So, it's that time of year, where you start to see those shop front signs telling you how many days there are until xmas. Unfortunately, for me that just means stress - I'm more excited about how many days there are until my holiday................. relaxing in the sun, fresh air, no work - that's what I want to count down to - and nothing could spoil that thought .........or could it?
Yep! Your out enjoying your holiday on the beach at a tropical location, when you start getting abdominal pain & loose stools! You cross your fingers, but OH NO, it looks like it could be a bout of Travellers Diarrhoea (TD).
TD often comes about after you eat food & drink contaminated with faecal matter. Some examples are, dairy products, raw or undercooked meat, anything washed in water, ice and unpeeled raw fruit & veg.
It usually takes a few days from when you ingest the contaminated food or drink to start start feeling the symptoms & the effects will typically last 2-6 days. You may not always identify the cause but it's generally, bacterial, viral or some sort of parasite that will be the culprit.
So, how can you prevent or minimise your risk of getting TD? Well, a good start is by building up your digestive system with probiotics - though you don't want to just grab any probiotic, as they are not all made equal.
Specific strains that have been identified to assist with TD include:
GG Saccharomyces cerevisiae variety boulardii (Biocodex strain)
La5 Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12
and the ones they know don't work:
Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-003 (PCC)
Lactobacillus acidophilus & L. helveticus (combination)
For the treatment of TD, hydration is the #1 priority. Using Gastrolyte or Hydrolyte provides the right combination of glucose, sodium & potassium but they often have artificial sweeteners, colours etc so try to find something more natural if you can.
What about coconut water? - It doesn’t have the correct ratio of glucose, sodium & potassium to be an effective rehydrator especially for children, but could be okay in adults that only have very mild case of TD.
So what's the take home? - Before your holiday this year, get your GUT health into shape and have a wonderful break!!