10 Quick Tips To Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea

    Traveler's DiarrheaNothing ruins a great trip like a bad belly.

    Being stuck trying to find a bathroom or having stomach cramps is the absolute worst.

    A common ailment that can happen when traveling to foreign countries is called traveler’s diarrhea.

    It may seem silly or odd but it’s a real thing that can wreck havoc on your trip.

    Traveler’s diarrhea occurs in almost 50% of all international travelers.

    Unfortunately, it’s one of the most prevalent travel-related ailments and affects nearly 10 million individuals around the globe each year.

    One of the main causes of this illness is bacteria from contaminated water (particularly feces – yuck).

    The particular bacterium that causes so much damage is called ETEC or Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

    Developing countries such as Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East represent a greater risk for coming into contact with these harmful bacteria.

    What are the Symptoms?

    Symptoms aren’t pleasant and they usually come on very suddenly.

    They involve abrupt loose stool that has a very watery consistency.

    Traveler’s diarrhea can cause the individual to produce these watery bowel movements up to 4 to 5 times a day.

    It doesn’t end there either; it’s usually accompanied with stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and even fever.

    In the majority of cases, the symptoms clear up on their own anywhere from 1 to 7 days.

    It’s vital to drink lots of water and liquids in order to stave off dehydration.

    If the case is really severe, antibiotics may also be prescribed to help the situation.

    All in all, traveler’s diarrhea is something that you DON’T want to happen to you.

    Here are 10 quick tips to help prevent traveler’s diarrhea:

    1. The safest bet for water is drinking bottled water that has been sealed shut the entire time.
    1. Make sure to boil water thoroughly or use bottled water when making tea or coffee.
    1. Traveling usually calls for much needed Happy Hour; luckily alcoholic drinks are usually safe. However, make sure that the drinks aren’t served with ice cubes that came from tap water.
    1. It’s not economical, but you need to brush your teeth with safe drinking water (such as bottled water). Don’t brush your teeth from the faucet.  If you need a reminder not to use the faucet, tie a bright colored ribbon on the handle or tape a paper sign on the handle or mirror.
    1. Avoid any contact with tap water that comes from hazardous water supplies. This includes eating veggies or fruits that have been rinsed off in potentially harmful tap water.
    1. Stick to foods that you peel yourself such as oranges and bananas. These foods have a natural protection and most likely haven’t been in contact with unsafe water.
    1. Authentic street food from vendors is very enticing but steer clear of this type of food since it poses a greater risk of being contaminated.
    1. If you’re ordering seafood or meat, be sure that it’s cooked thoroughly. Don’t eat undercooked meat.
    1. Don’t drink the water! This includes dairy products as well.
    1. Don’t forget to take your probiotics while you travel. Research has shown that probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii may help prevent and potentially treat traveler’s diarrhea.

    For probiotic suggestions to take with you while traveling, check out our 10 best probiotic supplements.

    In Conclusion…

    Be prepared the next time you’re traveling internationally.

    Protect yourself by following the above 10 tips such as drinking bottled water, avoiding tap water, and steering clear of potentially contaminated foods and drinks.

    Also, keep your probiotics close at hand as they will potentially help protect you from traveler’s diarrhea.

    Be safe and happy traveling!


    Tags: , , , , ,

    About the Author

    About the Author: Kate Watson is the Lead Researcher and Founder of ProbioticsGuide.com. Kate started this site after successfully using probiotics to treat some digestive issues she'd had since childhood. In her free time Kate loves nothing more than a good book (and a good glass of wine).