Traveler's Diarrhea is a disease of tourists
Among the different types of gastrointestinal disorders, attention is drawn to the so-called diarrhea of travelers. Its main difference is that it develops among people traveling outside the country of residence. This disease requires immediate treatment. Traveler's diarrhea has many differences from diarrhea caused, say, by food poisoning.
What is traveler's diarrhea, what are the causes of this disease, why are it affected by tourists, people traveling to another region? Let's find out the main signs of the disease, as well as how to treat it.
What is Traveler's Diarrhea?
In general, diarrhea (diarrhea) is the increase in the stool in a person more than three times a day. The chair is watery, plentiful and accompanied by pain, urgent urges to defecate. It is a typical symptom of poisoning. Diarrhea is a danger to humans, since with it the body quickly loses its water reserves. Untimely rehydration - the introduction of salt solutions, may be one of the causes of death of the patient. Therefore, the efforts of doctors are primarily directed at the normalization of the stool and the elimination of dehydration.
Traveler's diarrhea is a disease of people traveling to other climatic zones. Doctors distinguish such criteria for this syndrome:
- stool more than three times a day;
- abdominal cramps;
- accumulation of gases in the stomach;
Diarrhea occurs in about 20-50 percent of all travelers traveling to other regions and countries. An upset stomach function occurs in the first or second week after moving against the background of eating unusual food, drinking water from local sources. When traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, the risk of traveler's diarrhea is usually higher.
Travelers' diarrhea is caused by ingestion of unusual strains of E. coli, lamblia, infection with local viruses. Escherichia coli Escherichia coli most often causes diarrhea - up to 80% of all cases. These bacteria, living in the presence of oxygen (aerobes), are resistant to drying, persist for a long time in the earth, water and faeces. Many species of such bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, including such as "Ampicillin", "Cephalotin", etc.
Infection is transmitted through eating contaminated foods, drinking unboiled water, and through unwashed hands. The following factors contribute to the cause of travelers' diarrhea:
Unusual food, especially meat;
- changes in the salt composition of water;
- eating seasonal foods;
- buying food or drinks on the street;
- stress, including climate change.
The greatest danger for travelers is salads, fruits and vegetables, which have damaged skin, meat products that have not undergone the necessary heat treatment, seafood, smoked products, milk and dairy products.
Symptoms of travelers diarrhea
Symptoms may differ from severe to mild, depending on the causative agent of the infection and the body's response to toxins.
- Infection with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETCP) - leads to the development of acute diarrhea. The incubation period is from 16 hours to three days. Body temperature can be normal or subfebrile (37-38 ° C for a long time). Patients complain of general weakness, dizziness, abdominal pain, often having the character of contractions. To these symptoms, nausea and vomiting, rumbling of the abdomen are added. The chair is frequent, can reach up to 15 times a day, very plentiful and watery. Duration of the disease can reach from five to ten days.
- The defeat of enteroinvasive intestinal rods (EIKP) causes a disease of the type of dysentery. The incubation period can be from six hours to two days. The patient is troubled by the symptoms of severe intoxication: chills, headaches and muscle pains, weakness, lack of appetite. The body temperature can be normal, but there are also up to 39 ° C. A few hours after the first symptoms, there are signs of a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. The stool becomes frequent, at first watery, then in fecal masses there are admixtures of mucus and sometimes blood. The abdominal pain is localized mainly in its lower part, it has the character of contractions. Characteristic tenesmus - false desires for defecation. In severe disease, diarrhea is a kind of "rectal spitting". Fever, loose stools last 1-2 days, sometimes a little longer, but in general the disease passes relatively quickly.
With escherichiosis caused by bacteria Esherichia coli, there are symptoms of general poisoning of the body with the products of their vital activity. The incubation period is 1-7 days, then there is acute pain in the abdomen, vomiting, a loose stool without impurities up to five times a day. Temperature or normal, or keeps elevated. On the 2nd-4th day the patient's condition worsens, the loose stool becomes with blood impurities, the urges to it become frequent (often false). In case of severe disease, symptoms of uremia (a condition in which the body is poisoned by metabolic products), anemia (reducing the number of red blood cells in the blood and hemoglobin), acute renal failure are noted in patients. A fatal outcome is possible, especially for children.
- Infection with lamblia is manifested most often after the return of the tourist from a trip, since in this case diarrhea has a long incubation period - up to twenty days. The onset of the disease is acute, sudden, characterized by frequent watery excrement.
Some patients develop diarrhea after the signs of an irritated bowel. They are concerned about abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, when diarrhea alternates with constipation. In conditions of heat in patients, signs of dehydration of different degree of severity may develop.
Methods of treatment
The treatment of travelers' diarrhea is shown in outpatient settings for patients with moderate to severe severity. Hospitalization is indicated if there are severe pain, impurities of blood and pus in the bowel movement, fever. Light cases are amenable to independent treatment. For young children and pregnant women - hospitalization is required!
In an acute period, a sparing diet is indicated. All unfamiliar and unusual dishes are excluded, especially those that contain a large amount of fiber (fruit), essential oils and spices. Patients are allowed to cook and grind dishes. Useful meatballs, pureed vegetables, bread crumbs. There is a need for rehydration therapy - drinking a lot of water, solutions "Glucosolan", "Regidron", "Citraglucosolan", "Human Electrolyte" and others. This is done to compensate for fluid loss, as well as the balance of electrolytes by the body.
Drugs for travelers diarrhea are prescribed depending on the condition of the patient. They are divided into several groups.
- Antibacterial drugs, the use of which is prescribed only by a doctor.
- To excrete poisons and to normalize the stool, sorbents are prescribed. Among them - "Enterosgel", "Smecta", "Filtrum", "Polysorb MP" and others.
- To treat dehydration, drink salt solutions, in particular, "Regidron", "Glucosolan" and others.
- To replenish the minerals in the body, appoint "Acesol", "Disol", etc.
- Probiotics are administered from the intestines to expel the harmful microflora.
- To facilitate digestion of food, take polyferment.
- To restore intestinal motility appoint "Loperamid", "Imodium".
The best prevention of travelers' diarrhea is vigilance, as well as hygiene. In no case should you buy products from street vendors. After visiting the toilet, you should always wash your hands.
Safe products are bread, fruit, and also hot food. It is necessary to drink only bottled or boiled water. Do not brush your teeth with tap water .
Prevention of travelers' diarrhea in children is the careful observance of hygiene rules. Children should not be given unfamiliar products. Teach your children to always wash their hands after going to the toilet. Children should be supervised to ensure that they do not come into contact with animals. Milk should be given to children only boiled. Careful observation of hygiene rules is a guarantee that the trip will not turn out to be unpleasant for you.
Traveler's diarrhea is a disease that can not only spoil a trip abroad or another region. She threatens a person with serious complications, life-threatening. During any trip, everyone should pay attention to their health and call the doctor on time even at the slightest sign of trouble. Remember that travelers' diarrhea is much easier to prevent than treat later. Especially it is important to know traveling to exotic countries.