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Avoiding the trots. (diarrhoea)

Travel Forums General Talk Avoiding the trots. (diarrhoea)

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11. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 7y

You will probably find these things in the UK in larger Boots stores and in health shops like Hollands and Barratts.

I spent 6 weeks in India and did not get one upset tummy. I put it down to following the usual precautions people have mentioned, plus not eating meat and not drinking alcahol- I actually felt great after cutting these out for a while and eating plenty of chick-peas and dahl etc. Maybe it was also partly luck and partly being at the end of a year long trip so i'd toughened up a bit.

Then I came home, and 5 days after, having eaten lots of rich Christmas food and drink I got the runs.

Had the runs a lot more in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia etc. Don't drink Chang beer its rough! Excessive alcohol can upset your tummy, and perhaps people attribute it to something they ate. Like here in England when people have 6 pints and go for a curry, then blame the curry when they're rushing to the toilet the next day!

12. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

What can also contribute to an upset stomach is a change of your daily routine.

If you are used to sitting in an office all day and then when you go on a trip you walk or move around alot this can contribute to getting the runs.

Similarily, if you usually drink coffee during the day and then suddenly on a trip go for ice-cold fizzy drinks this can give you an upset stomach too.

Third, try to stick to your regular mealtimes despite the jetlag. Adjust them slowly.

13. Posted by si403 (Full Member 130 posts) 7y

the above 2 posts could be what it is. i tend to end up eating things like cashew nuts, packets of biscuits, things like that, and some days going without proper meals. at home i tend to eat quite often and foods which are generally quite good and nourishing.

i usually go for meat if its available and get quite hammered every few days on average, depending what we're doing the next day,.

14. Posted by eclepticea (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

As has been mentioned, acidophillus, and other probiotics. There are many brands. The more different bacteria the better. These symbiotic bacteria, the good guys that normally live in the gut, make substances that keep our gut healthy, and they crowd out and compete with bad guys.

There is a Chinese herbal medicine called "Curing Formula" that helps.

Fiber helps, especially grain fiber.

A lot of the problem is not just the strangeness of the food and the change in routine and biological clock schedules, but a host of fecal bacteria on the food. I am a big advocate of fresh fruits and vegetables, but not when travelling, especially when night soil is the fertilizer of choice. Stick with the junk food. The last few days of my China vacation, I subsisted on weak tea and oreos. Now I know there is a downside to travelling half way around the world to eat American style junk food, but there is a downside to diarrhea (it can really get you down!). Vegetables should be washed and cooked. Fruit . . . is dicey. If your stay is extended, for months, you may have time to gradually introduce these things to your diet and let your gut adapt. But for a two week excursion, forget everything you learned about balanced diet, buy some granola bars before you go (they keep), and boil the water, or buy bottled water and soft drinks.

15. Posted by rajiv2412 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

I suffer from exactly the same problem as Clarabel and therefore cannot travel in bus in any part of the world

16. Posted by Catekiwi (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

These are all good points and tips, one thing I'd like to add (not sure if this has already been covered) is to be careful when handling money especially notes. I was advised a long time ago about dirty hands and dirty notes. The locals have different sanitary habits than you, often money is handled with unwashed hands etc.

Most travellers focus on food and water but money -- and shaking hands-- are also biggies when it comes to upset stomachs. Keep your hands away from your mouth and face, I always carry a small bottle of alcohol sanitiser and if I don't have any then I make sure I don't have my hands anywhere near food and my face.

17. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid the trots. If it's going to happen it will!

We have been travelling for 3 years now and I, particularly, have problems with my stomach due to a bad dose of giardia in Bolivia at the beginning of our travels. Now if there is a stomach bug around I will get it. I never used to be like that and my boyfriend has hardly any problems and most of the time we eat the same things. Drink bottled water and remember to only take immodium when really necessary, otherwise stay put and get better (close to a toilet )

I agree with catekiwi and the thoughts on money and shaking hands...not just with the diarrhoea issue but with other bacteria for pink eye/conjunctivitis can be spread really easily this way.

18. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 7y

I think a major contributor to getting runs is in the shower. Every traveler is careful about brushing their teeth with bottled water and avoiding ice. I believe that water ingested while taking a shower is a leading cause. It is one reason why 2 people can eat the same foods, stay in the same places, and one will get sick. Think about it. When you shower how easy is it to have some water slide down your throat?? I was traveling in Nepal where the hygiene is not so great. The beauty about trekking the himilayas is that there are very few showers, and this is what I believe allowed me to be runs free for three months!!!

19. Posted by si403 (Full Member 130 posts) 7y

that has crossed my mind in the past. showering, even if you try it'll still get on your lips, then of course you will at some point lick your lips. might have to go for the skin head then wash me head without getting my face wet. thanks again for all the good advice.

ps i always use bottled water..

20. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

I'm not sure whether I was just lucky or whether I have an iron stomach but I travelled round SE Asia for 3 months and more often than not I brushed my teeth with the water, making sure I didn't swallow it. I never got sick. Other than that I took all the usual precautions of always drinking bottled water, and not eating salads etc that might have been washed in the water. My boyfriend got sick from eating ice cream in Myanmar - a common cause of food poisoning over there because due to the constant power cuts food is often melted and re-frozen several times.

I have a friend who seems to get sick all the time when she travels. Like Loubylou says, I think if it's going to happen it will and some people are just more prone to it than others. The only thing you can do is take sensible precautions but there is no point in being paranoid.