Six months into my Korean Adventure and I am laid low, for probably the next 24 hours, by the bane of all traveller’s. It’s probably the most unpleasant minor malady that we encounter on our wanderings around planet earth. Unfortunately, it’s also probably the most common. Call it what you will; Montezuma’s revenge, the traveler’s trot, the Toltec two-step, Delhi belly, the runs, traveler’s tummy or the commonly accepted TD (for traveler’s diarrOhea). Don’t call it fun!
Symptoms can include watery stools, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. It can be dangerous, causing severe dehydration, malnutrition or worse……..death. Infectious agents are the primary cause of travelers’ diarrOhea. Bacterial enteropathogens cause approximately 80% of cases. Viruses and protozoans account for most of the rest. The most common causative agent isolated in countries surveyed has been enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Some bacteria release toxins which bind to the intestinal wall and cause diarrhea; others damage the intestines themselves by their direct presence.
DiarrOhea causes dehydration when the body loses water. You can counter this by drinking or giving plenty of liquids. A typical and effective solution that can be easily prepared is rice water or kanji. Boil rice in about 3 times the amount of water for about fifteen-twenty minutes. The water you get from draining the rice is labelled kanji. A little salt added to this will replace the depleting level of salt in the body.
Another powerful remedy is conjured up from curd. Heat one cup of curd until it just about begins to boil. Then add ¼ tsp of turmeric powder and salt. Mix them well and drink it 3 times a day. This helps stop the diarrOhea.
Reducing milk in your diet will also help in dealing with diarrOhea. Milk often tends to irritate an already infected stomach. Going by this premise, strong black tea or coffee can help keep diarrhea under check.
Always remember to keep sipping water or juices to compensate for the water lost. The best and the most effective drink is lime juice with water, salt, and sugar. Keep drinking this every time stools are passed. Apart from this, about ½ tsp of dry ginger mixed in a cup of buttermilk can be consumed about 3-4 times a day.
The answer may be in their hands! 🙂 Doctor G signing out for now.