Health Watch — Spring Break: A Traveler's Woe

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about spring break and staying safe and healthy on the road or in the air. If you’re traveling to tropical beaches in foreign countries, you may also face another problem. Exotic foods and locations with questionable water supplies can lead to traveler’s diarrhea.

Dr. Luis Lara, a digestive diseases specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says 20 to 60 percent of travelers to developing countries develop diarrhea, and it can strike up to two weeks after you return home. To avoid the problem, pay attention to what you eat and drink. Stick to bottled water or other beverages and eat in reputable restaurants. If you do get sick, drink plenty of liquids. A rehydration solution may help. You don’t have to restrict what you eat while you recover, as long as you feel like eating.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in digestive disorders. 


March 2008

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