Traveler's Diarrhea

Travelers’ diarrhea is typically defined as 12-72 hours of diarrhea, which can be accompanied by nausea, cramps, fever, and vomiting. It is usually caused by contaminated food and water.

How to avoid it

Here are some tips to help you prevent diarrhea during travel:

  • Try to stick to the diet you usually do at home. There can be temptation to indulge in too much food and drink while on vacation. You may want to get advice on what to eat from your dietitian before you travel if the cuisine is different from what you are used to eating.

  • Do not drink tap water, unless you boil it first. Instead, drink bottled water, even while brushing your teeth. Also, avoid getting water into your mouth when you shower or swim.

  • Avoid non-carbonated beverages that could be made with tap water, such as lemonade and fruit juices, and foods made with water, such as ice cream.

  • Do not eat street food from vendors.

  • Remove fruit peels and egg shells yourself.

  • Do not eat food that is sitting at room temperature.

  • Avoid ice cubes where tap water is used.

  • Avoid uncooked foods like raw vegetables and salads as well as raw or undercooked meats and fish.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or carry anti-bacterial gel and use it frequently.

To learn more about diarreha in IBD, visit our Symptom Management section

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Remedies or treatment

Try these remedies to help you manage diarrhea during travel:

  • Drink lots of fluids, especially rehydration drinks and weak tea made with either bottled or boiled water.

  • Avoid ice cold drinks, coffee, and alcohol, which can worsen diarrhea.

  • Consume extra salt to help prevent dehydration.

  • Consult your doctor before taking over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications.

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing a high fever, bloody diarrhea, and persistent pain. You may need to check for bacteria and parasites.

To learn more about diarreha in IBD, visit our Symptom Management section

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