However, investigation into the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) suggests that IBS can be a result of food poisoning.
I pester my IBS patients with all kinds of questions about what they ate, where they traveled, and what medications they took before their IBS symptoms became most noticeable, and many report some connection with a “stomach bug” or food poisoning, often while traveling. According to Pimentel, statistics show that 12% of all travelers who leave their home town will experience food poisoning.
Fortunately, Pimentel and his team are researching more about the association between food poisoning and its contribution to IBS.
In the meantime, here's a list of tips to minimize your risk of succumbing to Montezuma’s revenge and post-infectious IBS:
- Eat hot foods
- Remove the skins from fruits (e.g. peel an apple, choose a banana)
- Drink bottled water
- Eat at clean restaurants
- Ask travel agents and search dependable travel websites for recommended restaurants
- Wash your hands well before eating
- Avoid the following, especially when eating out in a foreign country:
- Salad bars
- Food from street vendors
- Raw fish and undercooked meat
- Raw eggs
- Unpasteurized dairy
- Uncooked vegetables
- Ice cubes
- Room temperature foods