Diarrhea can turn your trip into a nightmare. Whether you are traveling locally or abroad, you could be at risk of traveler’s diarrhea.
When people travel to different places, their stomachs and bowels often have to get used to new foods and new ways of preparing food²⁶. Consuming contaminated food, water or other drinks could lead to a common complaint called traveler’s diarrhea (TD)²⁷.
High-risk foods include raw or undercooked meats and seafood, unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables. Tap water, ice, non-pasteurized milk and other dairy products also can be of high risk²⁷. Poor hygiene, high temperatures, and inadequate cooling of foods make it easier for bacteria to thrive in foods or water , contributing to the increased risk of traveler’s diarrhea²⁶.
Although it is rarely life threatening, it can cause discomfort, stress, and ruin a trip²⁸. To prevent contracting this type of illness while traveling, the best strategy is to avoid contaminated foods and liquids. Probiotics, which are relatively inexpensive and safe to use even for prolonged periods can also help to prevent TD²⁷.