal before purchasing. There are reports that some sellers in developing countries fill tap water in to empty bottles and sell them as purified water.
These are information and tips I personally use when I travel. I suggest you keep these in mind when traveling across borders to avoid unpleasant traveler’s diarrhea.