• Liyan Lu

Traveler's Diarrhea

Updated: Sep 23

Traveler's diarrhea is a common problem when people travel to developing countries due to inadequate sanitation, contaminated food, or water. Most cases of diarrhea clear up within a few days. Let a mild case run its course. It is the body's way of cleaning out toxins and bacteria. To reduce the risk of traveler's diarrhea or to cope with diarrhea symptoms, here are some suggestions:

Prevention of diarrhea

1. Take acidophilus or probiotics every day, starting two weeks before your trip, continue taking for seven days after your trip. The friendly bacteria help prevent and stop traveler's diarrhea. Take as directed on the label. If probiotics cause gas or bloating, reduce the dosage.

2. Take vitamin C 500mg once a day to help boost your immune system for preventing and fighting infections. But don't take vitamin C while having diarrhea because it may worsen. Take vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 100mg daily to steady the gastrointestinal lining.

3. Eat well-cooked foods and avoid raw fruits and vegetables while traveling.

4. Drink bottled water, soda, beer, or wine in its original bottles and avoid tap water and ice cubes.

Treatment for diarrhea

5. Natto spores powder contains Bacillus subtilis which are friendly microorganisms to create tremendous benefits. Bacillus subtilis is used widely today in Germany, France, Israel, and China to treat different diarrheas effectively. You can order Mitoku Traditional Natto Spores (Bacillus subtilis) from culturesforhealth.com or call 800-962-1959 (a food company). Try a tiny amount of the powder, the size of a soybean, every hour until diarrhea stops; my clinic experience shows it usually contains within 1 to 3 hours.

6. Activated Charcoal or Bentonite (medical clay) absorbs toxins in the digestive tract, reduces gas and bloating, aids in firming stools, and subsides diarrhea. Follow the directions on the label.

7. Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration and electrolyte loss, liquids such as gelatin, clear broth, ginger ale, weak tea, or sports drinks. Drink small amounts each time because ingesting a large volume of liquid will irritate the intestines worsen your condition. Do not drink juice too hot or too cold. Don't drink juice containing vitamin C, which could trigger diarrhea.

8. Ginger tea is good for cramps, abdominal pain, and nausea.

9. Digestion enzymes: papaya & pineapple enzymes help with digestion and reduce gas.

Case report: My son, 19 years old, traveled to Europe as a backpacker after graduating from high school. He had a competition with other kids to see who could spend the less money on the trip. He stayed on the beach, train, and bus stations overnight to save money even slept outside the street. Thus he couldn't wash his hands and take a shower as often as at home. But he did not get sick at all during one month of Europe traveling. He did the prevention of diarrhea step1-4 before, during, and after his trip.

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