Vomiting and Diarrhea in Travelers: Dismantling Hepatitis A and Acclimatization, and 3 Medical Alerts to Seek Care

Diarrhea and abdominal pain when traveling abroad may not necessarily be due to acclimatization. A male patient in Taiwan has been suffering from diarrhea since returning to Taiwan. Risk of acute liver failure. Some doctors in Taiwan pointed out that Traveler’s Diarrhea is similar to the initial symptoms of hepatitis A, and patients are easy to ignore it.

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Acclimatization and Hepatitis A are very different

Zhang Zhenrong, a Taiwanese gastroenterology and hepatobiliary doctor, appeared on the local health program “Health 2.0》Explanation of the above case, it means that the male patient started vomiting and diarrhea after returning to Taiwan from India. At first he thought that the watery belly was unacceptable, so he ignored it. Unexpectedly, he began to develop symptoms such as jaundice and brown urine. At this time, he found that the situation was serious and urgent Doctor, suffering from hepatitis A. Dr. Zhang Zhenrong pointed out that although the symptoms of acclimatization and hepatitis A in the early stage are similar, there are also clinical differences:

1. Traveler’s Diarrhea

  • Definition: A disorder characterized by three or more diarrhea episodes in one day.
  • Symptoms: Unformed stool, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, etc.
  • Causes: Most are caused by bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Shigella, and Salmonella; a few are caused by parasites; very few are caused by viruses.
  • Emergence cycle: Appears during the first week of travel.

2. Hepatitis A

  • Definition: The initial symptoms are similar to water and soil acclimatization, and it is difficult to distinguish them.
  • Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, jaundice, tea-colored urine.
  • Cause: Hepatitis A virus.
  • Appearance cycle: Symptoms appear one month after infection, and the incubation period averages 28-30 days.

According to the Hong Kong Center for Health Protection, although hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal, debilitating symptoms and fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure) with high mortality rates can occur.

Hepatitis A is mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, that is, through contact with or ingestion of objects, food or water contaminated by the faeces of infected persons. In addition, close contact or sexual contact (not limited to anal-oral contact) with an infected person can also transmit the hepatitis A virus. There have also been outbreaks of hepatitis A infection among men who have sex with men. Hepatitis A can also be transmitted from contaminated or inadequately treated water sources, but this is uncommon.

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Diet Tips to Prevent Acclimatization

As for how to prevent acclimatization? Chen Xinmei, a family physician at Zhongshan Hospital in Taiwan, said in the program that the intestinal bacteria in the body have not adapted to the new environment in the first two days after the trip, so try not to expose the sensitive intestinal tract to a large number of raw and cold food bacteria at once, such as Sashimi, uncooked fruits and vegetables, etc. She added that although you need to avoid raw and cold food when you first arrive, you can drink locally produced yogurt and cheese to expose the intestinal tract to the local good bacteria and help the intestinal tract adapt to the new strains, so that you can enjoy local delicacies in the second half of the journey.

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3 warning signs requiring medical attention

Dr. Chen Xinmei pointed out that if the symptoms of acclimatization still do not improve, and the following 3 conditions appear in the body, you must seek medical attention immediately. Because the body is already dehydrated, bacteria may have entered the blood, which may worsen into septicemia.

  • Increased frequency and frequency of vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite
  • Accompanied by abdominal pain, fever
  • dizziness, rapid heartbeat

Taiwanese nutritionist Liu Yili also shared in the program that supplementing with vitamins A, D, E and zinc can strengthen the intestines in many ways, reduce the chance of acclimatization, and reduce the risk of serious diseases caused by bacteria invading the intestines.

1. Vitamin A

  • Food: tomato, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato leaves
  • Benefits: Help the intestinal mucosa absorb nutrients

2. Vitamin D

  • Food: egg yolk, dried shiitake mushrooms, salmon
  • Benefits: Prevent cancer, repair intestinal mucosa

3. Vitamin E

  • Food: Nuts, olive oil, avocados
  • Benefits: absorb oil well and maintain intestinal tract

4. Zinc

  • Food: Clams, Shrimp, Eggs, Cashews, Sesame
  • Benefits: Aids vitamin E absorption

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Written by: Huang Yaozi

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2023-05-26 09:22:30

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