A Traveler's Preventative Diarrhea DietTraveler's diarrhea may occur when you consume food or water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. There are precautions you can take to prevent traveler's diarrhea when you go abroad.
As part of the traveler's diet to avoid diarrhea:
- Avoid drinking tap water or using ice cubes made from tap water. Do not use tap water when brushing your teeth.
- Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk or eating dairy products made from it.
- Do not eat meat or shellfish that is not hot when served to you.
- Avoid all raw fruits and vegetables (including lettuce and fruit salad) unless they can be peeled and you peel them yourself.
- Do not eat raw or rare meat or fish.
- Do not eat food sold by street vendors.
You can safely drink bottled water (if you are the one to break the seal), carbonated soft drinks, and hot drinks like coffee or tea.
How Your Diet Affects Medical-Related DiarrheaThere are a number of medical conditions that can cause diarrhea. Two such medical conditions include irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease. Both of these conditions can be improved through changes in diet.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that interferes with the normal functions of the colon. Common IBS symptoms include crampy abdominal pain (stomach pain), bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
For many people with irritable bowel syndrome, diet can help control the symptoms of IBS. However, everyone's IBS diet will be a little different because types of food that affect one person may not affect another and vice versa. So one of the first steps for anyone diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome is to become familiar with foods that have been known to worsen or improve symptoms of the condition.
Many people with IBS find that they have problems with certain foods, including:
- Dairy products
- Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, some teas, and some soft drinks
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spicy foods
- Certain raw fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli and cabbage
- Fruit juices
- Artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol or mannitol
- High-fat foods, such as butter, red meat, avocados, and nuts.
(Click IBS Diet for more information.)