DietWhen it comes to treating or preventing diarrhea, diet is an important factor to consider. Diet is important:
- During and after an acute diarrhea attack
- In helping to diagnose causes of chronic diarrhea
- In preventing traveler's diarrhea
- In treating conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and celiac disease.
(Click Diarrhea Diet for more information about diet and its impact on diarrhea -- both during and after an attack.)
Preventing Traveler's DiarrheaTraveler's diarrhea occurs when you consume food or water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. You can take the following precautions to prevent it when you go abroad:
- Avoid drinking tap water or using ice cubes made from tap water. Also, don't 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.
Depending on where you are going and how long you are staying, your doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics before leaving to protect you from possible infection.