- Consider malaria prophylaxes. Truth be told, I have not taken malaria tablets since my first world trip in ’92. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! I wear Buzz Off Clothing from ExOfficio and, in India, I use a little plug in device that repels mosquitoes in my hotel room. Having said that, there are some areas and some times of the year where malaria can be rampant. Check with a doctor and take a look at website for the Centers for Disease Control to determin how at risk you might be.
- Purify your water. One of the most common ailments for travelers to India is Delhi Belly. That annoying diarrhea that comes from having consumed water or food that’s contaminated. Avoid ice in your drinks and smoothies. Brush your teeth with purified water. And no singing in the shower – don’t let water droplets in which could potentially cause you to get sick.
- Ensure that all food is thoroughly cooked. Sorry, no fresh salads unless it’s at a high end hotel (which should be using purified water to wash fruits and vegetables). Meats and veggies should be cooked at a high enough temperature so as to kill off any potentially harmful microbes.
- Carry medicine and prescriptions for anything you have a predisposition to. While over the counter medication can be purchased relatively easily, don’t let your adventure be ruined because you weren’t prepared. Keep medication in it’s original packaging so as not to raise suspicion with airport security and carry extra prescriptions in the unfortunate event that you loose your meds along the way.
- Why take probiotics?
probioticsProbiotics have been shown to help relieve certain forms of acute diarrhea. They have also shown to promote healthy digestion and they have been an effective tool in treating many cases of irritable bowel syndrome.
The idea behind taking probiotics as a traveler is to populate your gut with beneficial bacteria so that when your body inevitably faces the foreign bacteria of a strange land and a strange cuisine, it is prepared. It is like pre-arming your GI tract, setting up your defenses in advance so that your body can handle a bacterial attack.