Diarrhea And Food Poisoning During Traveling In Thailand

Diarrhea And Food Poisoning

Know about Traveler’s Diarrhea and Food Poisoning

Diarrhea and Food Poisoning: Thailand has some of the world’s tastiest food of exotic spices that, in some instance, come along with an equally exotic list of local germs that could make you sick. So, be careful about what and how you eat, because it would be a difficult time to get sick while traveling.

Food that contains toxins, produced by bacteria, can cause Diarrhea and Food poisoning. These toxins will irritate your stomach, leading to nausea and vomiting, and sometime you may get fever and diarrhea as well. Since this is not infection, antibiotics are not helpful (and not needed).

On the other hand, if your food contains virus or bacteria that you are not familiar with, they will infect your guts and cause Infectious diarrhea. Sometime you may get fever, cramp, and vomiting.

​What is the difference between diarrhea and traveler’s Diarrhea and Food Poisoning?

Diarrhea is the term for bowel movements that are loose or watery. Traveler’s diarrhea occurs within 10 days of travel to an area with poor public hygiene.

Diarrhea and Food Poisoning during traveling in Thailand

When should I seek medical care if I get such illness?

  • Large volume diarrhea more than 4-5 times a day
  • You have fever above 39 °C
  • You become very tired or dehydrated.
  • You have severe abdominal or rectal pain
  • You have mucous or bloody stools
  • It is not getting better in 1-2 days.

How to avoid Diarrhea and Food Poisoning?

  • Choose street food that safe. They usually look and smells amazing, but you must be sure they are freshly cooked.
  • Choose fresh and clean fruits and vegetables, make sure to wash them properly.
  • Drink water from a bottle, be careful of ice from small restaurant.
  • You may keep ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) with you. They are available in most pharmacies and convenience stores. 

What is the treatment of travelers’ diarrhea? 

  • Drink plenty of fluid, including water, broths and juices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid certain foods such as dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber foods or highly seasoned foods for a few days. 
  • Add semisolid and low-fiber foods gradually as your bowel movements return to normal. Try soda crackers, toast, eggs, rice or chicken.
  • Consult doctor for antibiotics and anti-diarrheal medications. This will help reduce the number of watery bowel movements and control severe symptoms.

Understanding Local Cuisine and Health Practices

Thailand’s rich culinary tradition offers an array of flavors and dishes, from the world-renowned Pad Thai to the less-known but equally delightful regional specialties. However, the adjustment to local food spices and preparation methods can sometimes challenge visitors’ digestive systems. Beyond enjoying the local cuisine, understanding the common ingredients and cooking practices can help you make informed food choices. Look for places that have a high turnover, indicating fresh preparation of meals.

Accessing Health Resources

Bangkok boasts a network of international clinics and hospitals with English-speaking staff for travelers. Should you need medical advice or treatment, hospitals like Bumrungrad International Hospital and Bangkok Hospital are equipped with specialized services for travelers. For non-emergency inquiries, many pharmacies in tourist areas are knowledgeable about common travel-related ailments and can offer over-the-counter medication advice.

Recommended Over-the-Counter Drugs

For minor cases of diarrhea, over-the-counter medications like loperamide (Imodium) can provide relief. However, it’s crucial to use these medications only as directed and not to mask symptoms of a more severe condition. Activated charcoal tablets can help absorb unwanted substances in the stomach, potentially easing Diarrhea and Food Poisoning symptoms. Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking new medications, especially if you’re already on other medications or have underlying health conditions.

Natural Remedies and Symptom Relief

Staying hydrated is paramount, and in addition to ORS, coconut water is a natural alternative that can help replenish electrolytes lost due to Diarrhea and Food Poisoning. Ginger tea is known for its stomach-soothing properties and can alleviate nausea. Probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, can also support gut health and help in faster recovery.

Seeking Information and Assistance

For travelers needing health advice or emergency assistance, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) provides a tourist helpline (1672) that operates 24/7. Additionally, many hotels and hostels have contacts with local doctors and clinics to assist their guests in case of health issues.

Preparing for Your Trip

Consulting with a travel medicine specialist weeks before your trip can provide personalized advice and vaccinations based on your health history and travel itinerary. This pre-travel consultation is an excellent opportunity to discuss preventive measures and to equip yourself with a travel health kit containing essential medications and first aid supplies.

In conclusion, while exploring the vibrant streets and flavors of Bangkok, a little precaution and preparedness can go a long way in ensuring a healthy and enjoyable visit. Always prioritize hygiene, be mindful of what you eat and drink, and don’t hesitate to seek professional medical advice when needed.

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