Traveler’s diarrhea is a digestive system ailment that frequently manifests itself through loose stools and abdominal cramping. It is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Fortunately, traveler’s diarrhea is rarely dangerous for the majority of people; it is simply uncomfortable.
When you travel to a country with a different climate or sanitary procedures than your own, you increase your risk of having traveler’s diarrhea.
To minimize your risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea, be selective about the foods and beverages you consume while traveling. If you do contract traveler’s diarrhea, the majority of cases resolve spontaneously.
Traveler’s diarrhea can strike at any time during or shortly after your vacation. Without treatment, the majority of patients improve within 1–2 days and fully recover within a week. However, during a single trip, you may experience many bouts of traveler’s diarrhea.
Traveler’s diarrhea is most frequently manifested by the following signs and symptoms:
- Three or more loose, watery stools each day are passed abruptly.
- There is a pressing need to urinate.
- Cramps abdominal
Occasionally, individuals suffer from mild to severe dehydration, frequent vomiting, a high temperature, bloody stools, or severe abdominal or rectum pain. If you or your child shows any of these signs or symptoms, or if diarrhea lasts more than a few days, it’s time to see a doctor.
When should you contact a physician?
Within several days, the traveler’s diarrhea typically resolves on its own. If the illness is caused by specific bacteria or parasites, signs and symptoms may remain longer and be more severe. In certain instances, prescription drugs may be necessary to aid in your recovery.
As an adult, consult your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, consult a physician.
- Dehydration occurs.
- You’re suffering from excruciating abdominal or rectal pain.
- You have stools that are crimson or black.
- You have a temperature that is greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 C).
When you’re traveling outside of your country, a local embassy or consulate might be able to help you find a good doctor who speaks your language.
Children should be especially cautious, as traveler’s diarrhea can quickly result in serious dehydration. If your child is sick and shows any of the following signs or symptoms, call a doctor right away.
- A temperature of at least 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) is required.
- Diarrhea that is severe or feces that is bloody
- Mouths that are dry or tears that are not shed.
- Symptoms include excessive sleepiness, drowsiness, or inactivity.
- reduced urine volume in infants, resulting in fewer wet diapers
Traveler’s diarrhea could be caused by the strain of travel or a change in nutrition. However, infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites are frequently responsible. Traveler’s diarrhea is often contracted after consuming food or water contaminated with feces-borne pathogens.
Therefore, why aren’t indigenous peoples from high-risk countries similarly impacted? Frequently, their bodies have evolved immunity to the microorganisms.
Thousands of overseas travelers contract traveler’s diarrhea every year. The following regions have a high risk of travelers’ diarrhea:
- Amérique centrale
- South America
- Asia’s Southern and Southeast Asia
Travel to Eastern Europe, South Africa, Central, and East Asia, the Middle East, and a few Caribbean islands is likewise fraught with danger. However, your chance of contracting traveler’s diarrhea is rather low in northern and western Europe, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the United States.
Traveler’s diarrhea is diagnosed in the same way as other types of diarrhea.
Your physician will inquire about your medical history and current symptoms. He or she will inquire about your most current trip arrangements. Additionally, a stool culture and/or additional tests may be performed. To perform a stool culture, a small sample of stool is taken. It is then tested for bacteria, viruses, and parasites in a laboratory. If your symptoms don’t go away after 10 to 14 days, more tests may be done.
Traveler’s diarrhea is treated in the same way that other types of diarrhea are.
Diarrhea associated with travel frequently resolves within a few days. Often, fluid replacement is the sole therapy option. You may be advised to consume an excessive amount of fluid. Clear broth, flat soda, or juice are all examples of this. If your symptoms do not improve, you may require antibiotics or other medications.