Diarrhea - Struggling with the Monster

The best way to deal with diarrhea is not to get it in the first place. Prevention is paramount. Here some tips on food safety and not getting sick in 3rd world countries:

  • Choose places where you get the food hot and immediately off the grill.

  • Drink only bottled water. Check that the seals on the bottles have not been broken.

  • No ice. No salads. Peal all fruit yourself.

  • Check any good travel guide for more tips on healthy eating on the country or area of interest.

  • There is one very good reason to visit a McDonald's in a foreign land: the bathrooms are the best, cleanest, and always available...

Diarrhea can ruin a vacation.

For diarrhea, I try and separate the symptoms into one of two categories: Real problems (food poisoning or bad food) and strange food problems (food that's different, unfamiliar.)

1. Diarrhea - Real problems (food poisoning or bad food):

One time I got very sick in the Spain's Sierra Mountains on food I knew to be not properly cooked. I took Pepto Bismal tablets that allowed my body to get rid of the problem without getting too dehydrated.

My first look at the Mediterranean Sea was cut short when I threw up over the railing I was standing in front of. Luckily I spewed onto a few innocent bushes lower down in front of me.

I slowed down and took care of myself. I took a few days off from my trip at a pleasant beach town of Malaga. I had a great recovery and a great time...

See a local doctor if systems persist. Talk to your doctor before you go on your trip. Check your guidebook for more tips.

2. Diarrhea - Problems with strange/different food:

Sometimes I would get sick without eating anything bad. This happened in France on with a great meal I knew to be properly cooked. I took a drug prescribed by my doctor, Lomotil. It's nicknamed, the chemical cork. It works for me. My symptoms went away in an hour.

Talk to your doctor about prescription drugs for diarrhea .

Other prescription drugs are available. Check with your doctor before you go on your trip and get your own prescription.

Disclaimer: Be sure to exercise good judgment on anything that you find out. After all it's your trip and your responsibility to confirm the currency and validity of all information found on this or any other website and on your trip.

Here are some important meal tips:

Go to the Page on Restaurant Tips

Picnics - Fun in the Sun

Six Great Food Adventures from Around the World

Translate a Menu

Fun with a Chinese Menu


Here are some important road skills:

Go to page on Safety First

What to do about Lost Travelers

Travel Health

Motion Sickness and Sea Sickness

Travel Money

The Euro

Travel Tips for Europe

Travel Phrases

Foreign Languages

Chinese Characters

Useful Travel Tools

Tourist Information

Electronic Travel Applications

Audio Tours for museums and cities

Travel Weather

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.