It’s what travel nightmares are made of: you’ve been planning a trip for months, and you’ve been struck with food poisoning within days of arriving at your destination. You are now stuck wallowing in the bathroom of your hotel, too ill to do anything more than pretending to enjoy the view outside your window.
Unfortunately this experience isn’t all that uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) says traveler diarrhea — or food poisoning — affects 30–70 percent of travelers who have consumed food or water contaminated with infectious bacteria , viruses and parasites.
Other countries do not have these guidelines, however, with most of Asia (with the exception of Japan), Middle East, Mexico, and Central and South America posing the highest travel risk. And when you come into contact with foreign bacteria, you may also get food poisoning which is not necessarily harmful to the locals.
If it’s undercooked meat, raw fish, or sunny side-up eggs, the outcome is the same at the end of the day: you ‘re sick. Symptoms of food poisoning may range from nausea , vomiting, and abdominal cramps to fever and bloody diarrhoea. The illness will last from a few hours to a few days.
If you’re one of the unlucky travelers coming down with a food-borne disease, your holiday isn’t ruined irredeemably. We’ve rounded up seven tips below to help you get healthy as quickly as possible so you can enjoy your trip again.
1. Drink plenty of water.
You ‘re losing all of your body’s fluids to diarrhea and vomiting, so it’s crucial you replace them. While feeling nauseous, stick to liquids: clear soda, clear broth and bottled water. If you have only access to the tap water, kill the bacteria first by boiling them. When your stomach can not tolerate liquids, you can even suck on ice chips, but if you think you’ve got food poisoning from polluted water, you may want to avoid ice.
2. Don’t forget about the electrolyte-fortified liquids.
Vomiting will create an imbalance in the electrolyte, and you also need to drink fluids to restore balance, because drinking alone will not help you recover. Coconut water and Gatorade are both rich in electrolytes and the ill traveler ‘s popular choices; instead, if none are available, Devinsky suggests a solution for oral rehydration. Boil one liter of water to make this, and add six teaspoons of sugar and a half teaspoon of salt to the pot. Beware of drinking it slowly.
3. Slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet.
When you first come down with food poisoning, your GI tract can not adequately digest food — but once you are no longer suffering from severe GI distress, you can reintroduce bland, low-fat and low-fibre foods (think rice, toast, bananas, and baked potatoes) into your diet. Begin by consistently eating small quantities, and return to liquids if you start feeling sick to your stomach. Foods containing salt, such as soup and crackers, often help to recover the electrolytes that are much required.
Dairy products, greasy or fried foods, high fiber foods (e.g. bran, nuts , seeds, raw veggies), spicy foods, and coffee will all disrupt your digestive tract so avoid these foods until you begin to feel better.
This is not one single drug that you can take. When you may, see a doctor, but Pepto-Bismol and other over-the-counter medications can help to soothe symptoms. If you’re particularly hit by diarrhea, you (or a friend or family member who’s traveling with you) should go out and get an Imodium. “rifagut medicine that helps control diarrhea can (partially) treat the symptom but work against the body’s natural defense of expelling the toxin or infectious agent.”
When you are constantly vomiting, have blood in your vomit or urine, have diarrhea for more than two days, suffer from extreme cramping, or have some of the signs of dehydration – dizziness, dry mouth, and lightheadedness – you need to go to the doctor.
When you are going overseas find out if the closest hospital accepts your health insurance. If not, consider buying medical travel insurance if the food poisoning is sufficiently serious to warrant a trip to the doctor.
You can’t always prevent food poisoning but, according to the CDC, you should take some steps before your trip to reduce the risk. Because it is possible to get ill from tap water, make room in your luggage for bottled water and hand sanitizer, and avoid undercooked meat and food that has been sitting out at room temperature for some time. Devinksy adds that travelers should take note of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be polluted during the preparation of food by the local water system and that they should stick to hot food. You might also want to ask your doctor to prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics before you leave on your trip. When purchasing medicine online, we recommend safehealths pharmacy it is a trusted online pharmacy.