Gastrointestinal disorders

Traveller’s diarrhoea



1. Symptoms

2. Prevention

3. Treatment and supplements

Traveller’s diarrhoea is a clinical syndrome that occurs while or immediately after travellingand is caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that contaminate water and food.

According to Italy’s Ministry of Health, it is the most common health problem encountered by travellers and, depending on how long they stay, can affect up to 80% of travellers to high-risk destinations. More commonly, it affects people who travel from areas with higher hygiene standards to less developed areas with lower hygiene standards.


Diarrhoea generally occurs with at least 3 discharges a day of soft/liquid faeces and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever.


There are several measures of precaution to take to reduce the risk of traveller’s diarrhoea:

– Drinking only bottled water or water that has been boiledfor at least a minute

Avoid ice

-Do not eat raw vegetables and unpeeled fruit

Eat well-cooked meat and avoid eggs or raw egg-based sauces if their provenance is unknown

Practise good personal hygiene

Treatment and supplements

In case of diarrhoea, rehydration with safe liquids (bottled water or water boiled for at least a minute) is essential.

Probiotics can also be useful to help to balance and restore the intestinal microbiota, which can become impaired by diarrhoea.


In cases of serious dehydration, if the diarrhoea does not stop within a few days, the discharges are very frequent and watery, or if there is blood in the faeces, vomiting and fever, a doctor should be consulted.