Do you want to know how to avoid or reduce the risk of travellers’ diarrhoea this summer holiday? If you or someone in your family always spends at least a couple of days trotting to the toilet rather too regularly, then Catherine Jeans, our nutritional therapist, has some answers on how to protect your family against a dicky tummy this summer holiday.
After all, it’s the last thing you want… spending hours on the loo, or looking after a little one (or partner!) with a dodgy belly, so here are Catherine’s top 5 tips:
- Avoiding contaminated food: use your common sense over things that are likely to contain bacteria or bugs. This includes tap water, ice in drinks, fruit that’s not been peeled. Make sure that meat is well cooked and if you’re susceptible to traveller’s belly, you might even think about avoiding salads, which often aren’t washed properly, or if they are, it’s with tap water. Even if the water is safe for the locals to drink, it may have a different mineral content to what your body is used to, and if you’re susceptible to upset tummies on holiday, it’s advisable to always drink bottled water (and check the seal isn’t broken to make sure it’s genuine bottled water!)
- Avoid street food: As a well seasoned traveller who spent many years on the other side of the planet, I know it’s tempting to sample street food. But if you’re one of those people who always comes down with travellers diarrhoea, avoid it. Hygiene levels are likely to be so much worse.
- Boost your immune system with beneficial bacteria: one of the best ways to protect your whole family is to take beneficial bacteria before, during and after your holiday. These bacteria help to support your immune system and help to prevent any unwanted invaders from taking hold in your digestive tract and causing an infection. I advise people to take probiotics (beneficial bacteria) for 2 weeks before you travel, during your trip and for 2 weeks afterwards. Take a good quality one that’s suitable for travel – we stock the Bio-Kult range which is available in our online store. Take 4 per day for adults, 2 per day for children (the capsules can easily be opened and poured into a glass of water or yoghurt). We also stock GiSol, which contains a yeast organism called Saccharomyces Boulardii, that has been researched for it’s potential to reduce the duration of traveller’s diarrhoea. Take one to two capsules per day (a lower dose for children – the capsule can be opened and sprinkled into food or water).
- Be careful of swimming in stagnant water: bacteria and bugs don’t just come from the food we eat or water we drink. Stagnant water is also a potential source of pathogenic bacteria or parasites. If you’re susceptible to gastrointestinal problems, avoid swimming in lakes or rivers that don’t have a current.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands! Now is the time to be really hot on hygiene, especially with kids who often have to be reminded to wash their hands. Take an antibacterial hand gel away with you (there are some nice natural ones available that contain active ingredients such as aloe vera), to ensure any bugs or germs are killed off straight away, and always use it again just before you eat.
So, here’s to a happy and healthy holiday this summer, and let’s hope we keep the great weather!
To find out more about nutritional health for you and your family, or to make an appointment to see Catherine, please contact Reception on 01603 631 900, email [email protected] or go to our contact page.