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Top tips for avoiding holiday stomach upsets

Travellers’ diarrhoea can last up to five days so if you’re on holiday for a week then you could end up spending most of it in the bathroom!  To reduce your chances of succumbing to ‘Delhi belly’ read on for some top tips:

  • Check out the cleanliness of where you are eating – chances are that if the restaurant or café doesn’t look very clean then the hygiene standards won’t be that great either.
  • Don’t eat meat or fish that looks undercooked. Ask for your food well-done if in doubt.
  • Avoid salads which don’t look fresh. In countries where the water isn’t safe to drink, avoid salads altogether and avoid chopped and peeled fruit – peel your own.
  • If you’re eating in a seafood restaurant which is a long way from the sea, check when and where the fish has been caught – fish goes off quickly.
  • Avoid buffet food unless it looks really fresh. It may have been sitting there for some time!
  • If you’re in any doubt about whether or not you should drink the water then buy bottled water. Also avoid ice-cubes and use bottled water for cleaning your teeth.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and handling food.
  • Take a friendly gut bacteria (probiotic) supplement at least one week before you go and take it with you – friendly gut bacteria produce acids and antibiotic-like substances that help us fight infection. Contact The Nutrition Coach for advice on the best probiotics to take.
  • Don’t let your guard down on the plane home – plane food can be contaminated if a flight originates from a country where the risk of travellers’ diarrhoea is high such as India or South America.

And if you are hit by Delhi Belly, what should you do?

  • Keep hydrated. If you are very ill and have been vomiting and have diarrhoea then you will need to replace lost fluids and may need an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) – consider packing some if you are visiting a high risk area. You can buy sachets at chemists. If you don’t have any sachets, an alternative can be made up using eight teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt added to one litre of safe, drinking water.
  • If there is blood in your stool, if you have a fever, or if the diarrhoea does not settle within 72 hours contact a doctor.
  • Once you feel like eating again, stick to very plain foods such as boiled rice or vegetable soup.
  • If you continue to experience digestive problems or develop other health problems on returning home, then it is worth considering testing for parasites. The Nutrition Coach can arrange parasite testing and can design a protocol aimed at getting rid of them.
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2 Responses to “Top tips for avoiding holiday stomach upsets”

  1. diarrhoea Says:

    I’ve experienced having travellers diarrhoea and i know how hard it is. Its not easy to get bali belly that’s why i always keep Travelan and imodium in my first aid kit.

  2. Elizabeth Dunklin Says:

    Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Thank you!

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