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Don’t Let Traveler’s Diarrhea Ruin Your Vacation

Don’t Let Traveler’s Diarrhea Ruin Your Vacation You know what time of year it is… You’ve been planning and saving a long time for that special vacation of a lifetime with your family. Now that the planning is over and the trip is nearly here, you may still be wondering if you’ve covered all of the bases. Is your vacation taking you to a warmer, international destination thousands of miles and several time zones away (even on a cruise)? If so, you will want to take steps to avoid a run-in with traveler’s diarrhea, the most common and predictable illness travelers face. Consuming contaminated foods and liquids are the main culprits of traveler’s diarrhea. Depending on what time of year, where people travel and the precautions you may or may not take, as many as 70 percent of you could be dealing with traveler’s diarrhea. So, why is traveler’s diarrhea so troublesome and harmful to your health?   The Persistent, Harmful Cause Of Traveler’s Diarrhea Researchers at Boston University and Umea University in Sweden have studied Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) or ETEC, the leading cause of traveler’s diarrhea, in hopes of finding ways to eliminate the bad bacteria without harming the good bacteria in a patient’s gut. Under the microscope, scientists got one step closer to understanding how ETEC can do so much harm. Using long thick filaments (also known as pili), ETEC cells bind themselves to cells in the gut through a process of winding and unwinding to help them hang around in your body and make you sick. This winding/unwinding of filaments also allows ETEC cells to adjust to their particular microenvironments (the urinary tract or gut) and keep them in place. Now that scientists better understand how ETEC works, their next task is determining how to get rid of them, a process that has taken nearly two decades in the laboratory just to get this far… Preventing Traveler’s Diarrhea Rather than wait around a whole lot longer for a possible “cure” for traveler’s diarrhea, here’s some easy steps you can take right to reduce your risks of illness on the road:
  • Maintain good hygiene with plain soap and water (avoid antibacterial soaps).
  • Don’t ask your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to prevent traveler’s diarrhea, because it could do far more harm than good.
  • Know where your sources of water are coming from and avoid drinking unsterilized water. (Bottled water is your best friend!)
  • Take a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, like those building block strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.
  Resources Structure The Brink/Boston University Cleveland Clinic CDC

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