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Stomach Problems in the Red Sea - how to avoid!

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by bubbles01, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. pmenear

    pmenear Solo Diver

    Never eat anything with your fingers even if you just washed your hands. The cats walk over everything and there are lots of them. You should be fine on the liveaboards but onshore defiantly knife and fork or if the food is wrapped in tin foil for you to hold.
  2. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    FYI, ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin both belong to the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. As such, they most likely have the same mechanism of action: inhibition of DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV which bacterial cells require for cell division. Cross-reactivity with mammalian topoisomerases might explain some of the "side effects" of these meds.

    Fluoroquinolones are known to inhibit the liver enzyme complex cytochrome P450, so beware of any other drugs/supplements that are metabolized in this way. Something to keep in mind is that P450 enzymes are involved in alcohol metabolism.

    You probably should refrain from taking any NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) while taking any fluoroquinolones due to the possibility of neurological side effects. I only mention this because so many of us take NSAIDs for various aches and pains without thinking twice about it.

    Regarding the conversation between Crowley and TSandM, although loperamide (Imodium) and other antimotility agents like it have been shown to successfully decrease the duration of travelers' diarrhea, such medications really shouldn't be used when the patient has fever or bloody diarrhea -- the concern being that this might increase severity of the disease by slowing clearance of the gut pathogen. At least that's what I've been taught. I encourage people to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for very helpful information regarding travelers' diarrhea.

    Hope this info helps...
  3. Herk_Man

    Herk_Man Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Landlocked
    Taker MREs, drink a beer at every meal, don't kiss any toilet seats, keep motion sickness pills handy and use early if waves are up. Dive well!
  4. Brian Sharpe

    Brian Sharpe ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    You should also talk to your doctor about Dukoral - an oral vaccine that purportedly prevents Montezuma's revenge caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli and cholera.

    I haven't used it myself (we procrastinated before our trip to DR and, as usual my son ended up taking Ciprofloxacin for 5 days...........)

    +1 to pretty much all of the above.
  5. bleeb

    bleeb Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Going from rather fuzzy memory, IIRC the fine print says Dukoral is only about 30% effective against e-toxic E. coli. OTOH one may decide that one third less problems is still worth it, especially given the severity of the problems when they occur.
  6. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    + 1 !
  7. mania

    mania Cousin Itt ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
  8. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Wash your hands before eating/drinking and dont drink the tap water. Some people recommend washing hands after handling money (i certainly wouldn't put it in my mouth).

    Having said that ive never been ill in Egypt from any bug (in 2 years) and the percentage of people i see with it is tiny - i saw just the saw amount in greece and spain so i think the hazard is massively overstated.

    Most people get sick and ill from good old fashioned dehydration or sunstroke. They then try to blame it on food.

    Ice is completely fine - its made from bottled water
    Veg and fruit (prepared as part of a meal) is fine - again bottled water

    Most hotels have their own desalination plants so other than a bit salty its fine.
    Ive cleaned my teeth and washed with tap water daily for my entire time there without any ill effect.

    Thats the one thing doctors give out like sweets but ive witnessed first hand from people and heard of countless more it isnt a great idea. Yes it'll fix you up temporarily. However in 2-3 weeks you can expect to get a lot sicker. It wipes out your gut fauna and without a carefully controlled diet to regrow it you get all kinds of stuff inhabiting instead. So you're good for a few days and far worse a few weeks down the line.

    I do know of 2 people that picked up an amoeba that worked out was picked up eating at sharm airport on the way home though.
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    String, we had nine people on our trip, and seven of them got sick (at completely different points of the trip), two ill enough that we considered airlifting them off the boat.

    BubbleTrubble, you are right; bloody diarrhea is a contraindication to antimotility agents. The typical turista is not bloody dysentery, and I should have amended my advice to except that condition.
  10. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Id seriously consider changing liveaboard operators if that's the case. And reporting them.

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