Health Information – Traveler’s Diarrhea

What is Traveler’s Diarrhea?

This is a disorder of the digestive tract that commonly affects travelers. It is usually accompanied by loose, watery stool and abdominal aches, resulting from ingestion of contaminated foods or unsafe drinking water. Although there is nothing serious about traveler’s diarrhea, it is usually unpleasant to have this kind of experience, especially if you are on a bus, train or plane.

Abdominal craps and sudden urge to defecate are the common signs of traveler's diarrhea.
Abdominal craps and sudden urge to defecate are the common signs of traveler’s diarrhea.

International travelers are the ones who get the disease, which usually occur at any point of their travel or even after they have returned home. Basically, if you’re going to travel, your risk of developing diarrhea is particularly high when you visit a place with different social conditions, climate and sanitary standards. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the destinations considered as “high-risk” for acquiring traveler’s diarrhea include developing regions like Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. In addition, the most vulnerable population to get traveler’s diarrhea include young adults, individuals who are immune-compromised, individuals with diabetes and chronic bowel disease, as well as those who are taking antacids or H-2 blockers.

What are the signs and symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea?

Similar to the signs of diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea is accompanied by the following:

  • Sudden passage of loose stools more than three times a day
  • Urgency of defecating
  • Abdominal cramps and uneasiness
  • Weakness
  • May be accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting.

There are also instances when the victim may suffer from dehydration, bloody spots or mucus on stool, as well as low to high grade fever.

Helpful Tips for Travelers

  • Traveler’s diarrhea is not totally life-threatening and the symptoms usually go away after two to three days even without giving treatment. However, if the symptoms do not disappear after a couple of days, it is best to seek medical supervision for further management and treatment.
  • Keep in mind that the severity of the symptoms may differ from one person to another, as well as the cause of the disease – either bacteria or a more severe form of organism. In most cases, taking over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications may help speed up recovery and this is usually advised for travelers who are always on the go.
  • Be aware of what you eat. Do not eat in places where you are unsure of the sanitary standards of the foods and drinks.
  • Be more cautious of children with traveler’s diarrhea, because they can get dehydrated more quickly than adults.

Get to know more about common diseases, how to prevent them, as well as basic first aid skills by checking out this site.

Related Video on Traveler’s Diarrhea:

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwm2GpNQ5Iw” width=”220″]

Source:

“Traveler’s Diarrhea.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on August 5, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/travelers-diarrhea/basics/causes/con-20019237

“Traveler’s Diarrhea.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved online on August 5, 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/travelersdiarrhea_g.htm

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