Your Complete Guide to Travelers' Diarrhea

As you are enjoying your dream trip, the last thing that you want is to have your enjoyment ruined by a bout of travelers' diarrhea. Travelers' diarrhea is not a problem of the modern age, in fact, it has long been the scourge of the adventurous soul who travels far from home. As with many things, reliable information can help to keep you healthy. This overview will help point you to all of the information you need to know regarding the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of travelers' diarrhea.

Travelers' Diarrhea Prevention: Food and Drink Safety Precautions

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The best way to prevent travelers' diarrhea is through strict observance of food and drink safety precautions. In general, you should avoid raw foods and tap water. Choose foods that are well cooked and are served piping hot. Only eat fruits that have peels that have been well-washed. Watch your drinks - bottle water and hot drinks are your safest options. Avoid ice and don't brush your teeth with tap water.

Travelers' Diarrhea Prevention: Medication Options

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If you are planning on traveling out of the country, you might be wondering if you could take a medicine that would prevent you from contracting travelers' diarrhea. This question becomes critical if you are suffering from a serious health condition in which travelers' diarrhea would severely compromise your health. Options for prophylactic medication do exist but are currently somewhat limited. Talk to your doctor before you go to find out if there is a medication that you should be on before traveling.

Treatment of Travelers' Diarrhea

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Luckily there are things that you can do to help your recovery if you contract travelers' diarrhea. Fluid replacement is essential - just be sure to choose drinks that are safe. Your doctor may recommend an antibiotic; several types are available which have been shown to be effective in dealing with the microorganisms that cause travelers' diarrhea.

Antidiarrheal products such as Imodium should not be used if you are diagnosed with dysentery, and should only be used alongside an antibiotic. Check with your doctor before taking Imodium to make sure it is the right medicine for you to be taking to address your travelers' diarrhea.

How to Recover from a GI Infection

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Getting ill from a GI infection, such as travelers' diarrhea, leaves you at a small, but real risk for the development of IBS. Practical strategies, based on solid research, can help to increase your odds that you enjoy a full recovery. In general, your best bet is to acknowledge that you are ill and give your immune system the rest it needs to overcome the nasty bug that has disrupted your travel plans.

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  • "Travelers' Diarrhea" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website accessed February 10, 2016.