Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

From the mystical peaks of the Andes to the tango rhythm of Argentina, South America has an undeniable energy that pervades everything.

Moderators: sinecure, TravelFun, ballu, jimshu, JaliscoJudy

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby voidczech » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:45 pm

Little Fairy Girl,

There are washrooms at your tent sites - this means at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, a few times there were washrooms when we stopped for the morning or afternoon snacks.

Let me tell you that neither my mother nor I took immodium and we were fine on the trail - even after having been so ill just prior to the trip (and a still a little bit during). However I only had to go pee once on the trail, and that was on the last day (approching Machu Picchu) - and no one saw me. I'm thinking that maybe all the sweating takes the liquid from you so you don't have to go ... or you're just so tired! LOL

I remember being worried about this too before I went. Looking back however I realize it wasn't a big deal at all. Really, a non-issue.

- Simone
Image

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." -- St. Augustine
User avatar
voidczech
User Rank: Elite World Wanderer
User Rank: Elite World Wanderer
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby LittleFairyGirl » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:14 am

JaliscoJudy, thanks for the link. I read that topic before I posted here, because in that topic, people mention No washrooms during the trail. Thats what got me concerned :oops:

Simone, thanks a lot for your post!!!
You very much made me feel a LOT better :D So there ARE washroom, at least at lunch time too. This makes it a lot better already. And prob you would loose a lot of moist from sweating.

Thanks a lot both of you!!!
Image
LittleFairyGirl
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:22 am

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby methodfx » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:01 pm

I went to Peru the day after Christmas and also stayed in Cusco for a week. (Spent 2 weeks in Lima and 1 in Oxapampa) I had bad diarrhea and crapped myself the day we went to Machu Picchu, lol. They make you pay to use the bathroom and I was in a rush. Couldn't hold it before I got to the toilet. Now I been home (Delaware, USA) since February and my system is different. I noticed before I went to Peru I wouldn't have to take a crap after eating and sometimes for 2 days or so. Nowadays I have to crap within an hour or so after eating, most of the time. :oops: All I gotta say is Get Ready! I did follow precautions about not drinking the tap water and all...but I still brushed my teeth with it :roll: There is a 10 hour bus ride from Lima to Oxapampa. I was fine going there, but by the time it was time to go back to Lima I had diarrhea...I have no idea how I was able to hold myself the whole ride back to Lima, and yes without Immodium, lol! :lol: Either way, I miss Peru and I definately want to go back :D I'll just have to get used to the water and food!
methodfx
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:46 pm

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby diamante » Sat May 14, 2011 12:45 am

We used dukarol once. This time we will not. The travel clinic doctor said that it only gives a 25% chance we will not get affected by ecoli. So with only 25% odds, we decided not to take another booster shot.
diamante
User Rank: Daytripper
User Rank: Daytripper
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:24 pm

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby astralcompanion » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:24 pm

I took Dukoral before the trip and it didn't seem useful because I still got diarrhea. Stomach was actually OK the few days before the Trail and then right on Day 1, it started! I loaded up on Imodium while on the Trail in the hopes of keeping it at bay as much as possible - mostly worked but it went full-blown right after we finished the Trail. I stayed an extra day in Cusco, most of which was spent staying near/at the hotel because of my stomach. But a fellow tour mate gave me 2 of her Cipro pills and within a few hours it helped 100% and afforded me a comfortable flight back home.

Stomach problems are a hit-and-miss for me when I travel, so when going to a country where you're told you can't use the tap water to brush your teeth, bringing Cipro just in case might be a good idea.
"Two great talkers will not travel far together." -- Spanish Proverb
astralcompanion
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby sinecure » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:05 pm

Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic, please ensure that you complete the full dosage assigned by the prescribing doctor otherwise we risk more bugs becoming resistant to it.
Image
User avatar
sinecure
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 2337
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby gocubsgirl » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:43 pm

I had projectile vomiting and projectile diarrhea on the trail. Bring at least 2 doses of Cipro, Gatorade powder packs to add to your water and by all means... DON'T EAT ANY UNCOOKED FRUIT OR VEGGIES ON THE TRAIL.

The stats say that 80% of all travelers to Peru get intestinal illnesses beyond travelers diarrhea. And 100% of the 13 people on our tour came down with something and had to use their Cipro to get over it.

I didn't fully get rid of the bacteria that caused my 6 hours of hell at 9,000 ft, for about 9 months. Some strange egg like burping... but eventually I recovered and I believe I owe it all to Cipro.

Hope that helps.
User avatar
gocubsgirl
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:57 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby gocubsgirl » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Oh, and if you still have the choice of trail vs. train... take the train instead. ;) It's much nicer getting food poisoning in a hotel than on a trail, hundreds of miles from a hospital.
User avatar
gocubsgirl
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:57 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby kirstenrose » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:11 am

If one was to eat a lot more bland foods would they stand a better chance at avoiding food poisoning or getting diarrhea? I'm generally curious to try foods from other cultures, but if forgoing an interesting dinner is what is required to avoid getting sick, i'd rather live off the most basic of bland and boring food as a sacrifice to avoid an upset stomach getting in my way. Plus if I took pepto-bismol tablets, pro biotics and packed immodium, would that increase my chances to avoid illness?

I hadn't even realised that the risk of getting diarrhea was so high until I came on to this forum, it just hadn't even crossed my mind... I have a relatively strong stomach and don't get sick very often, very rarely ever get vomiting or diarrhea, and if it is something, it tends to be I can end up more unable to go to the toilet, than having to go too much, but even so, it is not often this happens.

Its really worrying me though, almost putting me off, as I'm not keen to be on a hike with a bunch of people who would be throwing up and having running stomachs all over the show... Is it really as terrible a picture as those on this forum are painting it to be, or are these just extreme cases and examples people are wanting to share to instill enough fear into people that they are extra vigilant?


