Traveler’s diarrhea diet


Traveler's diarrhea is loose, watery stools. People can get traveler's diarrhea when they visit places where the water is not clean or the food is not handled safely. This can include third-world or developing countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

This article discusses what you should eat or drink if you have traveler's diarrhea.

See also: Diarrhea

Alternative Names

Diet - traveler's diarrhea; Diarrhea - traveler's - diet


Bacteria and other substances in the water and food can cause traveler's diarrhea. People living in these areas often don't get sick because their bodies are used to the bacteria.

You can lower your risk for getting traveler's diarrhea by avoiding water, ice, and food that may be contaminated. The goal of the traveler's diarrhea diet is to make your symptoms better and prevent you from getting dehydrated.

Side Effects

Traveler's diarrhea is rarely dangerous in adults. It can be more serious in children.


How to prevent traveler's diarrhea:

There is no vaccine against traveler's diarrhea.

Your doctor may recommend medicines to help lower your chances of getting sick.

If you have diarrhea, follow these tips to help you feel better:

Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. It is a very big problem for children or people who are in a hot climate. Signs of severe dehydration include:

Give your child fluids for the first 4 - 6 hours. At first, try 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes.

In third-world countries, many health agencies stock packets of salts to mix with water. If these fluids are not available, you can make an emergency solution by mixing:

If you or your child has symptoms of severe dehydration, or if you have a fever or bloody stools, get medical attention right away.


Arguin P. Approach to the patient before and after travel. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 308.  

Arguin P. Approach to the patient before and after travel .In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed.Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 294.

Basnyat B, Ericsson CD. Travel medicine. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 84. 

Review Date: 2/25/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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