Just October this year, local airlines — Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot, carried a total of 2.3 million passengers, up 6.2% from the previous month.¹ Many of us has certainly missed the ecstasy of boarding airplanes and satisfying our wanderlust.
However, although travelling is back to the scene, it is not all sunshine and sparkles. There are potential concerns to take note of. Besides the obvious Covid-19 pandemic, there is also Traveller’s diarrhea.
What is Traveller’s diarrhea, and what does diarrhea have anything to do with travelling?
Traveller’s diarrhea is actually a digestive tract disorder characterised by loose stools. It has everything to do with travelling, particularly related to what you eat. Traveller’s diarrhea is usually accompanied by at least one of the following symptoms:
Urge to pass stools despite having an empty bowel²
As the name Traveller’s diarrhea suggests, this gastrointestinal disorder may potentially occur when people travel overseas. One of the main reasons why people suffer from Traveller’s diarrhea is due to the consumption of contaminated food or water abroad. Although you should enjoy your trip abroad and experience the food and culture in a different country, such food and drinks may be unhygienic and contaminated with bad bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Consequently, ingesting these foods may potentially upset your stomach.
Aside from food and drinks, areas with poor public hygiene can render you more prone to Traveller’s diarrhea as well. When you touch surfaces that are contaminated with bad bacteria and then eat without washing your hands, these bacteria may be transferred from your hands to your gut.
How can you avoid Traveller’s diarrhea?
With all that said, how can you take precautions to avoid Traveller’s diarrhea? You can be more mindful of the food you choose to consume. A prime example is street food. Street food may not be prepared in the most hygienic environment and while we understand that it is incredibly tempting and pleasing to the five senses, your gut may be happier if you avoided it.³
Raw food, or food left out for more than 2 hours, should be avoided as well. Harmful bacteria can quickly grow and multiply on these foods and make you sick. If you are going to consume raw food, do ensure that they are fresh and prepared well.³
Water may also be a source of contamination. Try to drink water from sources that are clean, and avoid potentially unhygienic sources such as tap water and water coolers. Boiling water or choosing sealed bottled water could be a better option to avoid contaminated water.
You can also be more mindful of your personal hygiene to prevent Traveller’s diarrhea. When visiting areas with poorer hygiene, take note to wash your hands frequently before you eat or drink. This can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria getting into your system.
Probiotics to prevent Traveller’s diarrhea
You can consider bringing along supplements that can help enhance gut health when you travel overseas.
Probiotics such as Pro-Gut™ contains live good bacteria that is clinically shown to help prevent Traveller’s diarrhea and maintain good gut health. With 8 scientifically developed probiotic strains, Pro-Gut™ helps with a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders.
Pro-Gut™ contains the probiotic species Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium, both of which have demonstrated significant efficacy in preventing Traveller’s diarrhea.³
Lactobacillus encourages the growth of good bacteria and inhibits bad bacteria growth in the gut by preventing bad bacteria from latching onto your intestinal walls, preventing gastrointestinal infections and disorders.⁴
As for Bifidobacterium probiotic, it secretes acids that kill harmful bacteria and protect your intestinal lining.⁵'⁶
Taking such probiotics beforehand can thus help prevent Traveller’s diarrhoea. Pro-Gut™ does not require refrigeration, making it easy to bring around during your travels. Pro-Gut™ is also widely used by Gastroenterologists and medical professionals for over 20 years and is thus a well-established brand.
Do remember to take care of your gut as you travel! You can always trust your gut with Pro-Gut™!
1. Singapore Airlines. (2022). Oct 2022 Operating Results. Available at: opstats-oct22.pdf (singaporeair.com)
2. Steffen, R. (2017). Epidemiology of travellers’ diarrhea. Journal of Travel Medicine, 24(suppl_1), pp.S2–S5
3. McFarland, L., 2007. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler's diarrhea. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 5(2), pp.97-105
4. Di Cerbo, A., Palmieri, B., Aponte, M., Morales-Medina, J.C. and Iannitti, T. (2015). Mechanisms and therapeutic effectiveness of lactobacilli. Journal of Clinical Pathology, [online] 69(3), pp.187–203
5. Stanojević-Nikolić, S., Dimić, G., Mojović, L., Pejin, J., Djukić-Vuković, A. and Kocić-Tanackov, S. (2015)
Antimicrobial Activity of Lactic Acid Against Pathogen and Spoilage Microorganisms. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, [online] 40(5), pp.990–998
6. Stanojević-Nikolić, S., Dimić, G., Mojović, L., Pejin, J., Djukić-Vuković, A. and Kocić-Tanackov, S. (2015)
Antimicrobial Activity of Lactic Acid Against Pathogen and Spoilage Microorganisms. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, [online] 40(5), pp.990–998.
Disclaimer: The article content is intended for informational or educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. The disclaimer also provides that no warranties are given in relation to the medical information supplied in the article, and that no liability will accrue to Miraco Nutripharm Pte Ltd or any affiliated authors in the event that a user suffers loss as a result of reliance upon the information.