Affecting 30-70% of travelers, traveler’s diarrhea is not to be taken lightly.
It has the power to keep your glued to a toilet, miss flights, fun and dehydrates you on a very serious scale. We at Travset know this as we ourselves have suffered several bouts of traveler’s diarrhea and have several tips we now know and want to share with you.
1. Recognize the risks
Some regions of the world practice high hygiene standards in the preparation of food and drinks whilst some are not as stringent.
It is therefore wise to do some research, and recognize the risks of catching a bout of diarrhea before you set off.
Low-risk countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and countries in Northern and Western Europe.
Intermediate-risk countries include those in Eastern Europe, South Africa, and some Caribbean islands.
High-risk areas include most of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.
With the internet at your fingertips, researching what travelers, before you have fallen sick from, will have you prepared for what to expect.
Do the due diligence, your stomach will thank you for it.
3. Watch what you eat
Diarrhea is caused by bacteria and avoiding foods that might harbor them is paramount to your gut health.
Avoid meat, dairy, and any other suspicious-looking food at all costs.
Vegetables are fine provided the water they were washed in is clean.
4. Be picky about where you eat
Eating where the locals eat is a good way to ensure the food you are consuming is fresh as the more traffic a vendor has, the fresher his food is.
Steer clear of vendors with food that has been lying stagnant for long.
5. Know your liquids
Food isn’t the only cause of diarrhea, drinks are equally to blame.
Steer clear of tap water and drinks made of dairy unless it’s sealed and kept in cold temperatures.
6. Act as the locals do
The locals have more experience with the street food and the local eateries than you do.
Ask them for advice on where to eat and what to eat, and remain healthy at the same time.
7. Carry your medication
Everyone reacts differently to foreign foods and being prepared for emergencies is key.
We recommend letting your local GP know of your plans for travel and worries of diarrhea in order to receive medication to help.
If not, there are plenty of over the counter medication that is easily obtainable.
8. Know what’s coming
Traveler’s diarrhea as per the CDC is one of the most predictable diseases affecting 30-70% of travelers. Try as you might avoid it, there is a chance of you catching about of it due to reasons that are beyond your control.
If you didn’t, well done.
If you did, we suggest reading this guide to overcoming it.
CDC Travelers’ Diarrhea