3

votes

How can I prevent diarrhea?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 16, 2011 at 1:56 PM

In the summer I will be going to India for four weeks with my sixth form. While there I'm not going to have much of a chance to eat Paleo, but for the experience I will get I don't think its really too much of a problem.

However, my teacher said that "everyone will get diarrhea due to the change in diet," but I would like to know if there might be any way of preventing this.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on March 17, 2011
at 05:12 PM

Not exactly, due to the change in the diet as I stated, but other than that I don't know.

9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on March 17, 2011
at 12:02 PM

They have newer meds (I can't remember the name) that don't give the psychotic symptoms. The older med had such bad mental side effects, including bad dreams, that I knew several people who stopped taking them and took their chances with malaria.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on March 16, 2011
at 09:21 PM

Actually i'm pretty much gonna have to eat what everyone else eats. The teacher said she specifically didn't want "fussy" eaters, so I can't exactly turn down rice, bread etc., if there's not much other choice. Thanks anyway.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Anti-malarial meds gave me the worst nightmares I've ever experienced.

Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

(13635)

on March 16, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Did the teacher give specific reasons? Is it the water?

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8 Answers

3
9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:10 PM

I have travelled to India many times, and the only time I have gotten sick was from the food onboard an Air India flight. I let my guard down because the flight originated in Singapore, so I thought it would be safe.

Bottom line: don't eat anything that is uncooked, and only drink bottled liquids.. Virtually all my colleagues who did so got sick as a result, and the sickness will make you miserable and put you out of commission. This includes fruit juices, by the way. And brush your teeth with bottled water. People often forget about that.

I can't imagine why the change in diet would cause diarrea. The food is delicious, and I never found it troubling for my stomach at all.

Finally, I would avoid the activated charcoal if you are taking any prescription medications. You may be told to take anti-malarial drugs, and I would suggest you do so. Activated charcoal interferes with the absorption of drugs (it's working on them the same as any other substance - it's binding them up so they don't get absorbed.)

9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on March 17, 2011
at 12:02 PM

They have newer meds (I can't remember the name) that don't give the psychotic symptoms. The older med had such bad mental side effects, including bad dreams, that I knew several people who stopped taking them and took their chances with malaria.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:21 PM

Anti-malarial meds gave me the worst nightmares I've ever experienced.

2
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on March 17, 2011
at 12:42 AM

I spent several years there:

Here are a few helpful hints

  1. Do NOT eat fermented foods, including yogurt, the different bacterial flora can cause diarrhea.

  2. Do NOT drink tap water. if possible drink only boiled water. branded bottled water could be OK

  3. Do NOT eat raw vegetables. stay with cooked foods in general.

  4. As for Paleo - the standard India diet is as UN-Paleo as it gets. It leans heavily towards Carbs and Gluten - rice, wheat and beans. However, there is plenty of Goat (mostly grass fed) - Chicken (mostly CAFO) and fish (mostly farmed) available everywhere. There are several good eating places in every city. Like one of the replies in this thread - look for long queues and ask the locals before eating at any place.

Have a good time - it is a big country with lots to see and do.

2
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on March 16, 2011
at 10:47 PM

I was backpacking in India last year for a month and didn't get diarrhea or sickness once, yet a lot of the people on my trip did.

I only ate popular local dishes from busy places - as this way I could be reasonably certain there was a fast turnover of food and it was far more likely to be fresh and properly cooked. I even ate from street hawkers; but only if they had a really big queue - the food was amazing. In my group the people who got sick were those who ordered Western dishes (which are rarely ordered) and other less common dishes. Also the group who went to McDonalds got pretty sick almost immediately!

I don't think Indian food is too un-paleo. Avoid the rice and breads - and most things are cooked with fresh veg & great spices. Almost everything is fresh, local and not processed.

Fill up on beef/ steak before you go though - I really missed those! Oh - and make sure you only drink water from sealed bottles. Enjoy!

2
Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Take Dukoral before you go; it may not be paleo, but it definitely works! I had the same experience when going to Thailand for a month, you do get a little bit of diarrhea at first, I'm not sure what it's from, but for me it wasn't the terrible traveller's diarrhea that you hear about, it was just a very on-time (about 30 minutes to an hour after eating) movement. So for the first while you are there, don't stray from a 'washroom' and bring a packet of wet wipes with you (1-you never know if there's going to be any type of toiletpaper and 2- they are useful for so many things when travelling)!

The dukoral allowed us to eat all the street food we wanted, and not have to worry. We were fine in Thailand.

As an aside, I think that you will be able to stick to a mainly paleo diet while you are there, you may have to look a little harder than the average traveller, and eat a little more fruit and veggies than normal, but I think that you will be able to do it.

Have wonderful and safe travels!!!

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on March 16, 2011
at 09:21 PM

Actually i'm pretty much gonna have to eat what everyone else eats. The teacher said she specifically didn't want "fussy" eaters, so I can't exactly turn down rice, bread etc., if there's not much other choice. Thanks anyway.

2
Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 16, 2011
at 02:36 PM

My suggestion would be to start eating small amounts of rice, lentils, and other token Indian foods prior to the trip. Otherwise, you're just going to shock your system on top of the bacteria increase. Robb Wolf gives similar advice for people who know they're going to suddenly adjust diets, like for people returning to military service.

1
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on March 16, 2011
at 02:29 PM

From what I understand its from bacteria that you generally don't get in large amounts in the developed world. I would say upping your probiotic intake might help you adjust as well as prepare your body ahead of time.

That said, if you've been paleo for a while and you are about to go on a four week somosa and lentil binge, yes you will get the trots probably for different reasons than your classmates since you've been enjoying a form of paleo peace in your stomach that gets angry when you introduce gluten and other things. Rice (not paleo) at least is easier on the digestion so you might be able to sneak by on that and some meat and not come off as a total jerk to the locals. I've never been to India so I don't really no what its like there or what the food availability really is to travelers...

0
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 16, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I say take some medicinal clay and eat a ton of lemons while your there.

0
9055f14c31610afd4d3068ec48eb6d90

(984)

on March 16, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I woudl say take some Activated Charcoal with you...works for de-tox too

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