Traveler’s Diarrhea Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

Traveler's Diarrhea

What Is Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Traveler’s diarrhea is stomach and intestinal infection, also dubbed to be a digestive tract disorder, and is the most common illness which affects travelers.
Often accompanied by cramps, nausea and bloating, traveler’s diarrhea is defined as three or more unformed stools passed by a traveler within a 24-hour period. It is caused by either eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.
Although it can be easily treated and does not usually cause any harm in the long run, it is highly discomforting and an unpleasant condition to have.
Visiting places with different climate and sanitary standards puts on at risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea.
Although most travelers with TD recover within a few days with little or no treatment, symptoms can sometimes be severe enough to require medical intervention.

Causes Of Traveler’s Diarrhea:

The primary cause of traveler’s diarrhea is the infectious agents which include the bacterial enteropathogens, viruses and protozoan.
Most of the cases are due to bacterial enteropathogens. While viruses are associated with less than 20% of adult cases of traveler’s diarrhea, they may be responsible for nearly 70% of cases in infants and children.
A sub-type of traveler’s diarrhea affecting hikers and campers, also referred to as wilderness diarrhea, may have a somewhat different frequency of distribution of pathogens
Sometimes, stress of travelling or a change in diet may also lead to the development of traveler’s diarrhea. However, in most cases it develops after eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Certain Individuals Are At A Higher Risk Of Developing Traveler’s Diarrhea. They Include:

  •     Young adults, as they may lack acquired immunity which helps in fighting against infectious agents
  •     People with weakened immune systems.
  •     People with diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease, which makes individual more prone to infections than healthy people
  •     People who take acid blockers or antacids, which leads to a reduction in stomach acid
  •     People who indulge in seasonal travelling

Symptoms Of Traveler’s Diarrhea:

Traveler’s diarrhea usually begins within the first week of travel, but may occur at any other time as well.

Symptoms include:

  •     Abrupt onset of diarrhea, which is marked by four or five loose or watery bowel movements per day
  •     Abdominal cramping
  •     Bloating
  •     Fever
  •     Malaise
  •     Blood or mucous in stool
  •     Nausea
  •     Vomiting
  •     Painful gas
  •     Loss of appetite

Treatment Of Traveler’s Diarrhea:

The following medications are available if traveler’s diarrhea persists:

  •     Anti-motility agents
    loperamide (Imodium A-D)
    diphenoxylate (Lomotil, Lonox)
  •     Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
  •     Antibiotics.

Prevention From Traveler’s Diarrhea:

Traveler’s diarrhea can be prevented by:

  •     Proper sanitation
  •     Vaccination
  •     Probiotics

By : Natural Health News