Diarrhea: the runs, the Hershey's squirts, the Aztec tw0-step, Montezuma's revenge, the trots---whatever your name for it is, you need to be prepared when you travel. Diarrhea is the number one ailment affecting travelers! The best treatment here is prevention because traveler’s diarrhea can be difficult to treat. A few things to remember, especially if traveling in areas where the water quality is uncertain:• Avoid seafood in inland areas • Carry wet wipes to wipe hands before eating • For vegetables, cook them, boil them, peel them, or don’ t eat them • Carry a water bottle with a carbon filter or sterilizer in it • Order meat well-done • Use filtered/bottled water for everything (even brushing teeth) To prevent traveler’s diarrhea: 1. Tincture*** of 1 part each: dandelion root, hops, catnip, chamomile, and artemesia taken 30 drops before each meal ***Caution: this tincture should not be ingested by pregnant or lactating women. Instead, include the following two suggestions: 2. Betaine HCl: 2 capsules taken before each meal 3. Lactobacillus acidophilus: 1-2 capsules taken 20 minutes before each meal with a cup of water 4. The use of antibiotics is controversial. With rest and conservation of energy, most cases clear up within 5 days. Consider antibiotic use under the following circumstances: • Stool analysis confirms bacterial cause • Blood mixed in with diarrhea or high fever • Symptoms continue for greater than 48 hours without sign of improvement • Passing of greater than 6 stools in 24 hours • If you are completely unable to stop, rest and recuperate during your travels.
If you think you may have a bacterial or parasitic infection (blood in stool, high fever, worsening symptoms, and very frequent bowel movements), proceed to the nearest hospital or urgent care clinic. Next week's topic: Naturopathic first aid!