Delhi belly: how to leave traveller's diarrhoea behind

How can I treat Delhi belly?

Mild infections caused by viruses or weaker bacterial strains can usually be managed using oral rehydration sachets, good hygiene and a bland diet until symptoms resolve. More severe infections where severe vomiting, diarrhoea or dehydration with or without fever occurs may require hospital admission for IV fluids and antibiotics.

Cholera and amoebic dysentery will require hospital rehydration and specialist management, but these are rare.

So that's it, the infamous Delhi belly is nothing more than a tummy bug. Most are mild and treated with fluids and oral rehydration sachets. Simple hygiene and sensible eating reduces risk. Persistent disease or profuse diarrhoea which doesn't respond to simple fluids may require a visit to the doctor. Follow this simple advice and enjoy your trip!

Any opinions above are the author's alone. Guidance is based on the best available evidence at the time of writing. All data is based on externally validated studies unless expressed otherwise. Novel data is representative of sample surveyed. Online recommendation is no substitute for seeing your own doctor and should not be taken as medical advice. Review any new exercise or diet regime with your primary healthcare provider.


Dr Ben Janaway MBChB is a 27-year-old doctor and healthcare communicator. His interests include Neuroscience, healthcare ethics and public health. He regularly contributes to online health sources. Follow Ben on Facebook or @drjanaway on twitter

Sources and further reading:

1) Simon, C et al (2016) 'Oxford Handbook of General Practice' 4th Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford

2) http://travelreadymd.com/travelers-diarrhea/ (first accessed 9/8/16)

3) http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/travelers-diarrhea-topic-overview (first accessed 9/8/16)

4) http://patient.info/doctor/travellers-diarrhoea-pro (first accessed 9/8/16)

5) http://cks.nice.org.uk/diarrhoea-prevention-and-advice-for-travellers (first accessed 9/8/16)

6) http://www.cdc.gov/cholera/index.html (first accessed 10/8/16)

7) http://patient.info/health/travellers-diarrhoea-leaflet (first accessed 11/6/18)

8) http://patient.info/wellbeing/health/e-coli-should-you-be-worried (first accessed 21/7/16)

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