Also what is this "cipro" stuff? I hadn't heard of it before.. I'm generally not fond of taking antibiotics unless it is drastically necessary, because I have always had an allergy to penicillin and eurthyromycin, which are two of the most common antibiotics prescribed for many different things and so if I get sick in some way which requires antibiotics, it is generally a mission for doctors to find something which agrees with me. (Some of my worst stomach troubles have come from the things meant to cure illness ironically). So do you think if i take the precautions listed at the start of my post then I don't need to try to get a script for this 'cipro' stuff and can avoid that altogether?
kirstenrose
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby IncaTrail50 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:57 am

kirstenrose wrote:If one was to eat a lot more bland foods would they stand a better chance at avoiding food poisoning or getting diarrhea? I'm generally curious to try foods from other cultures, but if forgoing an interesting dinner is what is required to avoid getting sick, i'd rather live off the most basic of bland and boring food as a sacrifice to avoid an upset stomach getting in my way. Plus if I took pepto-bismol tablets, pro biotics and packed immodium, would that increase my chances to avoid illness?


First, there isn't any choice on the trail except to eat what the cooks prepare for you unless you are prepared to pack in three days' worth of meals for yourself. Second, the risk of food poisoning is extremely low. The cooks are trained in food handling and most people are fine. The people who had problems are more likely to post here than the many, many who didn't. That's human nature.
I hiked the trail a few years ago and not one of us (16) had any problems. Our guide told us not to eat anything too exotic or different until AFTER the hike when we would be close to bathrooms! Even a different seasoning, spice, vegetable, or meat can cause problems if you are sensitive.
My pharmacist explained the drugs this way - pepto works best for diarrhea accompanied by upset stomach, immodium works best for diarrhea alone. Neither should be taken if you aren't having problems. Cipro is an antibiotic that is taken if neither pepto or immodium make your diarrhea go away. You don't randomly take cipro "just in case". You take it with you just in case but only actually take it if you need to.
I've been following posts here for five years and not that many people have had problems considering the tons of people who hike that trail every day. The food prepared for us was delicious! Enjoy!
Kim
I will never let my dreams just be dreams.
User avatar
IncaTrail50
User Rank: Explorer
User Rank: Explorer
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby gocubsgirl » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:08 pm

I agree, the food on the trail is delicious, and not spicy at all. Spices won't cause food poisoning, and Peruvian food doesn't tend to be spicy. I had some delicious llama and alpaca stews at a buffet in Cuzco and tasted most of what was in that buffet with no problem whatsoever.

Food poisoning is much different than run of the mill diarrhea, is rare, and can be avoided by not eating raw thin-skinned fruits or vegetables and not drinking or brushing your teeth with the tap water. The water your porters give you on the trail is fine, because they boil it first.

As for the 80% of travelers having intestinal issues, there's something in the growing process (water/fertilizers/pesticides) in Peruvian farms that people from other countries aren't regularly exposed to - a bacteria of some sort - which is why Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is recommended to have on hand by travel doctors.

The Cipro is taken as needed, and it sounds like you should probably take some of the antibiotics that have worked for you in the past with you instead or in addition. Chances are you won't need them on the trail, but better to have them with you just in case. Most of our group that needed to take the Cipro didn't need it on the trail, but rather back in Cuzco or in the Amazon a week later from something they ate there.

Peru is amazing! Enjoy your trip and don't worry, you probably won't even get a headache from the altitude. :)
User avatar
gocubsgirl
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:57 am
Location: Chicago

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby markmol » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:57 pm

when i did the inca trail no one on my trip got sick, our guide made sure we all used hand sanitizer when we went to the toilet & before we ate. the food was great, they even made a cake for us on the last night. follow the guide lines of bottled or boiled water & food only from the G cooks & you should be OK
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
User avatar
markmol
User Rank: World Wanderer
User Rank: World Wanderer
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:43 am

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby kirstenrose » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:00 am

I'm not too worried about spice anyway, my main concern is just how to avoid getting diarrhea at any cost.. and also how severly sick are other people? I was reading someone said they had projectile vomiting and diarrhea, this sounds absolutely horrific... and worrying to be around too :/ i'm not very good being around vomiting people, so i'm really scared about having to deal with ill people around me. I know it sounds ridiculous and like something I should have realised, but I just figured if you take the right levels of precautions then you'd be able to stay healthy, but sounds like so many people try and still wind up vomiting... I just don't handle vomit very well, it tends to freak me out somewhat. Which I know also sounds ridiculous, but I'm not scared of heights, small spaces, open spaces, the water, strangers, snakes, spiders, bugs etc.etc.etc. none of the usual "phobia" list, but my whole life I've freaked out if i've had to see or hear a person vomit. I'm so scared that I will have to see people throwing up :S

If people do get sick is the percentage much greater that they just get diarrhea rather than the vomiting? I can handle that, just can't deal with vomit.. Its the one thing I get seriously freaked out about.
kirstenrose
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby want_to_travel » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:30 am

I would imagine that your risk of being around others who are vomiting isn't a lot higher than in everyday life. People get suddenly sick and it happens. I suspect anyone that sick would be a straggler as opposed to being able to keep up with the pack.
"Do or do not - there is no try" - Yoda
Image
want_to_travel
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:17 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Peru - Traveler's Diarrhea

Postby kirstenrose » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:43 pm

Okay awesome, that is really reassuring. Like I said, I hadn't thought it was a huge concern or anything until I came on here and read horror stories. Sometimes its better not to read forums, sometimes it helps, other times I think it can cause people to get a bit more stressed or worried about problems that may not even arise.
kirstenrose
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Previous

Return to South America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest