Getting "the runns"

Old Jan 17th, 2007, 04:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Getting "the runns"

I am heading off soon for a Latin American tour and am looking to protect myself in any way from getting sick along the way (I have a weakened immune system). When I was traveling in Thailand a few years back a friend gave me a bottle of Grapefruit Seed Extract (brand name Nutibiotic- often used to clean piercings)to take in case I got intestinal sickness. I did indeed get some bad water and was sick beyond belief. When I took the GSE it magically healed me in mere days. I am wondering if I should buy some more of this stuff to take with me to Latin America.
I'm also open to any preventative suggestions. Thanks
trinasuperstar is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 04:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some say to drink a bit of pepto bismol daily a few days before departure, who knows!!?? lol, I'd say just be really cautious, bottled water, no salads or fresh fruit.
faithie is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 06:54 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I usually get sick at some point during our travels, but not last year and I wasn't quite as careful as usual, either. Here's what we did:

1) Probiotics (good bacteria) starting a month ahead of the trip
2) Bromelain and papain (digestive enzymes from pineapple and papaya) taken before or just after any high-protein meal
3) Cayenne capsules at the 1st sign of diarrhea.

We had a fabulous 4-week trip in Honduras with lots of variety in our lodgings and diet and stayed healthy and happy the whole time. Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2007, 09:36 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Prevention is certainly better than cure...I think there are tabs that you can put in your water to make it drinkable if you r not too sure about its potability or boil water (not very practical!) if you cant get any bottled water - but try & stick to bottled water coz bad water always gets you ill. NEVER drink from the tap or even water served in restaurats while travelling. Avoid ice in your drinks (never know where the water came from!!). Some meds OTC that can stop the runs immdtly like Imosec,etc. - take plenty of those along coz they work ASAP. Dont eat any fresh veggies/fruits like salads coz if they're not properly washed that's a sure-fire way to get the runnns. Eat/drink food that's been cooked/boiled coz that's a good way to kill the germs. Be careful if you're eating meat/s which are not thoroughly cooked or not fresh...they spell trouble as well! Lots of donts but believe me you'll thank me!! Hope you have a safe trip!
SK07 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 06:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I was in Honduras in 2005 I was told by medical personnel that imodium and similar meds that arrest diarrhea by making your poo into jello (my words, sorry, not theirs) can be dangerous because they slow the process of your body ridding itself of the toxin. I always pack them but would seek medical attention instead for a very serious, rushed onset diarrhea. The warning might be associated with a specific problem that was prevalent then - not sure about that.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ofcourse a medical opinion is best...infact Imosec was prescribed by my physician, but its best to consult yours before you buy any medication, OTC or otherwise, and take plenty of those along for an emergency esp since you say you have a weakened system.
SK07 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #7  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I had the 'runs' in Tibet. After 12 hours of getting rid of the 'toxins', and not having any fever, I took immodium and got good relief.
Jed is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 02:11 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,362
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hopefulist,

Which probiotics would you suggest? I've heard a bit about them from a freind who is suffering from a chronic GI infection, but would like to know more?

Thank you,

-Margret
justretired is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 03:54 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Simple enough : Take Dukoral. Then be meticulously careful what you eat, drink, and how often you wash your hands.
galiano is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 04:56 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,362
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm alwasy careful about food and drink, but thanks for hte reminder. What is ducoral and where can I find it and intructions for its use?

Thanks, again.
justretired is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 07:12 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,301
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When my husband and I attended a language school in Mexico some yrs back, we heard a presentation by a medical doctor who suggested among other things that we wash our hands frequently. He told us that many of the germs that caused travelers' "runns" were often found on tourist items in a souvenir shop. He really emphasized the washing of hands. It certainly can't hurt to follow his advice. We attended the school and traveled in Mexico for a total of 8 weeks (two trips) and using his advice and being very careful about the water, even using bottled water for brushing our teeth, and following the precautions found above, that we did fine. Best wishes.
annetti is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2007, 08:36 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 469
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi justretired. Dukoral is available here in Canada and we have taken it before leaving on trips for the past few years. So far it has worked perfectly for us. Have a look here for information : http://www.bchealthguide.org/healthfiles/hfile41k.stm

If you can get it I would highly recommend taking it.
galiano is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2007, 02:38 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wash your hands frequently, drink and brush with only bottled water. Pepto bismol tablets are the best for cramps and diarrhea. Immodium is dangerous, I would avoid it.

