Skip Navigation

Avoiding the trots. (diarrhoea)

Travel Forums General Talk Avoiding the trots. (diarrhoea)

Page

Last Post

31. Posted by Lavafalls (Travel Guru 155 posts) 7y

I believe in the fresh boiling water/oil rule for lots of food. I also believe that if your travelling in the third world food illness will just happen no matter how much you try to avoid it. That being said i got food poisoning in a restaurant in Japan.

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

Quoting bluewaav

Hmmm . . .

Just a little tidbit about the study thing. . . . Hand sanitizers don't clean the, uh, poop that can get under the nailbed out . . . So perhaps the study isn't necessarily substantive as to cleanliness. Not to say it isn't disguisting . However, I suppose that when you eat fingerfood, if you have unclean nailbeds, it certainly can transfer to the food, therefore causing one to get sick. Does anyone know how clean hand sanitizers get the nailbed? . . . It must depend on whether or not you get the hand sanitizer under there . . . and who has the patience to meticulously sanitize every nail?

This is why keeping fingernails short is really important.

Hand sanitisers will disinfect your hands quite well, and are a good idea when travelling etc and you can't wash hands properly. However alcohol gels don't kill a lot of bugs such as norovirus and clostridium difficile. The only way to get rid of these is to physically remove them by washing with with soap and water. Also, when washing hands, its important to do it properly, not just a quick rinse under the tap. Drying your hands is also important, as bacteria will multiply quicker on damp hands.

33. Posted by dgev3 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

I always seem to get the runs when I'm overseas, I think because of the whole new set of cuisine my body's having to deal with. I used to take a product from the pharmacy called Imodium, but on my last trip I got Imodium Advanced and not only did my diarrhoea go, but I also didn't get any of the stomach cramps I usually do - this product is a killer! I also think that sometimes you can catch stomach bugs from not washing your hands properly, which is why it's good to travel around with some anti=bacterial wipes or that Purell stuff.

34. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

Yah, Imodium works wonders

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

You want to be careful about using immodium/loperamide. It is great if you have unavoidable journey to make, or are on the bus for 24h or something, but you should avoid taking it unless you have to.

Your body wants to poop for a reason, it is trying to get rid of stuff. Diahorreah is horrible but its better out than in! If at all possible its best to "sit it out" and just make sure you are replacing fluids.

36. Posted by dgev3 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

I used to think that as well, but I've talked to my doctor about it, and it's actually better to help the process by using something like Imodium. With diarrhoea, it all just gishes out of your system without any of the nutrients being able to be absorbed by your intestines. When you use an anti-diarrhoeal, it slows down the process and gives it more time to absorb nutrients properly, which then helps you feel better anyway.

37. Posted by lauraj (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Hey, good advice all round, one other thing to look out for is salad! However fresh it looks it's probably been washed in tap water, I came a cropper after eating a tuna salad sandwich in a nice clean cafe, 4 hours later my world was a very unpleasant place. I also found I felt a bit grotty until I stopped brushing my teeth with the tap water, it's not that it made me really sick but I think it helped contribute to the levels of nasty bugs in my system.

The comments about fiber are important too, soluble fiber like rice and pasta, noodles and fresh french style white bread (but not packet or brown bread) barley, sweet potato, papaya, mangoes and bananas etc will help soak up the excess fluid that causes diarrhorea and help soften the stool so you don't end up with the opposite problem, constipation! Avoid non-soluble fiber especially on an empty stomach as it will irritate the colon, generally anything that seems rough, stringy, has a tough skin, hull, peel, pod, or seeds is likely high in insoluble fiber. This includes most fruits and veg, nuts, non-rice cereals like museli, granola, beans and lentils.

If you've had a bout of the 'trots' it's important to rebuild your friendly gut flora, probiotic yogurts and drinks are useful for maintaining levels but you'll need a kick start, I was recommended astrolagus tablets (from health shops) taken with food. drugs like immodium can make the symptoms last longer as they prevent the body flushing the system (better out than in!)

finally, it seems like a standard response for doctors to dish out antibiotics as an easy solution but beware, antibiotics can actually cause diarrhea by irritating the bowel as they kill off all the bacteria in your gut, not just the bad ones, this can lead to long term digestion issues (I'm still suffering after 6 years, I was given antibiotics after returning from Egypt). I'm no doctor so don't take this as medical advice just don't rush off to get antibiotics on day one, usually 'travellers diarrhoea' will pass after a few days, if not you should seek proper medical help.

38. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 7y

Quoting Clarabell

Hand sanitisers will disinfect your hands quite well, and are a good idea when travelling etc and you can't wash hands properly. However alcohol gels don't kill a lot of bugs such as norovirus and clostridium difficile. The only way to get rid of these is to physically remove them by washing with with soap and water. Also, when washing hands, its important to do it properly, not just a quick rinse under the tap. Drying your hands is also important, as bacteria will multiply quicker on damp hands.

Yes. Very important. My neighbour is taking Chemistry in university, and on the very first day of school they did a lab. Everyone put thier hands in the present condition on a petri dish. Then everyone washed their hands as they normally would and put those hands on another petri dish. Then they collected samples of bacteria found on the petri dishes and found that, surprisingly, the second, after-washed-hands petri dishes were dirtier than the first! The reason why is because if one improperly washes one's hands, the bacteria that lives in the cracks and crevices of the hands is actually brought out onto the surface of the skin, making the hands dirtier. That is why proper hand washing is so important.

The way to get all of the bacteria off of your skin is to wash your hands for 20-30 seconds with plain soap and hot water. A good way to time this is to sing the ABC song, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (same melody) in your head and once you are finished, your hands are clean. Either that, or you can go, one one thousand, two one thousand . . .

39. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 6y

Isadora has put together a nice compilation of the important points in this thread on the Travel Unrvalled blog. Check it out - The Scoop on Poop

Post 40 was removed by a moderator