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...
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.
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
Motion Sickness and Sea Sickness
Travel Tips for Europe
Useful Travel Tools
Electronic Travel Applications
Audio Tours for museums and cities