I just returned from Nicaragua, no problems, but got Salmonella from some eggs on the airplane home. Avoid airplane food like the plague.
trixiew is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2007, 06:56 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is what we take, purchased at our local health food store:

http://www.needs.com/0506catalog/ima...roDophilus.gif

Happy, healthy trails!

hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 12:22 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bookmarking. Going to the Copper Canyon and... in April.
FainaAgain is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #16  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
trixiew-

Immodium, like all medications, can have side effects.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...r/a682280.html

So can Pepto-Bismol.
http://www.drugs.com/cons/Pepto_Bismol.html

But how is immodium "dangerous"? Any URL reference?
Jed is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 01:42 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 98
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would go see my doctor and get a prescription for a heavy duty anti-biotic like Cipro. At the first onset of a grumbling stomach, take the Cipro. You'll be back to normal (or close to it) in 12-24 hours. We have a company doctor at work. Whenever anyone is traveling to Latin America for the first time, he gives them a few Cipro. I've had to use it once or twice and it is amazing how quickly it works. I was also stuck in Mexico City one time without it and suffered for 2 1/2 days.

Pepto Bismol may reduce some symptoms slightly, but it will not cure the illness and you will still be miserable.

Imodium just stops the runs. I wouldn't necessarily call it dangerous. It does help to reduce dehydration, but again it won't do anything for the stomach cramps.

uconn1990 is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 03:35 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some links and quotes about immodium below. I always take cipro with me, but have rarely used it. The danger of taking cipro at the first sign of anything is the problems it can cause - it's powerful and kills the good bacteria, too, so you're left more exposed for other food-born toxins and digestive issues, and it has been associated with yeast infections in women and girls.

I think most of us can tell if we've just got a bit of diarrhea from eating unusual foods or a slight case of something, and treat it with cayenne (worked great for me!) pepto or maybe immodium. If you can tell you're REALLY SICK then seek medical attention or, if not available, haul at the cipro.
Happy, safe trails, everyone!

From http://www.drwisetravel.com/faq.html :
I've read that drugs like Imodium (loperamide) are dangerous, in that whatever it is that is infecting your bowel needs, and wants to get out of there!
This is somewhat true. Antiperistaltics are felt to be safe if used to treat mild to moderate non-bloody diarrhea. In this case, a fluid diet and one or two Imodium might be all that is needed. If you are sicker, that is, have a fever or blood or pus in your stools, you should be using an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) for up to three days, with or without an antiperistaltic. This is based on the fact that most cases of diarrhea are caused by bacteria. Most of these infections do get better on their own, so your decision on how to treat your problem might depend on how sick you are, how nice your toilet is, your supply of toilet paper, the length of your upcoming bus journey and your tolerance for discomfort. I usually choose Imodium plus Cipro.

From http://www.merck.com/mmpe/lexicomp/loperamide.html :
Should not be used if diarrhea is accompanied by high fever or blood in stool. Use caution in young children as response may be variable because of dehydration. Concurrent fluid and electrolyte replacement is often necessary in all age groups depending upon severity of diarrhea. Should not be used when inhibition of peristalsis is undesirable or dangerous.

From http://groups.msn.com/FranciscoEcuad...fvisiting.msnw :
Lomotil or Immodium can be potentially dangerous in severe diarrhea, but can be used if you really need to stop diarrhea fast…for instance for a bus ride. Do not take if you have a high fever or blood in your stools.

From http://www.ehow.com/how_14963_treat-diarrhea.html :

Pepto-Bismol and Immodium can be dangerous for children (and adults) when taken for diarrhea that is caused by viral infections (such as Rotavirus or the flu). By stopping the diarrhea, you may actually be trapping the virus inside your body and causing prolonged illness. Consult your doctor before taking over the counter medicines.
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2007, 03:38 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cipro (or any other antibiotic) is only going to help if the cause of the diarrhea is bacterial. Many times it's isn't.

Immodium can potentially be dangerous because it does slow down the diarrhea, which can cause the toxins that your body is trying to expel to build up.

I just returned from Mexico last week. Drank bottled water, but ate pretty much anything. I was fine, my travel partner had some nasty diarrhea. She blames the salad, I ate it too, no problems. People's gi systems are very different. What will make one person sick won't phase the next. And neither Cipro or Immodium made my friend feel any better.
JeanH is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2007, 12:26 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jed
Looks like others have given you the information you need. While Imodium isn't always dangerous, in some forms of infectious diarrheas it can cause toxic megacolon and perforation of the bowel. Given that one doesn't usually know exactly what is causing the diarrhea, best to avoid it.

I've seen toxic megacolon and perforation from Imodium use, and it's not pretty.
trixiew is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:14 AM.