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What to Do When Traveler’s Diarrhea Strikes

Traveler’s diarrhea, also known as “Delhi Belly” and “Montezuma’s Revenge”, is a common problem faced by travelers in the developing world. There are many different causes, but the most common include bacteria such as E. coli and Campylobacter, viruses such as Norovirus, and protozoa such as Giardia. No matter what causes it, though, the symptoms are terrible. Diarrhea occurs when feces (poop) passes through the large intestine (guts) and exits through the anus (butthole) without completing the digestion process. Normal feces loses a lot of water as it passes through the large intestine, but diarrhea doesn’t stick around long enough for the water to leach out, so it is very wet. It is also commonly accompanied by flatulence (farts). Whatever you want to call it, it’s no fun. In fact, it can totally ruin your vacation! Here are some tips for how to stop it from doing so.

Tip #1: Avoid Food or Water That Is Contaminated with Human Or Animal Feces

Most of the microbes that cause traveler’s diarrhea are transmitted via fecal contamination of food and water. Thus, when traveling in another country, it is crucial to avoid consuming such products. Even a microscopically tiny amount of feces is enough to cause problems, so when in doubt, be sure to ask your server or shop owner (if possible, in the local language), whether their food contains feces. You can never be too careful!

Tip #2: If You Get Diarrhea, Go Immediately to The Bathroom

Healthy adults are usually able to control when feces leaves their body. But diarrhea can throw a serious wrench in such plans. Thus, when you feel yourself getting diarrhea, the smartest move is usually to locate the nearest bathroom and go there immediately. The reason is quite simple: pound for pound, the bathroom is the most likely place to find a toilet. And 90% of doctors agree: If you’re going to poop, you’re best off doing it in a toilet. Once you find the bathroom, don’t forget to adjust your clothing before sitting on the toilet. Which brings us to our next tip…

Tip #3 An Ounce of Preparation Is Worth a Pound of Diarrhea

Before you leave your accommodations each morning, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the release mechanism of the pants/shorts/skirt/dress you’re wearing today. Is your tummy rumbling? Maybe save the button fly jeans for tomorrow.

Tip #4: If You Poop Your Pants, Don’t Panic

In most cultures, poop in your pants is considered an emergency. But whatever you do, don’t panic. Calmly inform those around you that you are experiencing traveler’s diarrhea and require assistance. Cash assistance. 

Tip #5: Sacrifice Your Underwear to Save Your Pants

This is a simple question of economics. Pants are more expensive. Supply and demand. Gotta spend money to make money. It’s like a box of chocolates. What’s love got to do with it?

Tip #6: Maybe Just Don’t Go on Vacation in The First Place

You cannot un-poop your pants. That bell cannot be un-rung. Is it worth it?

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