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What is Traveler’s Diarrhea?

You know the feeling.

If you’ve traveled, chances are that you, or someone you know have experienced traveler’s diarrhea. My wife always makes sure that our suitcase includes Pepto-Bismol and Imodium A-D just in case we need it!

Buy it before you need it!

Mayoclinic.org states, “Traveler’s diarrhea is a digestive tract disorder that commonly causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. It’s caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Fortunately, traveler’s diarrhea usually isn’t serious — it’s just unpleasant.

When you visit a place where the climate or sanitary practices are different from yours at home, you have an increased risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea.

To reduce your risk of traveler’s diarrhea, be careful about what you eat and drink while traveling. If you do develop traveler’s diarrhea, chances are it will resolve without treatment. However, it’s a good idea to have doctor-approved medications with you when you travel to high-risk areas in case diarrhea persists.


Traveler’s diarrhea usually begins abruptly during your trip or shortly after you return home. Most cases improve within one to two days without treatment and clear up completely within a week. However, you can have multiple episodes of traveler’s diarrhea during one trip.

The most common signs and symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea are:

  • Abrupt onset of passage of three or more loose stools a day
  • An urgent need to defecate
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

Sometimes, people experience moderate to severe dehydration, persistent vomiting, a high fever, bloody stools, or severe pain in the abdomen or rectum. If you or your child experiences any of these signs or symptoms or if the diarrhea lasts longer than a few days, it’s time to see a doctor.”

My best advice is to wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer when possible, and use a paper towel or tissue when opening and closing restroom doors.

All the precautions in the world may not prevent travel’s diarrhea, so be sure to bring anti-diarrhea medicine just in case you need it!

Keep in mind it’s much cheaper at your local Target or Wal-Mart versus on a cruise ship or at an all-inclusive resort!

TheCruiseGenius at Orlando International Airport (MCO)

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About Scott Lara

Navy Veteran, Travel Agent, love to cruise!

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