Prevent traveler's diarrhea: Four measures - Colonic Training

Prevent traveler’s diarrhea: Four measures

Are you planning a trip to distant climates and would like to know how you can prevent traveler’s diarrhea? It is best to start preventing traveler’s diarrhea a few weeks before the trip.

Traveler’s diarrhea: prevention

Traveler’s diarrhea is extremely annoying. You lose valuable vacation days and possibly miss a trip or two – on cruises and round trips – because you have to stay near a toilet.

The onward journey may have to be stopped altogether since you hardly want to jolt through hot and humid Brazil for hours in the overcrowded bus with traveler’s diarrhea.

And even if it’s a cozy vacation in a beach house in Bali, travelers’ diarrhea can have long-term consequences. It all depends on how you treat it. Because with diarrhea, you can do a lot wrong.

Traveler’s Diarrhea – Critical Medications

Traveller’s diarrhea is usually triggered by so-called toxin-forming enterotoxic Escherichia coli (ETEC). But other bacteria such as salmonella, yersinia, or shigella can quickly lead to severe, often bloody, diarrhea.

In all of these variants of traveler’s diarrhea, drugs containing the active ingredient loperamide (e.g. Imodium®) are absolutely contraindicated.

These are the so-called motility inhibitors, which neither act against the bacteria nor have any other healing effect on the intestines. Instead, they simply paralyze the intestines so that they can no longer excrete anything.

Diarrhea came about in the first place because the body wanted to get rid of the highly dangerous bacteria or their toxins very quickly.

If the intestines are paralyzed and salmonella and co can now multiply in the intestines in peace and quiet it can lead to extreme damage to the intestinal mucosa.

If you stop ETEC-related traveler’s diarrhea with loperamide, the bacterial toxins remain in the intestine and can also get into the bloodstream via the intestinal mucosa and damage other organs.

So if you want to take loperamide, you have to take an antibiotic at the same time if you have bacterial traveler’s diarrhea to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics such as azithromycin or ciprofloxacin are usually used here.

The side effects of antibiotics are well known and are primarily a severe impairment of the intestinal flora, which is accompanied by a weakened immune system.

Ciprofloxacin can also lead to tears and inflammation of the tendons, so that weeks and months after taking Cipro, sudden tendon tears (especially the Achilles tendon) can occur, which of course nobody thinks of as a side effect of antibiotics.

A healthy intestinal flora, on the other hand, protects against salmonella.

Clay: First aid from the natural first-aid kit for travelers with diarrhea

As a first-aid emergency measure for diarrhea, bentonite or zeolite from the natural first-aid kit is a good choice – a mineral clay that absorbs bacteria, bacterial toxins, and excess water from the intestine. The stool regains its shape and the number of toxins or bacteria is reduced.

Bentonite and Zeolite are available in powder and capsule form. The capsules, which have to be taken with a lot of liquid (water from a bottle, not from the tap!), are of course usually better suited to taking with you when traveling.

The best thing of all, however, is not to give diarrhea a chance in the first place. So how do you prevent traveler’s diarrhea?

Traveler’s diarrhea – four measures to prevent it

As is well known, not everyone in the travel group gets traveler’s diarrhea. Those who don’t get it obviously have a better immune system. How can this be strengthened so that it specifically protects against traveler’s diarrhea?

1. Stop washing your hands

This measure sounds strange since hygienic precautions are supposed to serve particularly well to prevent bacterial infections. During your trip to India, Egypt, South America or wherever you should of course wash your hands regularly.

However, as long as you are still at home and in the prevention phase, do not wash your hands quite as often as usual.

Always assuming, of course, that you are healthy and alert. This measure is excellent for increasing the diversity of your intestinal bacteria.

The more diverse the bacterial strains in your intestinal flora, the stronger your immune system and the lower the chances of getting diarrhea during a trip. Because your intestinal flora makes up at least 70 percent of your immune system, so all measures that serve to bring the intestinal flora into shape are worthwhile.

Because of their hygienic lifestyle and unhealthy diet, people living in the civilized West only have half of the original intestinal bacterial strains compared to population groups that still live “primitively” (e.g. the Yanomami in South America).

The useful intestinal bacteria would push back harmful bacteria so that they cannot settle and make you ill in the first place. However, if the intestinal flora is severely depleted, the harmful bacteria find plenty of space and opportunities to spread and multiply. The susceptibility to infections of all kinds increases.

Of course, a certain level of hygiene is also very helpful and healthy. The tip to wash your hands less frequently from now on does not mean that ALL hygiene measures should be abolished.

It’s about finding a healthy balance and making room for “dirt” in our lives again, as it definitely has a positive effect on our body’s defenses.

Yes, with a certain amount of dirt, it is possible to develop healthy protection against allergies and autoimmune diseases and, of course, against infections such as traveler’s diarrhea. ( 2 )

2. Take probiotics

Probiotics are preparations with a greater or lesser variety of different bacterial strains, depending on the manufacturer, which serves to build up healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics also support the health and performance of the immune system.

They can also be taken during the trip – with food – and in this way prevent some travelers’ diarrhea on the spot. Be sure to buy a probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

3. Eat healthily

Of course, you should also eat as healthily as possible. Studies show that people who include many different vegetables and fruits in their diet also harbor a large variety of intestinal bacterial strains in their intestinal flora.

At the same time, many components of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle ensure the destruction and decimation of the intestinal flora, above all sugar and white flour products as well as alcohol and large quantities of meat and sausages.

4. Eat cold potatoes

Again, this tip sounds a bit unusual. But the fact is that potatoes that have been boiled and then cooled contain a certain type of starch called resistant starch.

This starch is called “resistant” because it is resistant to digestive enzymes. So it cannot be digested.

On the one hand, this has the advantage that these potatoes provide fewer calories and irritate the blood sugar level less (i.e. they also have a lower glycemic index).

On the other hand, resistant starch, which is a type of roughage, can serve as food for intestinal bacteria. And the more food the intestinal flora finds, the better it is and the better the individual intestinal bacterial strains can multiply.

According to experience reports, the cold potato method apparently helps the intestinal flora so well that even people with chronic intestinal diseases such as e.g. irritable bowel syndrome can achieve good results. You should start with small amounts of potatoes and gradually consume more of them.

The potatoes do not have to be eaten cold. Once they have been thoroughly cooled after cooking (preferably overnight in the refrigerator), they can be reheated at any time (e.g. for fried potatoes, rösti, dumplings, fillings, casseroles, etc.) without the resistant starch content being lost.

Unripe bananas are also good suppliers of resistant starch, as is rice that has been boiled and cooled again.


Of course, it is good advice to book a colonic after your travel, especially if you have any digestive issues during your time away. We wish you every success and a relaxing, diarrhea-free journey.