Your dad is right to be concerned. There is no natural or pharmaceutical medicine that can entirely protect you from ‘travellers’ diseases’ which are classified as bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections that may be caught (read this Anti Fungal, Bacteria Killing Essential Oil Plant). These diseases cause an acute medical emergency. Additionally, seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as immune-related conditions, may manifest years later as a consequence of infection.

In the latter case, I always advise a full stool test for parasites. As always, the best way to look after your health is via prevention and by strengthening your gut and immune system.

travelers diarrhea treatment

You asked specifically about tummy bugs and I will confine the rest of my comments to ‘travellers’ ‘diarrhea’ (TD). TD is caused by microorganisms found in water and food wherever sanitation and food handling practices are poor and our gut is not familiar with those particular bugs.

TD bugs cause fluids and electrolytes to be excreted in frequent, watery stools. Food passing too quickly also impairs absorption of important nutrients. It is important, particularly in warmer countries (read this too Get Prepped for Glowing Summer Skin, to stay appropriately hydrated – coconut water can be a good choice to rehydrate for the additional mineral content but be sure it is fresh or in its originally sealed packaging.

Cut your chances of getting TD by avoiding high-risk foods such as peeled fruits and vegetables, undercooked meats, seafood, dairy foods, food from street vendors or buffets, and unclean water or ice. Washed foods can be a real problem. My advice is to eat in moderate amounts, preferably vegetables that have been cooked, or washed in bottled water.

To keep the natural immune system (read this How to Prevent and Treat Autoimmune Disease)at top capacity, reduce heavy food, such as red meat or soya. Stay away from processed sugars. Alcohol should be consumed in moderation, if at all, as it can damage the gut lining which we want to keep strong against the bugs. For this reason (and many others) reduce or stop smoking.

Adapt to eating local seasonal foods (well-cooked and clean). Your diet in hot countries should consist of spicy, warm food following the homeopathic principle ‘like cures like’ To have ice cold drinks in hot countries is a shock to the body and should be avoided. Don’t mix too many food types in one dish.

Prepare by topping up the good bacteria in your gut with a quality probiotic for four weeks prior to travel and for as long as you can on your trip. Saccharomyces boulardii is useful to have on hand in case you do succumb to TD. Ask your natural health advisor about a probiotic that will survive travel conditions. A pre-trip course of Echinacea or other immune-stimulating herbs such as Astragalus can increase the body’s ability to eliminate invading bugs.

travel health

If you are unwell, drink cleanly prepared vegetable juices and broths to replace lost salts and minerals. Natural remedies to help decrease diarrhea include Oregon grape and goldenseal, which contain an
antimicrobial that may be effective against harmful foodborne bacteria. See what your herbalist recommends.

If you have a high fever, avoid anti diarrhoea drugs. Preventing the passage of stools will keep a bacterial infection inside the body for longer. Seek medical assistance if required or if symptoms do not subside after 24 hours. For diarrhea caused by food poisoning, the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum 30c can be helpful. China 30c can be a good remedy to take after diarrhea when there is exhaustion. Take three pills or three drops of your chosen remedy.
Be sensible, and enjoy your trip!

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