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<p>l am going to India in December...any tips on how to prevent travellers diarrhea...l know about water, food etc...however India seems to be a problem for most people. Other than Antibiotics, which l will have should a problem occur (as l know it will) is there anything else to do.<br /> Does the routine use of Pepto Bismol work.<br /> Would love some feedback...Thank you.<br /> Jacquie </p>

In any country where it is advised not to drink the water, I use Acidophilus tablets -- one each night. This is the same culture that’s in yogurt and keeps the flora in the intestines happy. Experiment before you leave on your trip, some people like taking two tablets. It is sold at supermarkets and pharmacies and be sure to buy the kind that doesn’t need refrigeration.
Also, ask your doctor for a prescription for Xifaxan tablets to use if you run into a E-coli problem. I’m paraphrasing from the package here..... “it is a nonsystemic (does not get into the bloodstream) antibiotic used to treat diarrhea caused by consuming food or fluids contaminated with bacteria.” I feel it is just as powerful as Cipro, but it goes right to the gastrointestinal tract.

I take Pepto Bismol tablets with me when I travel and the minute I sense tummy rumbles, I chew two of them. It usually takes care of the problem. I know some people use two each morning as a preventative -- I have never tried this.
Good luck in your travels and if you find something that works better,let us know!

I never had a problem. I boiled all my water for hotel use - I used my travel steamer for this and just poured it into glasses, carafes that I had first rinsed out with the boiled water. It is easy to be careful when eating and then forget totally when one is in the shower or brushing one's teeth and in goes the tap water.
I ate at hotels and the food was often hot and freshly prepared. But usually the more typical hotel buffets were only kept luke warm. Watch out for that too and ask for something freshly prepared.
I drank a lot of lime sodas while in India which use bottled water, some boiled sugar syrup and fresh lime juice and did okay - but I was also careful where I got these in more western level establishments.
I even ate on the train - the first class train from Delhi to Bhopal served in seat food and it was prepared and packaged but of unknown origin but came with the price of the ticket. Did okay on that too.
Yes, you are right about PeptoBismol - a Peace Corp study found it to work as well as anything else but with fewer side effects (beside black tongue and stool). Take lots of it with you - if you take it preventively be sure you have a doctor's okay to take it for extended periods of time. Check the CDC website for the latest on travel illnesses. (Center for Disesase Control - US government)
But I would also take along some Immodium, which is not necessarily recommended to help prevent or cure but it sure helps if you are in a setting where simple control is critical - long bus ride or tour. I also ran into some bugs at night when I left my hotel window open and the left tiny little red bites on my face which was not covered up.
Big issue is particulate air pollution at times, if you wear contacts. I traveled there with daily disposables and glad I did. Be sure you bring enough if you wear them to have two a day if necessary.
India, like many former British colonies always seems to have club sandwiches on hotel menus - always a good back-up comfort food choice is the Indian food gets you down. It is so much more varied there than what we typically find in the US for "Indian food" that little will be familiar but all will be quite delicious.
Street food always is intriguing and perhaps hot dosas (rice pancake concoctions) if you see everything hot and ready might be okay, but why take a chance. Better to wait for these things at your hotel if you have them. Plus they do have some US chain type restaurants that carry some Indian specialties as well as the typical US fast food items what one would hope would meet western standards for cleanliness.
Fabulous country and hope you have a fascinating time. And yes, one can get around on their own and not get sick. SITA e-holidays arranged my independent trip and took very good care of me as I moved from point to point by train around the country.

We went to Egypt and Jordan last year and started taking one acidophilus tablet with each meal two weeks before going and continued taking one with each meal on our trip. I also chewed pepto-bismol tablets after each meal. My husband and I did not suffer from any mummy-tummy problems which almost everyone else did. We also brushed our teeth with bottled water.

I always, no matter where I am overseas, brush my teeth with bottled water. And having a super sensitive stomach, I never drink coffee or tea when travelling. I stick with bottled water or fruit juices bought in markets that are packaged. Of course, I bring a large supply of imodium in both liquid and pill form. I have never done the 'pepto' regimen but do take Culturelle probiotics regularly and not just when travelling. Yes, I have had some of the usual stomach ailments during a trip or two but most of my trips have been stomach-ailment free probably do more to being careful and sticking with basic food.
Someone mentioned Xifaxan (Rifaximin) in an earlier post. It is quite an expensive drug and you would need to take a total of nine pills (3 per day at $20.00 a pill) if need be due to a bout of E-Coli. Just a side note, the maker of the drug, Salix Pharmaceuticals, has a program whereby if you have to pay full price for the drug, they will reimburse you a certain amount of money. Take it from me. I take this drug for IBS and must take two a day for 10 days so you can do the math. Unfortunately, insurance won't cover it.

Always drink from a bottled water. And I always bring with me oral salts.

Avoid taking non-veg food & yogurt at the midway hotels, while travelling between two destinations. The electricity is erratic in these places & the refrigeration suffers.
At religious places or holy cities, like Varanasi, Pushkar, Haridwar & Rishikesh etc. non-veg food is not available. Yet I have noticed some unscrupulous hoteliers providing meat dishes to unsuspecting foreign customers. It is a sure recipe to disaster.
However, it is perfectly safe to have both non-veg food & yogurt at hotels well recommended in the travel forums / books.
Though it is quite possible to travel in India all by yourself but engaging a reputable tour agent may add to the 'happiness factor'.
India has lot to offer in the way of great site seeing,ancient Shaivite temples, wildlife reserves,and some of the finest fort-palace hotels!
Enjoy your travels!

I just spent six weeks in India, and the only time I got sick was after eating in a higher-end hotel! (Gateway in Coonoor.) The chicken was not as hot as it might have been... Besides only drinking bottled water (no ice, no fruit drinks with water, no tap water for teeth, etc.) and no raw fruit and veg unless you wash/peel it yourself, only eating really hot cooked food may be the best advice! (Or becoming a temporary vegetarian - if I have doubts about the hygiene I eat vegetarian). I don't eat street food in India, but I do drink lassis, made with yoghurt.
I travel with immodium and an antibiotic, which I needed on this trip

We last visited India in 2008 and, although anticipated, suffered no digestive issues. We followed most of the dietary suggestions above and had Pepto Bismol, Immodium, and Ciprol just in case... I've also learned that my body responds to sugery regular Coke after bad digestive issues. My biggest issue in Delhi was air pollution. Once we returned home, I was under medical care dealing with respiratory issues for quite a while. Be well. India is not for the faint of heart -- but an awesome experience! Enjoy!

thursdaysd, a Hearty Welcome on the ITN!
We look forward to your insightful posts, as you are an old India hand!!
Have a great day.

Thanks, VP. I've been a reader for quite a while, only recently discovered the forums.

I went to India last Oct. I took 2 pepto before all meals, drank alot of coke ( or anything fizzy), no salads. I also took immodium and antibiotics just in case. We traveled by van and I took adult depends just in case something might occur while on the road. Thank heavens I never needed them. If you start with a loose stool I would take immodium right away and not wait. Good luck and have a great trip.