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Home / Travel Health / Traveller’s Diarrhoea

Travellers Diarrhoea

Information and treatment for traveller's diarrhoea

Traveller's diarrhoea is an extremely common condition that affects travellers visiting new parts of the world where they are not accustomed to the sanitary conditions or food. It normally causes individuals to experience an increase in the frequency of their bowel movements, accompanied by nausea and a general feeling of being unwell. Traveller's diarrhoea isn't often fatal, but can become dangerous if it persists or causes dehydration.

Although there is no vaccine or preventative treatment for traveller's diarrhoea, it can be successfully avoided by ensuring that you stay away from contaminated sources. You also have the option of medications that can be taken along with you on your holiday, such as the Traveller's Diarrhoea Pack that can help you deal with the symptoms as well as the cause of an outbreak of diarrhoea. This treatment pack is available to buy from OnlineClinic now.

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What is traveller's diarrhoea?

Traveller's diarrhoea is a type of diarrhoea that develops as a result of exposure to pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) in a foreign country. These pathogens could be in the environment due to bad sanitation or unregulated food preparation practices. Sometimes people develop the condition because their internal flora isn't able to deal with the bacteria in their new environment.

It's most likely that a person will fall ill during the first couple of days of arriving at their new destination, but some people may still experience symptoms when they get back from their holiday. These symptoms are usually very distinct, and include an increase in bowel movements, runny or watery stools and nausea for up to five days.

Where is traveller's diarrhoea most common?

Some countries carry a higher risk of traveller's diarrhoea than others because of a lack of a well maintained sewage system or because have a humid climate that encourages certain types of bacteria to grow. These countries include Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central America and South America. Other areas to bear in mind when travelling are the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Russia and the Southern parts of Africa.

Traveller's diarrhoea causes

Traveller's diarrhoea is usually caused by gastroenteritis, which itself is caused by bacteria (spread via contaminated food), a virus (norovirus or rotavirus), or a parasite (spread through contaminated water).

Most cases of traveller's diarrhoea are caused by bacteria, such as E-coli. In fact, over 80% of traveller's diarrhoea cases are caused bacteria. However, although it's rare, it can also be caused by more serious bacteria that require a more intensive form of treatment, such as salmonella or amoebae. Bacteria that causes traveller's diarrhoea usually originates from uncooked beef, faeces and unpasteurised milk.

Traveller's diarrhoea can also be caused by parasites and viruses, but this is much more rare and isn't usually self-limiting like traditional cases of traveller's diarrhoea. The parasite most likely to cause diarrhoea is called giardiasis. The virus most likely to cause diarrhoea is the norovirus ('winter vomiting bug').

Other causes of traveller's diarrhoea can include a food or drink allergy, mood changes (e.g. stress), new medication, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Long-term diarrhoea in particular is likely to be linked with IBS.

Traveller's diarrhoea symptoms

Traveller's diarrhoea symptoms can include the following:

  • Abnormal cramping
  • Frequent loose stools (more than three loose stools day)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Explosive and painful gas
  • Abdominal pain

These symptoms are most likely to occur within the first two weeks of you arriving at your destination and shouldn't normally last longer than a week. However, some symptoms can last up to two weeks or a month. If you don't feel better within a couple of days of falling ill or you experience any other symptoms, it's advisable to speak to a doctor, even if you are taking medication.

Treating traveller's diarrhoea

In common cases of traveller's diarrhoea, treatment can be helpful to deal with the bacteria causing it, prevent dehydration and deal with the most bothersome symptoms. These treatments are available in the Traveller's Diarrhoea Pack and include Buccastem (nausea and sickness), Dioralyte (helps with rehydration), Imodium (helps slow down directional transit) and Ciproxin (an antibiotic treatment).

It is also important to keep well hydrated when attempting to treat traveller's diarrhoea. This supplements your body with electrolytes, which helps to avoid dehydration. It is vital that you keep hydrated during and after your illness.

Preventing traveller's diarrhoea

Traveller's Diarrhoea is a condition that can be successfully prevented. Listed below are a variety of methods that can be followed to help prevent traveller's diarrhoea:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap
  • Only eat fresh food
  • Separate raw meat from cooked meat
  • Cook all meat properly
  • Avoid eating fish (and shellfish) that has been left out in the sun for a long period of time
  • Keep towels, cutlery and shared utensils clean
  • Keep kitchens and bathrooms clean, as well as yourself to stop the bug spreading further
  • Only buy sealed bottled water, rather than drinking water that may not be clean
  • Do not drink unpasteurised milk

Buying treatment

Traveller's diarrhoea is a common condition that can affect individuals when travelling abroad. Symptoms associated with this condition, such as frequent loose stools, vomiting and fever can be successfully treated by taking effective medication. Taking medication, as well as keeping hydrated, can ensure that you can effectively treat traveller's diarrhoea during your travels. We at OnlineClinic are offering The Traveller's Diarrhoea Pack, which contains four treatments that can ease and prevent the various symptoms of traveller's diarrhoea. This pack can shorten the length of the illness and provide immediate relief. To order the Traveller's Diarrhoea Treatment Pack simply fill out a quick, no obligation online consultation form. For more information on this treatment pack, please visit the Traveller's Diarrhoea Pack product page.

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