You know when you have been hit with a traveler’s diarrhea when you need to hit the toilet every few minutes that can truly disrupt a trip.
I had unfortunate luck to get hit with it last week in while Dubai and spent three days mostly confined to my hotel suites.
The cause of traveler’s diarrhea is mainly mishandled food and can last up to a week. In my case it was gone after three days.
The WebMD (access here) describes the symptoms as:
- Abrupt onset of diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Urgent need to have a bowel movement
- Malaise (weakness or discomfort)
- Explosive and painful gas
- Loss of appetite
And what you should avoid:
- Uncooked vegetables and fruit. If you peel fruit yourself, it is generally safe.
- Unpasteurized milk and dairy products
- Raw meat and shellfish
I rarely pay too much attention to what I eat and where. Some people are very hesitant to eat on the street and from fast food joints in some countries, but isn’t that part of the fun?
Few years back, I got hit with this while in Buenos Aires and even after a week it was still an issue. I went to see a doctor in Salvador da Bahia that ended up prescribing antibiotics and the issue finally went away.
If you have carefully orchestrated travel and sightseeing plan, getting hit with traveler’s diarrhea can significantly alter it to spending most of the time at a toilet.