Travellers’ Diarrhoea Prevention

Travellers’ diarrhoea is always unwelcome and can prove stressful. It involves the development of unformed (liquid) bowel movements which are often accompanied by an urgency to go to the toilet. Sufferers may also experience abdominal cramps, bloated stomach, feelings of malaise and nausea, running a temperature and vomiting.

Travellers to developing countries

Travellers’ diarrhoea can happen to anyone, travelling anywhere, although is reported that diarrhoea is experienced by approximately half of the people who travel from Europe to developing countries.

Destinations where travellers are most at risk include Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. These destinations account for up to 50% of reports of travellers’ diarrhoea.

Destinations most at risk from travellers’ diarrhoea

The onset of diarrhoea is usually quite sudden, often occurring during travel or shortly afterwards. Episodes are self-limiting, meaning that it usually clears itself.

Travellers’ diarrhoea is more common in younger adults than older, but occurs roughly equally in both genders. It is quite possible for travellers to experience more than one bout of diarrhoea while travelling. The condition is very rarely life threatening.

Treatment of travellers’ diarrhoea

There is no vaccination for travellers’ diarrhoea. There are however several treatments which seek to (a) rehydrate and replenish lost salt, and (b) act as mobility agents.

In terms of rehydration, solutions such as Dioralyte, Electolade and Rehidrat (or equivalents) can be purchased in sachet form from many supermarket and high street pharmacies.

In terms of restoring mobility, the leading product here in the UK is Imodium. Codeine is another popular medication.

Travellers’ diarrhoea medication from Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall

If you live and/or work in London, or are a visitor to London, you can get travel medical advice and help from the travel clinic here at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall. Consultations are available on a walk-in basis and diarrhoea medication can be purchased at our in-house