Travelers diarrhea can make a vacation very unpleasant or even ruin it. When you have to rush to the bathroom every 10 minutes, that limits any activities that you might want to engage in. Plans are made based on how near the closest restroom is. If you have been hit with a more aggressive case of diarrhea the abdominal cramping may keep you in bed and unable to go out at all.
Travelers diarrhea is usually caused by the Escherichia coli bacteria. It is found in your intestines and assists in digestion. When exposed to foreign versions problems can occur. They produce a toxin that makes it extremely difficult for your intestines to absorb water that you have taken in. This leads to an excess in your stools. The natural way that your body rids itself of the toxins is to expel matter in the intestines. Thus, you have a case of diarrhea for 3 to 7 days.
There are home remedies that can be helpful. The first thing to remember is that you must drink a lot of water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Diarrhea puts you at risk of becoming dehydrated quickly. You will notice that most of it flows right out the other end and may wonder what good it is doing. The fact is, the more that runs through your system, the faster that the E. coli bacteria is purged from your body.
U.S. Public Health Service suggests a cocktail of:
“In one glass, put 8 ounces of fruit juice; 1/2 teaspoon of honey, corn syrup, or sugar; and a pinch of salt. In another glass, put 8 ounces of purified water and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Drink a couple of swallows alternately from each glass until finished.”
You can drink clear fluids, or weak tea without sugar. Avoid dairy products and solid food in the beginning. Alcohol is another no no. Eat yogurt which naturally contains bulgaricus. This helps to resupply beneficial microorganisms to the intestines.
Many over the counter solutions are readily available at local stores. Pepto and other medicines that contain an anti-diarrhea ingredient are going to be the most helpful.
Most cases of travelers diarrhea go away after 10 days or so. If stools are red or blackish in color, this could indicate internal bleeding and you should seek medical help. Also, very pale or white stools are indicative of a liver disease and require a doctor’s intervention.