Traveler’s diarrhea (TD) is one of the most common problems almost 35% of the people face who travel to foreign countries. TD occurs mainly in underdeveloped countries with less or poor hygienic conditions. It is an unpleasant digestive tract disease. TD is a stomach and intestinal infection caused by eating contaminated food or water.
Traveler’s diarrhea is marked by frequent (3 or more) loose stools and abdominal cramps in 24-hours while traveling. It usually takes 2-3 days to recover from the traveler’s diarrhea with caution and a little treatment. The symptoms of TD may last for 7 days in some cases. If the infection gets severe, it may result in bloody diarrhea.
If you have diarrhea, contact your doctor at once or talk to a healthcare expert at emeds and stay hydrated.
The most common symptoms of the traveler’s diarrhea are:
Traveler’s diarrhea resolves with little treatment and cautions in a few days. However, if it lasts for more than 48 hours and the symptoms get intense, then the chances are the bacteria have penetrated the intestinal lining and caused an infection. The signs of the severe disease (cholera) are:
The people who are at greater risk for traveler’s diarrhea are:
You can contract a traveler’s diarrhea anytime and anywhere. However, the risk is higher in underdeveloped countries with poor sanitation and hygienic conditions, for instance, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Mexico, Latin America, Caribbean Islands, etc. Traveler’s diarrhea is contracted by food and water that contains bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The food and water get contaminated when people with fecal contents on their hands handle these. Bacteria are the leading cause of about 80% of traveler’s diarrhea. The rest of the 20% may be caused by viruses and protozoa. The pathogens responsible for the spread of traveler’s diarrhea are:
Some of the viruses release toxins that bind to the intestinal walls; others directly damage the intestines. The bacteria that accounts for the spread of traveler’s diarrhea are:
The viruses responsible for causing traveler’s diarrhea are:
The parasites found in contaminated water often lead to gut issues and eventually to diarrhea. The protozoa responsible for traveler’s diarrhea are:
The foods and drinks highly responsible for the spread of traveler’s diarrhea are:
The root cause of traveler’s diarrhea is sanitation failure that eventually causes food and water contamination. Try to follow the basic health guidelines while traveling. Travelers need to follow some of the essential tips to prevent traveler’s diarrhea, for instance:
Once you contract a traveler’s diarrhea, it not only spoils your vacation but also gives you immense trouble and discomfort. The essential step is to rehydrate and replace lost salts. The top priority is fluid intake (oral rehydration). Follow these tips to rehydrate yourself:
There is no vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea so far. If dehydration symptoms persist despite rehydration, you need medication to avoid serious circumstances. If severe symptoms like intense cramps, fever, chills, and bloody stool carry on, you need to seek advice from the doctor and start the treatment. The medication for traveler’s diarrhea includes:
Antibiotics are recommended only in moderate-severe conditions. Mild cases are cured with Loperamide and Bismuth subsalicylate. Keep yourself hydrated with ORS despite medication. Take the medicines as prescribed by the doctor or suggested by the pharmacist.