Diet - traveler's diarrhea; Diarrhea - traveler's - diet; Gastroenteritis - traveler's
Traveler's diarrhea causes loose, watery stools. People can get traveler's diarrhea when they visit places where the water is not clean or the food is not handled safely. This can include developing countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
This article tells you what you should eat or drink if you have traveler's diarrhea.
Bacteria, parasites, and other substances in the water and food can cause traveler's diarrhea. People who live in these areas don't often get sick because their bodies are used to the bacteria or parasites.
You can lower your risk of getting traveler's diarrhea by avoiding water, ice, and food that may be contaminated. The goal of the traveler's diarrhea diet is to make your symptoms better and prevent you from getting dehydrated.
Traveler's diarrhea is rarely dangerous in adults. It can be more serious in children.
How to prevent traveler's diarrhea:
WATER AND OTHER DRINKS
There is no vaccine against traveler's diarrhea.
Your doctor may recommend medicines to help lower your chances of getting sick.
If you have diarrhea, follow these tips to help you feel better:
Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. It is a very big problem for children or people who are in a hot climate. Signs of severe dehydration include:
Give your child fluids for the first 4 to 6 hours. At first, try 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 30 milliliters) of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes.
In developing countries, many health agencies stock packets of salts to mix with water. If these packets are not available, you can make an emergency solution by mixing:
Get medical help right away if you or your child has symptoms of severe dehydration, or if you have a fever or bloody stools.
Ananthakrishnan AN, Xavier RJ. Gastrointestinal diseases. In: Ryan ET, Hill DR, Solomon T, Aaronson NE, Endy TP, eds. Hunter's Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 3.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Travelers' diarrhea. wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travelers-diarrhea. Updated October 8, 2019. Accessed January 25, 2022.
Lazarciuc N. Diarrhea. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 28.
Riddle MS. Clinical presentation and management of travelers' diarrhea. In: Keystone JS, Kozarsky PE, Connor BA, Nothdurft HD, Mendelson M, Leder, K, eds. Travel Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 20.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 11/5/2021
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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