Watch Out for Montezuma’s Revenge: At Home & Travel Tips for Dealing with Stomach Problems
It might have been the ice in your tropical fruit smoothie. Maybe the lettuce in your salad or the sauce on your burrito. Whatever the cause, now you’ve got a bad case of Montezuma’s Revenge, also known as Traveler’s Diarrhea and you aren't even on vacation.
Instead of going to work or spending your days lounging at the beach sipping cocktails, you’re “bowed down before the porcelain throne", hugging both your toilet AND a trash can because of intestinal distress. Don’t let stomach problems sideline you. Here’s what to do once you’re sick – and how to avoid these problems in the first place.
- Stay hydrated, even if you shouldn't "drink the water". Avoid ice and water from the tap in certain locales, like the Middle East, parts of Asia, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, buy and drink bottled water or oral rehydration solutions to maintain your fluid levels. Choose rehydration solutions with low to no sugar, as sugar can make intestinal issues worse. Don’t risk getting sick: stick to bottled water, even when it comes to brushing your teeth.
- Eat if you feel like eating. Eating foods that are thoroughly cooked to the proper temperature and kept correctly heated or chilled. Best choice is hot food, cooked to order in the moment. Avoid buffets, raw and uncooked meats and seafood or any cold foods or sauces that have been sitting out including dairy. If you want fresh raw fruits and vegetables, wash them thoroughly in clean water, peel them and enjoy.
- Keep your hands clean and away from your mouth. Wash hands with soap and water often. That's your best bet against infection from contaminants such as E. coli, Salmonella, other bacteria, Norovirus and Giardia. If you don't have access to soap and water, an alcohol based hand sanitizer works on bacteria based contaminants like E.coli and Salmonella. However, boiling water between 140 degrees and 212 degrees Farenheit and/or Chlorine Bleach are more effective against viruses like Norovirus and Rotovirus or parasites like Giardia than hand sanitizer.
- Keep bismuth subsalicylate or lopemeride on hand. If you wouldn't leave the house without clothing or go to the beach without your sunscreen and sunglasses, don't leave home without that bright pink liquid or tablet bismuth subsalicylate also known as PeptoBismol(R) or lopemeride known as Imodium(R). Taking up to 4 tablets daily as a preventative can help you avoid Traveler's Diarrhea by 50% or can help you manage the symptoms when you are suffering.
- Avoid chafing and discomfort back there. Whether you're suffering from diarrhea or not, rather than aggressively wiping, carefully dab or pat the affected area. Another way to make your wiping nice and easy is with your own supply of hygienic cleansing lotion from Soothe N Wipe. Want relief at your fingertips from itching and burning when you squat? Join the Soothe Co Club. Your bum will thank you!