Experts report that 25-60% of travelers to developing countries will get Traveler’s Diarrhea. The good new is that, in most cases, it is easily treatable, and, with common sense, it can be preventable. Traveler’s Diarrhea is an infection of the intestines caused by common bacteria or viruses that enter the body by contaminated food or water. It can be prevented by drinking only safe water and eating appropriate foods. Safe water includes bottled water, carbonated beverages, hot drinks such as coffee or tea, and boiled or treated water. Avoid ice cubes, as freezing only preserves the germs! In choosing appropriate foods the emphasis is on fresh, thoroughly cooked food, prepared in a clean kitchen by people who practice good hygiene. Inappropriate foods include raw vegetables, uncooked seafood and fruit that cannot be peeled. Avoid dairy foods including ice cream unless they come from a reputable source, and any food that is set out for a long time. Take notice that the utensils and glasses you use are clean. Safer Riskier
Hot, well cooked foods Raw Vegetables, salad, dairy products Fruits you can peel yourself Street vendors /cut up fruit Bottled beverages/hot beverages tap water/ice cubes Symptoms of Travelers Diarrhea range from a few watery stools to explosive watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, fever, and loss of appetite. Travel medicine experts agree that the best treatment for traveler’s diarrhea is to take an antibiotic such as Cipro 500 mg. or Zithromax 500 mg. at the first signs of diarrhea. First signs of Travelers diarrhea include: flu like symptoms, achiness or feeling “off” or feverish. They also might include stomach symptoms such as cramping, nausea, bloating or gurgling. At this point, take an antibiotic immediately and actual diarrhea can be prevented. If diarrhea occurs, take your antibiotic immediately, along with Immodium AD, (over the counter) and continue for up to three days. If the symptoms stop, you may want to take an additional dose, but you are not committed to a whole course of antibiotics. If symptoms persist longer than three days, seek medical attention. Remember: carry your antibiotic and Immodium with you at all times. Delay of treatment for even an hour or so can mean the difference between feeling well or three days of diarrhea! Adults and children with diarrhea should drink lots of fluid such as water, Gatorade, diluted fruit juices or carbonated beverages to avoid dehydration. Avoid dairy and greasy foods for a few days. Eat easy to digest foods such as bananas, rice, applesauce and toast before returning to your normal diet. Probiotics, the good intestinal bacteria, have been shown in some studies to reduce the incidence of traveler’s diarrhea. Take daily as you would a vitamin pill. If you do have severe diarrhea during your trip, we recommend a post travel check up. This would include a stool test to identify lingering bacteria or parasites which could infect you again, or be contagious to others.
SPORTS DRINKS – WHAT WORKS… AND WHAT DOESN’T? Not all sports drinks are created equal and there are many differences that exist between brands. These differences are important because they not only determine the type and quantity of nutrients provided to the body, but they also influence physiological responses related to fluid absorption, hydration and performance. For example,
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