Healthy Articles Archive

Holiday Health Kit Part 2: Tummy Troubles

Words: Dr Shamim Daya
Dr Shamim Daya is a qualified GP who takes a holistic view of health and has trained in homeopathy, nutrition and herbal medicine. She practises at the Wholistic Medical Centre in London. Find out more at www.wholisticmedical.co.uk

Don't let holiday health complaints get in the way of a good time with these natural remedies and advice.

Food poisoning
Experimenting with new food is part and parcel of experiencing a new country. However, bacteria and viruses in undercooked or contaminated food could leave you vomiting, feeling nauseous or with stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Prevention
Before you eat any fruit and vegetables, make sure they are thoroughly washed with bottled water and make sure that anything you eat has been thoroughly cooked.

Steer clear of buffets where the food has been sitting out for a long time and make sure you avoid ice and drinking tap water. A supplement containing hydrochloric acid with pepsin may help to create a healthy acidic environment in your stomach, making it harder for bugs to settle.

Treatment
Drinking plenty of bottled water will prevent dehydration and help to ease sickness. Even if you are unable to keep anything down, taking small sips will keep you hydrated. Taking a probiotic supplement in the weeks leading up to your holiday and during your time abroad, may also help to prevent diarrhoea. According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 80% of travellers who took this supplement did not suffer from diarrhoea during their time abroad.

When to seek medical help
If a high temperature, sickness or diarrhoea continues for more than two or three days, a visit to the doctor is advised.

Constipation
Whether it's the disruption to your routine, having to go in an unfamiliar place, a change of diet or dehydration, experiencing constipation on holiday can leave you feeling uncomfortable and bloated.

Prevention
Fill up on fibre by eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates. Dehydration can often worsen symptoms of constipation, so drinking plenty of water is also advisable.

Treatment
Get your digestion moving with some light exercise, such as swimming or a gentle walk, and snack on high in fibre food like prunes and linseeds. A herbal laxative such as senna or psyllium husk may also help, as could a vitamin C and magnesium supplement.

When to get medical help
See a doctor if you experience severe stomach cramps.
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