Diarrhea Huntington WV

Don’t find your self running away from Montezuma on your next adventure! Learn how to prevent and treat the symtoms of diarrhea and more.

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Diarrhea

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Diarrhea

Who is Montezuma and why's he seeking revenge on me?

While most outdoor life enthusiasts know better than to drink the water in Mexico or eat salad washed in the local markets of Peru, North America can also hold some unpleasant intestinal surprises. Thanks to lots of negative press, out-of-country travelers are aware of the risks, but here at home, many hikers and backpackers assume they're immune from stomach upsets and take risks they wouldn't anywhere else in the world. Big mistake.

Signs and Symptoms

Most of us are all too familiar with the symptoms of diarrhea, but for the sake of consistency, we'll review them:

  • Frequent, loose, watery stools
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Fever
  • Blood in the stool (black, not red splotches)
  • Bloating.

Prevention

Most diarrheas are caused by bacteria or parasites, but sometimes individuals have nasty reactions to the same food that their travel companions ate without incident. Lactose intolerance, the inability to digest certain artificial sweeteners and chronic conditions can bring on diarrhea even when the food is safe for others. However, for most outdoor life enthusiasts, untreated water is the main cause - whether you've eaten food that's come in contact with it or swallowed some while swimming or doing a water sport .

Always remember to

  • Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, after going to the bathroom and before preparing food or eating.
  • If you have food sensitivities, know what you're eating.
  • Use a water filter and / or purifier when drinking from a natural source. A purifier will kill bacteria, but the parasite giardia must be filtered out.
  • Use only treated water for
    • Drinking
    • Washing food
    • Preparing food
    • Making ice
    • Brushing your teeth
    • Washing your hands.

Treatment

Discomfort and embarrassment are usually the worst aspects of diarrhea, but dehydration can be a dangerous side effect. If you get diarrhea,

  • Drink plenty of liquids, such as Gatorade or p...

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