Home Travel Insurance How Travellers Should Prevent and Treat Diarrhea

How Travellers Should Prevent and Treat Diarrhea


Travellers’ diarrhea is a common affliction that causes suffering among people with weak stomachs. In general, we could go to the local doctor, but if we are in rural areas and we don’t get treatments, the condition can become quite serious. Travellers should know the necessary facts about diarrhea and perform some simple preventative measures. It is commonly believed that bacteria in drinking water are the most frequent causes of diarrhea. However, this condition could also be caused by unpeeled fruits, raw veggies and tainted meat.

Just because the food is washed with water, it doesn’t guarantee that it is safe to eat. Our food should be washed with treated water, or even bottled mineral water, if we can’t find sources of clean water. This should greatly increase our chance of preventing diarrhea. An obvious way to circumvent diarrhea is by drinking only bottled water. Bottled water should be readily available in countries where tap water isn’t drinkable. In many cases, we don’t have to bring too many bottles, because bottled water can be available from many sellers. Other than using clean water for drinking, we should also make sure that the water used to make ice cubes and brush our teeth is also clean. We need to take more precautions when travelling in less developed countries that don’t have good water treatment systems.

Not everyone has robust constitutions to deal with less hygienic food for more than a few days. The unlucky ones could waste much of the vacation groaning and moaning. Up to 50 percent travellers suffer at least mild cases of diarrhea as their system adjusts to the new environment. In general, symptoms will subside after three days, but we should get treatments if they persist. It is a good idea to get antibiotics only in the destination country. We shouldn’t buy them from local pharmacies and it is better to get antibiotics from doctors. These professionals understand what kind of antibiotics we should get to deal with the local germs. By getting antibiotics only from doctors, we won’t expose ourselves to repeated uses. Using too much antibiotics can reduce the overall effectiveness. They are not preventative measures and should be taken only when we experience symptoms. Bacteria in some areas of the world may have developed resistance to popular antibiotics and this is another reason why we shouldn’t bring one from home.

After we obtain antibiotics from doctors, we should maintain proper hydration. Diarrhea often affects travellers in hot, tropical countries, where germs thrive. Because it is likely that we will release more water due to improper bowel movements, in addition to the humid, hot climate; it is important to repeatedly rehydrate ourselves. Other than drinking clean water, we should also occasionally drink sport drinks, because our body could lose electrolytes through perspirations. Alternatively, we should mix clean water with some salt and sugar. Preventing and treating diarrhea should be easy, if we know what to do.