Good News for Victims of Traveler's Diarrhea

Restricted diet not always necessary for recovery, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- If you're hit with traveler's diarrhea on your next vacation, you might still be able to enjoy tasty foods while you recover.

Traditionally, people hit with traveler's diarrhea have been advised to restrict themselves to clear liquids and bland food such as crackers, toast, rice, and Jell-O while avoiding spicy and fatty foods and dairy products.

But a University of Texas study of two groups of college students taking antibiotics to treat traveler's diarrhea found those who ate a diet limited to bland foods and broth didn't recover any sooner than people who ate any kind of food.

The general good health of both groups of study subjects may help explain their ability to recover from traveler's diarrhea, no matter what they ate.

Sticking to a bland diet may still be advisable for some people with traveler's diarrhea, especially if they didn't take antibiotics to treat the problem, the researchers say.

The study appears in the Aug. 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about traveler's diarrhea.

SOURCE: Infectious Diseases Society of America, news release, August 2004

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