Traveller’s diarrhoea

General / Lifestyle choices

  3 Minutes
Leaving home to go on a trip for business or pleasure has its own excitement, and believe it or not, stresses too! On the Holmes Rahe stress scale where the death of a spouse or a child scores 100 points, travelling and going on vacation has a score of 13 points!

All the plans that need to be made to go and all the arrangements to have someone take care of your home and animals and plants for the duration of your trip all add up and for some are very stressful. A memorable, fun-filled, wonderful holiday is cherished and the memories you make last a lifetime. Reminiscing of that time floods your body with positive emotions and all the cells remember that special time. This makes going on holiday and wanting to go on holiday a lot of fun.

What is not fun is having travellers’ diarrhoea and suffering from it for a length of time afterwards.

Travellers’ diarrhoea is a digestive tract disorder causing loose stools, cramping, pain, sometimes vomiting or even fever. It’s usually caused by contaminated food or water. In most cases, this discomfort only lasts a day or so and should be able to resolve itself without requiring any medication. In more serious cases it lasts longer, and the person might require hospitalization for dehydration, especially if vomiting and diarrhoea are present and the person is unable to hold anything in. For others, the loose tummy stays for months afterwards.

Why does this happen?

We all have an immune system, and your immune system is built on what you are exposed to most of the time. When travelling, you are exposed to other organisms that your body is unfamiliar with. Hence the problem. Therefore, in most cases, a local person that ate the same food and drank the same water you did, did not get the unpleasant travellers’ diarrhoea because they have immunity against the elements they are exposed to. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites contaminate food and water mostly through faecal particles and are often to blame for travellers’ diarrhoea. And is mostly caused, by hands that have not been washed properly before preparing the food. Choose the place you wish to eat from carefully.

It is a good idea to have specific products with you when you travel to address the problem if it does happen. There is nothing worse than not being able to obtain the medicine you know will work for you when you are far away from home.

In the Living Naturally stable we highly recommend travelling with a Pegasus Blue Box. In this box, you will find a whole medicine kit that addresses bites and stings, trauma, sleep, headaches, pain, fever, and yes products for your tummy too! Pegasus Gastric Plus with Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea are the two go-to products for travellers’ diarrhoea. Follow the instructions as per the label and take them often if the problem is severe, and once better, reduce the frequency. Continuing with Gastric Plus for a few days to help normalize gut health is advisable.

A second must-have product when travelling is A.Vogel Molkosan. Wrap it tightly and secure it well in your luggage if you are flying. This is a vitally important product for the gut. Not only does Molkosan help to keep the gut environment healthy by supporting a healthy microbiome, but it is also a trusted product to help repair the gut lining if you have been ill with diarrhoea. In your gut, you have many different bacteria. Good and bad, and the good flourish in the presence of Molkosan, hence why it is known as a prebiotic. This product has helped numerous people who have suffered the long-term ill effects of a travel tummy bug. Within one bottle, the stool improves, gut health is restored, and the person feels better. Remember, 70-80% of the immune system is found in the gut, so a disturbance in this area leads to numerous other symptoms in the body. Follow the instructions as per the label and make the space in your luggage for your Molkosan!

It is also worth doing a Google search to find out if the area you are visiting is classified as a high or low-risk area to contract traveller’s diarrhoea.

A few other tips and points are:

  • If you are unsure of the water or the food, rather don’t consume it. Wait until you can purchase food and water that is safe.
  • Sealed bottled water is all you should drink.
  • Food should be boiled, cooked, and peeled before eating.
  • Avoid street vendors.
  • Eat food that is well-cooked and freshly prepared. Not stews and reheated foods.
  • If you can’t peel the fruit yourself before eating it, avoid it. Bananas, oranges, naartjies, mandarins, and avocadoes are safe.
  • Avoid open market foods and buffets.
  • Don’t trust the ice block! Just because it’s in a cool drink or an alcoholic beverage does not make it safe.
  • In some areas, don’t rinse your mouth with tap water.
  • Never make a baby’s bottle with tap water. Use bottled water only.
  • Avoid swimming in rivers, dams, and streams.
  • Keep your mouth closed when you are showering.

Be prepared, and most of all, have a wonderful holiday! You deserve it.