Who doesn’t enjoy a good holiday away from the bustle and stress of life? A vacation is normally a way to get some time off without having to worry about alarm clocks, deadlines, or the kids’ homework, but it’s not always as stress-free as we would like.
When visiting more temperate parts of the world, or places where there isn’t easy access to either plumbing or clean water, the risk of getting a nasty bout of Traveller’s Diarrhoea is quite high, with up to 70% of travellers catching the disease.
So, let’s get a few facts straight, first:
What is Traveller’s Diarrhoea?
Traveller’s Diarrhoea is an intestinal infection that occurs mainly due to bacterial pathogens. Symptoms usually include urgent bowel movement up to 3 or more times a day, fever, nausea and vomiting, painful gas, weakness, discomfort, cramps, and loss of appetite. Symptoms can last anywhere between 3 to 7 days.
What causes Traveller’s Diarrhoea?
The biggest factor that determines the risk of getting Traveller’s Diarrhoea is the travel destination. It is usually easier to get the disease when travelling to countries such as Africa, the Middle East, most parts of Asia, Central America, South America, or Mexico.
In some cases, the reason for catching Traveller’s Diarrhoea is the weather, with more cases being reported during very hot months. Another factor to consider is whether a large number of people have access to plumbing or clean water.
Other issues include poor food storage, and lack of hygiene in local restaurants.
How can we lower the risk of getting Traveller’s Diarrhoea?
When travelling to high-risk countries, there are a few things we can do to help try and keep Traveller’s Diarrhoea at bay during our holiday:
- Carrying small bottles of hand sanitizer, preferably alcohol-based.
- Washing or sanitizing hands before eating.
- Drinking boiled or bottled water.
- Drinking hot drinks and canned or bottled sodas.
- Avoiding the use of ice.
- Avoiding the consumption of uncooked food, fruit, and vegetables.
- Using supplements like Probiotics.
So, how can Probiotics help avoid Traveller’s Diarrhoea?
Research into the exact function of probiotics and their benefits is still being carried out, but we do know that probiotics such as Clinflor can not only help the movement of food as it travels through the gut, but it can also help avoid or at least alleviate symptoms of infectious diarrhoea caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Probiotics can help maintain the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria found in the gut, without allowing bacterial pathogens to upset that balance.
It is advisable to start taking probiotics at least a couple of weeks before your departure date, all throughout the holiday, and about a week or two after.
Since probiotics are regulated in the same way that food is, they can easily be bought over the counter. However, it is still a good idea to speak with your doctor first, to determine whether taking probiotics is the right thing for you, and to administer the correct dose.