Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been reported to complicate bacterial diarrhea.
In this study, doctors from Texas, USA, evaluated the occurrence of chronic gastrointestinal complaints and post-diarrhea IBS in travelers to Mexico.
The team followed 169 healthy students who were studying in Mexico for 5 weeks for the occurrence and etiology of diarrhea.
Subjects recorded their symptoms during travel. They also completed a gastrointestinal symptom questionnaire 6 months after returning to the United States.
|63% developed diarrhea while in Mexico.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Of the 169 students, 57% returned a completed questionnaire.
Of these, 63% developed diarrhea while in Mexico.
The team found that 6 months after travel loose stools were reported in 18%, abdominal pain in 18%, and fecal urgency in 9%.
The doctors determined that, of the 60 patients who acquired diarrhea in Mexico, 11% met the criteria for IBS 6 months; 10% were newly diagnosed.
The team was unable to identify a pathogen in the initial illness that was associated with the development of IBS.
Dr Pablo Okhuysen and colleagues concluded, "Chronic gastrointestinal complaints including IBS are common in returning travelers having experienced diarrhea".
"Postinfectious complications of traveler's diarrhea require further study for etiology and strategy for prevention."