Diarrhoea. This happens to everyone. Not just travellers. But moving countries, trying different cuisines and beverages takes its toll on your bowels and you end up with “traveller’s diarrhoea”. Otherwise known as “the shits”. I’ve had it a lot. Forget my stories of doing poo poos in broccoli farms and tips on taking a shit, it’s time to get a bit more serious. There will be less photos and more writing on this post as I didn’t want to clog your feed with photos of runny turds.
Having diarrhoea, as funny as it might sound, is one of the worst things when you travel. I’ve had it a lot and I expect to have it again. You’ll spend more hours on the bog than you will touring temples in some places, believe me!! Sometimes the brown liquidised puree just keeps on rolling out. I’ve had to throw underpants in the bin before! Once white, now brown. Bin they go.
While there are tablets for diarrhoea (I carry some with me), the truth is you just can’t predict when it’s going to happen and this means you may not always be near a toilet.
Here are my personal tips on preventing traveller’s diarrhoea:
– If you ate something that gave you diarrhoea before, don’t eat it again (EVEN if you loved the food)
– Drink plenty of water all the time – not just when you’re hot
– Drink tea and coffee with your food
– Avoid foods that are runny looking (curries)
– Avoid energy drinks
– Avoid fruit shakes
– Go to the toilet before boarding a plane
– Go to the toilet before a long bus journey
Here are my personal tips on dealing with traveller’s diarrhoea:
– ALWAYS carry toilet roll (this is essential – I have a roll in my backpack at all times!). You don’t want to have the runs and cover your new y-fronts with brown sauce!
– When you need to go, GO. Don’t delay.
– Stop the bus if need be. It’s happened to me – it will happen to you.
– Lock the toilet door (you don’t want some random coming in and seeing a brown waterfall!)
– Drink plenty of water afterwards.
– Sit on the toilet and let it all come out first before you start to wipe it. Often it comes in 3,4 or even 9 flushes.
– As previous tip, don’t waste toilet roll by wiping your ass prematurely. Wait till it all comes out before cleaning your bumhole. Not only is it a waste of paper, but I also feel better after the final brown drop falls.
– Take your jeans and pants off when you’re on the toilet just in case you get a bit of spray (it’s happened to the best of us).
– Don’t shit in your pants (common practice – babies and toddlers are exempt)
– Tell other people you have the runs (they can wait for you to finish knowing you’ll be a bit longer in the toilet)
– Wipe your ass thoroughly – diarrhoea gets everywhere – I also wipe my ball bag and surrounding area just to make sure I’ve cleaned the lot. I can’t speak for ladies – do what makes you feel most comfortable and leaves less stains
– Have a shower afterwards and clean your ass again
– Try not to “follow through” when you fart (this can on occasion cause “skid marks” and if you’re in the army – you’ll be the laughing stock!)
– Take diarrhoea tablets afterwards to prevent repetition
– Always carry toilet roll. Always. Always. Always.
– In the odd case that you forgot to carry toilet roll, just use your pants and bin them afterwards. Honestly. Pants can be bought for about 50cents when you travel.
– Have no shame in pulling your pants down by the roadside and letting it out. Health comes first.
– Tell other people about it and give them warnings.
– Make sure you try and get it all in the toilet. I worked cleaning toilets a few times and it’s a horrible job. Aim straight down and pack your ass low to the seat so that there is not a huge squirt up when it sinks in.
And lastly, don’t worry too much – we all get it, it soon passes and you’ll be fine! Worst case scenario just call your doctor!