Traveller’s tummy is a general term used to refer to an illness such as stomach upset and constipation that occurs during or after travel. It can occur anytime during travel. Consuming new food at new places or including spicy varieties and processed food in the diet will lead to a traveller’s tummy. The symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, loose stool, and indigestion. And it is not just food and beverages, but drinking contaminated water and touching your mouth with infected hands can also cause serious illness.

 In this article, you will explore the causes and a few simple tips to prevent traveller’s tummy.

Avoid Overeating

While on a vacation, choose foods that are freshly cooked and served hot. It is common to try different cuisines at a new place. But overeating stretches the tummy which may lead to indigestion and acid reflux. It is advised to resist the temptation to overeat. Eating light food is highly recommended. 

Eat Fibre-Rich Foods

Fibre-rich foods 

Consume fibre-rich foods to keep bowel movements regular. Apples, chia seeds, lentils, oat, pears, kiwi, spinach, sweet potato, beans, peas and whole-grain bread are fibre-rich foods that keep the gut healthy. Also, cooked vegetables and peeled fruits may reduce the risk of foodborne illness. 

Avoid snacking on unhealthy junk foods while travelling. Instead opt for healthy snacks like mixed nuts, chia pudding, granola bars, baby carrots, dry fruits, and dark chocolate.  

Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration leads to constipation. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and ease the bowel movement. Check if the water is safe to drink else, drink distilled or purified bottled water Avoid ice cubes as they may be made of contaminated water.

Choose Beverages Carefully

Fruit juices 

People who have food allergies must avoid consuming processed beverages. Excessive consumption of sugars, caffeine, and alcohol can affect gut health. Instead, you can have freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Get Groceries from Nearby Markets

To avoid restaurants and processed foods, buy fresh foodstuffs from nearby markets and cook at the restaurant or resort you stay. Sometimes, eating outside food can lead to food poisoning and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), in such cases preparing your own food could be the best option. Cooking your own food provides a chance to exclude foods that cause inflammation and allergic reactions. 

Additionally, consuming contaminated food and water can cause another illness called Traveller’s diarrhea. 

How to Prevent Traveller’s Diarrhea

In many instances, traveller’s diarrhea is caused by bacteria. Enterotoxigenic E. coli is a bacteria that produces a toxin that affects the gut and causes diarrhea. Traveller’s diarrhea might be caused by norovirus. 

Hydration is the major treatment for traveller’s diarrhea. People affected by diarrhea will feel dizzy and weak. Drinking plenty of water will help them recover.

Wash Your Hands

Hand washing

Always remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating. If the soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitiser as a backup. 

Carry Over-the-Counter Medications

Take antacid and antidiarrheal medications while travelling. Keep electrolyte tablets or an electrolyte sachet for dehydration. Also, it is a good idea to keep prescribed medications with you. 

Before taking on a trip consult with your healthcare provider, he/she may give effective medications advisable to your body condition. To summarize, the fundamental rule to avoid traveller’s tummy is   – don’t overeat and stay hydrated!!