You’re right in the middle of having a great time and it hits you… that rumble or cramp warning you to get to a bathroom pronto.Problems like traveler’s diarrhea can have you hitting every rest stop, airplane toilet, and gas station bathroom far too often. These stops keep you from relaxing and enjoying all the things you’ve been looking forward to on your summer vacation getaway. To add insult to injury, traveler’s diarrhea can come from one of your favorite things about traveling: the food. Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a vacation for indulging in your favorite treats as well as trying out new dishes and local cuisine.
But you need to watch out: 80 percent of all cases of traveler’s diarrhea are caused by bacteria lurking in contaminated food or drinking water.In addition to too many bathroom breaks, you may also experience abdominal cramps, nausea, and bloating. The great news? You can avoid this embarrassing and very uncomfortable problem with these four simple steps:
Avoid raw foods like leafy green salads.They can harbor bacteria for a variety of reasons including not being washed properly. You can eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have been peeled or washed. Make sure all meats are cooked thoroughly. And say no to unpasteurized dairy products.
Drink clean water and other beverages.Make sure your water source is safe before pouring yourself a glass. If your summer vacation takes you out of the country or you’re not sure about your water source, stick to bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. And be sure to avoid adding ice to your drinks.
Take a good probiotic.Flora’s Travel Care Probiotic (US/CA) is clinically proven to reduce your risk of traveler’s diarrhea and supports gastrointestinal health. It’s effective against pathogenic strains of E. coli as well as toxins produced by these “bad” bacteria. Because it’s shelf-stable, it doesn’t require refrigeration like other probiotic supplements. And it comes in convenient blister packs which are perfect for travel. By taking one capsule a day, Travel Care helps prevent digestive woes while you’re traveling.
Wash your hands.By scrubbing your hands, you’ll wash away dangerous bacteria. Always wash your hands before every meal and throughout the day to keep the germs away.
If you’ve done your best and you still end up with traveler’s diarrhea, here’s what you can do to make it less severe:
- Avoid all caffeine and other stimulants
- Drink plenty of clear liquids like water or broth to stay hydrated
- Eat bland, low fiber foods like those in the BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast
- Skip foods that will make things worse, including fatty foods, spicy foods, and raw fruits & veggies (except bananas)
With these four simple steps, you can avoid traveler’s diarrhea and enjoy every fun-filled moment during your summer vacation!