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Traveler's diarrhea diet

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 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.

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Function

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 of 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.

Side Effects

Traveler's diarrhea is rarely dangerous in adults. It can be more serious in children.

Recommendations

How to prevent traveler's diarrhea:

WATER AND OTHER DRINKS

FOOD

WASHING

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 packets 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.

Related Information

Diarrhea - overview
Toxins
Dehydration
Diarrhea - what to ask your health care provider - adult
Diarrhea - what to ask your doctor - child
When you have nausea and vomiting

References

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-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 286.

Lazarciuc N. Diarrhea. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 28.

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Review Date: 11/20/2017  

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, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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