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Travelers Diarrhea

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I recently traveled to Paris and became ill. I believe I have travelers diarrhea, but I am not sure. Last Sunday (9/29 and 9/30) my symptoms started as a fever and the hot and cold chills. Then on Tuesday (10/1), I developed diarrhea. I am home now in Florida (came back from France on 10/4) but the diarrhea has not let up. It has gotten less severe, but still here. I do not have blood in my stool or anything else that would appear troubling.

Should I try over the counter medications such as Imodium? That worked while I was in Paris. Or since it is persistent, should I be worried that I need some kind of antibiotic?


Category: Family Physician-GP

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Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days ago

Thank you for for consult at DoctorSpring.

I would recommend not to continue with Imodium, as it could be prolonging your illness. There is a good change that you have travellers diarrhea. You will need to stay hydrated and keep sipping on fluids (clear and non-caffeinated) to replenish what you are losing. As for over the counter remedies, pepto bismol can offer some relief for your gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. Generally the symptoms would subside on their own. However, since you have mentioned that it has been about a week and I can understand your frustration, consider taking antibiotics. I would recommend a course of Ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day can clear up your symptoms, as it can kill the most common culprit ~ E.coli.

After starting the antibiotics if your diarrhea is still persisting, or if you experience more severe symptoms such as recurrence of fever, blood in stools, etc, then please make a visit to your your local physician. You would need to do stool culture tests to determine the exact organisms, and switch to antiviral or anti-parasite therapy if necessary.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions. Take care and be well.


Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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Experience: 
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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