Patricia’s LiFe…

January 29, 2008

Travel Pooper

Filed under: travel — Tags: , , — patriciaholdenmd @ 11:31 pm


travel tips

I always love to travel, but the problem with me is getting a loose bowel movement. I enjoy trying new things as I travel; trying the cultures of any country I go to. Trying new cuisine is the one thing I enjoy the most. But then I get a loose bowel movement like this one time when I went to China. This is called the “Traveler’s Diarrhea“. Let me give you some overview about this certain disease, so as to avoid getting it.

Traveler’s diarrhea is common to occur in people who travel a lot. About 20-25% ofdiarrhea international travelers gets diarrhea. The usual onset of traveler’s diarrhea is during the first week of travel but may still occur all through out the travel or even after the travel. The easiest way of determining if you got traveler’s diarrhea is the destination of your travel since there is a higher chance of it developing in some countries of Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. A young adult, immunosuppressed patients, diabetic person, or a person with an inflammatory bowel disease, or even someone who takes H2 blockers or antacid has a higher risk of getting traveler’s diarrhea. But men and women has an equal rate of occurrence. Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by eating or ingesting a fecally contaminated food or water.

Common Symptoms of Traveler’s Diarrhea

  • Abrupt Onset – occurs instantly with out any warning
  • Increased frequency, volume, and weight of stool
  • Altered consistency of stool – it can be soft or watery
  • Frequency usually ranges from four to five loose or watery bowel movement per day
  • Nausea – the feeling of wanting to vomit
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating
  • Fever
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Body malaise – also related to body weakness

This is a benign disease and disappears in 1 to 2 days without treating it. Usually traveler’srestroom diarrhea resolve in a week but in some resolves in a month. This is caused by a bacterial enteropathogen called the Escherichia coli or the ETEC. ETEC causes a watery diarrhea and is commonly developing with low-grade fever.

There are ways that we can do to avoid traveler’s diarrhea. Preventive measures should be practiced, unlike me who sometimes is too stubborn, do not observe or do this preventive measures. But don’t be like me, because I get what I deserve after eating those nasty foods. Here are some ways we can use to prevent ourselves from getting a traveler’s diarrhea.

  • Do not buy or eat food or drink beverages from unhygienic establishments or from street vendors.
  • Raw or undercooked meat and seafood should be avoided.
  • In eating raw fruits and vegetables, peel them yourselves. Don’t eat or buy peeled fruits or vegetables.
  • Tap water, unpasteurized milk and dairy products are usually fecally contaminated.

Traveler’s diarrhea is a self-limiting disease, it resolves without even treating it. But we can oral rehydrate ourselves to be able to replace the lost fluid and electrolytes from our system. Clear fluids are often recommended for us adults.

So let us practice more of the preventive measures for us to enjoy more of our trip or vacation.