Travel-Related Illness: Montezuma's Revenge (cont.)
The problem on cruises is that a virus called Norwalk virus is spread between people onboard. It is hard to get it out of a boat once it's there. The bottom line, safe boats are safe and Norwalk-infested boats present a recurrent problem. If you are going to take a trip on a boat that has had a problem, my suggestion would be to load up on Pepto-Bismol, which appears to be useful in treating this virus infection.
I might also add that Norwalk virus that causes this problem does not cause serious illness, and this is really pretty trivial. Although no one feels that a 12- or 18-hour illness is trivial, it's not life threatening. I think we need to put it into proper context. It's pretty mild.
In Asia, the traveler's diarrhea resembles more that of Mexico, in that the rate of illness approaches 40 percent. Here I would be more careful about the food that was consumed. You can eat at out of the way places if you eat the safe foods that I earlier outlined.
In this latter category we have found, in our studies, that approximately 10 percent of patients experiencing travelers diarrhea develop a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Unfortunately this can last for months to years, and it's the most important reason why we want to prevent this illness from occurring in the first place.
The other problem is the change in duration of days. When we go from the US to Europe the day is 6 to 7 hours shorter; it could be even longer if you come from the West Coast. Insulin adjustments for diabetes is critical, and the best advice is to stay on your time in the U.S. with regard to eating and insulin usage, and slowly adjust once you get into the local area and try to re-equilibrate with insulin dosages. It's tricky, and probably is something that your husband should work out with his doctor.
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