Diet - traveler's diarrhea; Diarrhea - traveler's - diet; Gastroenteritis - traveler's
Traveler's diarrhea is loose, watery stools. People can get traveler's diarrhea when they visit places where the water is not clean or the food is not handled safely. This can include third-world or developing countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
This article tells you what you should eat or drink if you have traveler's diarrhea.
Bacteria and other substances in the water and food can cause traveler's diarrhea. People who live in these areas don't often get sick because their bodies are used to the bacteria.
You can lower your risk for getting traveler's diarrhea by avoiding water, ice, and food that may be contaminated. The goal of the traveler's diarrhea diet is to make your symptoms better and prevent you from getting dehydrated.
Traveler's diarrhea is rarely dangerous in adults. It can be more serious in children.
How to prevent traveler's diarrhea:
WATER AND OTHER DRINKS
There is no vaccine against traveler's diarrhea.
Your doctor may recommend medicines to help lower your chances of getting sick.
If you have diarrhea, follow these tips to help you feel better:
Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. It is a very big problem for children or people who are in a hot climate. Signs of severe dehydration include:
Give your child fluids for the first 4 to 6 hours. At first, try 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 30 milliliters) of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes.
In developing countries, many health agencies stock packets of salts to mix with water. If these fluids are not available, you can make an emergency solution by mixing:
Get medical help right away if you or your child has symptoms of severe dehydration, or if you have a fever or bloody stools.
Basnyat B, Ericsson CD. Travel medicine. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 84.
Freedman DO. Approach to the patient before and after travel. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 286.
Last reviewed on: 11/1/2015
Reviewed by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.