06 Dec How To Avoid Parasites While Travelling
Nothing is worse than ruining your vacation by being glued to the toilet or not being able to trust a fart. All I can say is, I feel you. After traveling in Africa and living in Ecuador, I have experienced parasites and stomach flu.
A few months after I moved to Ecuador, I felt it coming unexpectedly. Strangely, I thought I had built immunity against it, since I have lived there for four months already.
Skinny me, lost probably 2kg after dealing with parasites for two weeks! Two weeks is too long. Everything I ate came out shortly after, it was horrible.
If you see changes in your digestion, you should go to the doctor if it lasts more than three days. I went to the doctor after two weeks and almost before I entered he said. “You have a parasite.” I didn’t need to hand in samples.
The doctor looked at my eyes, tongue and pressed my stomach. He gave me antibiotics and a pink syrup to drink three times a day. The symptoms of the parasite went away after two days.
What are the symptoms of parasites?
- Feeling tired
- Abdominal pain.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Gas or bloating.
- Rash or itching around the rectum or vulva.
- Stomach pain or tenderness.
The differences with food poisoning and parasites is that food poisoning usually happens shortly after you ate something and parasites can take some time to show the symptoms.
How to prevent parasites
The most important thing you should do before traveling is getting a valid travel insurance – you never know what could happen while traveling. Doctor visits, tests or hospital stays can be really expensive. It is not worth the risk. If you need a flexible travel insurance I recommend World Nomads . I am sure your country has good insurance deals. You have to make sure you read the policy.
A thing you should be aware of is that you can build up your immune system before you go by eating healthy food.
Here are some tips to avoid getting parasites when you are traveling:
Wash – peel – cook
The best thing you can do to avoid parasites is to cook your own food. Remember to wash and peel the vegetables before you cook it.
Avoid meat and chicken
This is the hardest one unless you are a vegetarian. It is proven that uncooked meat especially pork can give parasites.
Always ask for well-done meat and properly washed fruit and vegetables. After experiencing parasites multiple times I have learned it is a good idea to not eat eggs or at least eat it well cooked and dry!
Eat at the best places
If you know you have a sensitive stomach, I would avoid running to the small street BBQs around the corner or at a restaurant where no one goes to. Look at Trip Advisor or ask locals about the best restaurants to go to.
Wash your hands
While you travel you might experience that you can’t always wash your hands. Therefore, you should always bring antibacterial wipes or a tube and use it every time you go to the toilet especially. I would also suggest to use it after you have touched something that many people have touched, like doorknobs or handles etc. Using it before you eat and cook is essential.
Need more tips on health and wellness, check out Positive Health Wellness
Only drink bottled water
When you travel to developing countries, you should only use bottled water. I have realized that I should use it whenever I need some liquid. I even use bottled water when I brush my teeth or drink juices. Be aware of that restaurants usually, use tap water in their drinks and ice cubes.
I have also experienced getting sick just after swimming in a pool while traveling. Make sure you don’t drink the pool water or from the shower.
It is recommended to get vaccinated before you go to some developing countries. This is especially needed in African countries and some places in Asia and South America. Be aware that vaccination can give you side effects that can remind you of the stomach flu.
What to do if you already got the runs?
If it has been more than three days – you should go to the doctor. Before that, you can also ask at the pharmacy and they can give you something for dehydration or medications that don’t need a prescription. If it is really bad, where you are throwing up and everything you eat and drink you need to go to the doctor or emergency right away. It can be dangerous. For many of the worst cases the doctor will give you antibiotics, but it might be the only way to get rid of it.
You can also take a parasite cleanse after you have traveled to a country or if think you might have a parasite but no diarrhea yet.
Natural antibiotics that I swear by is garlic, raw garlic. Yes, it sucks and it is super spicy and your breath will stink for days. However, it is proven to be natural antibiotics. See link Here.
I have used it many times for upset stomach and it works for me!
How do you eat garlic?
I eat one or two feds that I cut in small pieces RAW. If it is impossible to eat it raw, you can mix it with honey, put it in tea or even have it on a toast. My stomach is insanely sensitive, so I choose to eat garlic every morning on an empty stomach at least a week before I travel. Garlic is more preventing parasites. I wouldnt recommend eating it if you are already throwing up.
Foods to avoid when you have parasites
You should avoid carbohydrates, lemon, coffee, spicy food and dairy products.
Food you should eat when you have parasites
Garlic, oregano, bananas, carrots, beets, honey, apples, probiotics and lots of bottled water!
If you already have a parasite, I recommend this book for learning more about how to get rid of parasites
I hope this article helps you to prevent a parasite on your travels! Parasites suck!
Have you experienced parasites while traveling, what did you do? Write a comment below.